About the Collection

Although first books in the collection were catalogued back in 1947, a concerted effort to organise and fully develop the Library as a special collection began in 1963 when the museum moved to a new building and a designated space was provided for the library as well as a modern reading room. The library was previously oriented to the collection of books dealing with World War II and the socialist period, and therefore it is not surprising that extremely valuable collections of documents from World War II, including volumes of the laws and regulations of the Independent State of Croatia take up several rows of shelves. A unique part of the collection consists of periodicals that cover the period from the first printed documents of the Austro-Hungarian period, materials that were issued during the first and second Yugoslavia, and periodicals from the present time. At the height of its activities (1965-1990), the Museum library had very successful exchanges with academic institutions in the former Yugoslavia. The most important periodicals from all over the country became part of the library collection.

The context in which the museum operates has influenced the development of library activities. After the 1992-1995 war, the legal status of the museum remains unresolved and it continues to operate without financial support from the state. Despite numerous problems, the library is developing: the book collection is enriched by donations from institutions and individuals, and stories are written and researched in the museum library. Titles related to the 1992-1995  war in Bosnia and Herzegovina occupy an important place in the collection activity of the library. Workshops for children are regularly organized in the reading room, and the walls of the reading room are decorated with the permanent exhibition “Note on Marian Wenzel”. The museum library and reading room are being renovated on many levels – while maintaining the authenticity of the space, the labyrinthine library is being developed according to the needs of the museum and contemporary society.



What is the Museum most proud of?

The library is proud of its rarities, titles from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as rare editions from the interwar period. The oldest book in the collection is a spelling book for elementary schools in the Bosnian Vilayet, printed in Sarajevo in 1867. The book was given to students in the Bosnian Vilayet, as the preface states, on the order of His Excellency Sheriff-Osman Pasha, vali of the Bosnian Vilayet. The Library also holds extremely valuable first editions of magazines, some of them entirely complete, from the first to the last issue. Such is the case with the literary magazine Nada, which was published in Sarajevo by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1895 to 1903; the library has all nine volumes. It was the foremost magazine of its kind in Bosnia and Herzegovina, gathering work by numerous literary luminaries such as Silvije Strahimir Kranjčević and Safvet beg Bašagić. 


Elma Hodžić (