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The Russian State Library was founded on 1 July 1862 as Moscow's first free public library named The Library of the Moscow Public Museum and Rumiantsev Museum, or The Rumiantsev Library. Its original stock consisted mostly of Count Nicolai P. Rumiantsev's rich book and manuscript collection bestowed to the Russian State by his heirs. Its holdings grew intensively and increased 40 times as much as initially by 1917 thanks to generous private donations, 135 times by 1921 (nationalised collections), and 1445 times by now (purchase, exchange, gifts) in addition to the legal deposit granted to the Library on the day of its foundation.
The stocks of the Library are unique and extremely varied; they comprise 41.7 million items, including 17.6 mln books and serial volumes, 13 mln journals, more than 650 ths newpapers (volumes), 540 ths single manuscripts and volumes, 645 ths other non-published materials, 150 ths maps, 350 ths music scores and sound records, about 1.5 mln printed graphics, 1.3 mln single sheet texts, 2.2. mln items of technical documentation, 28 ths audio-visual materials, 3.6 mln items in microfilm, microfiche and machine readable format. The foreign part of the entire collection counts more than 12 mln items (29 per cent).
The Library's Central Exhibition Gallery and The Book Museum situated in the Main Building, 3/5 Vozdvizhenka, 3rd Entrance, are open, free of charge, Monday to Saturday (except last Monday of every month or holidays), 10 a.m. to 17 p.m.
All tours are paid. Excursions to The Book Museum have to be ordered beforehand - every months on the 15th for the next month (tel: +7 095 222 8672) - and are leaded every day (except those The Museum does not work on) from 10 to 11.30 a.m.
othercontact: Fax: + 7 095 200 2255
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