Created in 1966 the Library now holds approximately 25,000 books and 118 periodical titles
covering the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights and human rights in general, as well as public international law, comparative law, national legislation and case-law.
The Library possesses a complete collection of the Court's published output and attempts to collect exhaustively
writings on the Convention and the Court. From its inception it has built up an important fund
of national commentaries on the Convention, and a good range of periodicals and key texts on human rights.
Since becoming the Library of the European Court of Human Rights in 2002, its subject areas have expanded to include constitutional law, national legislation, and case-law, currently under-represented in its collection.
Acquisitions are made possible by an annual budget and by donations; the Library
team is very grateful to all those
who have donated books, periodicals and funds.
Other features which make the collection particularly interesting for researchers are its language coverage
and the depth to which items are analysed and indexed. Not only books are catalogued and indexed, but also
chapters from books, and articles in periodicals. Special attention is given to writings on the Court and the Convention; the latter are indexed to the level of articles and paragraphs.
The majority of the material is in one of the two official languages, French or English, but there are also items
in German and, albeit fewer, in other European languages.
Most of the collection is on open access. Only older issues of the periodicals
collection are held in the reserve and have to be specifically requested.