Conditions of Use of the Manuscripts Reading Room

Admission to the Manuscripts Reading Room

Please note that admission to the Manuscripts Reading Room cannot be guaranteed.
Access to the reading room is provided to those who can demonstrate a legitimate need to use items in the collection.

  1. Access to the Manuscripts Reading Room is by library cards only. For more information how to get a library card, please see the Reader Registration page.
  2. Anyone who wants to do research for work-related or academic purposes as well as a member of a professional association will be required to show an official request from their organization, confirming the research topic.
  3. The Manuscripts Department can provide access to students in their final years if they can present an application from their institution. This should confirm the name of the applicant, level of the course studied, and an outline of the reasons for  needing to use manuscript material.
  4. Readers who are not affiliated to a research institution or a professional association would be asked to write an application to the Head of the Manuscripts Department, explaining why access to the Manuscripts Reading Room is required.
  5. The request or application should confirm
    • the surname and forenames of the applicant,
    • the applicant's position,
    • academic degree and status of the reseacher,
    • the research topic and years to be covered,
    • the purpose of the research.
    • The request must be on official letter headed paper from the head of the organization, signed and dated.
  6. The permission to use the collection will be given by the Head of the Manuscripts Department for the period of up to twelve months from the time to the end of the current year. The permission will expire at the end of the year, and a researcher will be required to produce a new written request from their organization. A researcher will also need to show a new application from their organization, if the reseach topic is changed.

Ordering manuscripts, microcopeis, printed publications, and references

  1. To request manuscripts, and other material, complete one application slip for each item. Application slips are available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.
  2. Up to five items and five descriptions may be supplied at one time. The number of manuscripts, which can be ordered by students, are limited by a Manuscripts Curator.
  3. Readers may request items until an hour before closing time.
  4. Items ordered on the day of your visit will be delivered after 15.00 the next day.
  5. Material is not delivered on Saturdays and Saturdays.
  6. Requests for materials in the Manuscripts Collection must be submitted at least one hour before the closing time.
  7. Closed access descriptions, and other archive references, once arrived, will be kept for five working days;
    unbound or particularly valuable manuscripts will normally be held for five days;
    unique material will be supplied only with special permission of the Head of the Manuscripts Department for the period from one to five days;
    proceedings and microcopies will be kept for one month.
  8. Researchers are generally required to consult microfilms or other surrogates in place of the originals, in cases where appropriate surrogates exist.
  9. Manuscripts and other material are made available strictly in accordance with the subject of the research, indicated in the written recommendation which a researcher presented on their first visit to the Manuscripts Reading Room.
  10. Manuscripts and other material, which are not yet described or listed, can not be made available for an enquiry in the Manuscripts Reading Room.
  11. Readers may not use cameras, personal copying machines, personal scanners or any other personal equipment for making copies.

Requests for Copies from the Manuscripts Collection

  1. Researchers, who require copies from the Manuscripts collection, need to apply to the Head of the Manuscripts Department for permission. Requests must be accompanied by an application from the head of their institution, organization or publishing office, which plans to further reseach or publish copies of manuscripts, acquired from the Library. Manuscripts are made available for copying strictly in accordance with the subject of the research, indicated in the written recommendation which a researcher presented on their first visit in the Manuscripts Reading Room.
    Readers can also order up to 20 reproductions (scanning and photography) for illustration of their reseach works.
  2. All orders must be paid for in advance. Material will not be copied until payment in full has been received by us. Any invoice must be paid within a month of invoice date (the date of payment is considered to be the date of transfer or the postmark date). If researchers have not paid in full by that date then:
    items ordered for copying will be returned in storage;
    the request may be repeated only after three months of return date.
  3. Particularly fragile manuscripts may not be copied.
  4. Copies of items from the Manuscripts collections can be obtained by a reseacher in person. Foreign reseachers, who are unable to collect their order, can obtain them from archival institutions of those countries which reached an agreement with the Library to exchange copies of documents. It may be also possible to obtain copies from a research institution, which received reseachers in Russia.
    Reseachers and their organizations may not obtain negatives of photocopies and microfilms. In exceptional cases, negatives may be loaned to institutions which carry out restoration works or organize museum exhibitions with written permission of the Head of the Manuscripts Department.
  5. Reseachers can copy illustrated material from manuscripts by hand in the Manuscripts Reading Room only with prior consent of the Head of the Manuscripts Department.
    Readers must not use carbon paper to make copies.
    Tracing from illuminated manuscripts is not allowed.
    Readers may engage a draftsman or a painter to make a copy only with permission of the Head of the Manuscripts Department. Anyone who wishes to engage a professional copyist will be asked to produce a written application. Once your application is approved, a temporary pass may be issued to enable a copyist to work in Manuscripts Reading Room.
  6. If the required equipment are not available in the Library, material may be copied by means of the equipment from an interested organization with assistance of its staff. Items from the Manuscripts collection can only be copied under the supervision of a Manuscripts curator in the Reading Room.
    Negatives of photocopies and microfilms remain with the Manuscripts Department without compensation.

Complete list of regulations covering the use of the Manuscripts Reading Room are available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.