Newspapers of the Eighteenth to Twentieth Centuries
The library's stock of newspapers is remarkably complete and wide-ranging, comprising more than 500,000 separate items. In geographical scope it more than adequately covers the gigantic territory that was once the Russian Empire, a state which in the two centuries of its existence produced newspapers with more than 6,000 different titles. Here one can find the first official Russian newspaper, the Sankt-Peterburgskie vedomosti of the early eighteenth century, and the official gazettes of various provinces which were established by royal decree; metropolitan and provincial publications from Warsaw to Siberia. Their contents might be secular or religious, intended purely to amuse or aimed at some specialist readership, pro-governmental, imbued with the stern official state spirit, or anti-governmental. Today, once again the Russian daily and weekly press resembles that of the turn of the century with its staggering range and variety.
Since the library enjoyed regular supplies, the collection contains practically all newspapers which appeared in the Soviet Union in Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian. It also possesses foreign newspapers of the past two centuries printed in European languages, unique single-issue and large-print-run publications.
Currently the Newspaper Department receives about 5,000 different publications that are produced in Russia. They include business, socio-political, musical and literary newspapers and the organs of all manner of parties and movements.