Bosnia’s National Library was destroyed, thus amputating a crucial component of Sarajevo‘s (and not only!) cultural life. Books for Vijecnica is a site dedicated to the rebuilding of the library by collecting books (as donations) from all over the world. I think donating even a book or two to mend this real tragedy could be a more than noble gesture, especially now, around the Winter Holidays.
This is the letter found on the project‘s webpage homepage:
Welcome to the official site of the BOOKS4VIJECNICA action project, initiated by Humanity in Action Senior Fellow Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina . The purpose of this project is raising awareness about the National Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina – VIJECNICA. Our initiative is to re-establish the destroyed book collection of Vijecnica. During the four-year long Serb siege of Sarajevo , from 1992 till 1995, Vijecnica was repeatedly shelled by the Yugoslav and afterward by the Serbian army. On the fatal date, the 26th of August 1992, the library building was in flame. Around 80 percent of the book collection, around 2 (two) million publications and more than 6000 valuable rare items and documents as well as the interior of the Library were completely destroyed in the fire. From April to August 1992, in an unforeseen set of events, the Library staff evacuated parts of Library collection to various locations in the city – atomic shelters, basement rooms, university buildings or other cultural centers. Inadequate and “temporary” premises, barely sufficient to accommodate retrieved publications, performed all the tasks of the national library. Not much has changed since then. There have been initiatives in repairing the Library building, though not many have been taken in restoring the book collection. Therefore, we, a group of young enthusiasts from SFN BIH, started this action. We believe it is important to restore the destroyed book collection and make Vijecnica the centre of scientific work and teaching in the institutions of higher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
PLEASE READ OUR LETTER, and help us in reinstating the book collection of VIJECNICA! I warmly welcome all your questions, ideas or opinions you would like to share with us.
THANK YOU !!!
and HIA SFN BIH
If you think you can help, send the books to the following address:
University of Sarajevo – Campus
Nacionalna Univerzitetska Biblioteka
Zmaja od Bosne bb., 71000 Sarajevo
reference to Mr. Muris Rahmanovic, librarian
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Other contact information:
Official project e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- A Universal History of the Destruction of Books by Fernando Báez – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Destruction of Libraries in Bosnia-Herzegovina [MESA Bulletin, July 1995] (fp.arizona.edu)
- 100 online university libraries (maryandmacdesign.wordpress.com)
- Safe third countries: an asylum seeker solution? (clubtroppo.com.au)