The Lviv National Vasyl Stefanyk Scientific Library of Ukraine (LNSL), if to take into account its funds total amount, presents itself as one of the Ukraine’s largest book depositories, and is also a powerful scientific and information center. The Library gained its current shape on January, the 2nd, 1940, as a result of the unification of hundreds of public, private and state libraries and collections, which used to function in Lviv and, broadly, in Western Ukraine region before 1939, but were nationalized by the Soviet regime. The unification embraced the following collections: the Taras Shevchenko Scientific Society collection, the Peoples’ House (Narodnyi Dim) collection, the collections of the National Ossoliński Institute and the Bavorovski Foundation, as well as part of the Stauropegion Institute collection and the numerous collections of the “Prosvita” society subsidiaries, collections confiscated from monasteries, private collections, and national societies libraries.
As of January, the 1st, 2011, the Library’s reserves comprise above 8. 000. 000 issues, in particular, the world’s most substantial collection in Ukrainian Studies, including manuscripts and printed publications of the period starting from the 11th to the beginning of the 20th cc.; personal archive reserves of the 18th-20th cc.; Ukrainian and foreign languages periodicals of the period starting from 19th and to the beginning of the 20th cc. (above 3. 000.000 units); unique incunabula collections (50 units), paleotyps (above 800 units), documents printed before the 2nd half of 17th c., (around 120, 000 units), and cartographic publications of the 16th-18th cc. (above 22,000 units). In addition, The Vasyl Stefanyk Scientific Library is the Ukraine’s only book depository to own the works of both Ukrainian and world’s art, specifically, engravings, sculptures, drawings, watercolors, gouache paintings, photographs, and Ukraine’s largest collection of both Ukrainian and foreign composers’ music works (378, 000 units of issue).
According to Regulation № 1709 of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine under the date of December, 12th, 2001, the Library’s unique collections and compilations, which include incunabula, paleotyps, manuscripts of the 11-18th cc., books and periodicals published in Ukraine and abroad in the 18th-20th cc., original artworks of the Ukrainian, Western European, Chinese, Japanese artists (drawings, watercolors, engravings), as well as the Ukraine’s largest music artworks reserve and cartographic collection and can scarcely be overestimated, have been rated among the scientific objects labeled as national heritage. The overall volume of the reserves, which are considered highly significant to the Ukrainian science and cannot be recreated in case of loss or destruction, numbers 3, 725,000 units of issue.
In 1989 the Library was granted the status of a research institute. Through the years, the Library managed to organize its very own scientific schools in the areas of Book Studies, Bibliography Studies and Press Studies, whose activities are dedicated to the preparation of relevant materials and the shaping of electronic database for the creation of the National Ukrainian publishing bibliography.
Nowadays, the Library’s main goals are being determined by the major domains of its performance as a national research institution, state keeper of the unique manuscript and printed monuments of both Ukrainian and foreign book culture, works of Ukrainian and foreign art, and other documents stored on different data media, as well as its role as a major information, analytical and education center.
The Vasyl Stefanyk Scientific Library is widely recognized as a leading research institute in the following disciplines and spheres: Book Studies, Library Studies, Bibliography Studies, Press Studies, Source Studies, Document Studies, Biography Studies, Archeography, Study of Art, History of Culture, and also library informatization, documents preservation, conservation and restoration. The Library’s personnel are involved in the large-scale Book and Press Studies-related research of the 11th-19th cc. documents, composing multi-volume scientific information publications, as well as releasing the research works collections, monographs, conference materials and numerous bibliographic indexes.
The Library performs the following functions: acquisition, processing and conservation of documents stored on various data media; replenishment of library e-catalogue with bibliographic records; accession of users to documents stored on various data media; accession of users to world databases.
In the Library’s network, there function three research institutes, namely: The Research Institute of Press Studies, The Library Art Reserves Research Institute, and The Modern Library Information Technologies Institute (the Scientific Funds Catalogization and Catalogue System Organization Department). The Library’s network comprises 19 research departments, 8 scientific applied and 2 technical divisions.
The Library offers its universal information resources to about 200, 000 users, lending up to 800, 000 documents annually. Information servicing of scientific and professional workers, students and postgraduate students is exercised in, all in all, 18 branch and specialized rooms.
The Library employs 426 professionals, with 91 scientific workers among them, including 5 Doctors and 22 candidates of sciences. The staff is headed by the director general of The Lviv National Vasyl Stefanyk Scientific Library, corresponding member of The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor Myroslav Romaniuk, who is a Ukrainian major scientist in the areas of Theory, Methodology and History of Book Studies, Source Studies, Library Studies, Bibliography Studies, Ukrainian Press History, and Publishing.