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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.
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We were informed that scammers have used CERL's name for fraudulent activities. This scam does not imply any breach of the security of CERL, its databases or membership data. If you receive an unexpected request for payment allegedly to CERL, please get in touch with CERL's secretariat before taking any action.

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 Book Binding WG publishes its first newsletter
The CERL Book Binding Working Group had planned to seminar to take place in May 2020 in Brussels, which had to be postponed. It wil be rescheduled when European travel is deemed save again. In the meantime, they have published their first Newsletter, which is available here.

CERL Annual Seminar and Annual General Meeting 2021
The CERL Annual Seminar and Annual General Meeting are always held in the last quarter of the year. That still gives us some time to decide whether we will be able to meet CERL members in person, somewhere in Europe, or whether we will have to organise an online event for the second time. Online events held in 2020 are available here and on the CERL You Tube Channel.

Collection Security Summer School 2021
We have already started the process of preparing a programme and presentations. The decision whether we will be able to meet somewhere in Europe or whether it needs to be another online event, will be taken later in the year. The programme, once it has been finalised, will be made available here.

The CERL Provenance Digital Archive has been created in the Arkyves environment. After logging in, using your FB, Google or Orcid accounts, you may store your digital images of provenance evidence in the CERL PDA. The images and the descriptions you create are published under a CC0 license and the images are available as IIIF. You may access the Provenance Digital Archive 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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