Graphic material began to come into the Imperial Public Library (the former name for our library) from its foundation in 1795. Taken together from the middle of the 19th century, they formed the collection of the Art Department. In a further development of the Library, in the 1950s, the Art Department was incorporated into the newly created Prints Department.
The Library seeks to collect, as comprehensively as possible, all pieces of printed graphics issued in our country. Publishers in Russia have a legal obligation to send at least one copy of each publication to the National Library. Therefore, the Prints Department houses one of the most comprehensive collections of Russian graphic material. Items also constantly come to the prints holdings through acquisitions. Some valuable and rare works and collections were presented as a gift.
The prints holdings today number more than 1.26 million images. These include:
There are the most noteworthy collections of graphic materials and photographs held within the Prints holdings:
Prints & Photographs Collections
Prints & Photographs. Brief Summary