The Russian State Library (the former Lenin Library) is the largest library in Europe and the second largest in the world. It holds over 42 million items including national and foreign publications from the beginning of book printing to the present day, as well as an outstanding manuscript collection going back to the 6th century.
Research on looted books has become an important issue for the Library, as stocks removed from the Library during the Second World War are still missing. The Russian Ministry of Culture has published a catalogue with lists of books looted from Russian libraries, including the State Library: Lost Book Treasures - Summary Catalogue on the cultural valuables lost and stolen during the Second World War. An online version of the book is available at http://www.lostart.ru/index.php?module=book&action=viewbook&volume=11&lang=ru.
On the other hand, the Russian State Library also holds displaced books, most of them taken from Germany to Russia by the Soviet Trophy Brigades in the aftermath of the Second World War. About 60,000 historical periodicals covering the period from 1845 to 1945 were transferred back to Germany in 2003. However, valuable assets of the German Book and Script Museum in Leipzig are still in the archives of the Russian State Library.
Information referring to displaced books stored in the Library has been digitised in the framework of the Internet Project 'Restitutsiya'. The catalogue is accessible on
Dr Olga Perminova
Research Centre of Conservation & Restoration of Documentation
The Russian State Library
3/5, ul. Vozdvizhenka
Tel.: 007 095 340 24
Fax: 007 095 951 6990
Monday to Friday 09.00-20.00
Closed on Sunday and on the last Monday of each month
Russian State Library
< http://www.rsl.ru/>, accessed 01 March 2004.