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Albanian Collections at the Library of Congress

Materials in the General and Microform Collections

Martin Camaj. Albanian Grammar. 1984. Library of Congress General Collections.

The majority of Albanian materials in the Library of Congress are in the general collections. The Library of Congress has more than 17,500 volumes of monographs, annuals, and bound periodicals from or about Albania, covering nearly all disciplines with the exception of clinical medicine and technical agriculture which are collected by the National Library of Medicine and the National Agriculture Library.

Most of these materials were published from 1950 to the present. These materials give coverage of Albania in different time periods: the Ottoman empire, the founding of the nation-state, the royalist interwar period, the communist period and the country's isolationist period, and finally, the transition period to the multiparty democracy of the 1990s. Belina Budini's Tri Kohë të Shqipërisë në Time 1923-2013: nga Ahmet Zogu te Enver Hoxha dhe Sali Berisha, (Three Albanian Periods in Times Magazine 1923-2023: From Ahmet Zog, to Enver Hoxha, and Sali Berisha) is an indication of the Library of Congress's Albanian collections' breadth for the twentieth century. Materials held in the general collections are findable by searching the Library of Congress Online Catalog.

The Albanian collections are perhaps strongest in the fields of history, language and literature. Recognizable and less well known authors are all represented in the collections. Their works range from Rare Book treasures like Marin Barleti's tribute to the Albanian national hero Scanderbeg, Historiae Scanderbegi, Ismail Kadare's well-known novels, Millosh Gjergj Nikolla's (Migjeni')s beloved poetry, to finally Diana Çuli's children's book, Aventurat e Zozos, mikut të të gjithë fëmijëve [The Adventures of Zozo: Friend to all the Children].

The European Reading Room's reference collection includes approximately 200 volumes including dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, histories, biographical directories, bibliographies and other reference sources on or about Albania. These items include numerous editions of the Albanian Academy of Science's Fjalor Enciklopedik Shqiptar, the Albanica bibliography set of the National Library of Albania, grammars like Martin Camaj' Albanian grammar, with exercises, chrestomathy, and glossaries, a number of Robert Elsie's anthologies of Albanian literature, the travel literature of Edith Durham and Joseph Swire, as well as the historical overviews of Albanian and foreign scholars like Kostandin Chekrezi, Stavro Skëndi, Noël Malcolm, etc. In addition, the reference collection includes biographies of all major political figures, as well as reference works on Albanian art, cinema, children's poetry, transition politics, etc.

Academic journals like Studia Albanica and Studime Shoqërore have good coverage. The Library subscribes to some of the major official publications of Albanian institutions. Included are Fletorja Zyrtare e Kuvendit, covering Albania's parliamentary proceedings, Mbrojtja, the affairs of the Ministry of Defense, as well as the official annuals published by INSTAT (Institute of Statistics) like Vjetari Statistikor (Annual Statistics), Shqipëria në Shifra (Albania in Numbers), Burrat dhe Gratë në Shqipëri (Women and Men in Albania). Last but not least, it is worth mentioning the Library's holdings of the Albanian satirical magazine, Hosteni, published between 1945-1990. Some are historical in coverage, and others are more contemporary.

Casa Editrice Ravagnati, Milano. Annuario del Regno Di Albania 1940 [Annual from the Kingdom of Albania 1940]. Library of Congress General Collections.

Beyond these materials, the Library of Congress also collects international telephone directories, including ones from Albania. The Library has a number of catalogued and uncataloged telephone directories from Albania between 1940-2005. Business and specialized directories from Albania, like the one to the left, are cataloged and may be identified using the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Uncataloged telephone directories from Albania may be identified using the guide Albania: Address and Telephone Directories. The uncataloged collection contains 8 volumes from 1961-2009, and the cataloged collections also contain 8 volumes from 1940-2006. For uncataloged items in the general collections, a researcher must request the items by completing a call slip in the Main Reading Room or asking in person for help in the European Reading Room.

Microfilm Collections

The Albanian Collections in the Library of Congress feature a number of materials in microfilm and microfiche formats. These materials include a number of well-known newspapers, serials, books, and archival documents. The items described below include microfilm and microfiche sets found in the European Reading Room as well as the Microform and Electronic Resource Center (MERC).