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Promoting Europe's cultural heritage in print and manuscript

The Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL) is the international focal point for the engagement with the historic printed books and manuscripts, the written heritage of Europe, represented by the collections of our members and beyond. We focus on manuscripts and printed books produced before the middle of the nineteenth century. CERL is where library and information professionals work together so that people can gain the full, connected meaning from our distributed collections and where leaders of our member institutions have access to a pool of shared expertise for the development of strategy, policy and tools for their implementation in an increasingly international field. We are a flexible membership organisation which works to benefit our members - in Europe and world-wide - and their users. Jointly the distributed resources of our members document a shared experience of national and regional specificities within a wider whole, which is inextricably interconnected, intellectually, commercially, and politically. The organisation was formed in 1992 on the initiative of research libraries in many European countries and legally came into being in June 1994. For the latest news you can follow CERL on Twitter or you can join the CERL mailing list: please contact secretariat@cerl.org to register.


On this webpage we bring together information on libraries' responses to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Donate via the International Rescue Committee DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal or your national Aid Agency.

CERL Networks

CERL Security Network The CERL Security Network coordinates information about on-going security issues of relevance for collections. Read more...

Manuscripts Expert Group The Manuscripts Librarians Working Group acts as a forum for curatorial concerns, and to enhance understanding and practical cooperation among curators across Europe. Read more...

CERL Bookbindings Working Group The CERL Bookbindings Working Group aims to foster collaboration between book binding projects, and encourage the use of standards across these project. Read more...

Seminars and Workshops

CERL Seminars and Workgroups CERL organises frequent seminars and workshops which address topical issues relating to the care of our heritage collections. The presentations held at the CERL Seminars are available here.

European Projects

Provenance CERL is involved in several funded projects, covering a variety of topics and with a wide range of European partners. Read more...

Other News

CERL Annual Seminar and Annual General Meeting 2024
The CERL Seminar, followed by the AGM will be held on 23-24 October 2024. The theme for the seminar and its programme are here.

Collection Security Summer School 2024
The Collection Security Summer School will be held in Vilnius, at the University Library in September 2024. The programme will be made available here.

The CERL Provenance Digital Archive has moved and is now available here. You can create an account, upload images, add and edit descriptions of provenance marks, and help other users identify owners' marks. The images and the descriptions you create are published under a CC0 license and the images are available as IIIF. Guidelines for using the PDA are available here.

CERL Papers XIV - Printing R-Evolution and Society 1450-1500. Fifty Years that Changed Europe, Cristina Dondi. This is an Open Access publication. Download your copy here.

CERL Papers XIII - Signa Vides - Researching and recording printers' devices
The papers were presented at the CERL Workshop hosted by the National Library of Austria, Vienna on 17-18 March 2015, and can be downloaded here.

CERL Papers XII - La Stampa Romana nella città dei papi e in Europa
The volume includes papers presented at the CERL Seminar on 11 November 2011 hosted by the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, with supplementary contributions, and can be ordered here.

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