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The collection of books currently consists of 41600 volumes (23/08/2015). Users of the library are granted free access to them. Due to space constraints connected with the need to adapt the old stable buildings to the Library’s requirements, most of the books are stored on compactus roller shelving allowing the storage of a great number of volumes in a limited space. They are arranged in aisles of mobile shelves in the room on the first floor (call numbers: 00001-23000) and in the room downstairs, accessible from the Reference Room (call numbers: 23001-...). In the catalogue these books are assigned with a collection name: 'Books-Main Collection'.


The shelving system is based on the numerus currens classification, which means that books are arranged in order with their inventory accession numbers. Books are not classified by subject on the shelving and it is therefore essential that users consult extensively the library catalogue in order to be able to find particular items.


While searching the library catalogue the users may find books that are assigned with a collection name: 'Books Closed Stack - Retinger House'. These books (old editions, rarely used books and less relevant titles) are stored in the archive in the Retinger House. In order to consult them you need to contact the librarian on duty at the Loan Desk.

Reference Room and Language/Carreer Collection

Three special collections of books are separated from the main collection. Books such as yearbooks, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, atlases, directories, and other reference material as well as texts of EC/EU treaties with commentaries are located in the Reference Room for consultation on-site only. These books are marked with red dot and assigned with a collection name: 'Reference Room' in the library catalogue. Language manuals (marked with yellow dot and assigned in the catalogue with a collection name 'Language Books') are located on special shelves in the room downstairs, accessible from the Reference Room. Career-related books such as EU tests, study guides, research methodology guides as well as CV and career guides are located in the Reference Room on the right from the entrance. They are marked with green dot and assigned with a collection name: 'Carreer Books'.

Acquisition Policy

The Library acquisition policy’s main objective is to provide Library users with the most up-to date academic literature in the areas relevant to the educational activity of the College of Europe. The main fields covered are: law, economics, political and administrative sciences, international relations and contemporary history. Book selection is based on recommendations and suggestions from the faculty, academic staff and students of the College of Europe as well as extensive monitoring of the publishing market in relevant areas. The Library cooperates with well-known book suppliers such as: Blackwell’s, Horizon Education, G+L and European Bookshop.

Acquisition Proposals

The Library warmly welcomes proposals for the acquisition of new books and periodicals which fit the Library acquisition profile. Proposals can be submitted by e-mail to Acquisitions Librarian or to the library e-mail address Acquisition proposals should be as complete and correct as possible. They should contain an ISBN for books and an ISSN for periodicals. They should also contain the proposer’s personal data and e-mail address so that they can be notified of the status of their acquisition request.