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Library collections


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.

Library books collection

The library has built up an important book collection since its establishment in 1952. These cover agriculture, fisheries, forestry, rural development, nutrition, and other subjects of interest to the organization. From 1976 onwards, the book collection can be accessed via the online catalogue. For older books, a card catalogue is still kept (enquiries to: [email protected]).

Library Journals collection

The library has a large collection of journals (around 13,000, of which approximately 1,500 are electronic) from all over the world in the organization's fields of interest. These can be accessed through the FAO Library online catalog. FAO Documents collection covers the intellectual output of the organization - over 155,000 publications and documents, which include project reports and meeting documents. These are all accessible through the catalogue. For those not yet available online, copies in print of TIFF format can be requested from [email protected].

The International Institute of Agriculture Collections

The IIA was an international organization founded by David Lubin, namesake of FAO's library. It operated from 1905 until 1945. Upon cessation of activities, it donated its library collection to the FAO. This collection is a valuable source of historical agricultural resources dating back to the 15th century. For more information about the IIA collection, consult the reference librarians at [email protected].

Aquatic Life illustrations exhibition

Mr Cappelli, a former director of the IIA, donated his collection of rare and historical books, so enriching the Library of the IIA and, consequently, the DLML, with a fine and coherent collection of precious and often illustrated rare books (mostly in Latin, Italian and French) in the domains of agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

The illustrated books on the early taxonomy of fish and other aquatic animals, most of which are part of the rare books collection of the library, have been the inspiration for an exhibition named "Aquatic Life Illustrations", set up in the DLML's atrium on the occasion of the 29th Committee on Fisheries (COFI - 31 January - 05 February 2011). This photo gallery is an online selection of the material presented in the exhibition. It is intended to give a quick historical overview of the illustration of aquatic life through the ages. Starting with Salviano’s Aquatilium animalium historiae, published in 1554 in Rome, the presentation includes nearly all the famous ichthyologists and fish illustrators of the past, the ones who started the description and scientific illustration of fish and aquatic life in general as new disciplines. It also includes other milestones of scientific fish illustration such as Aldrovandi, whose book was published in 1642, and Buonanni, whose book, published in 1684, is illustrated with 145 engravings.

CIS - Centre International de silviculture

The Centre International de Silviculture (CIS) was founded in 1939 under the auspices of the International Institute of Agriculture. One of the main tasks of the CIS was to establish an exhaustive international collection of documentation related to forests, forestry, and the timber industry. The Centre's aim was to publish an annual list of all of the collection's titles and keywords in three languages.

The CIS remained in existence until 1945, during which time it managed to amass a vast and comprehensive collection. This collection provides a unique perspective on the history of European forests and forestry that cannot be found in any other library in the world.

After the CIS ceased operations, its library collection was entrusted to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The collection was physically installed in the David Lubin Memorial Library (DLML) in 1951, when FAO's headquarters were transferred from Washington DC to Rome, Italy.

Take a look at a virtual exhibition including illustrations from selected publications contained in the DLML's CIS collection.

Lord John Boyd Orr collection

McDougall Memorial Lectures