All-Union State Library of Foreign Literature VGBIL

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

All-Union State Library of Foreign Literature (VGBIL)


located in Moscow. Specialized collection of literature in foreign languages (Western and Oriental).

Established at the end of 1921 as a library of the humanities type, it was given all-Union status in 1948, and its character was broadened; together with works in the humanities the VGBIL began to collect literature in the natural sciences. Since 1967 the VGBIL has operated in a new building, which satisfies the modern requirements of library work. As of Jan. 1, 1970, there were collected in the library’s eight-storied book stacks approximately 4 million items in 128 languages. There are 14 specialized reading rooms, including an instructional and consultation room, equipped with the latest audiovisual aids; a large conference hall, equipped with facilities for showing motion pictures and having 350 seats; as well as a smaller hall with 70 seats. Each year this library serves more than 50,000 readers. Through the interlibrary loan system it sends out books to 2,500 libraries in the country; it also conducts a book exchange with 75 countries.

The VGBIL is the center of scientific and bibliographical work with foreign books and periodicals. It publishes monographs, bulletins, reference manuals, union catalogs, abstract journals, annotated cards for books and articles in the foreign periodical press, and so on; it also renders methodological aid to libraries which have foreign literature in their collections, and it participates in the work of international library organizations.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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