Old and Rare Book Collection contains about 10,000 library units, which include incunabula, post – incunabula, old books (Cyrillic books printed before 1868 an books in Roman alphabet up to 1800), rare editions and miniatures. The Collection holds nine extremely significant manuscript books (mostly ljekaruše – folk medicinal recipes collections). The single most valuable Cyrillic book is the “Oточник”, dating back from late 14th century.
As for the other printed books in the Collection, the oldest are “Noctes Atticae”, printed in the typography of Andrija Paltašić from Kotor (Venice, 1477) and “Epistolae sancti Hieronymi” (printed in Venice in 1496 by the printer Jovan Varcelens). These are representative copies with prominent typographic features.
There are three palaeotypes from 16th century, printed in Venice between 1554 and 1561: “Служабник” (1554), “Октоих петогласник” (1560) and “Триод посни” (1561). These Cyrillic editions were reprinted from the editions of Božidar Vuković – Podgoričanin by his followers, his son Vicenzo and Stefan of Shkoder.
The Collection also holds 68 extremely valuable books from 16th and 17th century, in various languages, mostly in Latin. There are 39 publications (45 copies in Serbian) and 280 titles (732 copies in foreign languages) from 18th century. The editions in Latin, French, German and Russian prevail. The most numerous part of the Collection are Cyrillic books from 19th century (about 680 titles, or 750 copies).
As for the periodicals from the late 18th and from 19th century, the Orfelin’s Славено сербскиј магазин stands out by its rarity as the first Serbian magazine from 1768. The periodicals also include: “Letopis Matice srpske”, the oldest living magazine (launched in 1824), “Grlica” (1835-1839), “Crnogorski kalendar” from Njegoš’s printing house, as well as extremely rare “Srpsko – dalmatinski magazin” (1836-1873).
Precious unity in this Collection is made of rare books, illegal, revolutionary and war editions, Elsevier books and bibliophilic editions, books with notes and inscriptions of authors and other renowned personalities, works with rare stamps, rare reprints or facsimiles of old books, limited editions and miniatures.