Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences 02.jpg
LocationSaint Petersburg
Size20.5 million (central collection or central library) overall collection of more than 26.5 million items
Access and use
Population servedemployees of the Russian Academy of Sciences and scholars with higher education
Other information
DirectorValery Leonov

The Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russian: Библиотека Российской академии наук (БАН)) is a large state-owned Russian library based in Saint Petersburg on Vasilievsky Island and open to employees of institutions of the Russian Academy of Sciences and scholars with higher education. It is a part of the academy and includes, besides the central collection, the library collections housed by specialized academic institutions in Saint Petersburg and other cities.

The library was founded in Saint Petersburg by a decree of Peter I in 1714 and subsequently included into the structure of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Since 1747 all academic institutions and since 1783 all publishers in the country have been legally obliged to provide the library with a free copy of each published item.

In 1728-1924 its collections were stored in the building of Kunstkamera, with which it had formed a single academic institution until 1803. In the 1920s the library received many items confiscated during nationalization in Soviet Russia.

In 1924-1925 the collections were transferred to the new building built for the library in 1914 and occupied by a military hospital during the First World War.

During the siege of Leningrad in 1941-1944 the collections stayed in the besieged city and the library was open.

On February 15, 1988, the library suffered the most catastrophic fire in its history which destroyed or damaged a considerable part of the collections,it had destroyed 298.000 books of the total 12 million housed,two to three million more were damaged by heat and smoke.[1] 734,465 copies volumes initially became damp due to firefighting foam.[2] Many of the lost volumes were part of the Baer Collection of foreign scientific works: 152.000 were lost. The rest 146.000 were Russian books, many of them early scientific and medical books from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

The damp books damaged by fire extinguishment were initially frozen. Then a radio appeal was broadcast for citizens to dry the damp books in their homes. By late March 1988 93% of the damp books had been dried in that way and returned to the library. However, about 10,000 books became moldy.

The lost fund was partially restored,large batches of books and individual rare editions came from more than 760 domestic libraries to replenish the lost funds.

In a 2018 article on the web site "Siberian scientific news" it says that the fire destroyed 298 061 copy of monographs and periodicals; 146,716 books in Russian; 152,245 copies of foreign publications before 1930, arranged according to the classification system of academician Karl Baer (including the legendary Baer fund - about 62 thousand folios). The lost fund was replenish with 222,336 copies from 764 institutions were accepted for the restoration of funds. The loss of 62% of domestic books and 8% of publications from the Baer collection has been replenished.[1] Also destroyed were 20,640 binders, or one third of the newspaper stock,this fund was also partially restored.

Other sources say that 45% of the burned books in Russian and 13% in foreign were recovered.[2]

Before the fire, as of October 1, 1986, the collection of the library and libraries subordinate to it consisted of 17,288,365 items.[3]

History of the Library

Library of the Academy of Sciences in the 18th century

The library of the Academy of Sciences was founded in 1714 by Tsar Peter I. No government act on the establishment of the library has come down to us. However, there is evidence of this in the book of the first Russian historian of St. Petersburg, curator of the Russian book fund of the Library, Andrei Ivanovich Bogdanov (1696-1766). Describing the first libraries of St. Petersburg, he called the Library of the Imperial Academy of Sciences one of the earliest and most important, which, - he wrote, - “... began to gather by the supreme decree of the Emperor Peter the Great from 1714, and in 1724 it was united into the Imperial Academy of Sciences".

When organizing such an institution, the goal was to provide access to books for all literate people of the state striving for European education. The library collections were multilingual and universal.

Three collections were brought to the Summer Palace - the books of the Pharmaceutical Order from Moscow, the Gottorp library and the so-called library of the Dukes of Courland. The fund consisted of about 2,000 books in Russian and many European languages.

In 1718 the Library was housed in the "Kikin Chambers", in the stone house of the executed leader of Peter the Great's time A.V. Kikina. From that time on, the Library began to receive visitors.

When the library was officially named “academic”, it is difficult to establish. This name was common for professors already in 1728, when the library from the Kikin Chambers was transferred to Vasilievsky Island. In the 1740s, the library was called "Imperial St. Petersburg Library" or simply "Library". But in 1776 the academic librarian I.G. Buckmeister in his book "Experience about the Library and the Kunstkamera of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences" testified to its new official name "academic library".

The first director of the Library was the physician of Peter the Great, Robert Karlovich Areskin, who appointed an advisor to the Medical Chancellery, Johann Daniel Schumacher, as a librarian, so that he would systematically replenish the funds of His Majesty's library in the Summer Palace.

In 1728 the Library was opened to the public in a new building on Vasilievsky Island. This building housed the Academy of Sciences until 1787, the Library until 1924, and the Kunstkamera is still located today. The priority right to use the Library after 1728 was assigned to academicians, but other educated people could also visit it. Moreover, this mode of access to the Library was maintained until the 1770s.

Among the first readers of the Library were the associates of Peter I - Feofan Prokopovich, Ya.V. Bruce, Archimandrite Athanasius Kondoidi, Vice-Chancellor A.I. Osterman, Tsarevna Anna Petrovna, life-doctor of Tsar L.L. Blumentrost; employees of the Academy of Sciences being created - I.I. Kol, I.V. Pause, F.G. Gmelin, V.I. Tatishchev, Kh.V. Gross, J.N. Delisle, G.F. Miller; from July 1728 - L. Euler, who was then an associate of the Academy, etc.

The original collection of the Library, included and not included in the first printed catalog “Bibliothecae imp. Petropolitanae, p. 1– (4). St.Pbg., [1741-1744], numbered about 16 thousand books in Russian and all European languages. The catalog did not include books in Greek, Slavic languages and publications of the Academy of Sciences itself, which were kept not in the library, but in a special room. Only in 1746 after I.K. Taubert was followed by a decree of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna on the free transfer of academic publications to the Library fund.

On December 5, 1747, when the Library was in the Kunstkamera building, the first fire broke out. The reason was faulty chimneys. During the fire, the Gottorp Globe and the tower of the building burned down, and the things stored in the Kunstkamera and books from the library suffered more from water and careless movement than from fire. In the Russian part of the Chamber Catalog, librarian A.I. Bogdanov in his working copy indicated exactly which books were burned. Their total number is 44 titles (33 printed and 11 handwritten books) from the catalog of Russian books and more than 200 foreign publications.[4]

The news of the new library in St. Petersburg spread far beyond the borders of Russia. The famous French educator Denis Diderot, the author of about 400 articles in the famous "Encyclopedia", in 1751 in the second volume placed a review article on the libraries of Europe. It contains the first mention of the Library of the Academy of Sciences and the role of Peter the Great in its creation. "This great monarch has collected very significant funds for the library of his St. Petersburg Academy, which is provided in large numbers with books in all fields of science."[4]

Library Fund in the 18th century

In the 18th century. significant funds were allocated for the purchase of literature to replenish the book collections and for library work. Along with the current receipts, the replenishment of the funds of the academic library was carried out at the expense of gifts and the purchase of individual book collections and books. Many prominent Russian scientists and statesmen contributed to the replenishment of the Library's funds: M.V. Lomonosov, G.F. Miller, V.N. Tatishchev, S.K. Kotelnikov.

At the time of the move to Kikiny Chambers, the Library's holdings consisted of approximately 6,000 volumes. From 1716 to 1719 the Library received private collections of A. Pitkarn, A. Vinius, G. Palmstrik, R. Areskin. By the end of 1719, the funds totaled about 10,000 volumes, and by the end of 1747 - about 22,300 books.

From 1725 to 1728, books from the personal collection of Peter the Great and books from the Kremlin royal library were transferred to the Library of Registers. Among the receipts of the 18th century: books purchased abroad by I.D. Schumacher, Nesvizh library of Polish magnates Radziwills, books of the Swedish king Gustav III, library and cabinet of curiosities of Peter's associate, Field Marshal General Ya.V. Bruce, books of Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich - son of Peter I; there were also smaller collections, such as the manuscripts sent to the Library by V.N. Tatishchev; books by A.V. Makarov, P.P. Shafirov, G. Polikol, A.B. Kramer, I.V. Pause, G.F. Juncker, G.Z. Bayer, D.G. Messerschmidt, G. Pashke's libraries, A.F. Khrushchev, K. Mengden, M.G. Golovkin, B.Kh. Minikh, I. Amman, I.A. Korf, R. Sanchez (Sanchez), J.N. Delisle, H.N. Winsheim, I.F. Schreiber and others.

In the 40s of the 18th century a printed catalog of the Library was published, in the 70s of the 18th century compiled a 30-volume manuscript catalog of foreign funds. By the end of the century, a multivolume systematic catalog of Russian and foreign books of the Library of the Academy of Sciences was compiled.

Since 1747, the Library began to receive mandatory copy of all academic publications; since 1783 - an obligatory copy of all publications published in Russia.

By the middle of the 18th century, the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences has established strong book exchange relations with the French Academy of Sciences, the Scientific Society in Copenhagen, the Cosmographic Society in Nuremberg, the Berlin Academy of Sciences, and other European academies and scientific societies.

The first book on the history of the Library was written by its employee with 32 years of experience, an adjunct of the Imperial Academy of Sciences (1766), a member of the Imp. Free Economic Society, non-commissioned librarian Johann Konrad (Ivan Grigorievich) Buckmeister. “An experience about the Library and the Cabinet of curiosities and the history of the natural St. Petersburg Imperial Academy of Sciences, published in French by Johann Buckmeister, a sub-librarian of the Academy of Sciences, and translated into Russian by Vasily Kostygov.It presented a complete and detailed description of the book fund of the Library of the Academy of Sciences at the end of the 18th century.[4]

Library of the Academy of Sciences in the 19th century

The 19th century was a period of further development and prosperity of the Library. Its primary task was to serve science. The position of the Library within the Academy of Sciences continued to be determined by the statutes of the Academy. The charter of 1803 - "Regulations of the Academy of Sciences" - in Chapter X "On the Academy's scientific accessories" defined the Library as an independent institution, separated it from the Kunstkamera, allocating two academicians for their management. Geographically, they were both together until 1924.

According to the Charter of 1803, the Academy of Sciences was freed from educational and educational functions and became a purely scientific and research institution. The Charter also stipulated the staff of the Library, the procedure for managing it and the ways of acquiring its funds - "All printing houses in the empire are obliged to send one copy of each book published in these,to the library of the Academy of Sciences."

In 1818, the president of the Academy of Sciences S.S. Uvarov took measures to replenish funds and streamline their use. The library was divided into two parts - from books "in the Slavic and Russian languages" and "from books in all other languages". For more than a century, the main Library of the Academy of Sciences consisted of two independent subdivisions - I (Russian) department and II (Foreign) department.

The leaders of the Library, and first of all academician K.M. Baer and academicians Ya.I. Berednikov, M.A. Korkunov and A.A. Kunik went to great lengths to uncover the funds for readers. Alphabetical and systematic catalogs were created in both departments. In 1836, the rules for the use of the library, developed by academician Baer, were introduced, in which it was recognized that "the scientific study of books should be limited only to the minimum extent" and that the Library will be able to fulfill its tasks the better, the longer and more often access is open into it.

In the 19th century. the structure of the Library became more complex, which required an increase in staff. In 1883, in the I (Russian) department, the Slavic department was allocated as an independent unit; in 1893 - the magazine department; in 1901 - the Manuscript Department and the Russian Book Department. A new formatting arrangement of funds was introduced, systems of library classification of academicians K.M. Baer, A.A. Kunik and others. In 1893 the staff of the Library was increased to 10 people; 9.5 million rubles were allocated for the purchase of books.

In the first half of the 19th century. from the libraries at the scientific institutions of the Academy, a network of special academic libraries began to be created. The first to enter it were the libraries of the Archive (1800), the Observatory (1804), the Numismatic Cabinet (1804–1806), the Botanical Garden (1809); libraries at academic museums: Asian, Botanical, Zoological; societies: Mineralogical, Geographic; at laboratories: Chemical (1881), Physiological (1889), Anatomy and Plant Physiology (1890), Special Zoological (1894), at the Main Physical Observatory, etc. Central and scientific libraries of research institutions expanded international connections and strengthened the authority of the academic library. By the end of the 19th century. there were 15 special academic libraries.

In the second half of the 19th century. The library experienced a great lack of space to accommodate book collections. Since the 1870s, efforts to expand the premises have been the leitmotif of many speeches by the heads of library departments: Academician A.A. Kunik (Russian branch), academician K.G. Zaleman (Foreign Department) and Master E.A. Voltaire, (Slavic branch). At the end of the 1880s. The library received the entire historical building of the Kunstkamera. However, the Academy again began to bother about the construction of a library building, which was built two decades later.[4]

Library Fund in the 19th century.

The general idea of the growth of the book collections of the Library of the Academy of Sciences during this period is represented by the following figures: in the 1790s in the Library there were 40,000 volumes of books and manuscripts, in 1836 there were 90,000, in 1848 there were 112,753, and in 1862 there were 243,109. The foreign branch occupied a dominant position in terms of the size of the book fund, but a faster growth of funds of the Russian branch.

As in the 18th century, the Library continued to receive an obligatory copy of all Russian editions. The main sources of foreign literature were: purchase of books abroad, exchange of publications of the Academy of Sciences for publications of foreign scientific institutions, gifts of organizations and individual foreign scientists. If over twenty years (since 1840) the book collections of the Russian branch have grown more than three times, then in the Foreign branch - by one and a half times. In the 19th century. the total amount of literature received by the Library has increased.

In 1862 LRAS(Library Of Russian Academy Of Sciences) received publications on book exchange from 150 Western European large scientific centers, and by the end of the 19th century. had 516 foreign partners. A great merit of the leaders of the Library was the systematic replenishment of the collections with a legal deposit and, despite the tightness of the premises, care for the safety of the collection, the timely binding of publications and the neat arrangement of books on the shelves in book depositories.

By the end of the 1880s the Slavic department was organized, in which about 10 thousand volumes were concentrated; by the end of the century, this figure increased several times. The collection of Slavic books in the St. Petersburg Academic Library was considered the richest in the world. By the end of the century, the Russian manuscript collection totaled 1,600 manuscripts. In 15 years - from 1885 to 1900 - the number of annual receipts of literature has tripled. Apparently, this made it possible to raise the question of separating the manuscript collection into an independent unit.

In the 19th century, the library's holdings were replenished with a collection of maps of Russia of the Geographical Department, publications of domestic periodicals of the Ministry of Public Education, books of the Foreign Censorship Committee, periodicals donated by A.A. Polovtsev, a collection of books and manuscripts by V.A. Pivovarov, the libraries of E.E. Koeller, F.I. Circle, J.K. Grotto, H.D. Fren, A.M. Sjogren, F.A. Tolstoy. The receipts of books from the personal libraries of K.M. Baer, Ya.D. Zakharova, F.U.T. Epinus, W. Harvey, F.P. Adelunga, P.N. Fusa, Ya. I. Berednikova, L.E. Stephanie et al.[4]

Library of the Academy of Sciences at the beginning of the 20th century.

The beginning of the twentieth century. was marked for the academic library by an increase in the staff up to 18 people, an increase in the amount for the purchase of literature. An important role in organizing the life of the Library and strengthening its authority was played by its director A.A. Shakhmatov and K.G. Zaleman and specialist scientists V.I. Sreznevsky and E.A. Voltaire.

On January 8, 1901, due to the dilapidated heating system, a fire broke out in the Library, during which more than 1,500 volumes of valuable publications were destroyed. This event hastened the decision on the construction of a new building for the Library. A new building was laid.

In 1910, a government estimate was approved for the construction of a new building for the Library, designed by architect R.R. Marfeld. It was completed in 1914, but due to the outbreak of the First World War, the development of the new building was impossible, since it was transferred to the Ministry of War, which housed the 166th Consolidated Evacuation Hospital in it. The Library moved from the old building on Universitetskaya Embankment to the new building on Birzhevaya Line, Building 1 in 1922–1924.

The Academy of Sciences and its library are widely known, the high scientific authority of its leadership, as well as the personal acquaintance of the indispensable secretary of the Academy S.F. Oldenburg with V.I. Lenin, whose older brother, Alexander, he studied at the University at the same time, created the preconditions for the Library to receive its building from the War Ministry and become a reliable repository of archives in the chaos and devastation in Petrograd during the revolution and civil war. and book funds.

By 1919, there were fifteen libraries of academic institutions in Petrograd, adjacent to the Central Library, with a total number of books in 220 thousand volumes.Together with the Central Library (CB), they formed a single library fund of the Academy of Sciences.[4]

The Library Fund at the beginning of the 20th century

By 1917, the book fund of the Library of the Academy of Sciences exceeded 1.5 million volumes. The fund of the I (Russian) branch grew especially rapidly, replenished with legal deposit books. At the beginning of the twentieth century. Literature came to the Library from institutions in charge of censorship. All government agencies, universities, other educational institutions, scientific organizations and societies delivered their publications to the Library. During these years the Library was intensively replenished with literature reflecting the social and political struggle in the country. Much revolutionary literature came from abroad through the Voss firm, as well as from emigrants, public organizations and individuals.

The acquisition of the fund of the Slavic Department of the Library continued. Literature in Ukrainian, Belarusian and Polish languages was received by legal deposit. The purchase of Slavic literature was carried out regularly. An important source of replenishment of the Slavic fund was donations of entire libraries and large collections by Russian scientists: I.I. Sreznevsky, P.A. Syrku, A.N. Pypin, E.A. Voltaire. In 1917, there were about 112 thousand volumes in the Slavic section.

Acquisition of the Manuscript Department proceeded successfully, its fund increased threefold in 17 years. Thanks to the archaeographic expeditions of V.I. Sreznevsky in the North of Russia, the Manuscript Department received 500 Old Russian manuscripts, 205 acts, about 100 old printed books and other objects of Russian culture. In 1914, the "Archive of War" was formed at the Manuscript Department, in which letters, postcards, cartoons, popular prints and other evidence related to the First World War were collected.

In the early 1920s, the Library received many private collections and libraries; collections of manuscripts and archives from institutions, churches, monasteries, commissions liquidated by the authorities; the manuscripts of A.I. Yatsimirsky, F.A. Vitberg, N.P. Likhacheva, N.E. Onchukova, F.O. Pligina, P.A. Syrku, I.I. Sreznevsky, F.M. Plyushkina, I. Ya. Rudchenko, V.I. Yakovlev, books and manuscripts on sectarianism donated by V.D. Bonch-Bruevich; collection of editions 1905–1907 S.N. Troinitsky, donations to E.A. Voltaire, and others. In 1924, the total book fund of the BAN amounted to 3.5 million volumes.

On October 9, 1925, during the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Academy of Sciences, the official opening of the Library took place in a new building on Birzhevaya Line, 1. The area of the new library building was 12.5 thousand square meters. m, the total length of the shelves was about 47 km, which corresponded to the length of the line in a straight line from the Library to Lake Ladoga. Since 1925 the Library became known as the Library of the USSR Academy of Sciences (LUAS or LRAS). In the same period, four independent departments were allocated at the LRAS(Library Of The Russian Academy Of Sciences) - I (Russian), II (Foreign), III (Slavic), IV (Manuscript), in turn divided into a number of departments. Later, the V (Cartographic) Department and the VI Department (Reading Room) were formed.[4]

Library of the Academy of Sciences during the war and the Leningrad blockade

During the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) the Library of the Academy of Sciences was transferred to martial law. Already in July 1941, the most valuable materials of the seven million fund were prepared for evacuation to the rear of the country. The rapid approach of the front to Leningrad did not allow them to be sent to the rear: on September 8, 1941, the blockade ring was closed. All books and materials prepared for shipment remained in the Library. They were moved to the basement of the building, the windows were covered with sand, shields and covered with earth.

The winter of 1941/1942 was especially difficult for the Library, as well as for the whole of Leningrad. There was no public transport in the city. Wartime archival documents.  Electric lighting was turned off in the Library, water supply and central heating did not work. Bombing and shelling intensified. The BAN building suffered a lot of damage. Snow fell into the book depositories, the temperature in the building dropped to 25 degrees. The people were exhausted and exhausted by hunger. Of the 150 people left in the LRAS according to the staff schedule at the beginning of the war, about 80% of employees died... Throughout the entire period of the war and the Leningrad blockade, a subscription and a reading room worked in the Library, mobile libraries were created for the Leningrad divisions of the people's militia, for military units and hospitals. The library served not only the scientists of the Academy who remained in the besieged city, but also workers of defense enterprises, military personnel, doctors. The Library staff continued to organize exhibitions of literature, lectures, and carried out reference and bibliographic work. Librarians continued to work to ensure the safety of their valuable book collections, and also carried out the search and rescue of unattended private collections and libraries in the besieged city.

During the wartime, the collections of the Library received book collections of left or deceased scientists: academician S.A. Zhebelev on the history of the ancient world, academicians P.K. Kokovtsev and F.I. Shcherbatsky on Oriental Studies. Some collections were donated to scientific libraries of academic institutions. In 1943–1944. evacuated employees and regular readers returned to BAN - scientists from the institutions of the Academy of Sciences, the teaching staff of higher educational institutions. Libraries of the Leningrad institutions of the Academy of Sciences resumed their work. Since 1944, the Library of the Academy of Sciences becomes the keeper of the Armored Fund of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences. This fund is a collection of publications of the Academy since its foundation.[4]

Library of the Academy of Sciences in the second half of the 20th century

In the 1940s and 1950s, the Library received a number of valuable collections and private collections. Manuscripts and rare editions were purchased from old book stores and private individuals. Among the interesting and valuable: an extensive collection of Russian ex-libris, collected by E.A. Rosenblat, a collection of books that belonged to one of the prominent figures of the Petrine era, Theophilakt Lopatinsky; books published by Ivan Fedorov, Pyotr Mstislavets and others, handwritten and early printed books. The staff of the library conducted archaeographic expeditions to Karelia, to the White Sea coast and brought handwritten and early printed books. In the 1950s and 1970s, the library developed as the central library of the library network of the USSR Academy of Sciences.The library expanded book exchange with the socialist countries.

The structure of the LRAS(Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences) was changing. New departments were organized: the Foreign East (1953), the Department of Hygiene of the Book (1953). Later, the following subdivisions were separated into independent structural divisions: the Foreign Acquisition Department, the Domestic Literature Acquisition Department, the Cartography Department, the Reference and Bibliographic Department, etc.

In 1956, in Novosibirsk, on the basis of the library of the West Siberian branch, the Eastern Branch of the Library of the Academy of Sciences (EASTLRAS) was organized, which was part of the BAN structure until January 1, 1961.

The international relations of the Library have expanded. By 1963 LRAS exchanged publications with 2.433 institutions in 91 countries of the world; maintained contacts with 69 academies of sciences, 100 libraries, almost 500 universities and colleges, 82 government agencies, 123 museums, scientific institutions, etc. By the beginning of 1964, 38 reading rooms functioned in the LRAS system. The funds of the LRAS have been significantly replenished, with more than 42% of receipts being foreign publications.

In 1964 the Library celebrated its 250th anniversary. The centralized LRAS system, the staff included 660 employees and served already about 30 thousand readers. The total number of visits annually amounted to more than 700 thousand, the loan - more than 5 million copies. The libraries of the LRAS were used by famous scientists: academicians V.M. Alekseev, A.F. Ioffe, I. Yu. Krachkovsky, V.P. Linnik, D.V. Nalivkin, I.A. Orbeli, L.A. Orbeli, A.A. Polkanov, V.I. Smirnov, D.S. Likhachev, S.V. Obruchev and many others.

The library carried out serious scientific activities in the field of bibliography, scientific description of documents and publication of handwritten materials, generalization of the experience of library work and the history of LRAS. The LRAS organized the Publishing Department and restoration and printing workshops. In 1974, the Department of Mechanization and Automation of Library Processes was established.[4]


Russian Literature collections

The collection of domestic publications is located in 17 book depositories on eight half-floors of the main building of the Library. According to the types of publications, the national fund consists of books and brochures, periodicals and continuing publications, and abstracts. Special types of documents are included in a separate subfond, called the collection of literature for group processing and storage.

The literature of the main fund is universal in content. The national fund is intended for permanent storage and constitutes the largest part of the literature stored in the Library. All publications of the national fund are reflected in the central catalogs of the Library.

The main part of the domestic fund (about 70%) is made up of books and brochures published in our country from 1826 to the present. Russian editions of books published before 1826 are kept in the Rare Books Department.

About 30% of the national fund is made up of periodicals and continuing publications in Russian and other languages of our country. The periodicals of the national fund are represented by scientific journals and continuing editions of the Academies of Sciences, scientific societies, higher educational institutions for the pre-revolutionary, Soviet periods, up to the present time. In addition to scientific journals, the fund also contains literary and artistic, socio-political and popular science publications.

The most historically valuable parts of the Russian collection are Russian books and brochures of the 19th - early 20th centuries. and domestic periodicals and continuing publications for the same period.[5]

Domestic books and brochures

This part of the fund was formed in the 19th century and forms a book collection and arranged in a systematic manner on the basis of the classification developed by the director of the Russian branch, academician A.A. Kunik. The fund is organized by branches of knowledge in accordance with the ideas of that time and contains literature obtained on the basis of the so-called legal deposit. Many editions have leather bindings, are beautifully designed and engraved. At the beginning of the 20th century, inventory and partly formatted arrangements were adopted, introduced by the director, academician A.A. Shakhmatov. Since 1930, the book collections of Russian literature have been organized according to a single format-chronological arrangement.[6]

Domestic periodicals and continuing publications

The fund contains periodicals of the oldest scientific societies, including "Scientific Notes of the Russian Technical Society" (1867–1917), which published articles by prominent Russian scientists D.I. Mendeleev, P.N. Yablochkov et al., "Journal of the Russian Physicochemical Society" (1869-1930), on the pages of which the works of the largest representatives of Russian science were placed: A.S. Popov, N.A. Menshutkin, N.D. Zelinsky and others.

The collection contains complete sets of magazines published by Russian revolutionary democrats, including Sovremennik, Otechestvennye zapiski, edited by N.G. Chernyshevsky, N.A. Nekrasov, M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin and others; sets of Russian satirical magazines from 1905 to 1906 and a number of other pre-revolutionary publications.[4]

Private book collections in the collection of domestic publications

Library of the historian and philologist, academician A.A. Kunik

The national fund includes several private collections. The largest of them is the personal library of Arist Aristovich Kunik, a famous historian and long-term director of the Russian branch of the LARS. The books of this collection bear the security stamp “From the books of A.A. Kunik ". This collection contains literature on the history of Russia and Scandinavia, rare editions and Russian books of the 18th century. A.A. Kunik also collected brochures on various topics, reprints, clippings of articles from magazines, bound them and created thematic convolutes. A.A. Kunik was processed in the late 1920s with funds allocated to work with the unencrypted fund of the LRAS(Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences).[4]

Selected book collections of the national fund

In the 1930s, a collection of literature "group processing and storage" was organized as part of the national fund . This fund is completed, basically, at the expense of that part of the legal deposit of works of the press, which, due to their homogeneity, can be grouped. These include official documentary publications of various organizations, instructional and production materials, GOSTs and OSTs, software and methodological, reference and information and some other similar publications.

A special collection includes literature in the languages of the peoples of the former USSR. This fund was formed during the Soviet period from books and brochures of all peoples that were formerly part of the USSR, as well as publications with parallel and mixed texts in the languages of the peoples of the former USSR. The literature of this collection is presented in 96 languages, including languages that did not have their own written language until 1917, for example, Adyghe, Kara-Kalpak, Evenk and others.

A special collection contains the works of the founders of Marxism-Leninism, including the works of K. Marx, F. Engels, V.I. Lenin and I.V. Stalin, published in Russian and the languages of the peoples of the USSR, with the exception of the first and rare editions.

Since 1951, a collection of abstracts of dissertations has been formed as part of the main fund, which currently has about half a million copies.[4]

Foreign Literature Collection

The collection of foreign editions of the main storage is located on 4 floors in fourteen book depositories. 25% - books and brochures, 75% - periodicals and continuing publications.

The Foreign Branch of the Library of the Academy of Sciences was based on the book collections of the Pharmaceutical Order, the library of the Dukes of Courland from Mitava. In 1718, the Library received valuable books from the private collections of A.A. Vinius and A. Pitkarn. They included the works of Greek and Latin classics. In 1719 - the meeting of the physician-in-chief of Peter I, director of the Pharmaceutical Order R. Areskin.

In 1741, libraries were acquired: the traveler in Siberia D.G. Messerschmidt, library of the physician Elizaveta Petrovna, the Portuguese Ribeiro Sanchez (Sanchez).

In the 18th century, the Library actively completed its collection through the bookstores of Western European merchants

The collection of foreign editions of the main storage contains samples of various types of bindings, made over almost three centuries: bindings by the master Christian Bitner - the first binder of the academic library (1716-1729), luxurious Dutch and English bindings of historical and artistic value.

At present, along with the modern (format-chronological) arrangement of literature, several historically established arrangement systems have been preserved. The LRAS foreign fund includes publications with a large chronological coverage - from 1601 to the present.[4]

Newspaper fund

The LRAS fund contains,about 9 million magazines, over 26 thousand newspaper titles and that is just the titles the overall number of newspapers stored are in hundred of thousands of individual newspapers.[1]

The newspaper fund of the main storage of the department of funds and services represents the largest part of the newspaper fund of the LRAS(Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences). It includes:

  • foreign newspapers from 1730 to the present
  • Russian pre-revolutionary newspapers from 1825 to 1917
  • newspapers published in Russia in foreign languages - "Rossika" (1711-1917)
  • domestic newspapers from 1917 to the present

As a result of the fire in 1988, losses amounted to 0.7% for Russian pre-revolutionary newspapers, Rossika - 33%, Soviet newspapers in the most valuable part of this collection from 1918 to 1954. - 75%, foreign - 7% In addition, more than 15 thousand newspaper sets were affected by water, steam and high temperatures.

All subsequent years, active work was carried out to restore the lost editions with the help of domestic and foreign libraries. As a result, it has already been possible to replenish about 60% of Soviet newspapers, 25% of the collection of "Rossika". This work is ongoing. At the same time, there is an active replenishment of the fund with current newspapers.

The newspaper fund of the main storage is completed:

  • at the expense of a legal deposit, the receipt of which has been restored after an almost thirty-year break since 1994;
  • through subscription and purchase.

Since 1989 a fund of informal newspapers has been formed. Foreign newspapers are exchanged through the international book exchange sector of the library acquisition department.

Newspapers are served to readers through the reading room of current periodicals. Newspapers are reflected in the information apparatus of the newspaper fund and printed bibliographic indexes.

The newspaper collection of the RAS Library is not limited only to the collection of newspapers in the main storage. Newspapers, although in small numbers of titles, are also available in the specialized collections of the Library.

The publishing department of the Academy of Sciences has a complete set of the newspaper "St. Petersburg Vedomosti" for 1728–1916 in Russian and German ("St.-Peterburgische Zeitung". 1717 - 1875).

In the department of rare books there is a second set of the same newspaper in the German language for the 1727- 1806 biennium, a set of «Gazette de St.-Peterburg» for 1756 - 1759 and others.

In the department of Asian and African countries, modern newspapers in the language of these countries and newspapers in eastern languages, which were previously in the special storage, are provided.

In the sector of Russian literature abroad, newspapers in European languages of countries around the world from Australia, Mexico, South Africa, India, and others are stored and provided to readers.

The newspaper collection contains incomplete sets, from the 1920s to the 1980s and complete sets of newspapers such as «New-York Times» (1917- 1986), «Times» (1931-1986), «Monde» (1932 - 1986) and others.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Siberian science news".
  2. ^ a b "Stimul Online".
  3. ^ Справочник-путеводитель по сети специальных библиотек ленинградских академических учреждений / Отв. ред. К. В. Лютова. – Ленинград: Библиотека АН СССР, 1987.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Library Of The Russian Academy Of Sciences". Official Website.
  5. ^ "Library Of The Russian Academy Of Sciences". Official Website; Collections.
  6. ^ "Library Of The Russian Academy Of Sciences". Official Website;Collections.

Further reading

  • David H. Stam, ed. (2001). International Dictionary of Library Histories. Fitzroy Dearborn. ISBN 1579582443.

Coordinates: 59°56′38″N 30°17′49″E / 59.944°N 30.297°E / 59.944; 30.297