Established in the early 1950s, with the Cluj-Napoca Branch of the Romanian Academy and subordinated to it, the Library of the Cluj-Napoca Branch of the Romanian Academy brought together, under a common name, several funds of books scattered in different locations in Transylvania: Blaj, Satu Mare, Oradea and, of course, Cluj. In 1975 all these disparate collections were reunited under a single roof, where it is still present. Of great value through cultural and scientific interest, these book funds include works relevant to the humanist, natural sciences as well as works of the exact sciences or theology. The library of the Cluj-Napoca Branch of the Romanian Academy, together with its subsidiaries in Năsăud, Blaj and Târgu Mureş, holds over half a million bibliographic units, including printed books, manuscripts, periodicals, etc. - relevant to both national and universal culture - covering a time horizon of more than eight centuries.
The Library of the Cluj-Napoca Branch of the Romanian Academy is an encyclopedic research library, one of the most important libraries in the country, as far as collections of old and rare books, incunabula and manuscripts are concerned. Readers can consult the collections of the library and ask for bibliographical guidance and information in the two reading rooms: Periodical Reading Room and Special Collections.
An ongoing pilot project, which is intended to be extended to other book funds, enables those interested in online consultation of the fly-leaf corpus, through the online catalog of the library. Another special category of publications is the digitization, namely the collection of church, administrative and military hemispheres, which concern both Transylvania as well as neighboring areas.
The Library of the Romanian Academy in Cluj-Napoca is the largest holder of treasury and patrimony publications in Romania, counting about 100,000 manuscripts and prints prior to 1800, not including the hundreds of periodical periodicals (18th-19th centuries). On its shelves we find, among other things, 10,000 manuscripts (seven centuries old), 177 incunabulaes, over 4,000 volumes of ancient Romanian, Hungarian and German books, a collection of relevant medieval codices (12th-16th centuries) for ancient, medieval and Renaissance literature, along with important Oriental manuscripts - Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish and Persian - originating from the personal library of Timothy Cipariu. Also in the Eastern Book Fund is the collection of prints (18th-19th centuries) of approximately 9,000 works. The library hosts a remarkable collection of Bibles (1,000 copies), works relevant to religious literature during the Reformation, or princeps editions of flagship works for the Revolution (Copernicus, Galileo Gallila, Newton). The collection of old European books (XVI-XVIII centuries) is the most complex fund, comprising about 50,000 works, belonging to outstanding publishers of those times.
Custodian of over five centuries of European written culture - and not only - The Library of the Cluj-Napoca Branch of the Romanian Academy shelters on its shelves the proof of the creative character of those who have not ceased to reinvent the spiritual profile of the old continent. Pioneering, from the first prints in the west and east of Europe, or the first modern world mappings, to the first theater performances in Cluj, all of this can be found among its collections. Examples of these values would be Conrad Gesner - Historiae animalium, vol. III Avium Natura, Zurich, 1555 (ed. Princeps). This book, Historiae animalium (1551-1558), in five volumes, is considered the beginning of modern zoology.