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The "Book Museum" Collection

The Library began building the collection in the mid-nineteenth century. It was formed of the exhibition items which were displayed in the Library in the 1850s. Over the course of the nineteenth century the collection was supplemented by separate items, but during the pre-revolutionary period there were very few acquisitions. Although the collection was dispersed between the late 20s and early 30s of the 20th century, the nucleus of the collection was incorporated into the Section of Incunabula, Aldine Editions, and Elzevier Volumes, which had already held a small collection of miniature books by that time.

The "Book Museum" collection has beared its name since the moment foundation of the Rare Books Department in 1946, and its holdings were greatly enriched at the same time. The "Book Museum" is divided into the following areas:

  • collection of historic items, comprising books from libraries of historical figures; the majority of these books feature handwritten notes made by their owners,
  • collection of bindings, containing fine examples of binding designs,
  • collection of landmarks in the art of book making, holding the most influential works in the history of art and technique of printing,
  • collection of European miniature books, containing around 200 items dating from 1600 up to the present day. These tiny volumes are no more than 100x100 mms.
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