Since its creation in 1871, the BNU has developed collections in Slavonic and eastern European languages which currently number tens of thousands of works.

The Slavonic languages represented in these collections are Russian, Belorussian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Slovakian, Serbian, Croatian, Polish, Slovenian, Czech, Bosnian, Macedonian and Sorbian. The other eastern European languages include Romanian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and Albanian.

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The BNU works in direct contact with the University of Strasbourg's teaching staff and with other institutions with connections in the Slav countries and eastern Europe, which means that it is able to present the wealth and diversity of the languages, literature and cultures of these countries to the full.

For many years (1996-2005) the BNU also had a policy of international exchanges with the national libraries of Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. As a result of these contacts, the BNU's collections gained a number of works in the original language on the art and history, civilisation and literature of these countries.

The collections

For the period up to 1918, there were about 1 400 titles for Slavonic languages alone. The oldest works date back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and include, among the many original works by eastern European writers De origine, jure ac utilitate linguae slavonicae by George Caspar Kirchmayer (Wittenberg, typ. C. Schrodteri, 1697), Synonyma seu Dictionarium polono-latinum in gratiam et usum studiosae juventutis polonae... collectum by Georgius Cnapius (Lvov, Tapis Collegii Soc.Iesu, 1691), Primjeri srpsko-slavenskaga jezika by Vuk Karadzic (Vienna, 1857), Rossijskaja grammatika by Mikhaijl Lomonosov (Saint Petersburg, 1755), Slovar’ Akademii Rossijskoj (Saint Petersburg, 1805-1822), and Russischer Atlas : welcher in einer General-Charte... (Saint Petersburg, 1745). Most of these works are in the library's old catalogues.

Current acquisitions

The library regularly acquires contemporary novels, novellas, poetry and drama in the original language and in French translation. The BNU's documentary policy makes it possible to offer its readership not only works by classic writers but also every genre of contemporary literature, including crime, fantasy, erotic, science fiction and heroic fantasy novels.

The Slavonic and eastern European languages collections also offer the academic readership reference works, specialised linguistic works, critical studies, bibliographies, encyclopaedias, colloquy proceedings, and language manuals.

Many periodicals are also available, both to consult in the reading room and to borrow and remove from the library, including Romania, Knjizevnost, Literaturnaâ gazeta, LRS Lettres russes, Novyj mir, Revue d’études slaves, Zeszyty literackie, Literaturni novini, Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, Izvestiâ, Lettre du Centre d'études slaves, Polityka, etc. A large proportion of the news press published in eastern Europe may also be consulted online using the Factiva database in the IT resources room. Access is via the BNU's Internet site (under 'Online Periodicals'), but only on the library's premises.


Centre manager:
Dmitryi Kudryashov
tel.: +33 (0)3 88 25 27 84

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