Cultural Institutions

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cultural Institutions


Clubs. The first club in Russia, the English Club, was opened in St. Petersburg in 1770. Initially serving the upper strata of society, it later became popular among literary circles. Its membership included N. M. Karamzin, A. S. Pushkin, V. A. Zhukovskii, and I. A. Krylov. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries clubs for the nobility (assemblies of the nobility) were founded in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and many provincial and district capitals; they organized balls, masquerades, dinners, and similar activities. In the mid-19th century clubs for such groups as merchants and officers began appearing. The Chess Club, the first club of the Russian democratic intelligentsia, opened in St. Petersburg in 1853; its membership included a number of literary figures, notably N. G. Chernyshevskii.

The first clubs for the general populace were founded in the 1880’s and 1890’s. Known as people’s houses, they usually comprised a library with a reading room, an auditorium, a Sunday school, a tearoom, and a bookstore. People’s houses were established with funds provided by zemstvos (district and provincial bodies of self-government), town bodies of self-government, organizations for promoting literacy, and private citizens. Some people’s houses, such as the Ligovskii People’s House in St. Petersburg and the People’s House of the Kharkov Literacy Society, played an important role in educating workers.

The first workers’ clubs arose during the Revolution of 1905–07; they were centers of political unification and self-education for the proletariat. The Bolsheviks made use of many workers’ clubs and people’s houses for the political education of the working people. During the period of reaction, workers’ clubs were closed down, and only people’s houses were allowed to exist legally. At the beginning of 1917, there were 237 state, zemstvo, cooperative, and private people’s houses.

The October Revolution of 1917 made possible extensive development of clubs as cultural-educational institutions for the masses. Clubs were based on popular initiative and amateur activity; at the same time they worked in close cooperation with state, social, and cooperative organizations, associations of workers in the creative arts, and scientific, cultural, and artistic institutions. V. I. Lenin attached great importance to clubs, at which he frequently spoke to the working people. On Nov. 7,1922, Lenin wrote in a letter to the staff of the Elektroperedacha Power Station: “Today, on the fifth anniversary of the revolution, it gives me particular pleasure to welcome the opening of your club. I express the hope that by joint efforts you, workers and employees at the State Elektroperedacha Power Station, will turn that club into one of the centres of education for workers” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 45, p. 271).

During the first years of Soviet power new types of clubs and new forms of cultural-educational work appeared. The innovations included izby-chital’ni (village reading rooms), red yurts, red yarangas (the yaranga being a type of skin tent) and propaganda trains and ships, such as the Oktiabr’skaia Revoliutsiia (October Revolution), a train under the direction of M. I. Kalinin, and the propaganda ship Krasnaia Zvezda (Red Star), which was under the direction of N. K. Krupskaia. The network of clubs was expanded to cover the entire Soviet Union during the period of the first five-year plans; it contributed to the political education of the masses and the development of a multinational socialist culture and of folk arts. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, the fascist German invaders burned or demolished about 40,000 clubs. The rapid restoration of the network of clubs in the early postwar years may be seen from data given in Table 1.

Table 1. Growth of clubs in the USSR (end of year, thousands)
 Total number of clubsIn urban-type settlementsIn rural areas
1913 ...............
1922 ...............
1940 ...............118.010.0108.0
1945 ...............94.46.587.9
1950 ...............125.49.3116.1
1960 ...............128.614.1114.5
1970 ...............134.018.1115.9
1980 ...............137.919.3118.6

On the basis of the authority that has jurisdiction over them, clubs in the USSR are characterized as state, trade union, kolkhoz, or other kinds of clubs. Clubs that are part of the system of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR include raion houses of culture, city houses of culture, city clubs, rural houses of culture, rural clubs, and mobile clubs, such as those housed in motor vehicles (autoclubs) and those housed in tentlike shelters (red chumy, red yarangas, and red yurts). Trade union clubs include palaces and houses of culture, train clubs, and propaganda boats; they are organized mainly according to area of economic activity and are affiliated primarily with enterprises, institutions, and educational institutions that serve industrial and nonindustrial workers, students, and the residents of mikroraions (neighborhood units in urban planning). Kolkhoz clubs, including houses and palaces of culture, are established by decision of a general meeting of kolkhoz members and are financially supported by the kolkhozes.

Among other types of clubs are sanatorium clubs, clubs of consumers’ cooperatives, soldiers’ clubs, sailors’ clubs, houses of army officers, and houses of the navy. Clubs, including special houses, are established for members of the intelligentsia—that is, for scientists, scholars, engineers, teachers, writers, journalists, architects, composers, actors, and film workers. Also of importance are youth clubs, student clubs, sports clubs, and clubs established by DOSAAF USSR (All-Union Voluntary Society for Cooperation with the Army, Air Force, and Navy of the USSR) and other volunteer societies and organizations (see Table 2).

In addition, there exist in the USSR public clubs (obshchestvennye kluby), which have neither a permanent staff nor an outside source of funding. During elections and other political campaigns, agitpunkts and voters’ clubs carry out agitational and propaganda work among the population.

On Jan. 1,1981, there were 1,004,533 clubs under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR, among them 3,241 raion houses of culture, 2,752 city clubs (including houses of culture), 40,770 rural houses of culture, 48,365 other rural clubs, 728 izby-chital’ni, red chaikhany (teahouses), red chumy, and red yurts, and 8,677 independent autoclubs.

Among the largest clubs are the palaces of culture at the Likhachev Automotive Plant, the Serp i Molot Plant, and the bearing plant in Moscow; the Kirov, Lensovet, and Vyborg palaces of culture in Leningrad; and the Chkalov Palace of Culture in Novosibirsk. Other large clubs include the textile workers’ palace of culture in Ivanovo, the Iubileinyi Palace of Culture of the Votkinsk Machine-building Plant, the Rossiia Palace of Culture in Orenburg, the Fiftieth Anniversary of the October Revolution Palace of Culture of the Western Siberian Metallurgical Plant in Kemerovo, the Energetik Palace of Culture in Naberezhnye Chelny, and the palaces of culture at the Kuznetsk Metallurgical Combine, the Angara Petrochemical Combine, and the Dneprodzerzhinsk Chemical Combine.

Clubs play a supportive role in the activity of party organizations and serve as centers for mass political work. They explain to the working people the resolutions adopted by congresses of the CPSU and the decrees issued by the party and by the Soviet government, and they help mobilize the working people to implement the resolutions and decrees. In addition, they propagandize the teachings of Marxism-Leninism, explain the foreign and domestic policies of the Communist Party and the Soviet way of life, and disseminate information on Soviet economic, scientific, and technological achievements. Toward these ends, clubs sponsor universities of sociopolitical knowledge, lecture programs (sometimes involving films), Leninist readings, ustnye zhurnaly (literally, “talking magazines,” that is, series of stage, radio, or television appearances by specialists), evenings devoted to a particular theme, round table discussions by experts, and discussions by experts using a map of the world.

To disseminate scientific and technical knowledge and inform the public of the latest developments in industry, clubs sponsor science and technology days, conferences to promote scientific and technological creativity, ceremonies initiating workers into various professions, and ceremonies honoring veteran workers and families of several generations of working people. Clubs also organize the activities of technology circles and study centers of scientific and technological progress.

People’s universities, which are a mass form of self-education and a means of providing advanced training for working people, play an important role in the communist education of the Soviet people and the formation in them of the Marxist-Leninist world view. The significance of people’s universities and their place in the overall system of public education were set forth in the Basic Principles of Legislation on Public Education of the USSR and the Union Republics, adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in 1973. In 1980 there were more than 47,500 people’s universities, the majority of which operated through clubs. People’s universities of culture, the most common of which are universities of music, theater, fine arts, cinema, and literature, are particularly important for aesthetic education; they acquaint the broad masses of the population with the riches of world culture.

Table 2. Number of clubs by affiliation (end of year, thousands)
Total number of clubs ...............127.0134.0135.1137.9
Ministry of Culture of the USSR77.890.299.2104.5
Trade unions ...............20.921.721.121.1
Kolkhozes ...............22.416.610.57.9
Others ...............

The development of folk arts has been an important aspect of club work. Clubs have been responsible for an increase in the types and genres of amateur arts as well as for an increase in the number of participants in such artistic activity; they have also raised the ideological and artistic level of repertoires and have improved the level of skills. In 1980 clubs under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR and trade unions sponsored 1,116,000 amateur arts groups, with 20 million participants. These figures included 142,000 choral groups, with 4.7 million participants; 157,000 musical groups, with 2.1 million participants; 118,000 drama groups, with 1.7 million participants; 115,000 dance groups, with 2 million participants; and 16,300 fine and applied arts groups, with 257,000 participants. Amateur arts groups of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR and the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions have presented more than 4.7 million plays and concerts, attended by 758 million people. (See also Theater: Amateur arts.)

During the period of Soviet power a system has been established for training, and improving the skills of, employees of cultural-educational institutions. In 1980–81, 140 cultural-educational schools provided specialized secondary education for students interested in this field. Specialized higher education was offered by 18 cultural institutes, two branches of cultural institutes, and nine departments of cultural-educational work at other higher educational institutions, including pedagogical institutes, conservatories, and arts institutes.

Departments of social vocations have been established at 500 higher educational institutions, including universities and polytechnic, pedagogical, medical, and agricultural institutes. At these departments future engineers, physicians, teachers, and agricultural experts learn a second profession at the same time they study for their main profession; they train to become directors of, for example, choral, dramatic, dance, and musical groups.

The system for advanced training includes the All-Union Institute for Advanced Training of Cultural Workers, five republic institutes, and 136 republic and oblast courses. Courses for such cultural workers as amateur arts directors and stage designers are offered at 100 houses of people’s arts.

Club work is covered regularly by the magazines Klub i khudozhestvennaia samodeiatel’nost’ (Clubs and Amateur Arts) and Kul’turno-prosvetitel’naia rabota (Cultural and Educational Work). The Sovetskaia Rossiia Publishing House puts out two useful series of books: V pomoshch’ sel’skomu klubnomu rabot-niku (To Assist the Rural Club Worker) and Repertuar khudozhestvennoi samodeiatel’nosti (Amateur Arts Repertoire).

Parks of culture and recreation. The first park of culture and recreation was opened in Moscow in 1928. The largest such park in the USSR, it is now called the M. Gorky Central Park of Culture and Recreation; it has been awarded the Order of Lenin. There were 1,181 parks of culture and recreation in 1975. The following central parks are among the largest parks of culture and recreation: the S. M. Kirov Park in Leningrad, the M. Gorky Park in Kharkov, the M. Gorky Park in Kazan, the V. V. Mayakovsky Park in Sverdlovsk, the M. Gorky Park in Maikop, the M. Gorky Park in Vinnitsa, the Mtatsminda Park in Tbilisi, and the M. Gorky Park in Alma-Ata. Also of considerable size are the Sokol’niki and Izmailovo parks in Moscow and parks in Kiev, Taganrog, Minsk, Kishinev, Baku, and Rostov-on-Don.

Parks of culture and recreation are cultural-educational institutions in which a variety of mass political and cultural-educational activities are conducted. Such parks provide mass recreational and cultural services that contribute to the communist education of the working people, increase their social activeness and labor productivity, and help develop their aesthetic tastes and cultural requirements. Parks of culture and recreation sponsor amateur arts groups, amateur associations and clubs for various interests, and sports teams. They offer courses requiring a fee and organize circles in such areas as music, choreography, sewing, knitting, and figure skating.

The country’s large parks of culture and recreation provide a variety of facilities, including summer outdoor estrada (variety stage) theaters, dance and concert halls, planetariums, film lecture halls, libraries and reading rooms, dance floors, playgrounds, shooting ranges, playing fields, skating rinks, ski areas, marinas, swimming pools, beaches, and sunbathing areas. They also have one-day houses of rest, children’s areas, rental centers for sports and other types of equipment, and various mechanical rides.


The first library in Kievan Rus’ was founded by Iaroslav the Wise in 1037 at the Cathedral of St. Sophia in Kiev. In the 15th to 17th centuries there were important collections of books at the Patriarch’s Palace, the Posol’skii Prikaz (Foreign Office), and the Aptekarskii Prikaz (Pharmaceutical Office) in Moscow, as well as at the St. Sergius Trinity and Solovetskii monasteries. Religious books were gathered, copied, and preserved at these monasteries.

In the early 18th century libraries with secular collections, including scientific books, were established as part of the reforms of Peter I. The book collection organized in 1714 upon instructions from Peter I was transferred to the Academy of Sciences after the academy’s founding in 1725 and became the basis of the academy’s library, now the Library of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. The first university library appeared with the opening of Moscow University in 1755; it is now the M. Gorky Research Library of Moscow State University.

The first public libraries charging fees were set up at the end of the 18th century. The first free reading room was opened in Moscow by the Enlightenment figure N. I. Novikov. The St. Petersburg Public Library was founded in 1795 and opened in 1814; it became a national library and is now called the M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library. The Rumiantsev Museum Library, which is now the V. I. Lenin State Library of the USSR, was founded in Moscow in 1862.

In the second half of the 19th century, provincial, district, and city libraries were organized, mainly in economically developed sections of Russia, through the efforts of the democratic strata of society, individual progressive cultural figures, and the zemstvos. In the 1870’s, illegal workers’ libraries were founded by the Southern Union of Russian Workers and the Northern Union of Russian Workers. The St. Petersburg League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class, which was founded by Lenin, had a library that was important in the dissemination of Marxist literature.

During the Revolution of 1905–07, the number of public libraries and reading rooms increased somewhat. Many outlying areas, however, completely lacked library service. In 1913 there were about 14,000 public libraries in all.

A national library system was established after the victory of the October Revolution of 1917. Lenin, who attached great importance to libraries as centers for the dissemination of knowledge and for political education, advanced and substantiated new principles for the organization of a library system. He demonstrated the class and party nature of library activity, the importance of library accessibility, and the democratic nature of libraries. He called for the systematic organization of a library network, the centralized administration of library activities, and the participation of the masses in the development of libraries. A program for library construction in a socialist state is outlined in numerous documents signed by Lenin, including the decrees On the Organization of Library Work (1918), On the Preservation of Libraries and Book Repositories (1918), and On the Centralization of Library Work in the RSFSR (1920).

The Communist Party and Soviet government showed constant concern for the development of libraries and defined the goals and the scope of library activity at all stages of socialist construction. Landmarks in this regard were the decrees of the Central Committee of the Party On Rural Libraries and Popular Literature for Supplying Libraries (1925), On Providing the Average Reader with Books (1928), On Improving Library Work (1929), and On Improving Self-education (1933).

Raising the general educational and cultural level of the population and improving occupational training have required the development of various library networks. During the socialist industrialization and collectivization of agriculture in the 1930’s, libraries of various types developed and grew rapidly in number; these included public, technical, agricultural, and scientific libraries and libraries of higher educational institutions. Kolkhoz and sovkhoz libraries were established, and a network of trade union libraries was set up.

The first survey of libraries, which was taken in 1934, showed that there were 116,000 libraries in the USSR, with a total of 300 million volumes. By 1941 there were 277,000 libraries, including 95,400 public libraries. Libraries of various types have been established in all Union republics.

Despite the tremendous damage done to libraries on the territory temporarily occupied by the fascist German invaders during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, the network of libraries was restored by 1948. During the following years the rapid growth of permanent libraries, mobile libraries, branch libraries, and book loan stations continued. Between 1950 and 1960 the number of libraries of all types increased by 31,000, and the number of books in their collections increased by more than 1 billion.

In 1959 the Central Committee of the CPSU issued the decree On the Status of Library Work and Measures for Improving It in the Country, which set forth the exceptionally important goal of making library books available to each family. Between 1961 and 1975 more than 50,000 new library buildings were constructed. Holdings and circulation figures nearly doubled, and about 50 million new readers used the libraries. As of Jan. 1,1981, there were 329,000 libraries of all types, with holdings of about 4.7 billion volumes (see Table 3). The establishment of libraries of different types was intended to ensure the complete satisfaction of book needs and to provide differentiation of services among the various groups of readers. The total number of library users exceeded 203 million in 1975.

Soviet libraries are active in the ideological and production spheres of public life. They carry out important work in the formation of a Marxist-Leninist world view among the working people, and they assist in the harmonious development of the individual. At the same time they render direct assistance to science and industry by disseminating information on the latest scientific and technological theories and achievements.

A new stage in library construction in the USSR opened with a decree issued by the Central Committee of the CPSU on May 8, 1974—On Increasing the Role of Libraries in the Communist Education of the Working People and in Scientific and Technological Progress. The decree defined the goals, scope, and organizational principles of library work in a developed socialist society in the current stage of the scientific and technological revolution. It characterized libraries as important bases of support for party organizations in the communist education of working people and as ideological and scientific-informational institutions. Scientific-informational functions were thus for the first time considered a regular part of the activities of the public library. At the same time, scientific and other specialized libraries were to expand their contribution to the communist education of the working people and not limit themselves to satisfying the informational needs of specialists.

The decree envisaged a radical reconstruction of the organizational structure of the library system through centralization—the most important stage in the establishment of a single network of various types of libraries. The consolidation of libraries into centralized networks, the completion of which was scheduled for

Table 3. Development of the library network of the USSR
All libraries (thousands) ...............76277351382360329
books and journals (millions) ...............465277141,8903,3214,717
Public libraries ...............1495123136128132
books and journals ...............92002688831,3631,824
School and children’s home libraries ...............59164180196173144
books and journals ...............226882277456862
Technical and other specialized libraries ...............31848505953
books and journals ...............152593647301.5022,031

1980, permits more efficient and more complete responses to reader requests and makes possible the establishment of large institutions with extensive holdings and complete reference and bibliographic services.

Another measure for the improvement of library service was also envisaged—the establishment of a national system for the deposit of library materials on an interagency basis. Depositories were to be set up at large libraries at the all-Union, republic, or regional level; the libraries would be required to store permanently the most complete collection of printed works possible. The establishment in each economic region of such a large library and bibliographic institution increases the amount of interlibrary lending of books, strengthens ties between libraries of all types, and accelerates the locating and delivering of materials. It also makes possible a sharp reduction in the annual increase in duplicates and a saving of several billion rubles on the construction of storage space for duplicates. In order to further cooperation between libraries of all types and strengthen national supervision of library construction, the State Interdepartmental Library Commission has been established.

Public libraries. The system of public libraries includes town, raion, children’s, and rural libraries under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR and the ministries of culture of the Union republics, as well as trade union and kolkhoz libraries. The uniform distribution of public libraries over the entire USSR has made it possible for every citizen to use public book collections. In 1980 public libraries served more than 143.7 million readers.

Public libraries publicize the resolutions of congresses of the CPSU and other documents of the party and government, as well as explain the domestic and foreign policies of the Soviet Union. They offer important aid to industrial and agricultural production by disseminating economic, technical, and agricultural literature and rendering direct assistance to industrial workers, kolkhoz workers, and economic specialists. Library activity in the area of aesthetic education is expanding.

General-purpose research libraries. The V. I. Lenin State Library of the USSR, the M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library, the state libraries of the Union republics, and the libraries of the autonomous republics, krais, and oblasts are the leading methodological centers for the public libraries.

V. I. LENIN STATE LIBRARY OF THE USSR. The national library of the USSR, the Lenin State Library is a depository for printed works, manuscripts, and other materials of the peoples of the USSR; it has extensive holdings of foreign literature. The library is the leading research institution in the country in library science, bibliographic theory, and the history of books and serves as a methodological center and an information center for culture and the arts. It was founded in 1862 as part of the Rumiantsev Museum, a public museum in Moscow, and was reorganized in 1925 into the V. I. Lenin State Library of the USSR.

The Lenin State Library receives deposit copies of all materials published in the USSR. As of 1980 it had more than 30 million items in its collections. Its book collection contains books in 247 languages, including 91 languages of the USSR. The collections cover all fields of knowledge.

The department of rare books has a rich collection of Cyrillic printed books from the 15th to 18th centuries (by such printers as S. Fiol, F. Skorina, I. Fedorov, and P. Mstislavets), a collection of incunabula, and works published by Aldus Manutius, the Elzevirs, and the Didots. The department’s holdings in revolutionary history include rare and particularly valuable editions of works by K. Marx, F. Engels, and Lenin and illegal publications of Russian revolutionary groups and parties. The manuscript department contains extremely rare texts from the history of culture; its holdings consist of approximately 320,000 items, including Russian manuscript books from the 11th century, as well as papers of scholars, writers, and revolutionary, state, and political figures.

The library, which has 21 reading rooms, with a total of 2,850 seats, was used by more than 200,000 readers in 1975. It exchanges books with libraries in about 100 countries. In 1945 the library was awarded the Order of Lenin.

M. E. SALTYKOV-SHCHEDRIN STATE PUBLIC LIBRARY. Located in Leningrad, the Saltykov-Shchedrin Public Library is the oldest library in the country open to the general public and one of the largest centers of scholarship. Since 1811 it has received a deposit copy of all works published in the country; its collection of 19th-century Russian books and periodicals is exceptionally complete. Lenin was a regular reader at the library from 1893 to 1895.

In 1975 the Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library had more than 20 million items in its collections. Among its holdings are the collection known as the Free Russian Press, first editions of works by Marx, Engels, and Lenin, Voltaire’s library, incunabula, the Rossica collection, and a collection of printed works from the period of the Paris Commune of 1871. The manuscript collection includes the first Russian manuscript book—the Ostromir Gospel (1056–57)—and papers of Russian state figures, writers, and composers.

The library, which has 28 reading rooms, was used by about 100,000 readers in 1975. It exchanges books with libraries in about 100 countries. The library was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1939.

STATE LIBRARIES OF THE UNION REPUBLICS. The state libraries of the Union republics further cooperation and promote mutual cultural enrichment among the peoples of the USSR. They each receive one paid deposit copy of all works printed in the country and one free copy of all works printed in their republic. The libraries exchange books with libraries in other countries. As of Jan. 1,1980, their holdings totaled 57 million volumes. They had about 400,000 readers in 1975. The libraries compile and publish indexes to the national literatures of the republics; they also publish information bulletins and lists of new foreign and domestic acquisitions.

Specialized and scientific libraries. Specialized and scientific libraries include scientific and technical libraries of ministries of industry, scientific libraries under the jurisdiction of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the academies of science of the Union republics, specialized libraries of the ministries of public health and agriculture, and libraries of higher educational institutions under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Higher and Specialized Secondary Education of the USSR. There were about 65,000 such libraries in 1976, and their collections represented about half the library holdings in the USSR. In 1975 specialized libraries served 42 million readers, to whom they gave out more than 1 billion publications. Scientific-technical and technical libraries are the predominant types of specialized libraries.

Scientific-technical and technical libraries promote scientific and technological progress, contribute to technical education, help increase workers’ professional knowledge, and aid in disseminating information on new production techniques. Such libraries form an essential part of the national system of scientific and technical information. A network of central scientific-technical libraries of industry, construction, and transportation has been developed, and diversified regional central scientific-technical libraries and republic scientific-technical libraries are being set up. In 1975 there were more than 16,000 technical libraries associated with industrial, construction, transportation, and communications enterprises.

The State Public Scientific and Technical Library of the USSR is a diversified central state library. Located in Moscow, it specializes in scientific and industrial-engineering literature and serves as the coordinating center of a network of technical libraries, for which it provides methodological guidance. Established in 1958, it had 10 million items in its collections in 1980. It has a valuable collection of industrial catalogs and a national collection of technical translations. One of several all-Union scientific and technical information centers, the library is the only information center in the USSR for domestic and foreign equipment catalogs. The number of readers in 1975 was 82,000. The library exchanges books with libraries in 47 countries.

An important place among libraries that further scientific research is held by the academic library and information system—an extremely large complex of scientific libraries and information institutes that includes more than 500 libraries of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the academies of sciences of the Union republics, academies associated with branches of the economy, and scientific research institutions.

The Library of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, located in Leningrad, is the administrative and methodological center of the Leningrad network of academic libraries. It coordinates the reference and bibliographic services of libraries in the physicomathematical and other natural sciences. Established in 1725, it had more than 15 million items in its collections in 1979. In addition to a complete collection of the works published by the Academy of Sciences since the time of its founding, the library features a collection of physicomathematical literature published in the 16th to 19th centuries and a collection of works published abroad between 1854 and 1917 that were considered illegal by the tsarist government and were suppressed. It exchanges books with more than 2,800 scientific institutions in 99 countries. The library was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1964.

The Central Library of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR for Natural Sciences, located in Moscow, is the administrative and methodological center for 186 physicomathematical and other natural science libraries serving institutions of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR both in Moscow and in outlying districts of the country. It had about 14 million items in its collections in 1975. It is the all-Union center for interlibrary loan in the natural sciences.

The State Public Scientific and Technical Library of the Siberian Division of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, located in Novosibirsk, is the methodological and organizational center for 37 academic libraries serving scientific institutions in Western and Eastern Siberia, the Far East, and areas of the Far North. Established in 1958, it had about 8 million items in its collections in 1975.

The Institute of Scientific Information on the Social Sciences of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, located in Moscow, is the administrative and methodological center for 23 divisional libraries in Moscow associated with institutes of the academy dealing with the social sciences. Founded in 1918 as the library of the Socialist Academy of Social Sciences, it had about 11 million items in its collections in 1979. Its holdings include works in Oriental and Slavic studies, as well as works on the history of the USSR and other countries, archaeology, cultural anthropology, political economy, economics, philosophy, and the history of science, literature, and art. Especially well represented are modern and contemporary history, international politics, economics, and contemporary philosophy.

Medical libraries include libraries at hospitals and clinics, scientific research institutions dealing with public health, specialized higher educational institutions, institutes for the advanced training of physicians, and houses of health education. Regional medical libraries have been organized at the republic and oblast level.

The State Central Scientific Medical Library, located in Moscow, was established in 1919. In 1975 it had more than 1.7 million items in its collections. It is the national depository of medical literature, including dissertations in medicine. Its holdings include rare medical books published in the 16th century or later and a complete collection of Russian medical periodicals. It is the center for bibliographic information on world medical literature as well as the coordinating and methodological center for the network of medical libraries.

Agricultural libraries have been established at experiment stations, scientific research institutes, and specialized educational institutions. They numbered more than 1,400 in 1975. Republic agricultural libraries have been founded in a number of Union republics.

Affiliated with the V. I. Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences of the Ministry of Agriculture of the USSR is the Central Agricultural Scientific Library. Located in Moscow, it is the largest agricultural library in the country. It was established in 1930. The library’s holdings, including those of its Leningrad branch, total 2.4 million items. Among them are extremely rare editions, notably the works of the first Russian agronomists, and sets of Russian agricultural periodicals for the past 100 years. The library is a bibliographic center for foreign and domestic specialized literature and the methodological center for the country’s network of agricultural libraries. It serves as the Soviet information center in agriculture and forestry for the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON).

More than 850 libraries of higher educational institutions were in operation in 1975. University libraries occupy a position of particular importance among such libraries. The M. Gorky Research Library of the M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University is the methodological center for libraries of Soviet higher educational institutions. It includes a general research library with more than 6 million books, five specialized libraries in the natural, geographic, and mathematical sciences, and six specialized libraries associated with humanities (social science) departments.

Libraries for children and young people. Children’s and young people’s libraries occupy a special position in the library system of the USSR. The creation of a library and bibliographic system serving children and young people is an achievement of socialist culture. There is a systematic network of school libraries and raion, city, oblast, and republic children’s libraries; these play an important role in the education of children and adolescents. A system of young people’s libraries is being established to meet the needs of youth between the ages of 15 and 20.

International ties. Soviet libraries are expanding and deepening their cooperation with international organizations concerned with problems in library science and bibliography (especially the International Federation of Library Associations and UNESCO) and with national libraries, methodological centers, and other leading library and bibliographic institutions of foreign countries, particularly socialist countries. Representatives of libraries of the USSR take part in international conferences and symposia; their participation contributes to the sharing of information and increases international awareness of the achievements of Soviet librarianship.

In 1976 about 100 of the largest libraries of the USSR had book exchange programs with 5,000 libraries and other institutions of 120 countries. Through international book exchanges more than 1.5 million copies of Soviet publications are sent abroad annually, and Soviet libraries receive almost 1 million copies of books.


The first evidence of the preservation of historical and artistic treasures in churches and monasteries of Kievan Rus’ dates from the 11th century. Museum work began with the formation of the collections in the Kremlin Armory in Moscow in the 15th through 17th centuries. The Kunstkamera, which was founded in 1714 and was based on collections belonging to Peter I, became the first public museum; it opened in St. Petersburg in 1719. In the second half of the 18th century collections began to take shape that formed the basis of the Artillery History Museum and the Naval Museum in St. Petersburg, the arms museum at the Tula Arms Factory, and the first museum of local lore, in Irkutsk.

In the 19th century historical, natural science, agricultural, and art museums and museums of local lore were established on the initiative of universities, scientific societies, state institutions, individual scholars and scientists, and collectors in such cities as St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Riga, Revel, Vilnius, Barnaul, Astrakhan, Simbirsk, and Tiflis. By 1917 more than 150 museums were in existence (not counting military and church archaeological museums). They were located primarily in the central regions of Russia. There were no museums on the territory of presentday Azerbaijan, Kirghizia, Tadzhikistan, and Armenia.

After the October Revolution of 1917, a new era in museum construction began. The Soviet government and the Communist Party devoted a great deal of attention to the preservation of museum treasures and historical and architectural monuments. On Oct. 25 (Nov. 7), 1917, the Petrograd military revolutionary committee appointed special commissars whose responsibility was the preservation of cultural and artistic treasures. In November 1917 the All-Russian Collegium on Museums and the Preservation of Monuments was formed under the People’s Commissariat for Education of the RSFSR. In May 1918 a museum department was established to administer all museums. In 1917 and 1918 the government issued instructions and decrees nationalizing the most important private museums, establishing a system for the protection of museums and monuments, and prohibiting the export of works of art. The party program adopted at the Eighth Congress of the RCP(B) in 1919 stated that “it is necessary to open up and make accessible to the working people all the art treasures that have been created through the exploitation of their labor and that until today were exclusively at the disposal of the exploiters.”

The establishment of a unified network of state museums was accompanied by the organization of new museums. Between 1917 and 1927 the number of museums grew to 805. Museums were opened in such regions as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kirghizia, Tadzhikistan, Turkmenia, Kazakhstan, and Eastern Siberia. A new type of museum, the museum of revolutionary history, appeared. By 1941, 991 state museums were in operation. Great losses were suffered by museums in areas temporarily occupied by the fascist German invaders during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45. Since the war the network of museums has been not only restored but substantially expanded. In 1980 there were 1,526 museums in operation in the USSR. The number of museums in most of the Union republics has grown markedly (see Table 4).

Table 4. Number of museums in the Union republics
RSFSR ...............592740
Ukrainian SSR ...............174167
Byelorussian SSR ...............2668
Uzbek SSR ...............1734
Kazakh SSR ...............2654
Georgian SSR ...............38105
Azerbaijan SSR ...............2263
Lithuanian SSR ...............1539
Moldavian SSR ...............449
Latvian SSR ...............3067
Kirghiz SSR ...............313
Tadzhik SSR ...............210
Armenian SSR ...............1143
Turkmen SSR ...............513
Estonian SSR ...............2661

Soviet museums carry on a great amount of research and cultural-educational work. For example, they sponsor lectures, discussions, and tours of exhibitions and exhibits, publish scholarly and popularizing works, contribute to periodicals, and produce radio and television programs.

One of the basic tasks of Soviet museums is to assist the CPSU in communist education. This aspect of museum work was stressed in the decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU On Upgrading the Role of Museums in the Communist Upbringing of the Working People (1964).

At the end of 1980 there were 55.7 million items preserved in museums of the USSR. The holdings increase by more than 1 million objects every year; more than half of the acquisitions are materials showing the development of Soviet science, the progress of technology, and the achievements of communist construction. In 1965 the Council of Ministers of the USSR issued the decree On the Museum Fund of the USSR, which required that ministries, state committees, councils of ministers of Union republics, and other agencies provide museums with, for example, production samples for exhibition.

The principal types of Soviet museums are historical museums (including museums of revolutionary history), museums of local lore, art studies museums, memorial museums, natural science museums, and museums devoted to one or more branches of the economy (for example, technical museums and agricultural museums). Table 5 gives figures on the number of museums in each type.

Table 5. Number of museums by type
Historical (including revolutionary history) ...............152288
Memorial ...............90315
Local lore ...............429628
Artstudies ...............115225
Natural science ...............4833
Specialized by branch of the economy and miscellaneous ...............15737

The organization of people’s museums, which operate on a volunteer basis, was begun in the 1960’s. People’s museums have been established by village soviets, houses of culture, industrial enterprises, schools, and other organizations in all Union republics, especially the Ukraine. In 1978 there were more than 9,000 people’s museums of various types.

Principal historical museums. CENTRAL MUSEUM OF THE REVOLUTION OF THE USSR. Located in Moscow, the Central Museum of the Revolution of the USSR was formed in 1924 from the Moscow Museum of Revolutionary History, which had been opened in 1923 in the former English Club. The present museum was originally called the Museum of the Revolution of the USSR.

In 1979 the museum’s holdings totaled 1,000,000 items. The exhibits deal with the preparation and carrying out of the October Revolution of 1917 and with the history of Soviet society (beginning in the late 19th century). In addition to original documents, the museum has photographs and personal effects of participants in the October Revolution and Civil War of 1918–20, outstanding workers, prominent scholars, leading figures in science and the arts, and veterans of the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45. Exhibits of particular interest include the first issue of the newspaper Iskra (The Spark), first editions of works by Lenin, the first party membership cards, and combat and labor orders and medals awarded to prominent party and government figures. In 1979 the museum was visited by 984,000 persons.

The museum was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1967 and the Order of the October Revolution in 1974. It has the following branches: the State Museum of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Leningrad, the Krasnaia Presnia Museum in Moscow, and the Underground Printing Press of the Central Committee of the RSDLP in 1905–06 Museum in Moscow.

STATE HISTORICAL MUSEUM. Located in Moscow, the State Historical Museum was opened in 1883. Its original holdings were archaeological collections presented as gifts to the museum by Moscow University and the Moscow Archaeological Society, as well as by a number of scholars.

On the eve of 1917 the museum had about 300,000 items on exhibit; in 1979 its holdings totaled about 4.2 million items. It is the largest depository of objects associated with the history of the peoples of the USSR. Its holdings, which encompass the entire period from the earliest times to the present day, include ancient artifacts from the Black Sea and Volga regions, birch bark documents from the 11th through 15th centuries, one of the largest coin collections in the world, and a collection of Russian manuscript books, including such unique texts as the Izbornik (Collection) of Sviatoslav (1073) and the Mstislav Gospel (12th century). Among the museum’s other holdings are a collection of maps and drawings with signatures of 18th- and 19th-century architects, an important collection of Old Russian paintings, niello articles, and unique items that attest to the military glory of the people, including banners, weapons, such as the saber of Dm. Pozharskii, and military apparel, such as chain mail found at Kulikovo Field. In 1979 the museum was visited by more than 1.7 million persons.

The museum was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1972. It has the following branches: the Novodevichii Convent, the Pokrovskii Cathedral (St. Basil’s Cathedral), the Church of the Trinity in Nikitniki, and the Palaces of the 16th and 17th Centuries in the Zariad’e in Moscow.

MUSEUMS OF THE MOSCOW KREMLIN. The State Armory, the oldest museum in the USSR, originated as a storage facility for the weapons of Muscovite princes. It was first mentioned in written sources in 1547. Gradually transformed into a museum of decorative and applied art, it was opened to visitors in 1806. After 1917 artistic and historical treasures from the Patriarchs’ Vestry and the cathedrals of the Moscow Kremlin, as well as from churches and monasteries in Moscow, Yaroslavl, and Suzdal’, were transferred to the museum. Among the holdings of the State Armory are a unique collection of weapons, a collection of Old Russian utensils made mainly from precious metals (including an exceptionally large number of fine silver articles made by European masters in the 15th through 17th centuries), state regalia, coronation articles, a rich collection of fabrics and clothing from the 16th through 19th centuries, articles captured during the Battle of Poltava (1709), articles associated with the Patriotic War of 1812, and belongings of important historical figures. In 1979 the museum’s holdings totaled about 99,000 items.

The State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin also include the following architectural monuments of the 15th and 16th centuries: the Uspenskii, Arkhangel’skii, and Blagoveshchenskii cathedrals, the Rizpolozhenie Church, the Bell Tower of Ivan the Great, and the Hall of Facets. Unequaled examples of Old Russian icon painting are on display in the cathedrals. The former Patriarch’s Palace contains the Museum of the Applied Arts and Everyday Life of the 17th Century. In 1979 the State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin were visited by more than 2.3 million persons.

CENTRAL MUSEUM OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE USSR. Located in Moscow, the Central Museum of the Armed Forces of the USSR was founded in December 1919. Its first exhibition was opened in 1920 in the building now occupied by the State Department Store (GUM). The museum has occupied a new building in Commune Square since 1965.

In 1979 the museum’s holdings totaled more than 400,000 items. The exhibits portray the origin and development of proletarian military detachments in Russia from 1905 to 1917, the creation of the Red Army and Navy and their victories during the period of the Civil War and foreign intervention, the victories of the armed forces of the USSR during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, the development of the armed forces during the postwar period, and military cooperation between the armies of the socialist countries. Among the articles on display are pamphlets and newspapers from war years; documents; photographs; weapons; banners; military awards and personal effects of important military leaders, Heroes of the Soviet Union, and veterans of the Civil War and the Great Patriotic War; uniforms used by the Soviet Army since the time of its founding; and paintings dealing with military history. The museum houses the personal collections of outstanding Soviet military leaders. Of particular interest is the banner of victory hoisted above the Reichstag in Berlin in 1945. Open areas next to the museum display examples of Soviet military equipment. In 1979 the museum was visited by 1.3 million persons.

The museum was awarded the Order of the Red Star in 1975.

CENTRAL NAVAL MUSEUM. Located in Leningrad, the Central Naval Museum was opened in 1805. It was formed from the collections of the Model Repository, which had been established in the Admiralty building in 1709 and which contained models and drawings of, for example, ships, navy yards, and slipways. Peter I’s collection of models and many of his personal belongings were transferred to the museum.

The museum’s holdings include captured flags, jacks, and figureheads. The exhibits portray the creation and development of the Russian and Soviet navies, naval traditions, and the heroism of Soviet sailors during the Civil War and Great Patriotic War. Since 1940 the museum has been located in the building formerly occupied by the Stock Exchange. In 1979 it had more than 500,000 items in its collections and was visited by more than 700,000 persons.

The museum was awarded the Order of the Red Star in 1975. Among its branches is the cruiser Aurora.

STATE MUSEUM OF THE ETHNOGRAPHY OF THE PEOPLES OF THE USSR. Located in Leningrad, the State Museum of the Ethnography of the Peoples of the USSR originated as a division of the Russian Museum. The first exhibit was opened in 1923. In 1934 the division acquired independent status as the State Museum of Ethnography. The museum was given its present name in 1948, when it absorbed the collections of the Museum of the Peoples of the USSR, which had been located in Moscow.

The museum’s holdings deal with the ethnology of 157 peoples, nationalities, and ethnic groups of the USSR. The museum offers information on the ethnogenesis of peoples, on the historical stages in the development of peoples and in the spread of individual ethnic groups, on the natural and economic conditions under which peoples live, on the development of national traditions and folk art, and on the flourishing and drawing together of the socialist nations (natsii, nations in the historical sense) of the USSR. Exhibits include many outstanding works of folk art, such as fabrics, clothing, household utensils, and jewelry made by folk craftsmen. In 1979 the museum had more than 500,000 items in its collections and was visited by 276,000 persons.

Principal memorial museums. CENTRAL V. I. LENIN MUSEUM. Located in Moscow, the Central Lenin Museum is affiliated with the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the CPSU. It was opened on May 15,1936, in accordance with a decree issued by the Central Committee of the ACP(B) and the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR in 1935. The museum’s forerunner, the museum division of the V. I. Lenin Institute, had been established in 1924 as a result of a resolution adopted by the Thirteenth Congress of the RCP(B).

In 1979 the museum had more than 700,000 items in its collections and about 15,000 exhibits. The exhibits portray the life and activities of Lenin as a theorist of Marxism, the creator of a Marxist party in Russia, the leader of the October Revolution of 1917, and the organizer and leader of the first socialist state in the world. Among the items on display are copies of manuscripts, first editions of works by Lenin, issues of the newspapers Iskra, Vpered (Forward), and Pravda containing articles by Lenin, the first decrees of Soviet power signed by Lenin, photographs, personal effects, and works of fine art and folk art that depict Lenin. Many exhibits have been donated to the museum by other socialist countries and by Communist and workers’ parties of the capitalist and developing countries. The museum is visited by 1.3–1.5 million persons annually.

The museum was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1974. Its branches include the Office and Apartment of V. I. Lenin in the Kremlin, the V. I. Lenin Funeral Train Pavilion-Museum in Moscow, the Lenin house-museums in Gorki Leninskie and Podol’sk, and the Lenin museums in Leningrad, Ul’ianovsk, Tashkent, Tbilisi, L’vov, Kiev, and Baku. Lenin house-museums are also located in Ul’ianovsk, where a memorial was established in 1970, in the village of Shushenskoe, where a memorial was established in 1976, and in Kazan, Kuibyshev, Ufa, Pskov, and Riga. In and around Leningrad there are 11 Lenin house-museums and apartment-museums, including those in Razliv, Vyborg, and the settlement of Il’ichevo.

MUSEUM OF K. MARX AND F. ENGELS. Located in Moscow, the Marx-Engels Museum is affiliated with the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the CPSU. It was opened on May 7, 1962. Its holdings came from the collections that had been gathered by the museum division of the Marx-Engels Institute beginning in 1921.

The museum’s exhibits portray the lives and activities of the founders of Marxism, the history of the working-class and communist movements, and the triumph of the ideas of Marxism-Leninism. Materials are also displayed that show V. I. Lenin as the successor of Marx and Engels and as an avid proponent of their teachings. Among the objects on display are copies of manuscripts by Marx and Engels, first editions of their works, newspapers containing articles by them, the country’s most complete collection of photographs of Marx, Engels, members of Marx’ family, and participants in the Paris Commune of 1871, personal effects of Marx and Engels and belongings of Marx’ family, and works of art from the time of the Revolution of 1848–49 and the Paris Commune. In 1979 the museum had 100,000 items in its collections and was visited by 103,000 persons.

ALL-UNION A. S. PUSHKIN MUSEUM. Located in Leningrad, the Pushkin Museum was established in 1938 from the All-Union Pushkin Exhibition of 1937 in Moscow, the materials of which had been transferred to Leningrad. Since 1967 it has been housed in the former Church Wing of the Ekaterinskii (Catherine) Palace in the city of Pushkin.

The museum’s holdings total more than 85,000 items, including personal possessions of Pushkin, a unique iconographie collection, first editions of works by Pushkin published during his lifetime, paintings, and sculpture. The museum, which has a library of 62,000 volumes, was visited by more than 500,000 persons in 1979.

The museum was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1975. Its branches include the A. S. Pushkin Apartment-Museum on the embankment of the Moika River in Leningrad, the Lycée Museum in the former Tsarskoe Selo Lycée in the city of Pushkin, and the Dacha Museum in the house of A. Kitaeva in Pushkin.

IASNAIA POLIANA MUSEUM-ESTATE OF L. N. TOLSTOY. The Iasnaia Poliana Museum-Estate was founded in 1921.

The museum’s holdings include personal belongings of Tolstoy, his library, documents characterizing the culture of his period, first editions of his most important works, and materials showing the development of research on his works in the Soviet era. The memorial complex consists of a house-museum, the estate, and a park. The literary exhibit is located in a wing of the house, and Tolstoy’s grave is situated in the park. The museum-estate is visited by more than 300,000 persons each year.

The museum-estate was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1978.

M. GORKY MUSEUM. Located on Vorovskii Street in Moscow, the Gorky Museum was founded in 1937.

The museum’s holdings include first editions of Gorky’s works, photocopies of his manuscripts, foreign editions of his works, photographs and autographs of outstanding cultural figures, portraits of Gorky, and illustrations for his works.

In 1965 a memorial museum was opened in the house on Kachalov Street where Gorky lived and worked from 1931 to 1936.

Art studies museums. Art studies museums include museums that collect and exhibit works of art. They may be characterized as art, theater, music, or film museums. Fine arts museums may be classified according to the contents of their collections as follows: museums of Russian art, such as the State Russian Museum in Leningrad; museums of national art of Union republics, such as the Kiev Museum of Ukrainian Art; museums of foreign art, such as the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art; and mixed museums, or those containing collections of both domestic and foreign art, such as the Hermitage in Leningrad. There are also museums of folk art in such places as Palekh and Mstera and museums of applied art. Art departments exist in a number of historical museums and museums of local lore.

STATE HERMITAGE. The Hermitage, located in Leningrad, is the largest museum in the USSR that is of international importance. Established in 1764 as a palace art collection that was open to a small group of the aristocracy, it has become in the Soviet period one of the country’s most popular museums.

In 1979 the museum’s holdings totaled more than 3 million items, including about 15,000 paintings, 12,000 sculptures, 600,000 works of graphic arts, more than 600,000 objects of archaeological interest, 1 million coins and medals, and 224,000 works of applied art. The museum has the following departments: history of primitive culture, culture and art of the ancient world, oriental culture and art, Russian culture, history of Western European art, numismatics, and the art industry. Each of the departments contains unique works and valuable collections. In 1979 the museum was visited by about 4 million persons.

The museum was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1964.

A. S. PUSHKIN STATE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS. Located in Moscow, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts was opened in 1912. Its nucleus was formed by collections of art reproductions and coins from Moscow University and a collection of ancient Egyptian objects assembled by V. S. Golenishchev. One of the founders of the museum was I. V. Tsvetaev, a professor at Moscow University. During the Soviet period the collections of paintings and drawings have been expanded.

In 1979 more than 500,000 works of art were on display. Noteworthy are the collections of paintings and sculpture from Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Flanders. The collections of French and Dutch paintings and of works of ancient Egyptian art and culture are among the most important in the world, as are the archaeological and numismatic collections and the collection of works of graphic art (in the engravings room). In 1979 the museum was visited by more than 1 million persons.

STATE RUSSIAN MUSEUM. Located in Leningrad, the Russian Museum was opened in 1898. It united collections transferred from the Hermitage, the Academy of Arts, and a number of palaces. After 1917 its holdings were expanded through the nationalization of art treasures belonging to the tsar’s family and to private individuals, and it became the largest museum of Russian art in the world. A department of Soviet art was established in 1932.

In 1979 the museum’s holdings totaled about 325,000 items. Russian art of the 18th and first half of the 19th centuries is particularly well represented; the museum also contains many works by the peredvizhniki (the “wanderers,” a progressive art movement), artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and by Soviet artists, and a rich collection of Russian and Soviet sculpture and works of graphic art. In 1979 the museum was visited by more than 1 million persons.

STATE TRET’IAKOV GALLERY. Located in Moscow, the Tret’iakov Gallery developed from the art collection of P. M. Tret’iakov, which he donated to the city of Moscow in September 1892 along with the collection of his brother, S. M. Tret’iakov, to form the Pavel Tret’iakov and Sergei Tret’iakov Moscow City Gallery. Its holdings originally numbered about 3,500 works. The gallery was nationalized in 1918, but the name of its founder was retained. Additions to the gallery’s holdings during the Soviet period include the collection of the Museum of Iconography and Painting (the I. S. Ostroukhov collection), the painting collection of the Rumiantsev Museum, and many private collections, as well as numerous works of Soviet art.

In 1979 the gallery’s holdings totaled more than 60,000 works. The exhibits portray the development of Russian art since the late 11th century. The gallery contains outstanding examples of Old Russian painting, including works by A. Rublev and S. F. Ushakov; the collection of paintings from the second half of the 19th century is especially rich, and the gallery has the best collection of multinational Soviet paintings, works of graphic art, and sculpture. In 1979 the gallery was visited by more than 1.7 million persons.

The gallery was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1956.

M. I. GLINKA STATE CENTRAL MUSEUM OF MUSICAL CULTURE. Located in Moscow, the Museum of Musical Culture was opened in 1943. It was formed from the N. G. Rubenstein Memorial Museum, which had been founded in 1912.

In 1979 the museum’s holdings totaled about 500,000 items, including the largest collection in the USSR of musical instruments of peoples of the Soviet Union and foreign countries. Exhibits include such unique examples of musical instruments as a lira da gamba by the 17th-century Italian master Francesco di Bertolotti and a harpsichord by the 18th-century British master Burkat Shudi. Russian musical culture is represented by the personal collections of outstanding composers and performers and by documentary materials. The museums’ holdings include a collection of sheet music and a collection of recordings that contains phonograph records and tape recordings of musical performances by outstanding individuals and groups.

The branches of the museum are the Museum-Apartment of Professor A. B. Gol’denveizer, People’s Artist of the USSR, and the N. S. Golovanov Creative Laboratory of Conducting, both of which are in Moscow.

A. A. BAKHRUSHIN STATE THEATRICAL MUSEUM. Located in Moscow, the Bakhrushin Theatrical Museum was founded in 1894 by A. A. Bakhrushin. It was not opened to the general public until after 1917.

In 1975 the museum’s holdings totaled more than 800,000 items representing the history of Russian, Soviet, and world theater. Exhibits include sketches of stage sets, manuscripts of memoirs, recordings, first editions of dramatic works, theatrical costumes, playbills, photographs, original objects used by outstanding figures in the theatrical arts, autographs of such figures, and works of fine art. In 1975 the museum was visited by about 110,000 persons.

Principal technical and natural science museums. POLYTECHNICAL MUSEUM. Located in Moscow, the Polytechnical Museum was founded in 1872 to replace the first polytechnical exhibition in Russia. In 1877 a building was constructed for the museum that it continues to occupy to this day.

The museum’s exhibits portray the main stages in the history of engineering and the basic sciences, including physics and chemistry, as well as achievements of various sectors of the socialist economy. The departments of the museum include power engineering, machine building, metallurgy, mining, automation, radio engineering and telecommunications, and space technology. In 1975 the museum was visited by more than 900,000 people.

The museum was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1972.

MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AND ETHNOGRAPHY. Located in Leningrad, the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography was opened in 1878. Its nucleus was formed by the anthropological and ethnographic collections of the Kunstkamera.

In 1979 the museum’s holdings totaled more than 300,000 items. They include collections bought by Peter I, collections gathered by expeditions of the academicians J. G. Gmelin, S. P. Krasheninnikov, and P. S. Pallas in Russia in the 18th century, materials from the journeys around the world of I. F. Kruzenshtern, Iu. F. Lisianskii, and O. E. Kotsebu, and materials from the expeditions of F. F. Bellingshausen, M. P. Lazarev, and N. N. Miklukho-Maklai. Represented in the exhibits are collections dealing with the ethnography of peoples of Asia, Oceania, South America, Australia, and Africa, as well as the museum’s extensive anthropological holdings, including the remains of a Neanderthal man from the Kiik-Koba cave and skeletons of Mesolithic man.

A. E. FERSMAN MINERALOGICAL MUSEUM. Located in Moscow, the Mineralogical Museum was founded in 1716 as the Mineral Exhibit of the Kunstkamera in St. Petersburg. The Mineral Exhibit acquired independent status as the Mineralogical Museum in 1836, and in 1898 the museum and the other geological collections of the Academy of Sciences were reorganized into the Peter the Great Geological and Mineralogical Museum. V. I. Vernadskii served as the director of the museum in the early 20th century, and A. E. Fersman became director in 1919. After 1917 the museum began receiving minerals from all of the most important geological expeditions. It was moved to Moscow in 1934–35.

In 1979 the museum’s holdings totaled about 118,000 mineral specimens. There are permanent exhibits arranged by subject that are updated on a regular basis, including the exhibits Classification and History of Mineral Species in the Earth’s Crust and Mineralogy of the Earth’s Chemical Elements.

ZOOLOGICAL MUSEUM. Located in Leningrad, the Zoological Museum had its origin in the Kunstkamera and has existed as an independent museum since 1832. It is one of the largest museums of natural history in the world.

In 1979 about 50,000 species of animals were on exhibit, and the museum’s collections contained about 15 million invertebrate specimens and about 500,000 vertebrate specimens. The zoological materials collected by the expeditions of the Russian and Soviet researchers N. M. Przheval’skii, G. N. Potanin, N. A. Zarudnyi, and L. S. Berg, as well as by the Severnyi Polius drifting ice stations, characterize the fauna of the USSR and the entire Palaearctic region.

BOTANICAL MUSEUM. Located in Leningrad, the Botanical Museum was founded in 1823 as part of the Imperial Botanical Garden. The garden was called the Central Botanical Garden of the RSFSR from 1917 to 1930, when it was transferred to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.

In 1979 the museum’s holdings totaled approximately 60,000 specimens, grouped into four sections: economic botany, the carpology collection, the dendrology collection, and the biological collection. The collections were gathered by several generations of Russian and Soviet botanists and travelers. The exhibits portray the history and evolution of the plant kingdom, the vegetation of the world according to geobotanical region, and the flora of the USSR.

Principal open-air museums. LATVIAN OPEN-AIR ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM. Located near Riga, the Latvian Open-air Ethnographic Museum was founded in 1928, during the period of bourgeois Latvia. At first the exhibits consisted of buildings that had belonged to prosperous peasants. During the Soviet period new exhibits have been added that reflect the daily life of various segments of the rural population.

The buildings—dwellings, the house-workshop of a 19th-century potter, windmills, bathhouses, inns, schools, and religious structures—characterize the economic activity and domestic life of the Latvian people in the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum is situated on the shore of a lake; folk architecture and articles of material culture of four cultural-historical regions of Latvia—Kurzeme, Zemgale, Latgale, and Vidzeme—are shown in natural settings.

KIZHI STATE HISTORICAL AND ARCHITECTURAL MUSEUM-PRESERVE. The Kizhi State Historical and Architectural Museum-Preserve was established in 1960 on Kizhi, an island in Lake Onega known for its monuments of Russian wood architecture.

The museum contains 26 architectural monuments, including churches, bell towers, and peasant houses, many of which were moved to the museum from nearby locations. The 22-cupola Preobrazhenskaia Church (1714) and the Pokrovskaia Church (1764) are outstanding works of 18th-century architecture. About 5,000 articles used in everyday life, works of folk art, and examples of Old Russian painting are on display. In 1979 the museum was visited by 300,000 persons.



Clubs and parks of culture and recreation
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Lenin i sovremennyeproblemy bibliotekovedeniia. Moscow, 1971.
Rukovodiashchie materialy po bibliotechnomy delu: Spravochnik. Edited by V. V. Serov. Moscow, 1975.
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Mohammad Hiasat said: "It is time to uplift the cultural sector and find mechanisms to transform the performance of cultural institutions to keep abreast of the social and technological changes and improve the cultural product." At the closing of the Forum, the recommendations of the participants were submitted to the Chair of the Higher Committee to find the appropriate mechanisms for implementation.
The symposium program included presentations on the current developments in Yemen in light of violations on Yemeni educational and cultural institutions and impact of the war on education and culture.
The aim is to encourage the education process of those who already work in culture and cultural institutions, as well as those who have the ambition to work in culture.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz will request $3.9 million in grants for cultural institutions in the metro area, touting the funds as an investment in economic development.
For QM, the scope of the internship opportunities illustrates the wide range of jobs in cultural institutions in Qatar.
CAIRO, Jan 27 (KUNA) -- Two Kuwaiti officials on Saturday stressed the significant role of Kuwaiti cultural institutions in the creation of Gulf and Arab intellectual thought.

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