The Romanian Academy

The edifices belonging to the highest cultural and scientific forum of the country are situated in a park with the entrance coming from Victory Avenue. The Romanian Academy was born in 1866, as the Romanian Literary Society, which has become the Romanian Academic Society (in 1867) and then the Romanian Academy (in 1879), with its headquarters in one of the University’s wings. The debates regarding building its own edifice were finalized in 1886, with the enactment of a law concerning building the Romanian Academy Palace, unimplemented because of the governors’ ignorance. In March 1890, the Ministry of Public Instruction approved moving the institution into the C. St. Cesianu House on Victory Avenue nr. 125, and same year, in autumn, the Academy and its library were transferred in the new house. The lack of space lead to the office being enlarged in 1896 by buying the adjacent houses, Bellu and Zaleski, for the library, where the book were placed, improvising two study rooms and what was needed for cataloging, as well as a land from the Cesianu property. The projects released in 1913 by architect Nicolae Ghica-Budesti for building a new local were not executed. It was only in 1927-1928 that the first depot for the Academy Library was raised, following the plans of architect. Stefan Bals, but its main office was built between 1927-1938, being the only piece of work in the project of the Romanian Academy palace, developed by architect Duiliu Marcu.

Today, the Romanian Academy includes the ex Cesianu House, where its office is, and which is situated on the Northern side of the park, facing it, and being a symmetrical building, comprising of a partial basement, a low ground floor and a first floor that is dominant in height, building decorated with pilasters and a Doric profile.
The Library of the Romanian Academy was set up in 1867, following a book donation (6000 volumes and 400 manuscripts) of captain’s Constantin Cornescu Oltelniceanu. Its mission was to gather and preserve in its collections the national fund of manuscripts and prints, portraying the Romanian, as well as universal, history and culture. The premises of the library were modernized after 1990, when a new inventory was added to it, spaces planned by architect Romeo Belea. Acting as a national library for a while (1901-1955), its collections have an encyclopedic structure, starting with the oldest texts in Romanian or the clerical languages, up to the latest publications of any kind and in any frame. Its funds number over 10 mil. units, of which 3,6 mil. are monographs and 5,3 mil. are serial publications, having special collections, of which the manuscripts collection is the richest in the country, and the plates, numismatic and maps collections are points of reference in the field. The library trades publications with other institutions abroad, but it is also the center of a vast chain comprising of the Romanian Academy’s branches’ libraries and those of its research institutions.
source: Dictionarul Monumentelor si Locurilor Celebre din Bucuresti

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