Slovak National Library (SNK), Martin

Slovenská národná knižnica (SNK), Martin
Contact: Professore Dušan Katuščák Director General


Námestie J C Hronského 1, 036 01 Martin, Slovakia
421 (0) 43 413 1267, 421 (0) 43 413 1707, 421 (0) 43 413 1769, 421 (0) 43 422 0720
421 (0) 43 430 1802
9am-5pm Mon-Fri, closed Sat-Sun

Today the Slovak National Library is one of the primary state institutions that operate under the responsibility of the Slovak Republic`s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. According to the Slovak Library Act the National Library is responsible for a variety of tasks linked to the library-based information network within the Slovak Republic.

The seat of the Slovak National Library is Martin, the centre of Slovak national culture. The main library building was opened in 1975.

The Slovak National Library, under the terms of the Slovak Library Act, also includes Slovakia's literary archive and literary museum, and biographical material in the specialised branches of its Memorial of National Culture.

The essential activities and responsibilities of the Slovak National Library have been specified in a separate chapter of the Slovak Library Act, as follows:

The Slovak National Library is the chief conservator and depository library of the Slovak Republic.

The extent of coverage of library documents includes authors, the Slovak language and the output of publishers relating to Slovakia and the Slovaks and these are made available to both foreign and domestic researchers.

The Slovak National Library is the country`s central bibliographic agency and co-ordinates related activities nationwide.

The Slovak National Library also serves as a fine art archive, museum and biographical centre.

The Slovak National Library is the consultative, co-ordinating, and education centre for Slovakia's library-based information system, and also incorporates the National ISBN Agency of the Slovak Republic.

The National Library is the centre for domestic and international inter-library lending.

The National Library serves as chief administrator for the collection and preservation of individual antique books and donated libraries, and is responsible for their security and preservation. The Library also conducts research on historical publishing activities in Slovakia.

The National Library administers the central record-keeping of historical books/documents and ancient book holdings, and the record-keeping for books/documents that have been discarded from the central records.

The National Library gives authorisation to applications for the exportation of documents or sets of documents, and may propose to declare them to be of rare value as historical books/documents or as a historical book collection.

The National Library is also the centre for the restoration, preservation, reproduction and digitisation of documents.

The National Library administers the Union Catalogue of Library Monographs and co-ordinates the compilation of cumulative catalogues for libraries in Slovakia.

The main aim of the Slovak National Library (SNK) is to collect, preserve and make accessible materials relating to Slovak interests. Preference is given to the acquisition of all documents published within the territory of Slovakia, mostly as legal deposit copies, but it also collects regional and special publications not covered by the legal deposit law and acquires foreign Slovak documents.

SNK also possesses a large collection of Czech documents, largely those from the period of the common state of Czechoslovakia up to 1992 which were obtained as legal deposit copies. In addition, SNK acquires other Slavic documents for research purposes, and also foreign reference documents such as national bibliographies, encyclopaedias, dictionaries and the most significant works from worldwide sources representing other nations´ science, culture, literature and arts.

The SNK´s acquisition profile for foreign literature is focused on the following: theoretical science; methodology of sciences; research work; research methodology; theory of culture and theory of arts; library, bibliography and information science; museology; archives and biographical science; palaeography; the book trade; philology; linguistics; Slavic studies; literary science; history of literature; literary criticism; theory of literature; ethnography; and the most significant literary works.

The basic stock of SNK comprises almost 4 mil. items of monographs and serial volumes including approximately 1,200.000 old printed books (published before 1830), of which 9,000 are collections of 16th-century documents, and more than 500 incunabula. In addition to this stock there are also about 1,000,000 units of special historical libraries and many newspaper volumes. SNK currently acquires 1668 Slovak periodicals and 540 foreign periodical titles.

SNK stock also includes: original musical scores; cartographic items (2,500); cylinder recordings and gramophone records (21,000); sound tape items (2,000); CDs (2,000); videocassettes and DVDs (1,000); period photographs (250,000); antique postcard collections (150,000); philatelic items; paintings and drawings; Illuminated manuscripts; original manuscripts (single and volumes); and reports in microform.