Museums, Libraries and Archives :

M. I. Rudomino All-Russian State Library for Foreign Literature (Vserossiiskaya Gosudarstevennaya Biblioteka Inostrannoi Lituratura- VGBIL)

The All-Russia Library of Foreign Literature, or VGBIL, was founded in 1921. VGBIL is a major international cultural and research centre whose activities are based on a publicly available multilingual collection covering the broad area of the humanities. Its principal research areas include international librarianship, cultural studies, book science, book conservation and restoration.

The VGIBL has launched several projects on looted cultural property research as it holds valuable stocks of displaced books in its archives. The Soviet Trophy Brigades transferred these books from several European countries to Russia during and after the Second World War.

As a joint project with the Goethe-Institute, Moscow, the Library published in 1996 a catalogue of two volumes with a total of 200 items on 'sixteenth century German-language publications' in the VGBIL. The catalogue provides provenance information on most of the items together with scanner-produced images of stamps and bookplates of thirty publications. The main concern of the researchers at the Archive is to collect and digitise materials for an index of detailed provenance information on all displaced books held. In the framework of the Internet Project 'Restitutsiya' researchers at the Archive are currently working on a digitised catalogue on all displaced books held in the VGBIL

Records have already been digitised for the following books removed from libraries and collections in Germany, Austria and Hungary:

· 2,000 books from the Royal Library, the Library of the Military Academy and other libraries, Dresden

· 1,500 books from the State Library, the University Library, the Municipal Library and the Palace Library, Berlin

· 1,500 books from the library of Count of Stollberg-Wernigerode, Wernigerode

· 1,500 books from the Municipal Library, Meiningen

· 800 books from the library of the Count of Hochberg-Pless, Burg Fürstenstein/ Germany

· 500 books from the library of the Gabelentz family (referred to as: Poschwitz)

· 500 books from the library of Count Esterhazy, Eisenstadt

· 50 books from the library of Count Hardenberg

· 300 books from the Beutzenburg Municipal Library

· 600 books from the Royal Library of Hanover

· 300 books from the National Library, Bremen

· 50 books from the Municipal Library, Magdeburg

· 50 books from the library of the German Society for Sciences in Halle

· library of Count York Wartenburg (in Russian)

· Complete catalogue of the Jewish Theological Seminary Archive of Breslau (in Russian)

· Digital research aid on displaced books from the Hungarian Sarospatak Calvinist College which are held in the collections of the Nizhni Novgorod State Regional Library in Russia (in Russian and English)

Russian-language versions of the international newsletter Spoils of War are available from the VGBIL website at The newsletter provides information on international developments related to looted cultural property.

Contact Information
M.I.Rudomino All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature (VGBIL)
1, Nikoloyamskaya
Moscow, 109189
Tel.: 007 095 915 3621
Fax: 007 095 915 3637

Opening Times:
Monday to Friday 10.30-19.30
Saturday 10.30-17.30
Sunday 10.30-17.30 (closed June to August)

M.I.Rudomino All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature
<>, accessed 16 March 2004.