The National Library of Montenegro “Đurđe Crnojević” is located at two different sites in Cetinje, in two important historical buildings built in 1910 for the needs of the Italian and French diplomacy in the Kingdom of Montenegro (1910-1918). Both buildings represent a cultural heritage of great historical and artistic importance.
The building of the former Italian Embassy was built by the project of the Italian architect Corradini. The building style is a representative example of classicism with a touch of romance, which is especially reflected in the interior of the ground floor, i.e. a representative hall, reading rooms, halls and other rooms with rich ornamental foam rubber. Until 1915, this building in the center of carefully landscaped courtyard of 2.2 hectares has served the needs of Italian diplomacy and later it was used in various purposes. Since 1960, it has been used by the National Library.
This building houses the Library Management, Acquisition of Library Materials Department, Professional Processing Department, the Agencies for the allocation of CIP entries, ISBN and ISSN numbers, COBISS Center, Registry Office, Bibliographic Department, Bookbinding Workshop, exhibition halls and reading rooms for accessing to four special collections: Manuscripts and Documents, Cartographic Collection, Collection of Music and Audiovisual Materials and Art – Graphics Collection.
Central Depot was built as part of the former Italian Embassy building, on its southwest side and it is a contemporary seven – story storage for the library fund. It contains shelves in a total length of 45 km and stores the books and serials from the Basic Fund.
The French Embassy building was designed by the French architect Paul Gaudet. Gaudet cooperated on this project with the construction company “Perret Freres” whose manager was the renowned French architect August Perret. With its audaciously shaped façade, covered in polychromatic ceramic tiles in varying shapes and being distinguished as the building with the first application of reinforced concrete in the Balkans and by its purity of style, it stands out among other showcase buildings within the Old Royal Capital. Such method of decorating the facade is characteristic to the turn of the nineteenth to the twentieth century, or Secession. The building was used for the needs of French diplomacy until 1915. During the World War Two it housed the headquarters of the Police Authority, and since 1949 it has been serving the needs of the National Library.
The Museum Department, Old and Rare Books collection, legacies, Conservation Workshop and reading rooms are located in the former French Embassy building, as well as the French Corner.