On-line catalogue


8 (800) 100-5790
8 (499) 557-0470
8 (495) 695-5790
Back to main page  /  News



RUSSIAN STATE LIBRARY was founded in 1862. It took over 140 years of everyday effort and devotion of hundreds of staff to become what we are now — the legendary 'Leninka'. Today the Library comprises a unique collection of Russian and foreign documents in 247 languages, stocking over 43 mln library items. It is also renowned for its specialised collections of maps, published and sheet music, audio records, rarities, dissertations, newspapers and other stock categories. Inspired by its history and backed up with today’s potential, the Library is emerging into the future along the four strategic vectors.

Going public

  • Anyone above the age of 18 (Russian legal age), whether a resident or not, is welcome to use any of its 34 reading rooms.
  • About 200 new readers come to register with RSL every day. The overall number of daily RSL visitors mounts to 4000. The RSL Virtual Reading Halls are available in 80 Russian and CIS cities and are attended by about 8000 visitors daily.
  • For over 140 years the Library has been providing its resources to a widest variety of readers: world-reputed scholars as well as students, both practical specialists and fundamental theorists, residents and visitors from abroad.
  • Though really immense, RLS stock is perfectly visible through the elaborate system of its catalogues and card-indexes. There is also free public access to RSL’s on-line digital catalogue, which has been launched recently and is continuously extending.
  • To promote public interest for reading, RSL 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.

Going academic

  • RSL is a hub research institution in the system of library, bibliography and book trade studies.
  • The Library consistently carries out preparatory works on cumulative Russian book catalogues and publishes fundamental researches and practical guides in bibliography.
  • 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', 'National stock of legal and public state documents'
  • As a part of its scholarly activities RSL runs unique research and applied projects for preservation and restoration of documents.
  • Since 2007 RSL is a regular contributor into development of The President’s 'Boris Yeltsin' Library.

Going digital

Strategically driven by promoting a wider public access to its stocks, RSL has been running a range of digital projects aimed at preservation of its heritage — texts, data bases, audio and video records, films and images — in digital formats. Consequently a substantial proportion of RLS stock has been recently digitalised. In 2003 RSL also acted as an initiator of the 'National E-Library Project' and set up a unique e-collection of dissertations for degrees.

Going international

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, an effective mediator, binding major CIS libraries into common information space.


Opening hours


Russian state library is open:
Mon — Fri: 09:00–20:00, Sat: 09:00–19:00
RSL is also closed on last Monday of the month.

Registration is open:
Mon — Fri: 09:00–19:00, Sat: 09:00–18:00
Vozdvizhenka, 3/5, str. 2

  Requests for items from the general stock:
Mon—Fri: 09:00–19:00 (same day service: 09:00–16:45)
09:00–18:00 (same day service: 09:00–15:45)

Registration in Khimky department is open:
Mon—Sat: 09:00–17:30


How to register


The reading rooms of the Library are available to both Russian and foreign residents above the age of 18. Registration involves issuing an individual library card with a holder’s photo. The photo is taken as part of processing the library card and is charged 100 rbl. Visitors from abroad, including CIS and Baltia citizens, should provide an ID (please attach its translation into Russian) with either visa or OVIR, embassy or consulate registration. One-off visitors can obtain a library pass to access catalogues, including e-catalogues, of the following departments: Web Resources Department; Department of Public Documents, Official Records and Regulatory Publications; e-library of RSL — LG; the General accessory stock and reference rooms.


How to find us


RSL departments and services are located at five different addresses as listed below.

Reading Rooms


Every Reading Room of the RSL has got it’s own history, means and potentialities, working hours, rules and regulations of its users. There are contact telephones, names of the RSL departments and reading rooms, providing with a variety of library and information services in this section.

Reading rooms of RSL (full list):

The site is created with financial support of Federal agency on the press and mass communications of the Russian Federation
RSL official site
design by Shire shag © 1999-2012 Russian State Library
For more information please contact
77-20215 13 2004 .