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ArcheoBiblioBase: Archives in Russia: G-17

Last update of repository: 16 March 2020

Nauchnaia biblioteka im. M. Gor'kogo Sankt-Peterburgskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta (NB SPbGU)

Otdel redkikh knig i rukopisei
[Division of Rare Books and Manuscripts]

Telephone: +7 812 328-27-51

Reading room: +7 812 328-27-51

Website: http://www.library.spbu.ru/rus/ork/or...;  http://www.library.spbu.ru/exhibition...  (Eng)

Opening hours: M–F 10:00–20:00, Sa 10:00–18:00

Head: Aleksei Aleksandrovich Savel'ev (tel. int. 338); e-mail a.a.saveliev@spbu.ru

Chief Librarian: Nikolai Ivanovich Nikolaev (tel. int. 338); e-mail n.nikolaew@spbu.ru


Total: 49,289 units; 11th–early 20th c.
Slavonic-Rus' MSS—234 units (14th–20th cc.); Greek MSS—18 units (13th, 17th–19th cc.); institutional fonds—2 fonds (742 units) (1801–1944); personal fonds—14 fonds (1,098 units) (18th–20th cc.)

The Division of Rare Books and Manuscripts holds a small but valuable group of early manuscript books and other documents dating from the eleventh to the twentieth centuries, in ancient Greek, Latin, Church Slavonic, Russian, German, French, and Polish languages. The division also holds incunabula, paleotypes, and early printed Cyrillic books (g–765g–768).
        Among early manuscript receipts, with the library of the Leipzig University professor of jurisprudence Karl Friedrich Christian Wenck (acquired in 1830), came five medieval Latin judicial texts (11th–14th cc.). Most of the manuscript books are in the Slavonic-Rus' manuscript tradition, including copies of literary and historical monuments of the fourteenth to twentieth centuries, such as the “Aleksandriia” and “Sudebnik” (1550) of Ivan IV, the “Ulozheniie” (1649) of Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich. Along with other historical manuscripts and documents from the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries, these came from the collections of the Petersburg merchant V.A. Pivovarov, the gymnasium director A.A. Gofman, and the historian L.N. Tselepi, among others. Some of the holdings were collected since 1963 on archeographic expeditions undertaken in conjunction with IRLI (Pushkinskii Dom).
        The most valuable single institutional fond is the rich archive of the early nineteenth-century Free Society of Friends of Russian Philology, Science, and Art (Vol'noe obshchestvo liubitelei slovesnosti, nauk i khudozhestv, VOLSNKh—see the webpage of the society: http://www.library.spbu.ru/rus/Volsnx...) (ca. 3,500 items; 1801–1826), which was presented to the library by the Minister of Public Education in 1833. The division holds the archive of the university library (521 units, 1819–1944), including manuscript catalogues of libraries acquired during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
        There are 14 personal fonds and collections of personal origin (1,098 units) (11th–20th cc.), predominantly papers of university professors and teachers, including scattered technical manuscripts and copies of university lectures—Prince A.D. Menshikov (1673–1729), Hofmeister D.P. Volkonskii (1805–1859), the educator and organizer of Higher Women’s Courses A.N. Strannoliubskii (1839–1903), the miningengineer and collector N.N. Klimkovskii, the collector V.A. Ivanov, the Byzantinists S.Iu. Destunis and V.N. Beneshevich, the Mongolist O.M. Kovalevskii, the Slavicist V.I. Lamanskii, the theology professor V.G. Rozhdestvenskii, the literary historian V.V. Sipovskii, the historian and regional studies specialist V.A. Shakhmatov, the chemist N.A. Menshutkin, and the biochemist S.P. Kostychev. List of important book collections see on the webpage: http://www.library.spbu.ru/rus/ork/ch....
        There is a large collection of illegal and restricted publications of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. These include the book collections of the Committee for Foreign Censorship (1811–1860—ca. 9,000 books), and of the St. Petersburg Censorship Committee (1801–1962—ca. 10,000 books), many of which bear censorship stamps and other markings; as well as a collection from the Ministry of Public Education with official censorship copies of publications in Russia (1856–1862—ca. 11,000 books), including those in languages of subject peoples.
        Many of the rare books in the division from personal library collections have important autographs and marginalia, some of which are described in published catalogues.

Working conditions:
Researchers are accommodated in the general library reading room, since there is no special reading room for the division. Archival materials are delivered the same day they are ordered.
        The electronic reading room of the archive of VOLSNKh was opened in May 2001—see website: http://www.library.spbu.ru/rus/Volsnx....

Reference facilities:
Opisi are available for processed fonds. Division holdings are included in the general alphabetical and subject catalogues of the university library. The manuscript holdings are covered in an inventory register. Work is underway on a separate alphabetical and chronological catalogue for the division, but only part of the holdings are covered. There is an unpublished survey of the manuscripts.
        List of collections of the Division available electronically: http://www.library.spbu.ru/rus/ork/co....
        Digital collections (http://www.library.spbu.ru/dcol/jsp/R...):
        —“Arkhiv Vol'nogo obshchestva liubitelei slovesnosti, nauk i khudozhestv (1801–1826)” http://www.library.spbu.ru/rus/Volsnx...;
        —“Periodicheskie izdaniia XVIII veka” http://www.library.spbu.ru/dcol/jsp/R...;
        —”“Russkaia poeziia XVIII—“pervoi treti XIX vv.” http://www.library.spbu.ru/dcol/jsp/R...;
        —“Biblioteka Bestuzhevskikh kursov” http://www.library.spbu.ru/dcol/jsp/R....

Copy facilities:
Microfilms and photographic copies can be prepared.

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