The first public library and the first museum in Craiova have come to exist due to Alexandru Aman, the brother of the famous painter Theodor Aman and to his wife Aristia Aman, whose maid name was Laceanu.
Alexandru Aman (1820-1885), diplomat at the University of Law in Paris, magistrate, president of the Appellate Court, left in his will all his goods for the building of a 20-bed hospital for the ill and helpless, from any social strata and without any distinction of fortune or religion and “the library (…) as well as the entire collection (…) of original paintings belonging to different schools, art objects and furniture, to set up a library and a museum in order to spread the cult of beauty.”(The Oltenia Archives, 1929).
Aristia Aman (1833-1904) named through her will the City Hall of Craiova as the universal heir of her husband’s and her own fortune, requesting the building of a hospital “and in my houses from this city, with all the louds and outbuildings from the Kogalniceanu st., the City Hall of Craiova ought to set up and keep for good a public library at the first floor, a museum with a painting gallery at the upper floor of these houses” (The Archives of Oltenia).
With regard to the hospital we have no subsequent information, but about the library and the museum we can say that the testamentary wish was granted honorably. The City Hall established the “Alexandru and Aristia Aman” Foundation and appointed Thoma Herescu manager. He transformed the Amans’ suites into suitable halls for a museum and library, between 1906-1908, with the help of the Zanollini construction firm. The inauguration of the Foundation took place in 1908 in the presence of Spiru Haret, the minister of the Ministry of Education in those times and other personalities: Constantin M. Ciocazan, Ion Gigurtu, Nicolae P. Romanescu, Ion Plessia. On the ground floor of the Amans’ house there was a library in one of the halls, the other one being a warehouse, whereas upstairs, in the two halls, there were the Art Gallery and the museum.
The Foundation enjoyed great prestige in the age. The numerous signatures of personalities, in the notebooks for visitors, stand as evidence: Ferdinand and Maria, Carol II, Prince George Stirbei, general Averescu, bishop Ghenadie of Ramnic, Nicolae Iorga, Gheorghe Titeica, St.O. Iosif, Onisifor Ghibu, Marius Bunescu, I.G. Duca, George Murnu, the bishop of Ardeal, Nicolae Balan, Lucian Blaga, I. Bianu, Octavian Goga, Victor Eftimiu, Grigore Negosanu, C.C. Arion, Corneliu Moldovanu, Ion Minulescu, George Breazul, G.I. Ionescu-Sisesti, Ramiro Ortiz, etc.
The library collections have developed through book acquisition (from bookshops in Paris, Craiova and Bucharest) and donations (the Romanian Academy, the Geographical Institute of the Army, the House of Schools, the House of the Church, Nicolae P. Romanescu, Caton Theodorian, Elena Chitu, Constantin Ciocazan).
In the Art Gallery there were exhibits belonging to the Romanian painters: Theodor Aman, G.D. Mirea, Andreescu, Verona Darascu, Eustatiu Stoenescu, J.A. Steriade, Nicolae Grigorescu, N. Patrascu, Schweitzer-Cumpana, Cecilia Cutescu-Stork, Sever Burada. One could also admire Flemish and Italian paintings (XVI-XVII centuries), rare engravings made by Delaunay, Goypel, Van Loo, Bucher and more.
The Museum had a valuable collection of gold, silver and brass coins (from antiquity till the time of Mircea the Old, Petru Musat, Alexander the Good), papers and documents, medals and badges (500), vases, jewelry, icons, Oltenian carpets, furniture with Cordoba leather tapestry, archeological and mineralogical exhibits.
Stefan Ciuceanu (1875-1936), a history teacher at the Carol I College, and disciple of Nicolae Iorga led the Aman Foundation and contributed to the development of the museum’s collections. From 1921 Elena Farago became the manager of the library and she turned it into a meeting place for intellectuals, writers and scholars. After the abolition of the Foundation by the communist regime, the public library remained in the Kogalniceanu st. being named: regional, municipal, county till 1991 when it regained the name of the Aman family.
Since 1950 the library has continued its activity in the Aman houses, in the Kogalniceanu street, respecting the limitations forced upon it by the authority of the communist state. Most of the existent books were preserved in the library’s collections. Religious books, books on the royal family and those concerning the region of Basarabia were withdrawn and stored away from the curious eyes of the readers. With the passing of time further volumes were withdrawn, especially those written by authors who had run away from the country or whose work had been banned. In the library there was a special stock of books which were classified as “forbidden”.
The organization of the activity was done by taking into account the specific norms aimed at the development of the collections. The relationship with the users by means of catalogues and bibliographical information, the lending of books either in the reading room or at home, the cultural activities, the book presentations, the meetings with writers and the book exhibitions have largely contributed to the improvement of the library’s activity. It’s also important to keep in mind the manifestations dedicated to the 1st of June. Since 70’s, creation competitions and artistic interpretation contests have been organized for children.
The earthquake in 1977 affected the main building of the library. The house which was built in 1850, later inherited by Aristia Aman and underwent modifications between 1906-1908, it was still badly hit by the earthquake. The building was repaired and consolidated and a new wing was added to the adjacent building constructed in the 30’s, at the initiative of Mayor Nicolae P. Romanescu. An appendage was necessary and the sections of the library were reorganized with free access to the shelves for home lending, for children and grow-ups’books alike. The reading rooms’ capacity was increased and an audio-video section was established.
In the 80’s a permanent display was established at the Elena Farago Memorial House. The Aman’s small house was intended to become residence for the personnel of the Aman Foundation through the owners’will. Elena Farago lived there after being appointed manager of the Foundation in 1921 till her death in 1954. Elena Farago Memorial House is still unique in Craiova and it is included in all tourist and cultural maps of Romania. The Elena Farago Days are organized each year, in March and children from kindergartens and schools in Craiova visit the permanent exhibition and participate in interactive lessons. In 1978 the library celebrated the hundredth anniversary of the poetess through a session of national communications with the participation of numerous personalities: C.D. Papastate, Ion Patrascu, Radu Ionescu, N.A. Andrei, Pavel Tugui, I.C. Chitimia. The celebration of Elena Farago also occurred in the U.N.E.S.C.O. cultural calendar of 1978.
In 1991 the library once again became the Aman County Library and its activity improved, following closely the steps of the national librarian system in Romania. The acquisition policy has changed with regard to the library’s encyclopedic profile, users demands, received funds, market economy, supply and demand from publishers. Starting from 1997 the library personnel began to create a data base in order to elaborate an electronic catalogue. The IT structure was established in accordance to the strategy issued by Ministry of Culture with regard to the informatization for all County libraries . Nowadays the users have the possibility to view the Alexandru and Aristia Aman County Library web page and the on-line catalogue of heritage documents of the institution.
The users have free access to all the library collections and to all traditional and modern services offered by this institution. The modernization of the services and the informatization of the library have provided librarians the opportunity of publishing their own works such as: The Dictionary of Personalities in Dolj (2002), Spiritual Landmarks in Dolj (2005), Of the People’s Feasts: Selective Calendar (2006), Autographs and Dedications in the Aman County Library’s Collections (2000); County Library Guide(2001); Periodical Publications in Oltenia (1976); The Pen: bibliographical index (1992). Some of these volumes were nominanated and awarded by the Romanian National Association of Public Libraries in the section for specialty works .
The law libraries no. 334, was published in 2002, and gives the public libraries a well- defined place in the national system of libraries. The Alexandru and Aristia Aman County Library is a public library with juridical personality, the Dolj County Council being its main creditor.


The susceptible books included in the national cultural patrimony were constituted under the generic name of Special Collections.
This library treasure includes:
- manuscripts of the XVIIth – XVIIIth centuries, ready-made by Vasile Sturdza Moldoveanul from Bistrita-Nasaud clerks school , a zodiac in Greek, a religious musical manuscript;
- Romanian old books: Varlaam’s Homily, Iasi, 1643; The improvement of the Law, Targoviste, 1652; The Gospel, Bucharest, 1682; The Bible of Bucharest, 1688; Printings made by Antim Ivireanul from Snagov 1701-1703; Mineele from Ramnic, 1778; I.Vacarescu – Romanian Grammar, 1787; David – Psalter, Brasov, 1810; D.Golescu – The importance of my journey, Buda, 1826;
- Rare foreign books: Erasmus – Verborum… Iena, 1512; Ieronim – Opera, Basel, 1516; David – The Psalter, Basilae, 1551; Bottero – Opera, Venetia, 1617; Justinian – Institutiones… Amsterdam, 1626; Spontone -Historia della Transilvania, Venetia, 1638; Seneca -Opera, Antuerpiae, 1652; D’Avril -Voyage… Paris, 1692; Histoire du prince Racotzi, Paris, 1707.
There are also valuable books of the famous european printer and publisher from the XVIth – XVIIIth centuries: Frobenius, Aldus Manutius, Estienne, Plantin, Elzevir;
- Deluxe editions, facsimiles, anniversary editions, limited printed copies, typographical curiosities, engraved signature of famous artists , famous families or personalities collections : Theodor Aman, Alexandru Aman, Nicolae P. Romanescu, George Bengescu, Titu Frumusanu, Constantin Argetoianu, Caton Theodorian, Nicolae Condiescu, Elefterie Cornetti, Gheorghe Chitu, Gheorghe Badea, Emanoil Tatarascu, Elena Farago;
- Books and journals published at Craiova in the XVIIIth – XIXth centuries: The Mosaic, 1838-1839, the first periodical publication at Craiova with intermediate alphabet (Cyrillic and Latin) in the first printing house in the city, managed by the painter Constantin Lecca.
The importance and rarity of these volumes is not given only by the oldness, the high reputation of the authors, the quality of the printing, the art of binding, but also by the novelty of some notes, ex-libries, dedications and manuscripted autographs.
The capitalization of special collections and bibliophile books is made using printed catalogues or library catalogues, books exhibitions, articles and studies.


The programme of cultural activities of the “Alexandru and Aristia Aman” County Library is a part of the daily programme of every citizen in Craiova.
The library organizes traditional contests such as: Marin Sorescu Days, Elena Farago Days, the Music Fans’ Club, “A story for you” – a creation contest in English, “On the Wings of Poetry” – a creation and interpretation contest, books launching, varnishings, meetings with writers and artists, literary readings, camera concerts and so many other cultural events, which facilitated the spiritual communication with books and art.
At the Art Gallery of the library there are frequently organized valuable art exhibitions.


Downtown Craiova city, in the same courtyard, is the “Alexandru and Aristia Aman” County Library headquarters and the Elena Farago Memorial House. Those two buildings are exciting testimonies of the generosity of the Aman husbands, who left all their fortune to the Foundation that bears their name; the foundation is made from a library, a museum and an art gallery.
In September 1921 Elena Farago was named manager of the Foundation and she lead its destinies over three decades living and creating in the house that today shelters a part of the spiritual legacy.
As a sign of respect brought to the activity of the poetess, a bright representative of Romanian literature and cultural life, in the house where she lived was organized a permanent exhibition that contains 396 exhibits: original documents, photocopies, family photos, correspondence, pieces of furniture, personal objects, books and magazines.
Being the only one memorial house in Craiova, it is visited by numerous pupils, from Craiova, Dolj, and across the country.
For over 30 years, in March, the “Alexandru and Aristia Aman” County Library organizes annual events such as the “Elena Farago Days” and the “Elena Farago Days – The Childhood Poems”, an inter-county competition.
Being the only memorial house from Craiova and from Dolj county but also a part of the traditional ,cultural and architectural patrimony, in the year 2007, with the financial support of the Dolj County Council, it was strengthened and modernized, being opened to the visitors especially to students whose number is in continuous growing.




The Compartment of Development and Processing Collections
It provides modern and traditional services such as:
- the completion of library collections through the acquisition of documents (books, magazines, CDs, DVDs) but also by inter-library exchange, donations and legal stock;
- current and retrospective completion correlated to the information requirements and to the socio-professional exchanges which took place for the attended population;
- the improvement of the selection criteria regarding the publishing tender for the acquisition;
- the elimination of the intermediaries and the direct buying from the producer;
- the completion of the collections through retrospective acquisition.
It organizes the information and transmits it to the users through:
- the digital bibliographical description of documents according from the standard bibliographic description ISBD and UDC (Universal Decimal Classification);
- settles the pressmark of the document;
- elaborates the electronic catalogue of books;
- the digital bibliographical description according to the library standards of the books which were published till 1950, the retroconversion in the electronic catalogue of the library;
- the collections are kept into evidence by a prompt registering in the documents of the library, of the newly entered collections;
- the registration of all the modifications in the general RMF of the library and in the general registers for the stock, according to the library standards and present legislation.

The Compartment of Bibliographical and Reference Report
It provides services such as:
- bibliographical report and study on the electronic support through local bibliography;
- the elaboration of specific information instruments: on demand, pre-print, orientation bibliographies;
- information of public interest about local and European community;
- report through e-mail about library collections and services;
- reporting to users about the latest published works brought in the library through monthly posters specific for the home and room lending sections;
- promoting the image of the library using marketing products such as(calendars, posters,book-signs);
It achieves:
- edits on paper and electronic support the legal stock catalogue according to law no.111/1995 l;
- edits the annual calendar of cultural events;
- edits a monthly bulletin named Info-job;
- studies, researches, scientific works which are edited by the library or by a publishing house from Craiova;
- it continues the local personality dictionary (a new edition is in view);
- it improves the quality of bibliological publications and information science for better adaptation on readers’ demands;
- the coordination and the participation in national professional projects (National Session: Bibliophile values from the National Cultural Patrimony).

The Compartment of Methodical Assistance and Professional Training
It provides:
-the assistance and methodical guidance for the county public libraries;
- the preparation of the bibliography for librarian jobs in the public libraries from Dolj county;
- the consultation and participation at the librarian jobs competitions from Dolj county;
- the distribution of the donations represented by the publications received from the Minister of Culture to the public libraries in the county;
- afficial statements regarding the Romanian public library development strategy;
- the annually statistics of the librarian activities for the Dolj county public libraries.
It organizes:
- The Annual Conference of Librarians from the Public Libraries of Dolj County on April 23rd, the International Book Day and the Romanian Librarian Day;
- The Public Librarian network from Dolj County includes 95 libraries: 2 city libraries: Bailesti, Calafat (Basarabi and Ciupercenii Noi branches); 4 town libraries (Bechet, Dabuleni, Filiasi – Anton Pann, Segarcea – Mircea Rodina); 78 village libraries.
- the planning of the professional training of the librarians from the county library and from the public libraries in the whole county, organized by the Centre for Professional Training in Culture.

The Automatization Compartment
It provides:
- a good running for the hardware,software and servers in the library;
- the efficient and complete running for TinRead application to all compartment levels and library branches;
- the implementation, testing and usage of the TinRead library updates providing the security of the library’s database;
- the extension of the work stations in the library’s computer networks for the employees and users in order to create an IT infrastructure which is compatible with the present-day standards of the information society;
- the development and actualization of the library site (www. bringing up new online services offered to the library’s users;
- special assistance to all the library staff in using and exploring computer applications;
- organizing and bringing up the digital procedures in the library collections protecting in this way the library cultural patrimony and respecting the author’s law;
- the elaboration of documents and applications needed in the libraries’ departments;
- making and maintaining audio, video and photo archives of the events which took place in the library;
- graphical and text processing (posters, folders, booklets).
At the present moment the automatization department administrates the internet and intranet network which gathers a number of 82 PCs. It is going to be implemented a computerized system of lending and returning of the documents using barcode and computer wireless connection to the internet in the library’s lecture rooms.
The library has a non-theft system, a fire detector system and a video surveillance system with 32 cameras for all the free access zones of the users.

Adults Home Lend Section
In the new building of the “Alexandru & Aristia Aman” County Library, on the first floor, you can find the Adults Home Lend Section, where the readers can find over 120.000 books, covering all areas;
The section has two rooms where the books arranged on the shelves according to the free access system:
- The room for fiction series offers books for pupils & students’ needs (including Romanian and foreign books) as well as leisure books, the stock of books being permanently enriched with the last publications, all of these being a feed-back from the readers’ requirements;
- The other room containes books from all fields, specialized books necesary both for the students and pupils, as well as for those who want to improve their knowledge in a certain area.
The librarians are directly involved in order to fulfill the customers’ reading requirements, taking into account the fact that the readers, pupils & students, come here with a certain theme to work, but they have no established bibliography from their teachers.
The adults home lend section offers information about the library series both through the electronic catalogue as well as the three other catalogues: alphabetic, systematic and titles. The book stock is in the data base of the library and that’s why the e-catalogue is the most requested. Also, in this section it is possible to retain the publications at the customers’ request and the readers are noticed by the telephone when the publications are available.
In this section there are periodically performed opinion polls and lists of the solicitated books; this is meant for sending them to the publication aquisition section in order to comply as soon as possible with the requested books.

The Children’s Section
Dear kids, mummies, daddies, grannies and grandpas, If your steps are taking you in the Craiova central area, do not avoid visiting the children’s section of the “Alexandru and Aristia Aman” County Library, which is situated on Mihail Kogalniceanu Street, no.9, at the second floor of our new building. It would be a great pleasure for us to meet you. So, take one step forward and come in. You will find a bright, spacious and cosy room, with books arranged on shelves according to the librarian rules, according to the free access system to the shelf, 60% from the total number of 53.600 books being dedicated to children.
All publications are in the library data base, but also in the section catalogues, the alphabetic and title catalogues, thus we are able to provide all the information regarding other publications. If you love reading and you wish to increase your knowledge level, join us! For this – according to our procedures – you will need your ID card – (if you don’t have an ID card you can bring one of your parents); and also it is necessary to bring us a wage receipt from one of your parents. And now it’s time to tell you what kind of publications you can borrow from us.
The books are arranged on the shelves in complete harmony; Prince Charming books, Fairy Tales, Dalmatian books, Barbie books, stories and legends from the universal literature, but also school biography.
Romanian and universal classic authors, Romanian and foreign contemporary authors have their works arranged in alphabetical order on the shelves of the library.
If you want to learn more about foreign languages we can offer you foreign language books as well as dictionaries, conversation guides,textbooks.
Besides fiction books there are also books from all of the knowledge domains: philosophy, psychology, religion, political science, pedagogy, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, anatomy, art and sports, geography and history.
You can enjoy looking through illustrated encyclopedias, mathematical exercises books, physics, chemistry, historical, zoological, botanical and geographical atlases, Romanian and universal critique, linguistics or generalities.
If we convince you to become our readers (based on our experience as librarians, specialized in relations with the readers by using “methods” like calm, patience, politeness and talent ), we invite you to take part to our activities that promote the culture.
Those who are gifted with painting talent are hosted with their works in the Children’s Art Gallery, which is at the first floor of the building. Here are organized personal or group exhibitions with the participation of the Marin Sorescu Art High School students, wich provide the musical background of the actions.
The talented reciters are invited to participate to the “On the wings of poetry” contest. Those who speak and love English can participate to the English creation contest, named “A story for you”. Because the name Elena Farago is connected to our institution, you can visit the memorial house where she lived and created or you can listen the children who recite her poems.
These are only a part of the activities from the library and we invite you to be a part of them.

The Reading-rooms
The reading room no. 1 (journals, legislation):
- capacity: 44 places;
- see the books of base collection;
- See Romanian, foreign periodical publications, Oltenian ancient and current collections (the yellow press and magazines) approximately 65,000 volumes;
The section has specific means of information:
- Alphabetic catalogue;
- Thematic files;
- Serials electronic catalogue.
- On line users access to the Lex Studio Programs;
- Users access to the Internet through 5 computers;
- Free of charge Xerox copy of the researched publications;
- Assistance for information about library collections;
In 2008 there are 125 subscriptions for internal press (periodicals of different domains, periodicals published by the Statistical National Institute, bibliotheconomy periodicals published by the National Library, periodicals published by the Romanian Academy.
The reading room no. 2:
- capacity: 32 places;
- owns a rich referential stock: encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, guide-books, Romanian and foreign year-books;
Important titles offered in the collections of this reading room:
- The Encyclopedia of Visual Art. London, 1994, 10 vol.;
- The New British Encyclopedia, 1995, 32 vol. + Atlas;
- Grand Larousse. Paris, 1993, 10 vol.;
- Mc.Graw Hill Encyclopedia. New York, 1992, 20 vol.;
- The Encyclopedia of Religion. New York, 1995, 16 vol.;
- Jewish Encyclopedia. Thomson Gale, 2007, 22 vol.;
- Encyclopedia of the Renaissance. New York, 1999, 6 vol.
The reading room no. 3:
- capacity: 28 places;
- it organizes library cultural activities in partnership with cultural and education institutions.

The General Book Stack
It has a 425 sqm surface, being structured this way:
- A registration office for the users;
- A catalogues’ room (traditional and electronics);
- 5 big rooms where the books are organized on five formats.
It has:
- A stock of current publications (over 195,000 volumes);
- A traditional stock of 25.608 volumes, organized on four formats;
- Patrimony books in the collection of the Aman library;
Over 220.000 volumes belonging to the General Books Store are offered to be studied in three lecture rooms.
The monthly average of those who benefit by the service of the General Book Stack and by the Lecture Room is 4,000 users, who consult approx. 17,000 documents from the library.
The users of the services offered by the General Book Stack have at their disposal, in order to achieve a more rapid information, besides the traditional catalogues (thematic and alphabetical) the e-catalogue, through the 6 OPAC computers.

The Audio-Video Section
The Audio-Video Section was established in 1972, first as a musical section, being one of the few from the municipality and in the area.
The section was founded due to the solicitations which come from the users, taking into account the fact that Craiova has an old rich cultural tradition, with a Philarmonic, Opera and Operetta Theatre, Art High School, Popular Art School and an Academy of Music.
The book stock developed in time, from the first ebonite and vinyl records, till the nowadays CDs or DVDs; they totalize approx. 16,000 documents being represented by all kinds of music: choral, classical, light, folk, jazz, pop, rock. Here are kept the records of famous voices of actors and writers.
The sections also have a rich collection of scores, 3,452 volumes, but also various feature films, documentaries, picturizations of great literary masterpieces, historical films.
A special attention was given to the public eager to study foreign languages, for this reason here were acquired audio, audio-video and interactive courses. The musical equipment is verry diversified nowadays,so audio and video performant standards means: stereo CD player, DVD player, computer.
The cultural manifestations such as collective auditions, film seeing, temporary document exhibitions are meant to attract all the public categories, from the kindergarten kids to the oldest person.
The meetings from the “Music Fans’ Club” or “Initiation in the classical music” are highly known.

The Library Branches
The libraries make, organize and preserve book collections, periodicals and other graphic, audio-video documents, Romanian and foreign, according to the needs of information, lecture and study of the readers.
In order to support our readers, the “Alexandru & Aristia Aman” County Library has organized branches in four of the biggest Craiova’s districts. The librarians from these branches are the beneficiaries of training courses among their work mates
The book collections from the branches are represented by the encyclopedic book stocks, their purpose being the home lending. This way the library tries to satisfy the children’s needs and the needs of the elderly.
For a better orientation of the library users all the four branches are connected to the Internet being in a permanent connection with the data base of the Aman County Library.
The branches of the Library are:
- Branch 1 – Brazda lui Novac district, G8 block, ground floor, tel. +40351432072;
- Branch 2 – Craiovita Noua district, Orizont Complex, 64A block, ground floor, tel. +40351432073;
- Branch 3 – Valea Rosie district, Henri Coanda Street, 52 block, sc.1, ap.1, tel. +40351432071;
- Branch 4 – Rovine district, Gogu Constantinescu Street, E21 block, sc.1, ap.1, tel. +40351432070.

The Bookbinding
The Aman’s Bookbinding functions for over 40 years.
The staff of this section takes care of:
- bookbinding and book restorations ;
- binding and restoring damaged books from the current book stocks;
- binding the Official Monitor collections;
- binding newspapers and magazines collections;
- Stiching.