Tour round the Main Building
The general tour round the Library includes visits to the Manuscripts Department, the Rare Books Department, Voltaire's Library, etc. You will get information about the history and architecture of the Library, learn more about its collections
Tour round the New Building
The New Building of the Library is a modern beautiful complex decorated with marble and granite. In the front yard, there are 6 fountains. 10 allegorical sculptures adorn its round facade The internal layout resembles a palace of culture.
During the tour, visitors can see how books are stored. They will get information about the architecture of the building, learn more about its collections, reading rooms and services.
Tour of Faust's Study
The Gotic Hall or Faust's Study is a special repository for incunabula — early printed books. It was stylized to resemble a room of a scholar from the Middle Ages.
Faust's Study houses many the Library's most valuable and rarest possessions. During the tour, groups can see rare examples of book art and bookbinding, as well as books from the libraries of famous historical figures: Louis XIV, Anna of Austria, Marquise Pompadour, Cardinal Richelieu, Napoleon I and others.
Tour of the Voltaire Library
Very few people know that the library of Voltaire, the most famous French writer of the 18th century, is housed in Russia, in our Rare Books Department.
Voltaire's Library contains 6,814 volumes on diverse subjects. More than a third of the printed books contain notes in his hand. Visitors will be given an opportunity to read the most interesting Voltaire's remarks.
A guide will also tell you a story about the most significant books and manuscripts. During the tour, you can learn about projects for building a replica of Voltaire’s Castle near St.Petersburg. You will be able to see samples of furniture upholstery and walls covering, view plans and drawings of the Castle, made in the 18th century.
Elzevier Volumes and Aldine Editions in the Rare Books Department
During the tour, a guide will show you the most valuable volumes printed by the leading seventeenth-century European firm run by the Elsevier family.
We will also talk about the Venetian publishing house founded in 1494 by the great humanist Aldus Manutius. More than 900 volumes make up the library's Aldus Manutius collection. These luxurious books are impressive for their high standard of technical execution, artistry and scholarliness. Many are stored in original leather bindings.