The Peace Palace Library is one of the oldest and most prestigious libraries specialized in international law. The Peace Palace Library has collected publications since 1913. The collection of the Library now includes over a million volumes.
The Library's principal objective is to service the institutions that reside in the Peace Palace, including the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and the Hague Academy of International Law. But the Library is equally open to employees of all other international legal institutions inThe Hague, as well as to all scholars and students of international law. The Library is one of the institutions of the Carnegie Foundation.
A large part of its collection is searchable through the Peace Palace Library’s online catalogue. This catalogue is unique because it classifies not only books and (journal) articles according to their subject, but also book items.
In its classification of all books, book items, journal articles and other types of publications, the Library tries to remain faithful, as much as possible, to the famous Catalogue de la bibliothèque du Palais de la paix, designed in 1916 by Elsa Oppenheim, daughter of the famous international lawyer Jacques Oppenheim. At the same time, the Library uses a more modern classification system, which consists of around 6,000 keywords. In order to help visitors make the most of these classification systems, the staff of the library offers a monthly Peace Palace Library Introduction Course.