Library of the National Museum of SloveniaThe Library is a public library and is open to local experts and outside visitors. It also holds the function of a special library in the field of culture.
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History of the Library

The Library was one of the departments of the museum as soon as it was founded in 1821. Since the museum was of a complex character at the time – the natural sciences had a strong prevalence – older publications in the museum Library do not only belong to the field of the humanities and the social sciences, but this part of the fund is equally important for exploring the history of the natural sciences.

However, another aspect must be highlighted here. Museum activities and concern for the preservation of heritage blossomed in Slovenia in the 20th century and a need for creating special museums sprung up. The funds of the National Museum of the time went to create the Slovenian Ethnographic Museum in 1923, and the Slovenian Museum of Natural History in 1944. These divisions did not encroach on the Library funds, the only division that slightly curtailed the Library collection was the independence of the present-day Archives of the Republic of Slovenia (1926), which was actually only carried out three decades later when the institution received its premises in Gruber Mansion.

In the printed advertisement An die vaterländischen Freunde der Wissenschaften, published by the Provincial Estates in 1823, it is stated that the museum also collects all printed and handwritten works from the fields of national culture, local historiography and archival documentation. So, an important collection of printed documents about Carniola began to form. In 1836, the Library contained 1292 books and 356 volumes of periodicals. The donations of individuals, institutions and societies were important for the further growth of its fund. Today, books from important Carniolan libraries owned by individuals (e.g. Baron Josef Kalasanz von Erberg from Dol near Ljubljana, Anastasiu Grün – pseudonym for Anton Alexander von Auersperg, Karel Dežman and Miroslav Premruj) and societies (Historical and Museum Society of Carniola) are kept here. The manner of obtaining publications was the consistent exchange with similar affiliates around the world, which continues to this day.

After being relocated to the present building at Prešerenova ulica, the Library of the National Museum was arranged following modern library standards in the 1920s. The space in the left wing of the ground floor was dedicated to it, which had originally been designed as an exhibition hall. Up till 1984, there was even no electrical installation in this part, and today it no longer meets the safety conditions for the operation of a modern library.

In 1994, the Library joined the general library and information system of the Slovenian libraries as the first specialist library within the field of culture. In 2001, newly equipped rooms in line with the times were acquired in the right section of the ground floor.

The move of all the material to the new premises was completed in 2006.


  • REISP, Branko, Knjižnica Narodnega muzeja v Ljubljani. Maribor: Obzorja, 1976. 30 pp.: ilustr.; 16 cm. (Kulturni in naravni spomeniki Slovenije; 64)
  • REISP, Branko, Redki stari tiski. Ljubljana: Slovenska matica, 2001, 223 pp.: ilustr.
  • REISP, Branko, Tiskarstvo: oris razvoja v Sloveniji od začetkov do konca 19. stoletja. In: Gradovi minevajo, fabrike nastajajo. Ljubljana: Narodni muzej, 1991. Pp. 65-71.
  • DULAR, Anja, Knjižnica Narodnega muzeja v zadnjih 25. letih, Argo 39, no. 1, 2 (1996), pp. 68-70.
  • DULAR, Anja, Knjižnica Narodnog muzeja Slovenije, Informatica museologica 29, 1-2 (1998), pp. 76-78.
  • DULAR, Anja, Živeti od knjig: zgodovina knjigotrštva na Kranjskem do začetka 19.stoletja. Ljubljana: Zveza zgodovinskih društev Slovenije, 2002, 255 pp.: ilustr. (Knjižnica "Kronike", časopisa za slovensko krajevno zgodovino; 7)