Omnia French Library
The OMNIA library was founded at the initiative of a group of intellectuals from Craiova- writers, theatre specialists, academics, artists - with the support of the Institute for Cultural Relations Development in Lyon-France, the Lyon Town Hall and the Lyon citizens.
On May 25, 1990, by the order signed by Andrei Plesu, the Minister of Culture at that time, the OMNIA Library became a subsidiary of the National Library of Romania.
The official inauguration of the library took place on July 1, 1991, in the presence of prestigious guests, personalities of the cultural and political life of Craiova and across the country, a large number of delegations from France, accompanied by the mayor of Lyon.
The library own approximately 30000 volumes from various fields: literature, critics and literary history, linguistics, history, sociology, medicine, philosophy, art, sports, geography, management and marketing, economics, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and collection of periodicals: Lire, Magazine Littéraire, Figaro Magazine, Art et décoration, Beaux Arts, Cahiers du Cinéma, Géo, Science et vie, Histoire, Le Nouvel Observateur, Phosphore, Time, Reader`s Digest, Paris Match etc. The library owns has important collections- Enciclopedia Universalis, Enciclopedia Britannica, Enciclopedia Alpha Juniors, Tout l`Univers, Dictionnaires Larousse, Dictionnaires des œuvres, Beautés du monde, Encyclopédie Bordas-Mémoires du XXe siècle, Cahiers de l`Herne - of remarkable value.
As a public library, it has two lending halls, a reading room, a periodic hall, where access is based on an entry permit. Among those who contributed with donations to the OMNIA Library documents fund: The National Library of Romania, The Lyon Municipal Library, The Malta-Paris Knights Order, The French Embassy in Bucharest, The Liviu Rebreanu Franco-Romanian Institute in Lyon, The Gallimard Publishing House, The Actes Sud Publishing House, The Palaiseau Library, The Le Puy Library, The Bergerac City Hall , The Rotary Club, The French Consulate in Craiova.
In order to organize conferences, symposiums, literary circles, literary and collective meetings, it was established The Foundation of the OMNIA Library. The Foundation aims to increase the library's fund of documents. Also, it was initiated the series of the "OMNIA Meetings".
The following personalities of the Romanian cultural life are among those who, over the years, have responded to the initiative to participate in these cultural meetings: Irina Mavrodin, Octavian Paler, Andrei Pleşu, Mircea Dinescu, Varujan Vosganian, Al. Paleologu, Mihai Şora, Mircea Martin, Livius Ciocârlie, Al. Călinescu, Ioan Groşan, Vlad Ciobanu, Tudor Gheorghe, Dinu Adam, Mircea Martin, Ştefan Augustin Doinaş, Marin Sorescu, Adrian Marino, Laurenţiu Ulici, Marian Papahagi, and from abroad: Jacques Derrida, Lorand Gaspar, Michel Deguy, Roberto Sanesi, Wiliam Snodgrass, Jo Shapcott, the Japanese painter Ajako Yamada, Haruya Samya, translator of Romanian prose in Japanese.
The OMNIA Libray headquarters is located in a building considered to be an architectural monument, known as the Plesia House, listed in the Historical Monuments List. It is one of Craiova's most impressive buildings, built in 1890, following the project of the French architect Albert Galleron. The construction is built in eclectic style, with Neo-Classical and Neo-Baroque elements in the interior, with stain glass windows in the style of the Romanian school, with geometric and floral motifs, interior staircase and baroque hardware, gold-plated ceilings, Venetian mirrors and carved panels.
Following the loan agreement between the Ministry of Culture and the Council of Europe Development Bank, the French Omnia Library in Craiova will benefit from financing for the restoration, the consolidation and the modernization of the building, according to the "Program for the Conservation and Revitalisation of Cultural and Natural Heritage of Romania ", implemented by the Ministry of Culture.