Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library is one of three national libraries of the Russian Federation. Located in the historical building of Synod the new library represents the new era in development of library science in Russia. “This Library will become the unique intellectual resource that represents more fully the history of the Russian State at every historical stage, including the present day” – addresses the President of Russia Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev to the readers of the Library. The Presidential library will provide our citizens with a great opportunity to use freely its colossal volume of information, thus it will serve to strength a respectful attitude to their country and its history, and to the values of civicism and patriotism.
Milestone of History
It was the President’s of Russia Vladimir Putin decision to create the Presidential Library. It was announced in the message to the Federal Assembly on 26 April, 2007. “It is necessary to revive the library science on the brand new modern basis”. According to Putin’s project the new Library was supposed to become an informational and connecting link for the whole country’s library network. The Head of the State suggested to name the Library after the first President of Russia Boris Yeltsin (1931 - 2007).
On 18 June 2007, the President of the Russian Federation signed the order «On Creation of Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library » and a working group supervised by the Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Kozhin was established.
On 28 October 2008, the President of Russia Dmitri Medvedev signed the law «On introducing changes to clause 18 of the Federal Law “On library science”, that gave the Presidential library the status of the national library. On 5 November 2008 the Federal State budgetary establishment “Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library ” was found in accordance with the order of Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.
On 8 April 2009, the Regulations of the Presidential Library were established. The document was signed by Vladimir Putin the Prime Minister of Russian Federation.
On 27 May 2009 the All-Russian Day of libraries and City Day of Saint-Petersburg the President of Russia Dmitri Medvedev took part in the ceremony of Grand Opening of Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library in St.Petersburg. The ceremony was visited by the representatives of the State authority, judges of the Constitutional Court, representatives of the Association of Libraries and Archives , project and construction organizations, who were restoring the building of Synod, the representatives of the VTB Bank, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, representatives of the Administrative Office of the President of Russian Federation, representatives of the administration and the community of St.Petersburg and journalists.
On 28 December 2011, the new edition of the Regulations of the Presidential Library was approved.
Library of the new millennium
Presidential Library is found as the electronic library. Its funds are filled with the unique center of digitization and processing of old valuable books published in Russia before the 18th century and manuscripts, that don’t have copies in the world. This center is managed by a specially organized software complex. The main sources of stocking the Presidential library’s funds are the leading archives, Russian National Libraries and Large scientific Libraries.
The urgency of creating the Presidential Library is defined by the necessity of strengthening in the public consciousness, first and foremost, amongst the young people, the ideas of Statehood, civicism and patriotism as the basis of national self-identification of Russian citizens.
The main purpose of establishing the Presidential Library is to create a single information field which would promote:
- respect for the country’s history and Russian Statehood, popularization of the government institutions’ activity and strengthening their link with the public;
- close interaction and cooperation between the state authorities, scientific societies, mass media, public units, who study the problems of history, theory and practice of Russian Statehood;
- consolidation of research and cultural activity on questions of Russian Statehood based on civicism and patriotism.
Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library is preparing the collection of electronic copies of rare historical documents and books and also little known archival materials, that were not meant for wide readership before. Due to the growing net of its branches the library’s portal is becoming a connecting link of the country’s system of libraries. Its electronic funds will be available for everyone and will come to every town and village, to every school and house via the Internet. Library’s branches that are being set up in the regions of Russia will also provide access to the scientific information, and unite researchers, who study History and Culture of Russia.
Resources of the Presidential Library
The funds of the electronic Reading Rooms contain more than 215 thousand of storage units. Among them electronic copies of old manuscripts, maps, photo albums, newspapers, monographs and scientific works. The sources for the acquisition of books are the editions kept in the Russian State Historical Archive, the State Archive of the Russian Federation, the Russian State Library, the Russian National Library, Tyumen Area National Library named after Dmitri Mendeleev. Record retrieval through the number of electronic documents is possible at every reader’s seat in the Electronic Reading Rooms. The remote users get access to the most urgent resources on the Presidential library’s portal.
The portal of the Presidential Library today comprises 80 collections of electronic documents, one of which represents the collection of rare editions of different historical and cultural value, all others are joint into the subject collections. Two collections are dedicated to the exhibitions of book treasures and archival documents of the Russian State Historical Archive and the Russian State Library. Each collection is accompanied by its brief description. Such collections as “The History of the Russian Orthodox Church”, “The History of the Russian army”, “The History of education in Russia” etc are undoubtedly worth mentioning. All electronic documents include bibliographical notes that give a brief bibliographical description of the documents. Some documents contain detailed comments.
Electronic Reading Rooms
The Electronic Reading Rooms of the Presidential library is equipped with 60 readers’ seats, its user-friendly interface gives the opportunity to view electronic documents of different type in their full resolution in particular thus makes it possible to study the electronic copy of original editions in details : through page and two-dimensional view not to mention the chance to turn the pages. The technologies of three-dimensional modeling make it possible to create the virtual book images that can be viewed at different angles. The visitors of the Electronic Reading Rooms can also listen to audio records, browse video materials and work with external databases.
The electronic reading rooms provide following services:
- advises users on the questions of basics and principles of information retrieval, work with database and electronic media;
- consults the users on the thematic, factual and other kind of record retrieval on a one-time basis;
- organizes group registration for studying the basics of information retrieval in electronic database of the Presidential Library and subscribing to on-line resources;
- provides different kinds of document copying.
Multifunctional transformable Library’s multimedia center that can seat 96 participants is used for holding different events. The halls can be transformed into one large, two middle sized and four small halls or any other combination. The transformation is possible due to soundproof panels. The halls are equipped with the simultaneous translation system. The center can be used for organizing and holding lectures, seminars, video presentations with simple or stereoscopic projection, conferences and videoconferences, interactive events (polls, voting and discussions), internet-conferences, videotape recording and record-keeping are possible as well.
The main element of the multimedia center are the workplaces equipped with system of conference, registration, voting, audition, audio- and video files viewing with the opportunity of selecting the language of translation. The necessary information can be provided either according to the event’s content prepared beforehand or via the database of the multimedia complex. The access to the Electronic Reading Rooms’ resources is provided from every workplace.
The exhibition halls of the Presidential Library are located in its Grand apartments with the windows facing the Konnogvardeisky boulevard. They are meant for holding joint exhibitions with museums, libraries and universities. Today the electronic panels of the exhibition halls represent “The Kiev Psalm-book” dated 1397, “The alphabet book” with notes of Peter the Great. Such rare books as “The Gospel” printed by the order of Peter the Great in Hague in 1717, “Notes on Muscovite Affairs” by Sigismund von Herberstein published in 1551, The edition of Constitution presented by Dmitry Medvedev at the ceremony of the Presidential Library’s Grand Opening are displayed in showcases.
How to sign in?
To become the reader of the Electronic Reading Rooms you should get the library ticket, that is given to citizens after showing the document proving the identity and the recommendation letter of the guiding company. Apart from it you should fill in the form. For the convenience of registration the electronic sample of the reader’s form to fill in advance can be found on the Library’s portal.
The library ticket gives the right to its owner to work with the Library’s resources and use provided information-bibliographical services as well as visit open events, taking place in the multimedia, conference and exhibition halls.