500 books — that was the volume of the library of ancient Russian Prince Yaroslav the Wise, a number of which very few libraries in the eleventh century could boast. Initially its ’Lives of Saints’, liturgic books and annual chronicles were but sources of most advanced and up-to-date information of the relevant realities. Along with continuous social changes people’s vision of the world changed too, and changes came to the function of libraries: monastic collections were followed by academic and later on — by public libraries.

The first Moscow public library, the library of Rumyantsev museum, was opened in 1862, providing public access to more than 100,000 items. This volume mounted consequently to 43 mln items stocked by the RSL today. Quite a step as compared to Yaroslav’s library, but the principal task remains, and that is — cumulating and retrieving knowledge. The RSL’s mission is to make information accessible for all, students and scholars, amateurs and professionals.

Not only the volume of the RSL stocks has been growing but the range of options it provides to its readers. Its continuously developing ’E-library’ project is aimed at embracing most significant achievements of academic knowledge and making them available to the public on demand.

E-library began as a collection of more than 900 thousand dissertation theses defended in Russian. This amount is extraordinary, few countries can boast of so vast a volume covering all academic fields. Since the researches have been founded on the most recent academic achievements both in Russia and the world, the collection of dissertations represents the state-of-the-art international science and humanities. The range of fields it covers is really wide: philosophy and land-tenure, genetics and history, education and nuclear physics. Accessing e-library on the web students, scholars and professors can keep in touch with the recent developments in their fields, monitor works of their colleagues worldwide and carry out researches of their own.

E-library is growing continuously. In 2009 two more collections were added — ’Early printed books’ and ’Universal Collection’, both built around the most relevant and valued books on the Russian history and statehood. They are directed at a user specifically interested in early social and political history of Russia.

All this said, the future remains a vital priority of the e-library. Its digital stock is planned to expand strategically into educational and academic field. The Universal Collection will be stocked up with high school reference books and manuals — the category of items most demanded and most often asked for by readers of local and regional libraries. Digitalizing this category of the RSL stocks will add immensely to educating next generations of scholars and scientists.

Another e-library’s strategic development under way is a digital collection of printed music. RSL has the fullest and all-embracing collection of scores, including the complete Russian musical works and the significant pieces of the world music written in all genres at all times. These publications are highly demanded by music students, teachers and artists.

Digitalizing its collection for the members of public to access it in a quick and easy way, the RSL expands the range of educational opportunities for the Russian residents in all localities however remote from major academic and cultural centres.


Acquisitions to “Universal Collection”

The Digital Library has acquired remarkable resources. We offer to your attention the novelties added to our ”Universal Collection”. The collection contains a lot of valuable and unique editions the majority of which are available to all users of the Internet. Welcome to get acquainted with them!


New acquisitions to the collection of scientific literature

The stocks of the Digital Library of the RSL are constantly growing. New editions belonging to the national heritage list are digitized, contracts with contemporary authors are signed. One of the most interesting collections, that one of the scientific literature, counts over 2000 works for the moment, all of which are in open access. Here are publications on all the branches of the Humanities and sciences. Welcome to get acquainted with our novelties!


New capabilities of search

For readers of the RSL there is open a new service with new capabilities of work with electronic resources, i.e. with the digital library and electronic catalogue. For instance, now it is possible to realize end – to – end search among the full texts of the digitized documents, and there are available additional materials from the stocks. The website works in a test mode.