The Bosnia and Herzegovina National Library: A Hub of Knowledge and Culture

In the heart of Bosnia and Herzegovina, lies a treasure trove of knowledge and culture—the National and University Library also known as Bosnia and Herzegovina National Library. As the central repository of the country’s intellectual heritage, this institution plays a pivotal role in preserving and disseminating information. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, exploring its historical background, architectural features, collections, services, and much more.

Overview of the Bosnia and Herzegovina National Library

The National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, located in Sarajevo, serves as the primary national library and a vital resource for academic institutions. Established in 1945, it has become a cornerstone of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s educational and research landscape.

Historical Background of Bosnia and Herzegovina National Library

The library’s roots can be traced back to the Franciscan Library, founded in 1880, which formed the foundation for the development of a national library. Over time, the library underwent transformations, and in 1945, it was officially established as the National Library. Today, it stands as a testament to the resilience of the Bosnian people and their commitment to knowledge.

Importance and Significance of Bosnia and Herzegovina National Library

As a national and university library, the institution holds a special place in the hearts of Bosnians. It serves as a symbol of cultural identity and a hub for scholarly pursuits. The library’s significance lies not only in its extensive collection but also in its role as a center for research, education, and intellectual exchange.

Architectural Features

The National and University Library’s building is a magnificent architectural masterpiece. Designed by the renowned Bosnian architect, Kosta Kršić, it blends elements of modernism with traditional Bosnian motifs. The striking facade, adorned with intricate stone carvings, reflects the country’s rich heritage and artistic expression.

Collections and Resources

The library boasts a vast collection of books, manuscripts, periodicals, and other valuable resources. Its shelves house literary works spanning various disciplines, from literature and history to science and technology. The rare manuscripts and historical documents provide a glimpse into the country’s cultural heritage, attracting researchers and scholars from around the world.

Services Provided

With its commitment to facilitating access to knowledge, the National and University Library offers a range of services to its patrons. From lending services and interlibrary loans to reference assistance and document delivery, the library strives to meet the diverse needs of its users. Its dedicated staff ensures a welcoming and supportive environment for researchers, students, and the general public.

Digital Initiatives

Recognizing the evolving landscape of information dissemination, the library has embraced digital technologies. It has digitized a significant portion of its collection, making it accessible to a wider audience. Online catalogs, digital repositories, and virtual exhibitions enhance the library’s reach and enable users to explore its resources from anywhere in the world.

Collaboration and Partnerships

The National and University Library actively collaborates with national and international organizations, fostering partnerships that promote research, knowledge exchange, and cultural diplomacy. These collaborations enable the library to expand its resources, develop innovative programs, and contribute to the global scholarly community.

Research and Academic Support

As a university library, the institution plays a vital role in supporting research and academic endeavors. It provides access to scholarly databases, academic journals, and research tools, empowering researchers and students to explore new frontiers of knowledge. The library also offers guidance on information literacy, helping users navigate the vast sea of information effectively.

Events and Cultural Activities

Beyond its role as a repository of books, the library serves as a vibrant cultural hub. It hosts various events, such as author talks, book launches, exhibitions, and seminars, attracting enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds. These events foster intellectual discourse and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Outreach and Community Engagement

The National and University Library recognizes the importance of engaging with the community. It actively reaches out to schools, community organizations, and individuals to promote literacy, reading, and lifelong learning. Through partnerships and outreach programs, the library aims to inspire a love for books and knowledge among people of all ages.

Challenges and Future Outlook of Bosnia and Herzegovina National Library

Like any institution, the National and University Library faces challenges. Funding constraints, technological advancements, and evolving user expectations pose ongoing challenges. However, with its dedicated staff and visionary leadership, the library continues to adapt and evolve. It strives to meet the changing needs of the community, embracing innovation and expanding its services to serve future generations effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I borrow books from the National and University Library?

Yes, the library offers lending services to its registered users, including students, researchers, and faculty members.

  • How can I access the digital resources of the library?

The library’s digital resources can be accessed through its website. Many resources are freely available, while some may require authentication for remote access.

  • Are there any special collections or archives in the library?

Yes, the library houses several special collections and archives, including rare manuscripts, historical documents, and archival materials of cultural and historical significance.

  • Does the library organize any educational programs for children?

Yes, the library organizes educational programs and activities for children, promoting reading, storytelling, and literacy skills development.

  • Can I donate books or other materials to the library?

Yes, the library accepts donations of books and other materials that align with its collection development policy. Please contact the library for further details.


The National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina stands as a beacon of knowledge, culture, and intellectual growth. It preserves the country’s heritage, supports academic pursuits, and fosters a love for learning among the community. As Bosnia and Herzegovina’s national library, it serves as a testament to the power of words and the enduring value of libraries in an ever-changing world.


  • National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • Kršić, K. (n.d.). Architectural Features of the National and University Library. Retrieved from
  • Smith, J. (Year). “Title of the Article.” Journal Name, Volume(Issue), Page Range.

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