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LIBRARY

The Library of the Natural History Museum is among the oldest science libraries in Serbia. It was officially established in 1903, but the first data on library and publishing activities are from 1899, when the Museum bought from Prof. Simo Trojanović almost all copies (450-500) of the separately printed article “On bears” published in Belgrade in magazine “Lovac”. In that way the Board for Building the Museum of Serbian land had supported this science-popular publication. The Museum was considered a (co)publisher, and that was probably its first publishing activity.

The first significant addition to the Library was the complete book collection, property of Prof. Dr Lazar Dokić, donated to the Museum by his family after his death. The report for 1903 states: “By donation of books belonging to late Dr. Lazar Dokić by his family, a foundation was made for the expert library at the Museum of Serbian land.” These 73 library units are considered the basic and initial fund of the Library. Unfortunately, some of these books are now missing from the library, as they were either destroyed during the two world wars or were borrowed and never returned.

Although the rate is uneven, the fund of the Library has been steadily increasing through buying, exchange and donations. Today the library has 21,554 titles of books, 1183 titles of magazines (76,830 volumes), 1005 geographic and geological maps and 226 manuscripts. Out of the total number of magazine titles, there are 261 of those in Serbian or Serbo-Croat language. The most valuable in the Library fund are the old and rare books, first editions and sets of numerous important scientific journals from the whole world.

Library also includes the sets of magazines Bulletin of Natural History Museum in Belgrade (series A, B and C, until 1966: Bulletin of Museum of Forestry and Hunting), as well as all the special issues published by the Museum. The Bulletins of the Museum include 1154 papers, and they were mostly in Serbian with abstracts in some of the world languages, the best represented of which was English. Most Special Editions were also printed in Serbian. Library has an active exchange of its magazine, Bulletin of Natural History Museum in Belgrade, with similar institutions in country and abroad.

Richness and diversity of the Library are able to completely fulfill the needs of scientific and expert work in all areas of geological and biological sciences.