Scientific Library

by L.P. Grozdilova


L.P. Grozdilova


L.A. Afanasjeva, Y.A. Dunaeva, O.Y. Gintovt, L.P. Grozdilova, I.L. Lobachyova, B.V. Nekrasov, A.L. Nemchinova, S.H. Pulkkinen, S.R. Sokolova, L.Yu. Solomonova, M.V. Talantova


The Library of the Zoological Institute was separated from the Library of the Academy of Sciences in August 1831 after the foundation of the Zoological Museum. Initially, the Library was confined to one bookcase, but its holdings increased rapidly owing to books purchased or received as gifts. Thirty years after its founding, Academician Brandt pronounced it to be one of the richest zoological libraries of the world. The librarian's duties had long been performed by the Director of the Museum, and it was not until 1896 that a librarian's position was created. Prior to the revolution, the library included 26,000 books and journals (not including reprints and booklets). By 1931, it included 66,000 books; just before the war, it contained 118,000 books. This latter growth included book collections contributed by many outstanding zoologists. During the war, books were deposited in the basement for safe keeping and were returned to their proper shelves in 1944.

The staff of the library includes 14 individuals.


Currently, the number of books and journals deposited in the library exceeds 500,000. All information concerning the collection is assembled alphabetically by author and systematically by subject. Each of these catalogues contains over one million cards. Every year from 100 to 150 libraries borrow books from the Institute library, and the number of readers coming here approaches 1,200 individuals annually.

The role of devoted librarians, such as I.G. Musatov, who has worked in the Library for more than 60 years, and E.A. Kozak, M.N. Andreyeva, G.N. Maslovskaya, and N.V. Stavitskaya cannot be overestimated. A.I. Ivanov, A.A. Strelkov, K. B. Yuryev, and many others have participated actively in the work of the Library, acquiring new publications and preparing catalogues. It is not an overstatement to say that the work of the staff of the Zoological Institute Library determines, to a great extent, the fulfillment of a large part of the zoological investigations in our country.


Several publications were prepared in the Library of the Zoological Institute.

The head of the library council, A.A. Strelkov, had guided the preparation and issue of bibliographies of V.A. Dogiel, E.N. Pavlovsky, and N.M. Knipovitsch.

The bibliographic index "Birds of the USSR" was compiled on the basis of the card-index of Prof. A.I. Ivanov. The first and second volumes of this compilation, published in 1972 and 1979, respectively, were prepared by Ivanov and the librarian L.A. Afanasjeva. The third volume of the index, published in 1992, was prepared after the death of Prof. A.I. Ivanov by librarians L.A. Afanasjeva and L.P. Grozdilova.

The index of the Russian literature on Polychaeta was compiled by P.V. Ushakov with the assistance of T.L. Rimskaya-Korsakova. This was published in 1979. The index of the Russian literature on black flies, compiled by I.A. Rubtsov and librarian T.P. Kurzikova, was published in 1987.

Most recently, in 1994 the Catalog of the "Special Stock" (collection of the old and rare books) in the Library of the Zoological Institute was published. This was compiled by K.B. Yuryev. It covers approximately 4,000 books published in the sixteenth through the early nineteenth centuries. The preeminent expert on old and rare zoological books, K.B. Yuryev, had been preparing this index for many years but was unable to finish this work. It was completed after his death by librarians T.G. Yegorova, L.P. Grozdilova, A.L. Semtshinova, and L.A. Afanasjeva. A brief essay of the life of K.B. Yuryev was published in the preface of the Catalog. The essay was written by Dr. V.N. Tanasijtshuk, who was one of his friends.


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