Its purpose is to collect, preserve and provide access to the nation’s documentary heritage.
It contains books, reports, serials and non print items, published in Cambodia, about Cambodia, or by Cambodians, mainly in Khmer, English or French and Palm leaf manuscripts.
The collection’s ambition is to have a comprehensive record of everything published in Cambodia, but documentation is limited due to the lack of legal deposit legislation at the current time.
The Cambodiana collection is on closed access, as its primary purpose is long term preservation.
Old French Collection,
23.000 volumes remaining from the Library’s French Protectorat’s period,
1924 – circa 1953
It contains laws and administrative documents for Cambodia and Indochina as well as books
about art, travel and history of Cambodia.
This part of the Old French collection reflects the anthropological, historical and social thinking of the time and
is valuable to the understanding of both the French community in Cambodia and Cambodian history.
In addition the collection contains many French novels from the 19th and 20th centuries and recreational reading typical of
a French public library. The entire collection has been restored and kept as a special collection,
which reflects the French colonial period.
The collection is on closed access, and items must not be removed from the Library.
The Reference collection contains encyclopedias, directories, dictionaries, atlases and other reference works, mainly in French and English, covering a wide range of topics. The Reference collection is in the Reading Room, shelved by Dewey classification.
Reference books may not be removed from the Library.
The purpose of this collection is to support education, government and research. Most of the books and journals are in English or French and they cover a wide range of subjects. The books are catalogued in the card catalogue and classified by Dewey. However, many books await cataloguing. The collection has been built largely from donations. The collection is on closed access, but researchers may be allowed to browse in the collections.
The books and journals may be read or photocopied in the Reading Room.
Because there is currently no public library in Phnom Penh, the National Library is maintaining a small lending collection.
At present this is mainly fiction in French and English, including some children’s fiction. The Fiction is not catalogued
but is shelved alphabetically by author. Readers may register to borrow these books for a small fee.