When we think of great works of literature, it’s only natural that among the authors first and foremost in our minds are Russian heroes Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. Given the substantial nature of their works, as well as that of many other prominent Russian writers, it is only fitting that their books find a suitable home in the appropriately lavish Russian State Library.
Known by many as the Leninka, the Library holds over 43 million items, written and preserved in 247 languages. It is the second largest library in the world, following only the Library of Congress here in the U.S. It was founded in 1862 and has taken over 140 years to become the pinnacle of literary success that it is today, holding a prestigious collection of maps, documents, etc. that enthusiasts would consider gems in the field.
Approximately 4000 visitors pass through the Library every single day (except Sunday, when the Library is closed), 200 of them taking their very first steps on the grand floors. Anyone over the age of eighteen is welcome into their designated reading rooms, and anyone may browse their stock online.
The Russian State Library is truly a link between times, utilizing both old-fashioned card-indexes and state-of-the-art technology to bring their books to the people. They have recently adopted a plan to take their outreach to a global scale, “emerging into the future” on the public, academic, digital and international scales.