Members of the IFLA Library History Special Interest Group research IFLA history and collect oral histories from librarians around the world. You will find more information and updates in the Blog of the Library History SIG.

Oral Histories

Since 2018 the Library History SIG has been planning to record oral histories for persons associated with IFLA’s  history. This is being done in collaboration with a number of other professional units of IFLA,  including the Preservation and Conservation Section. Three groups of  interviewees have been identified:

• IFLA President;

• IFLA Secretaries General;

• Other significant IFLA personalities.

Documents, including a copyright release for signature by the interviewees, letters of invitation, and  a question scheduled have been drawn up. A modest number of recordings have been made, allowing  the SIG to test its procedures. A working group, including  interested members of other professional units, has been appointed after the WLIC 2022 Standing Committee to examine a number of questions of  methodology, preservation and access to the content and provide specific procedural guidelines for the project.

Contact: Convenor Anna Maria Tammaro email: [email protected]

IFLA Centenary

As IFLA’s primary professional unit concerned with library history, the Library History SIG wishes to play a role in preparing for the celebration of IFLA centenary in 2027. SIG members aim to develop a programme of research into aspects of IFLA’s history, in order to lead a special session at the WLICs leading up to 2027, and for publication in a book to be published in the centenary year to update the book published in 1977 to celebrate IFLA’s first half-century (Koops and Wieder 1977[1]). The first phase of this IFLA Centenary project is based on archival research.

The Library History SIG has developed specific proposals of publications to mark the IFLA centenary, following the keynote paper of Peter Lor: “Towards IFLA’s centenary: historical sources and themes”[2] and the discussions during the WLIC 2022 open session.

Contact: Peter Lor email: [email protected]


[1] IFLA’s First Fifty Years. Achievement and challenge in international librarianship. Ed. by Willem R. H. Koops and Joachim Wieder. München: Verlag Dokumentation, 1977. 158 p.; 21 cm (IFLA Publications, 10)

[2] available at https://repository.ifla.org/bitstream/123456789/2005/2/083-lor-en.pdf