Resources > Russian State Library
20 Aug 2013

Russian State Library

The Russian State Library (RSL) is the national library of Russia, in Moscow. It is the largest in the country and the third largest in the world for its collection of books. The library has over 275 km of shelves and more than 43 million items, which include over 17 million books and serial volumes, 13 million journals, 350 thousand music scores and sound records, 150,000 maps and others. There are items in 247 languages of the world, the foreign part representing about 29% of the entire collection. The library is designated by law as a place to hold a mandatory copy of every publication issued in Russia.

About 200 new readers come to register with RSL every day, while the overall number of daily RSL visitors is about 4,000. The RSL Virtual Reading Halls are available in 80 Russian cities and various locations from the Community of Independent States (CIS), and they are attended by about 8,000 visitors daily. To promote public interest for reading, RSL also hosts regular educational and cultural events, bringing together scholars, writers, artists and actors and their audiences at book presentations, readers' conferences, public talks and concerts.

RSL researchers are leaders or major contributors into the relevant nation-wide projects, such as 'The Memory of Russia', 'Identifying, cataloguing and safe-guarding book monuments of the Russian Federation', 'Co-ordinated acquisition of 'Rossica' heritage materials for Russian library stocks', and 'National stock of legal and public state documents'. Apart from that, Russian State Library boasts of long-term work connections with peer-libraries around the globe as well as with the relevant international bodies, such as International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) and UNESCO. In 2003 the Library instigated founding of the Library Assembly of Eurasia, which mediates between CIS libraries to bring them into common information space.

Besides its main collections, the Library offers a wide bibliography on rare and valuable books, military literature, oriental literature, visual art publications, cartographic publications, unpublished documents and deposited scientific studies on art and culture, and manuscripts, inter alia.