State Public Historical Library of the RSFSR

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

State Public Historical Library of the RSFSR


located in Moscow; a specialized scholarly library.

The State Public Historical Library of the RSFSR is the central library and scholarly methodological center for libraries of the RSFSR on problems of library and bibliographical work with historical literature. It was founded in 1938 on the basis of the libraries of the Historical Museum, the Institute of the Red Professoriat, and the Communist University of Workers of the East.

As of Jan. 1, 1970, the library’s collections included approximately 3 million holdings in 180 languages, including those in the 65 languages of the peoples of the USSR. Literature on Marxism-Leninism, the history of the CPSU, the history of the USSR and general history, and specialized and auxiliary historical disciplines are most fully represented in the library’s collections. The most valuable of the prerevolutionary collections are the various personal libraries (more than 40). Among them are the collections of the archaeologist A. D. Chertkov, the historians I. E. Zabelin and M. D. Khmyrov, and the bibliophiles P. V. Shchapov, A. I. Bariatinskii, A. P. Bakhrushin, and A. N. Golytsin, among others. There is a rich collection on the history of the Orient in European and Oriental languages. The collection of rare books (70,000 items) contains manuscript and old printed editions from the pre-Petrine period, incunabula, early printed works, 16th- through 17th-century publications, and a special collection of French books, journals, and leaflets from the period of the Great French Revolution. There is an exceptionally complete collection of 18th-century Russian publications. There are collections of editions of the works of Marx, Engels, and Lenin published during their lifetimes, rare Bolshevik publications, and a complete set of the newspaper Iskra.

Specialized services for readers on the history of the USSR and CPSU, universal history, and the history of the countries of Asia and Africa are provided in special reading rooms. There is also a general reading room. Every year more than 20,000 persons use these reading rooms. There is an interlibrary loan system. The library carries on book exchanges with 36 countries. It does a great deal of reference, bibliographical, and popular work. The State Public Historical Library of the RSFSR compiles and publishes bibliographical aids on historical and sociopolitical topics.


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