+7 499 922-66-77 (ext. 111)
Over 4000 rare editions including 200 books published before 1830. The oldest book in the collection is a 1594 edition of the Octoechos.
The Rare Books Room has the largest source of bibliographic information about books in the Russian language published in Russia and abroad between 1826 and 1917. The electronic Catalogue of 19th century Russian books has more than 530 000 entries searchable by author, title, publication date, publication place, publisher, and location. A thematic book selection can be made on demand.
Since January 2014 readers can browse an archive of electronic copies of all Pravda newspaper issues since its foundation.
The interior of the Rare Books Room is markedly different from the other spaces in the library. The retro look is very appropriate for this Room that is meant to give visitors an opportunity to see old books and learn more about the history of books, printing and publishing.
Subject-based book displays draw visitors’ attention to the library’s mission as book collector and its research in the field of copies’ history and books’ social significance.
Naturally, visitors prefer leafing through pages to simply looking at books they are not allowed to touch. Yet the rare and antique editions must be kept safe and handled with care. RFID technology resolved the contradiction between safe-keeping and open access. The printed editions in the Rare Books Room are now identified and protected against unauthorized removal from the Room by RFID tags.
Visitors can not only touch the past and browse antique books but also watch the process of bibliographic description, see videos about publishing history, listen to opera on a pre-war gramophone.
Our professional bibliographer is happy to answer questions about books published in Russia and abroad. Visitors can use the space to work or study, browse the internet, and read books from other library collections or their own books. Club meeting and other events are held here. The rare books collection on the shelves can therefore be considered not so much a source of information as a décor element, meant to create an intellectual atmosphere and transport the visitors to a different era, long gone but not forgotten.
The Rare Books Room hosts several clubs’ meetings: Real History Discussion Club, Intellectual Reading Club, and Alexei Kubrik’s Poetic Workshop.