Welcome to the David Lubin Memorial Library


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Upon the foundation of FAO in 1945 in Washington, D.C., also the foundations for a central FAO library were laid in Article I of FAO's Constitution: "[The Organization] shall collect, analyse, interpret and disseminate information relating to nutrition, food and agriculture."1

The first FAO librarian was appointed in 1946.2 In 1950, FAO's governing Conference voted to merge the library in Washington, D.C., with the library collection of the International Institute of Agriculture (IIA), basing the entire collection in Rome.3 On 10 June 1952, the Library was named the David Lubin Memorial Library, "in honour of the man whose ideas and energy had led to the creation of the IIA". Combined, this library constituted the second largest agricultural library in the world. 4

The present-day Library is considered one of the world's finest collections in food, agriculture and international development.

Subject Coverage

Agriculture, Food and Nutrition, Rural Development, Plant Production and Protection, Animal Production and Health, Agricultural Machinery, Agro-industries, Agro-forestry, Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development, Statistics, Agricultural Economics and other related subjects.


The Library has over one million volumes; the journal collection contains approximately 13,000 titles of which 1,450 are electronic. The heavily used working collection consists of FAO documentation, books and serials in FAO subject fields, a reference collection and specialized Library collections in Fisheries and Forestry. The library also includes the IIA Institutional Memory and Rare Books collection.

Public Online Library catalogue

FAO Online Library Catalogue contains FAO technical documents since 1945, library monograph holdings since 1976 and a FAO library serial holdings database.


Reference and Information services; Tours and Briefings; Inter-Library Loans; Reproduction of FAO documents.

To order FAO documents

Contact: FAO-Library-Reproduction

To request non FAO documents

Contact: FAO-Library-Loans

To request Reference Services

Contact: FAO-Library-Reference


1. FAO. 2011. Basic Texts of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Volumes 1 and 2, FAO, Rome, p. 3.
2. Phillips, R.W. 1981. FAO: its origins, formation and evolution 1945-1981. FAO, Rome, p. 160.
3. FAO Conference. 1950. Report of the Conference of FAO, Special Session, Washington, 3-11 November 1950, FAO, Rome.
4. Phillips, R.W. 1981. FAO: its origins, formation and evolution 1945-1981. FAO, Rome, p. 160.