West European Books

The foreign book stocks are made up of works published in European languages since 1501 in various fields of learning: history, theology, philosophy, natural sciences, medicine, social sciences, law, printing, belles-lettres, the arts, technology, and classical philology.

Sixteenth-century publications are represented by masterpieces by early printers in Italy, France, Germany and the Low Countries. Early editions of Greek and Latin writers, rare atlases of botany and zoology, anatomies and treatises can be found in the European Books collection. There are a large number of early books on history, archaeology, genealogy, heraldry, numismatics and sphragistics. Unique descriptions of journeys with many maps and engraved views, illustrated publications of antiquities, collections of books on Palestine, and sixteenth- to nineteenth-century calendars are only a part of this rich collection.

Original small-print-run publications appeared in the nineteenth century on the finest kinds of Dutch, Indian and Japanese paper devoted to the early history of book-printing and to the ex libris. Numbered copies of such works were donated to the library by famous European publishers and scholars.

The Library possesses satirical leaflets and pamphlets of the Fronde era in France (the so-called "Mazarinades"), materials of the French Revolution (1789-1794), the English Revolution, and the revolution in Germany. There are many richly illustrated books, rare editions, including the Bibles published in different years, the works of Erasmus Rotterdam, Martin Luther, Jean Calvin.

The Library acquired a fair number of rare and precious books on art and technology, printing and theology. Hundreds of different editions of the Bible, works by Erasmus, Luther and Calvin, and engraved publications of portrait galleries, palaces, fortresses and the first European "cabinets of curious" are a rich field for researchers.

The holdings also store modern editions, the most significant from a scientific, historical, artistic, cultural point of view. Among them are books by the leading European and American publishers such as Brill, Palgrave, Brepols, Edwin Mellen Press, Simon & Schuster, Alfred A. Knopf, W.W. Norton & Company, publishing houses of Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Columbia and other universities.

The European Books holdings include the notable collection of Rossica, which comprises over 150 thousand foreign publications on the subject of Russia.