The National Library of Russia holds one of the richest collections of printed music in the country. It contains unique items from the sixteenth century, the Old Russian elementary treatises on singing, the first Russian music publications printed at the publishing house of the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences in the early eighteenth century, the country's first facsimile reprint - the national anthem of Imperial Russia God Save the Tsar by Alexey L'vov dating from 1840, Imperial gift editions, the first Soviet music publications, blockade music material of besieged Leningrad and many other rare items. The National Library of Russia owns a considerable part of the music collection of Prince Nikolai Borisovich Yusupov, who was a patron of arts and a collector. Quite a number of printed scores bear autographs of authors or the first performers of compositions.
The most precious part of the holdings includes the first Russian printed music from the early eighteenth century, the early foreign music publications from sixteenth century, some of which only one copy has survived to the present day anywhere in the world. The holdings of the Printed Music and Recorded Sound Department include the country's most comprehensive collection of Russian sheet music from the eighteenth and first half of the ninteenth century.
The Printed Music collection today numbers more than 340 thousand items. These include:
Printed Music Collections
Printed Music. Brief Summary