The Department of Comparative Literature and Library Sciences was established in 1972 as the Department of Literary Studies, Theatre Studies and Library Sciences at the initiative of the Faculty of Philosophy, the Association of Theatres of BiH, the Republic Secretariat for Culture, the Drama Programme, the Society of Librarians of BiH, as well as other interested stakeholders. As such, the Department was established to meet the needs at that time for professionals in the performing arts and librarianship in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The founding of the Department made possible the education of performance artists and directors for the first time in Bosnia and Herzegovina and, as should also be noted, the education of librarians for the first time in the former Yugoslavia.
From its inception, the Department focused on a broad understanding of key aspects of the history of world literature, contemporary advances in library sciences and various fields of theatre studies. The curriculum was organised so that the first two years were dedicated to studying literary and theoretical foundations and literary-historical trends, and the final two years included specialised subject areas. In the Library Sciences track, subject areas such as the history of writing, history of the book and the library, library organisation, cataloguing, classification, bibliography and research methods gradually developed. For Theatre Studies, in addition to European drama and theatre, the curriculum included the history of (at that time Yugoslav) drama and theatre, as well as the theory of acting, the theory of directing, the history and aesthetics of film, the foundations of dramaturgy, etc. In addition to these subjects, the curriculum was gradually enriched with special disciplines from the fields of art history, rhetoric and writing, poetry and literary criticism. This made possible a gradual turn from a general study of literature towards the field of comparative studies. For a select number of students, practical instruction in acting and directing was organised in cooperation with the MESS theatre festival so that this Department graduated a large number of directors and performing artists before the establishment of the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo. After the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo was established, the Theatre Studies track in the Department was discontinued, but several faculty members from this Department participated actively in founding the Academy and in its functioning.
During the war and post-war period, the structure of the curriculum at the Department changed significantly and the Department was renamed from the Department of Literary Studies, Theatre Studies and Library Sciences into the Department of Comparative Literature and Library Sciences. The study of comparative literature offers knowledge from the history of world literature, the theory and methodology of literary studies, the study of literature through history and the poetics of literary genres, literary criticism, theatre studies, film studies and a series of subjects in the humanities related to literature. The study of library sciences developed in line with the most current trends within library sciences, such as digital librarianship and IT. In line with this, comparative literature graduates are prepared for a broad range of professional activities so that they can be employed in various jobs in publishing, media, librarianship and culture in the broadest sense.
In both the field of literary studies and the field of library sciences, considerable effort has been expended to follow contemporary trends in these areas and to harmonise the teaching process with the requirements of the Bologna Process.
During its decades of existence, the following individuals have worked at the Department as professors or assistants: Dr. Josip Lešić, Dr. Zdenko Lešić, Dr. Tvrtko Kulenović, Dr. Slavko Leovac, Dr. Nikola Koljević, Dr. Ljubinka Bašović, Dr. Lamija Hadžiosmanović, Dr. Zdravko Kajmaković, Dr. Vojislav Maksimović, Dr. Emir Žuljević, Dr. Đorđe Slavnić, Dubravka Petranović, Zdravka Vučinić MA, Fatima Festić, Dr. Minka Memija, Dr. Nirman Moranjak-Bamburać and Dr. Kemal Bakaršić, Dr. Marko Vešović and Dr. Ivica Pinjuh.
Current members of the Department of Comparative Literature and Library Sciences are: Dr. Dževad Karahasan, Dr. Muhamed Dželilović, Dr. Marina Katnić-Bakaršić, Dr. Senada Dizdar, Dr. Nina Alihodžić, Dr. Andrea Lešić-Thomas, Dr. Edin Pobrić, Dr. Lejla Kodrić-Zaimović, Dr. Almir Bašović, Dr. Mario Hibert, Dr. Lejla Hajdarpašić, Dr. Ajla Demiragić, Adisa Bašić MA, Fahrudin Kujundžić MA, Džejla Khattab MA and Feđa Kulenović.