Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum

Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum

Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum in London is the only library outside Belarus to collect exclusively in the field of Belarusian studies and its collection is the most comprehensive in this field in Western Europe. The library is an independent institution owned by a charitable trust.


Currently, the book collection is estimated to contain over 30,000 volumes, among them over 20 printed before 1800. The strongest areas of the collection are history, literature, language, religion, folklore, local lore, bibliography, music and art. All standard reference works are available. A collection of expatriate publications, both books and periodicals, is fairly comprehensive. New publications from Belarus are being purchased regularly, as well as all important Belarus-related works appearing abroad in any language. Most of books are in Belarusian language, a fair number in Russian and Polish, fewer in German, French and other languages.

The library receives over 40 current periodicals from Belarus and abroad. The serials collection has over 200 titles; some of them are rare pre-1939 publications. The cartographic collection consists of over 100 maps from the sixteenth century onwards. The collection of Belarusian music records on LPs is comprehensive; more recent records on cassettes and CDs are collected episodically, with the emphasis on folk, rock and classical music.

The archive is extensive; it is the least studied area of the library collection. It contains Church documents of the 18 and 19th centuries, materials dating from the period of the Belarusian Democratic Republic (1918), archives of Belarusian organisations and personalities in exile.


Officially, the library was launched in 1971. Its initial holdings incorporated 6,500 volumes of the Belarusian Catholic Mission in England Library (established in 1948, since 1958 – Bibliotheca Alboruthena). The initial holdings included the collection of the Belarusian Catholic Mission and the books of three Belarusian Greek Catholic priests - Ceslaus Sipovich, Leo Haroshka and Alexander Nadson.

The library has organised several international seminars and conferences.

External links

* [ Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum in London] - the Library's pages on the Belarusians in Britain website (in Belarusian and English).
* [ Baltic and Slavonic libraries in Britain] - a research on Baltic and Slavonic libraries in Britain after the Second World War, including the Belarusian Library in London.

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