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Moldovan Collections at the Library of Congress

Research Strategies

Second Floor, Southeast Pavilion, the Pavilion of the Elements.
Second Floor, Southeast Pavilion, the Pavilion of the Elements. Lunette with mural Water by William De Leftwich Dodge. European Reading Room. Library of Congress. Thomas Jefferson Building

What is in the European Reading Room?

The European Reading Room contains a reference collection that includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographical, historical, and genealogical works, guides, directories, statistical yearbooks, atlases, and specialized catalogs and guides. The rest of the materials related to Moldova are stored in the Library's general collections in closed storage areas, so researchers need to request them to be brought to the reading room. Requesting materials is easiest through the Library of Congress Online Catalog, once you have a reader card. Before coming to the Library and getting a reader card, you may call ahead, or email us at [email protected] to have materials retrieved before your arrival. Once you have a reader card, you can request materials from the catalog yourself.

You may use microfilm readers and scanners in our reading room, and you can save the files on a thumb-drive or email them to yourself free of charge, though there is a fee for photocopying. While you are at the Library, you also have access to our subscription databases. You may bring your laptop and download selected materials when you are connected through the Library's WiFi. The Library of Congress also has a special repository of digitized and born digital materials that can be used only at the library, because we do not have permission to share them via emails or online. These are available on computers set aside in reading rooms for the database called Stacks.

How to find Moldovan materials in the vast collections of the Library?

A good starting point is the Library's homepage. If you are only looking for books, or you are searching for our records of periodicals, it is best to search in the Library of Congress Online Catalog.

You can use different types of searches:

  • Browse
    Use this search to find titles, authors/creators, subjects, call numbers, or standard numbers.
  • Advanced Search
    Use this search for a guided approach to building a more complex search combining names, titles, subjects, and keywords as needed.
  • Keyword Search
    Use this search for a "one box" approach to find words and phrases anywhere in the catalog record or in title, author, or subject fields.
Image of the drop-down list of search options in the catalog

When searching (this does not apply to browsing), you can also use the +Add Limits button, that gives you options in these categories:

  • Years of Publication
  • Place of Publication
  • Location in the Library
  • Type of Material
  • Language

Example of browsing:

In some cases, where a title or author is known in advance, it is easy to do a title or author search. However, when looking for material on a given topic, it is helpful to browse using "SUBJECTS Beginning with" or "SUBJECTS containing"

For example, browsing for SUBJECTS containing Anecdotes Moldova? gives us a list of 13 subjects, all containing Anecdotes and either Moldova or Moldovan. Note that the truncation symbol used in the Library's catalog is ?, not *.

Image of search results for browsing SUBJECTS containing Anecdotes Moldova?

Please note that the catalog does not list all of the Library's holdings. The Library's books, journals, and microfilm since 1968 are fully cataloged, but there are only partial listings of some of the Library's non-book collections such as manuscripts, sound recordings, sheet music, and maps. Many of these are cataloged as collections, so each item does not have an individual record. Moreover, the online catalog contains limited, mostly basic bibliographic information on pre-1968 books, journals and microfilm. This means that there are probably more materials than what a quick search brings up.

What you do find in the catalog might be enough, but if you'd like to find more materials, please ask reference librarians for help by using our Ask a Librarian system. Specialists working with various formats, such as maps, or manuscripts, can look in their collections that do not have catalog records for each item, and help you find information. Also, reference librarians who specialize in the subject area or country of your interest can use databases and subject categories that you might not have considered, and find relevant materials in the Library's collections.

The catalog contains information on books and the titles of periodicals, but it does not have information about individual articles and studies that appeared in periodicals. This guide lists a number of databases in which such information is available about Moldova. For example it is good to know that the catalog of the Moldovan National Library has records not only of books but also of articles from academic journals as well, from 1991 on. Moreover, for most subject areas, there are specialized databases available that reference librarians can help you identify.

Consider asking for help both instead and before you visit the Library of Congress. Doing a thorough search in several sources takes time, so it usually takes a few days to look for materials for your topic of interest. If you can visit the Library, you can also ask us to request materials in advance, so that you will not have to wait for them to be brought in from external storage, as many of our books are stored offsite.

How does one get access to Library of Congress materials?

The Library is open to all researchers 16 years or older, but it encourages researchers to use local library resources first. Your local library will often be able to respond to your query more quickly than the Library of Congress, and is better able to identify and respond to your specific and ongoing needs. Once you have exhausted your local resources, please feel free to seek the assistance of the Library of Congress. The fastest way is using our online Ask A Librarian service. If you do not have Internet access, you may request the Library's assistance by writing to this address:

European Reading Room
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, D.C. 20540

If you cannot come in person to the Library of Congress, and the materials that you need are not available online, you might be able to use them in your local library. Although the Library of Congress does not loan materials to individuals, it can send materials to local libraries on interlibrary loan. This process must be initiated at your local library.