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National Bibliography of Georgia

Georgian imitation of stater (Greek coin) in the style of Alexander the Greate, from Mx'xet'a, reproduced in Tabllitsa XV of G. F. Dundua's NUMIZMATIKA ANTICHNOI GRUZII (Tbilisi, 1987)

National Bibliography

The National Bibliography of Georgia was controlled by the Georgian Book Chamber from 1924 through 2006. Following 2006, the National Bibliography was taken over by the National Parliamentary Library. According to an article published in Slavic & East European Information Review, “National Bibliography of Georgia: Past, Present, Future,” there is no longer an official national bibliography. Rather, the National Parlimanetary Library uses informal agreements with publishers to collect a copy of each publication. The Library estimated that it was collecting 80-85% of publications in Georgia when the article was published in 2010.

Digital Resources

Rossiiskaia natsional’naia biblioteka. Otdel literatury na natsional’nykh iazykakh. Alfavitnyi katalog knig na gruzinskom iazyke (1629- ).

The Russian National Library has begun to digitize the card catalog of its Georgian-language holdings and make it freely available on the open Web, together with its Generalnyi alfavitnyi katalog knig na russkom iazyke (1725 – 1998) and its Alfavitnyi katalog knig na armianskom iazyke (1623- ). It functions in the same way as these two catalogs, meaning that the individual scanned catalog cards must be browsed alphabetically, since the text of the bibliographic descriptions is not searchable. This is an ongoing scanning project with continual updates. When complete, the catalog will contain about 105,000 cards (which translates to a rather lower number of individual works, since the bibliographic description for many items occupies two cards), and will provide online bibliographic access to one of the largest collections of Georgian materials outside Georgia. Cards for books, avtorep’eratebi/avtoreferaty of dissertations and continuing publications are included. For the vast majority of items, a Russian translation of the title is provided, as in the example below.

Sample card from the Russian National Library's online "Alfavitnyi katalog knig na gruzinskom iazyke (1629 - )

While the National Library states that the catalog is current, there are very few cards for items published since 1989 in the version now available online, whether because of a drop-off in acquisition of Georgian materials or for some other reason. In theory, scanned copies of works in this catalog can be ordered from the Russian National Library’s Document Delivery Service.

For the Russian National Library’s Georgian periodical holdings, see A. Z. Abramishvili’s Gruzinskaia periodika: annotirovannyi katalog gruzinskoi periodiki, 1819-1917, khraniashcheisia v GPB im. M.E. Saltykova-Shchedrina (Tbilisi, 1968; International & Area Studies Slavic–Central Asian Reference and Oak Street 016.0599996 Ab8g).

The National Parliamentary Library of Georgia

What is now the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia was founded in 1846 as the Tiflis Public Library (see previous entry), becoming the State Public Library of the Georgian SSR in 1923, then the Karl Marx State Republican Library of the Georgian SSR, and finally adopting its current name after independence. In 2006 it absorbed the collections of the former State Book Chamber/Gosudarstvennaia knizhnaia palata/saxelmcip’o cignis palata (which, in Soviet times, was theoretically the recipient of one copy of every item published in the Georgian SSR, according to depository laws).

The library boasted a collection of over 4 million items as of 2008. Like other national libraries of former Soviet republics, this includes an overwhelming preponderance of Russian-language materials (82%), with the remainder made up of Georgian-language materials (over 600,000 items), materials in Western European languages (over 150,000), and materials in all other languages (approximately 62,000, including Abkhaz and Ossetian items).

The library’s many and varied “e-catalogues” and “analytical bibliographies” must be searched separately, but do enable a wide variety of search strategies and options.  They can also be browsed by accession number and by subject; unfortunately (due to the enormous size and non-alphabetical organization of most of the browsable lists), this is useful only in a limited number of cases.

There are separate catalogs for books, journal articles, newspaper articles, dissertations, avto-rep’eratebi/avtoreferaty of dissertations, and other types of materials and collections. Some of these are dealt with in more detail under the appropriate section of the guide. Taken together, they provide some of the most impressive retrospective and current bibliographic access in all of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

The National Library also provides the full text of nearly 700 monographs and a few bibliographic sources in PDF format as part of its PDF kolek’c’ia/PDF Collections. Some of these seem to function as current sources for national bibliography, alongside the regularly-updated e-catalogues.


The electronic Catalogs of The National Parliamentary Library of Georgia cover books, periodicals, dissertations, musical resources, cartographic materials, and more. Catalogs are broken into a general catalog that searches for monographs published since 1729; Georgian newspapers published since 1819; Foreign Newspapers published since 1756; German books and periodicals; and Georgian Literature in German. This page also includes a breakdown of the card catalogs. Below is a screenshot from a record in the updated electronic catalog.

Record from the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia


The National Parliamentary Library of Georgia offers several databases for public access. Of primary topical importance is the Georgian National Bibliography which provides coverage for Georgian, Abkhazian, and foreign language publications that were printed in Georgia. Other databases include periodical publications, books in foreign languages, dissertations, music and audio editions, archival documents, cartographic publications, and Georgian literature in translations. Below is a record from the Georgian National Bibliography database.

Record from the database National Bibliography of Georgia

Digital Library

The Digital Library gives access to complete texts. There are three key projects for digital access that focus on books, journals, newspapers, sheet music, audio materials, photographs, works of famous authors and literature, and full text articles from the Archive of Georgian Press.

Biographical Directories

This page compiles biographical resources for researching famous Georgians Georgians Abroad, Georgian Athletes, Georgian Physicians, Georgian Winemakers, and more! The Biographical Dictionary offers a browsable dictionary of famous Georgians with a brief biographical description. This page offers a a feature for famous Georgians that were born today.

Tbilisi State University Digital Library

This Georgian language digital library provides links to a variety of digital resources: full text PDF downloads of eBooks, Intellectual Papers, and ePrints; and access to EconLit through EBSCOHost and the catalogs of the National Scientific Library.

The eBooks consist electronic copies of the most popularly requested materials from the TSU Library Foundation. These documents include books, dissertations, images,  periodicals, and audio materials.

The Intellectual Papers are accessible throguh DSpace – a repository that provides access to recently deposited works. Scholars create their own profiels and use this virtual space to protect digital documents.

Ancient clay tile from Tkhaba-Erdy, Ignushetia, Georgia, reproduced in Tablitsa II of V.V. Bardavelidze's DREVNEISHIE RELIGIOZNYE VEROVANIIA I OBRIADOVYE GRAFICHESKOE ISKUSSTOV GRUZINSKIKH PLEMEN (Tbilisi, 1957)

Reference Resources

Rossiiskaia natsional’naia biblioteka. Otdel literatury na natsional’nykh iazykakh. Katalog literatury na gruzinskom iazyke [microform].

New York: N. Ross, 1998.

U of I Library Call number: International & Area Studies Microforms Room MFICHE 016.94758 R736k1

This is, essentially, a microfiche version of the catalog described above. Until the Russian National Library adds the remainder of its catalog cards to the online version, this version has the advantage of being complete: as of March 2009, it provides the only off-site means to review Georgian-language works held at the Russian National Library whose catalog cards fall into the second half of the Georgian alphabet.

Kratkii katalog Tiflisskoi publichnoi biblioteki (1846-1861).

Berzhe, A. P. Tiflis: Tip. Glavn. Upravl. Namiestnika Kavkazskago, 1861.

Prodolzhenie kratkogo kataloga Tiflisskoi publichnoi biblioteki (1861-1865).

Berzhe, A. P.Tiflis : Tip. Glavn. Upravl. Namiestnika Kavkazskago, 1866.

This massive catalog (1,116 pages in the first volume and 266 in the continuation) contains entries for 6,256 titles (amounting to 13,610 volumes in all) owned or acquired by the Tiflis Public Library during the first 20 years of its existence. Introductory essays and supplementary materials provide information about the founding and structure of the library itself. A. P. Berzhe, the compiler, was a scholar of the Caucasus who became the library’s head in 1858. Researchers interested in using this catalog to advance their studies of Georgia and the Caucasus should note that, upon the opening of a new building for the library in 1852, only 873 out of the library’s 13, 051 volumes actually pertained to the Caucasus (although an effort was made to improve this ratio in subsequent years). Likewise, out of the hundreds of works listed in the 1866 volume, only 13 are in the Georgian language and only 43 are in Armenian.

The entries are organized by subject. Only one index (of author’s names) is provided in the 1861 volume, while in the 1866 volume, separate indexes of foreign authors and authors from within the Russian Empire are provided, as are indexes of periodical publications, of works in Georgian, and of works in Armenian. The 1861 portion of the catalog was reviewed by the famous Russian bibliographer V. I. Mezhov in Knizhnyi viestnik (1862:11, pp. 251-253), although most of the review consists of a summary of the first 15 years of the library’s history. While the Tiflis Public Library has since become the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia (see next entry), it is not known at the time of this writing whether all the records in this catalog have made their way into the National Library’s online catalogs.

Cignis matiane: sak’art’velos SSR saxelmcip’o bibliograp’iis organo: sak’art’velos SSR cignis palatis qovelt’viuri biuleteni = Knizhnaia letopis’: organ gosudarstvennoi bibliografii Gruzinskoi SSR: ezhemesiachnyi biulleten’ knizhnoi palaty Gruzinskoi SSR.

T’bilisi: Sak’art’velos cignis palata, 1926-1992?

Like other serially-published omnibus national bibliographic publications of the former Soviet Union, Cignis matiane includes citations to materials in a wide variety of formats (books, pamphlets, periodicals, reviews, maps, artistic and musical works, etc.), but rarely to all of these at once, as individual formats dropped in and out of the mix and/or received their own, separate serial publications at various times. It was published monthly (except for some irregular issues in its early years), and featured an index of personal names, a geographic index (since 1959), and an index of places of publication (since 1964). Citations to Georgian-language materials, Russian-language materials, and materials in other languages were listed in separate sections, the former two organized by subject and the latter alphabetically.

Gaps in publication during 1928, 1957 and 1958 were later filled, at least in part, by Bibliographia Georgica (1930) and what appear to have been two special issues of Cignis matiane in 1964 and 1965. Cignis matiane’s first issue (1926 no. 1) was retrospective in nature, containing citations to books published between 1917 and 1925, as well as lists of periodicals and newspapers published during those years.

Barbara Bell’s An annotated guide to current national bibliographies (2nd ed.; München: K. G. Saur, 1998) states that Cignis matiane ceased publication due to financial difficulties in 1992, although it continued to be compiled on an annual basis and was housed, unpublished, at Georgia’s Book Chamber (since absorbed by the National Library) through the mid-1990s. Whether this practice was continued after 1998 is unknown. In any case, the National Library’s CART database of Georgian books (see entry for the National Library’s catalogs, above) serves as a substitute, if not, in fact, a replacement.

Bell adds that, like other post-Soviet republics, adherence to depository laws in independent Georgia was less than universal, compromising the comprehensiveness of both the National Library’s collection and national bibliographic sources such as Cignis matiane. She also states that an investigation conducted in Georgia in 1988 indicated that only 30% of the titles in Cignis matiane were also cited in the USSR’s Knizhnaia letopis’, giving some idea of what users of that source are missing when searching it for non-Russian-language materials (especially when one considers that, presumably, this 30% consists largely–or entirely?–of Cignis matiane’s own citations to Russian-language materials).

Gruziia i gruzinskie deiateli v izdaniiakh bratskikh respublik : ezhegodnik.

Tbilisi : Gos. knizhnaia palata Gruzinskoi SSR, 1963-

OCLC accession number: 234384118

Covering books, journal and newspaper articles, and musical and pictorial art publications about Georgia that were published in other Soviet republics since 1961, this annual publication includes name and language indexes and a list of sources used. The citations are organized by subject.


Khronologicheskii ukazatel’ knig i broshiur, vyshedshikh na gruzinskom iazykie s 1629 po 1883 g.

Shanshiev, G. I. Tiflis : Izdanie Kavkazskago tsenzurnago komiteta, 1883.

OCLC accession number: 137333569


This small bibliography contains 556 entries for Georgian books and pamphlets from the beginning of Georgian-language book publishing to 1883. The brief entries appear in parallel Georgian- and Russian-language columns, and are arranged chronologically by year within three broad subject categories (religious, scientific/academic, and literary). It was, presumably, based on the Russian Imperial censors’ lists of approved publications, like other works of the time that played the role of national bibliographies (i.e., Spisok knig, vyshedshikh v Rossii v … godu).

Sample entries from G. I. Shanshiev's bibliography of Georgian books (Tiflis, 1883)


K’art’uli cigni: bibliograp’ia = Gruzinskaia kniga: bibliografiia. 

T’bilisi: Sak’art’velos SSR saxelmcip’o cignis palata, 1941-1969. 3 vols.

U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Slavic– Central Asia Reference Q.015.4795 G69g [volume 3 (1946-1950) only]

Image from page [xli] of volume 1 of KARTULI CIGNI

K’art’uli cigni: bibliograp’ia includes citations to over 20,000 Georgian-language books held at what is now the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia, the State Archive of Georgia, and various Georgian museums. The first volume (1941) covers the pre-Soviet period, indexing works published in Georgian between 1629 and 1920. A supplement to this volume, containing citations to additional early Georgian imprints, was published in 1969. (This may or may not be identical to the supplements to volume 1 published on pages 141-196 of issue 4-5 of the Tbilisi journal Bibliograp’iis moambe/Vestnik bibliografii for 1948.) Volume 2 was issued in three parts (1950, 1951, and 1954, with the indexes in the third part) and covers works published from 1921 to 1945. Volume 3 (1964) covered the years 1946 to 1950 and is the only volume held by the University of Illinois at the time of this writing.

Sample entry from volume 1 of KARTULI CIGNI; note list of libraries which hold this item at end of entry

All three volumes include Georgian-language works published within the borders of the Georgian SSR and in Moscow, while volume 2 also includes works published in Georgian in Leningrad and Baku, and volume 1 includes works published in these and other locations, including Western Europe. Volumes 1 and 2 also function as a union catalog of Georgian books, since, at the end of each entry, a listing of libraries which hold the book in question is provided. Volume 1 features a number of facsimiles reproduced from the books that it cites (especially for the oldest publications), as well as a bibliographic essay over 30 pages long devoted to the various stages of Georgian book publishing.

Sample entries from the General Education section of K'ARTULI CIGNI for 1946-1950 -- note listing of contents for entry #3080

Arranged chronologically by year of publication and alphabetically by author or title within each year; entries in volumes 2 and 3 are organized by subject. The indexes are generally thorough, with various volumes featuring complete indexes of personal names, institutions, anonymous works, translated works, places of publication, publishers and publishing houses, and series, as well as chronological and geographical indexes. The contents of edited volumes are sometimes listed in full, as in the example above, which can be invaluable in certain cases for verifying and locating hard-to-find articles.

Georgian-language monographs published since 1950 are indexed in Cignis matiane/Knizhnaia letopis’ and in the Georgian National Library’s CART database.

For descriptions of bibliographies of Georgian periodicals and their contents (some of which may be considered to be part of the national bibliography and some not), see our Georgian Periodical Resources page.



Sak’art’velos SSR mec’nierebat’a akademiis gamoc’emat’a bibliograp’ia: … cc. = Bibliografiia izdanii Akademii nauk Gruzinskoi SSR: … gg.

T’bilisi: Sak’. SSR mec’n. akad. gam-ba, 1959-1981. 7 vols.

OCLC accession number: 18794604

Bibliographies of the publications of academies of sciences can be invaluable for verifying citations to materials cited incorrectly in the literature, materials missed or obscured by general national bibliographic publications, and materials from complicated or similarly-titled series and subseries of periodical publications, especially because articles from edited volumes/krebulebi/sborniki and periodicals are often indexed individually. This seven-volume set is no exception. It contains citations to works published by the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR and its institutes and other bodies (or prepared under the auspices of the Academy and published elsewhere) from 1937 to 1977. Citations to monographs and individual articles from periodical publications and edited volumes are included, as are an index of personal names and a list of the works from which the entries were derived. The entries are organized by subject, and Georgian-language and Russian-language works are cited in separate sections. Citations to works published in foreign (i.e., non-USSR) languages are also included.

Sample entries from page 696 of SAK'ART'VELOS SSR MEC'NIEREBAT'A AKADEMIIS GAMOC'EMAT'A BIBLIOGRAP'IA, 1937-1956 CC. (T'bilisi, 1959)

Individual volumes were published covering the years 1937-56, 1957-60, 1961-65, 1966-70, 1971-73, 1974-75, and 1976-77. These were quite substantial, with the first volume running to 944 pages and 7,178 entries, and the volume for 1966-70 consisting of 7,654 entries on 1,210 pages. While citations to Academy publications appearing after 1977 can be found in other national bibliographic sources, it appears that no bibliography devoted to them alone has been published since 1981.


Arguably the pinnacle of the Soviet-era bibliographic arts, bibliography of bibliography does not appear to have been pursued in Georgia at the state level. The famous Soviet bibliographer B. L. Kandel’, for example, stated in 1984 that “In…Georgia, on the whole, retrospective indexes of the republic’s bibliographic works do not exist” (“Bibliografiia bibliografii v soiuznykh respublikakh,” in Bibliografiia bibliografii v SSSR: sovremennoe sostoianie, organizatsiia, problemy: sbornik nauchnykh trudov, Leningrad: Gos. Publ. b-ka im. M.E. Saltykova-Shchedrina, 1984, U of I Library call number Main Stacks 016.947 B4711, p. 13). In addition to the modest examples listed below, therefore, researchers must rely on the “bibliograp’ia” sections of other bibliographic publications organized by subject. The “bibliograp’ia” section on pages 1381-1390 of part II of volume II of K’art’uli cigni, for example, includes entries for over a hundred Georgian bibliographies published between 1921 and 1945, which can give a scholar a good idea of the bibliographic resources that may be available for their subject or time period.

T‘bilisis bibliot’ekebis bibliograp’iuli gamoc’emebis bibliograp’ia: šeert’ebuli katalogi = Bibliografiia bibliograficheskikh izdanii bibliotekTbilisi: svodnyi katalog. 

Mesxi, N. and Nasiże, M. T’bilisi: Al. Jap’ariżis sax. t’bil. saxelmc. c’entr. samec’n. sak’alak’o bib-ka, 1958.

This brief bibliography contains 50 annotated entries for the most important bibliographic publications issued by the libraries of Tbilisi, most of them between 1953 and 1957. The entries are organized by subject.


Bak’raże, Giorgi. T’bilisi : “Sabčot’a sak’art’velo,” 1960.

This annotated bibliography by the compiler of K’art’uli periodikis bibliograp’ia, 1819-1945 indexes about 175 sources useful for the study of Georgia (and the Caucasus more generally), especially in the pre-Soviet period.

Sample entries from page 31 of Giorgi Bak'raze's GEORGIKA (T'bilisi, 1960)

Bibliographies, reference works, and other types of materials are included, nearly all of them in Russian (and, accordingly, primarily providing citations to Russian-language materials).

Greek women harvesting tea in Chakva, near Batumi, sometime between 1905 and 1915 (from the Prokudin-Gorskii Collection, http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/)