The National Library of Luxembourg (Bibliothèque nationale du Luxembourg or BNL) holds more than 1,7 million documents. Its collections are multilingual and cover all fields of knowledge. Known collectively as Luxemburgensia, the Luxembourg collection brings together all publications published in the Grand Duchy and abroad by Luxembourgish nationals as well as all those relating to the country. It includes recent and old publications, monographs, periodicals, essays, dissertations and artists’ books. The non-Luxembourg collection makes up two-thirds of the BNL’s collections of documents. Every year, around 8,000 monographs are added to this collection comprising books, periodicals, musical scores, congress and conference acts, reports, studies and reference works. The media library complements the BNL collections with non-print media: fiction, films, documentaries, audiobooks, music and language learning materials.
Online access to Luxembourg’s entire documentary heritage
In addition to these extensive collections of documents, that are available for home loan1 and on-site consultation, BNL’s subscribers can also access to online resources. eluxemburgensia.lu comprises many periodicals, including 16 Luxembourg newspapers. All of them are readable in optical character recognition (OCR), enabling searches by keywords and the consultation of different indexes. You can even download documents as PDFs and forward articles via email. The findit.lu portal is Luxembourg’s largest digital library. It provides access to more than 53,000 electronic journals, 93,500 digital scientific publications and over 350 multilingual databases. The BNL hosts and manages this service of the Consortium Luxembourg whose members include the University of Luxembourg, the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). Many of the publications of findit.lu have been uploaded to the a-z.lu portal.
The collective search engine a-z.lu gives you access to the catalogues of the 87 Luxembourgish libraries of the bibnet.lu network as well as to the contents of BNL’s eluxemburgensia.lu digital libraries and the Consortium Luxembourg’s findit.lu. Thanks to this search engine, you can choose between different media: books, periodicals, audiovisual resources, print and digital resources, documents freely available for loan or directly accessible online.
Bicherbus: the library on wheels
The BNL also offers an effective mobile service to its subscribers. This mobile library, called Bicherbus, makes 16 weekly trips to more than 100 towns and villages across Luxembourg. Launched 30 years ago by the administration of the Ministry of Culture, the Bicherbus is an integral component of the BNL since 2010. It has more than 2,300 active readers with an average of 55,000 loans every year. You can order books on a-z.lu at least five days before the next visit of the Bicherbus in your locality2. The loan period is 42 days and renewable once.
Far more than just a place of documentation
And that’s not all! You can also consult on site the BNL’s rare book collection. Created in 1969, this collection brings together manuscripts, incunabula, books printed in Luxembourg before 1800, ancient and contemporary bindings, posters, postcards and graphics such as portraits, engravings and calendars. The oldest document is a fragment of a manuscript of Pope Gregory I dating from the late 17th century! Another part of the rare book collection, the ancient collection (fonds ancien), holds 40,000 titles. Some of them date from the 16th to the 18th century and include a high number of rare original editions by French authors such as René Descartes and Denis Diderot.
Moreover, the BNL is far more than just a place of documentation, but also a place of learning and cultural encounters. It regularly hosts conferences and exhibitions and offers secondary schools a comprehensive range of educational activities.
But the greatest thing is that the subscription to this pillar of the knowledge society is free! To take full advantage of the services offered by the BNL, you just have to meet two conditions: being aged 14 or over and living in Luxembourg or the neighbouring regions.
Just arrived in the Grand Duchy? Visit our website.
1 You can borrow up to 20 documents and 7 resources from the media library for a period between 7 days (for DVDs, Blu-Rays and video cassettes) and 28 days (for books).
2 A calendar listing of the different stops can be downloaded at www.bicherbus.lu.