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Presidential Library to present the history of Russia’s “first women’s university”

8 October – 14 November 2018

The exhibition “The Library as a Mirror of the Bestuzhev Courses: 140th Anniversary of Foundation of the Higher Women's (Bestuzhev) Courses” is open until November 14, 2018, Senate Square, 3. Residents and guests of St. Petersburg have a chance to see rare publications, photographs, documents, and other rarities, which cast light on the history of Russia’s first “women's university”. The exhibition is a joint project of the Presidential Library and St. Petersburg State University.   

Higher Women’s (Bestuzhev) Courses – a  unique phenomenon in our country - were set up in October 1878. It was then that women were given an opportunity to receive higher education for the first time.

Visitors of the exhibition will learn about the development of women’s university education, establishment of the Higher Women's Courses, first women scientists, public and political figures. Anniversary albums, compiled by girls for personal use, will give an opportunity to “see” Bestuzhev courses female students through their own eyes.

The Bestuzhev Library, the library that was opened at the courses, today is the fundamental book collection, one of the largest university libraries in St. Petersburg, a notable example of the national library culture. Visitors of the exhibition in the Presidential Library will be able to discover it, learn about the estate library of Prince A. D. Saltykov, book collections of the famous literary critic N. M. Mikhailovsky, Professor of History Ye. Ye. Zamyslovsky and other prominent people.

The St. Petersburg State University M. Gorky Research Library and the Central State Archive of Film, Photo and Sound Documents of St. Petersburg are partners of the exhibition.

To visit the exposition, please call (812) 334-25-14 or send an e-mail