The National Library of Russia
The National Library of Russia
Our library

Home page > Collections > Printed Music > Named Collections

Named Collections

The Printed Music collection was built by acquiring scores from collections of individual persons and institutions. Individual items from the collection of Pavel Sukhtelen, the Zaluskis' library, parts of the Hermitage collection and libraries of the Smolny Convent, the Court Orchestra, Stroganov and Yusupov families passed into the Printed Music collection without providing evidence about their previous ownership.

For the last twenty years the staff have been working to reunite collections dispersed within the general holdings of the Printed Music and Recorded Sound department. There was created the individual catalogue of the largest of collections — the Yusupov one. Each private collection, acquired within these years, has individual shelfmarks for items in the collection, in order to preserve its integrity.

The Printed Music and Recorded Sound department manages only one collection as a single entity. It was named after the collector, who amassed it for all of his life and bequeathed the collection to the National Library of Russia. This is the Semenov collection.

Ivan Semenov (1903-1991) was a musician (a viola-player) of the orchestra of the Maly (Small) Opera and Ballet Theatre (today the St.Petersburg Theatre of Opera and Ballet after Modest Mussorgsky) and a noted collector and a book lover. His collection came in the National Library of Russia in 1992 and passed into holdings of Prints Department and Printed Music and Recorded Sound collection. The collection contains rare scores from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, books with Semenov's dedicatory inscriptions and bookplates. Among gems of the collection are portraits of great musicians painted in oil, lithographs, engravings, two sculptural portraits.

The largest collection, added to the holdings of the Printed Music and Recorded Sound department, is the collection of Nikolay Burenin. Nikolay Burenin (1874-1962) participated in the revolutionary movement in Russia, worked in the Commissariat of Theatres and Spectacles, then in the Theatrical Section of the Department of the People's Education, created literary works (was a member of the Writers' Union of the USSR). The Burenin music collection arrived at the National Library of Russia in 1980. It includes printed music from the nineteenth to twentieth centuries. The collection comprises 3761 items.

The collection of Alexander Schtrimer(1888-1961), a Soviet violoncellist, a Meritorious Art Worker of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, who created the school of Leningrad violoncellists, was acquired by the National Library of Russia in 1996. It includes printed music from the nineteenth to twentieth centuries bearing the owner's notes. The collection contains 390 items.

The collection of scores, books and gramophone records accumulated by the professor of the Leningrad conservatory Lev Barenboim(1906-1985), a Leningrad pianist and a musicologist, was presented to the Printed Music and Recorded Sound department.

Yusupov collection

After 1917 individual manuscripts came in from the town palaces of Stroganov and Yusupov families at St Petersburg and the royal suburban palaces at Pavlovsk and Peterhof. This music collection was amassed by several generations of the family of the Yusupov Princes, Russian statesmen and cultural figures. It is one of the most interesting example of domestic nobleman's culture in all the variety of its moral and aesthetic values. In accordance with the historic circumstances this collection was dispersed as far back as the nineteenth century. After the revolution of 1917, a part of the collection came into diverse State institutions, including the National Library of Russia, and also in private libraries. A substantial quantity of scores was lost or simply destroyed, so the collection of the National Library of Russia, obviously, is the largest at present. Now the National Library of Russia owns the part of music collection of the family of the Yusupov Princes, which was received from the town palace of Yusupov family in Saint Petersburg in 1925. Manuscript scores were transferred to the Manuscripts Department, printed music — to the department of Arts (now it is housed in the Printed Music and Recorded Sound department). On its arrival in the Library, this part of the extensive collection of scores took the name Yusupov collection.

Portrait of Prince  Nikolai Yusupov Romances and songs by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Gaspare Spontini. La vestale (The Vestal Virgin). The score of the opera.
The collection, held in the Department, covers the sufficiently wide period from 1706 to 1895. Most items of printed music by Russian and foreign composers date from the last third of the eighteenth - early nineteenth centuries. These are the most precious part of the Yusupov collection formed by its founder — Prince Nikolai Borisovich Yusupov.

Back to top
© The National Library of Russia, 2000-2018