News, events


Samarkand Quran in the Public Library (1870–1917)

The online exhibition is devoted to the early Samarkand Quran, a unique landmark of world literature that  was kept in St. Petersburg Imperial Library (now National Library of Russia) for half a century. 
The history of this manuscript is steeped in legends and stretches back centuries. For a long time it was believed, and many continue to believe so far, that the Samarkand Quran was copied by the eminent companion of the prophet Muhammad, the Caliph Uthman (‘Osman; rights. 644–656) and, moreover, that the Caliph was murdered while he was reading this book and it is stained with his blood. The legend gave the title of the "Uthman Quran" to the book.


International Video Conference ”Library Services on Three Continents”

On November 15,12:00 a.m. (Moscow time), the premiere of the International videoconference "Library Services on Three Continents" will take place. Reports will be presented by thirty-five experts from national and public libraries and educational institutions from 20 countries on three continents: Eurasia, Africa and South America.


Aldine Press: the Founding of the Printing Company

The National Library of Russia presents the online exhibition "Aldine Press: the Founding of the Printing Company". The exhibition tells about the Venetian printer Aldus Manutius, the founder of the famous Aldine Press, who created the first italic types and printed the celebrated portable editions of Greek and Latin classics. The National Library of Russia has over 900 Aldine volumes produced in the 15th -16th centuries in the Renaissance Venice.


Ancient Egyptian Papyri in the National Library of Russia

The online exhibition features the four earliest books cared for by the National Library of Russia. All four are ancient Egyptian funerary scrolls from the Theban necropolis, dated back to the 10th–9th centuries BC. These four fragments from the funerary texts are written on papyrus in hieratic script and decorated with illustrations, depicting gods and priests. 


Engravings of the time of Peter the Great

The National Library of Russia is happy to announce an exhibition Engravings of the Time of Peter the Great, dedicated to the 350th anniversary of the most famous Russian Emperor (1672-1725).

Engravings, often accompanied by parallel texts (in English and Latin, German or French), informed Russia and Europe on the establishment of the Russian Navy and its victories. They glorified the emperor, depicted land battles and military victories, featured festive events and St. Petersburg, the new Russian capital founded on May 27, 1703.


Voltairean Readings. 2022

The Voltairean Readings Annual Conference, hosted by the National Library of Russia,  will took place from 31 October to 1 November 2022 in Saint Petersburg. The Centre for the Study of the Enlightenment Voltaire Library proposes to devote the conference to issues related to the formation of national historical narrative in European countries in the eighteenth century, primarily in Russia and France. Dear colleagues, we invite you to take part in the event.


To Be Napoleon Each Wishes

The online exhibition shows selected autographs of Napoleon Bonaparte from the collections of the Manuscripts Department of the National Library of Russia. Exhibited papers and letters date to different periods of the Napoleonic era. Some of them have been published, others are still unpublished. The documents deserve the attention of researchers who, two centuries after the death of Napoleon on the island of St. Helena, again and again return to the history of his unprecedented rise and fall.


Nautical Сharts of the 17th Сentury

The National Library of Russia presents a collection of sea charts of the 17th century by the outstanding Dutch Golden Age cartographers and publishers Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571−1638), Frederick de Wit (1629−1706), Hendrick Doncker (1626−1699), Jan Jansson 1588−1664). All charts can be seen in our Digital Library.


Souvenir Postcards of St. Petersburg

The online exhibition is dedicated to early souvenir postcards from our collections, depicting famous attractions of Saint Peterburg. The exhibition showcases more than thirty rare "Greetings from Saint Petersburg" postcards of the late 19th century. They are among the earliest postcards displaying recognizable sights of the northern capital.


Pioneer Russian Postcards

Explore the history of postcards in Russia with the Pioneer Russian Postcards online exhibition. On display are art postcards from our collections, issued by Russian and Swedish publishers in  the late 19th - early 20th centuries, which reproduce art works by celebrated artists.


Swiss Early Printed Books

The online exhibition showcases early printed books held in our Rare Books Collection. The books, issued by celebrated pioneer Swiss publishers in the 15th century, tell the story of the beginning of printing in Switzerland.


Early Russian Art Menus

The National Library of Russia presents menus that are rightly considered the masterpieces of graphic art. The online exhibition takes you to a selection of historical menus drawn out of about a hundred items held in our Prints Collection. Menu-cards were designed to match special occasions, including coronation events.


Winter-in-St.-Petersburg-City Postcards

The online exhibition showcases early postcards from our collections, depicting winter scenes of Saint Peterburg, then the capital of the Russian Empire. The cards, issued by Russian and Swedish publishers in  the late 19th - early 20th centuries, contain reproduction of works by famous and  less known artists.


Online Exhibition of Illuminated Quran Manuscripts

The online exhibition displays part of the сollection of 240 handwritten Qurans, cared for by the National Library of Russia. Among exhibits are exqusively illuminated manuscript books, miniature Qurans, talismanic scrolls and muraqqa albums.



Voltaire and Religion

Was Voltaire an atheist? What did Voltaire say about God? What was Voltaire's beliefs? Why did Voltaire criticize religion?

The National Library of Russia presents the online exhibition Voltaire and Religion,  which showcases materials from the Voltaire Library.

Our exhibition provides answers to these and many other key questions regarding the famous French writer, his philosophical and religious views.


Venice Then and Now. 1600th Anniversary of the City

This exhibition from our rich Map Collection marks the anniversary of Venice's founding in 421. It traces the sixteen-hundred-year history of the city through materials of the 16th-21st centuries. On display are beautifully decorated ancient maps and  practical guide books with modern tourist maps. You can enjoy the views of the floating city that was built in a lagoon of water on islands separated by canals, but connected by bridges. 


Flowers Personified and Voyage to South America

Our book shop offers new postcards and posters featuring illustrations from Grandville's Les Fleurs Animées (The Flowers Personified) (1847) and from Voyage de Humboldt et Bonpland. Sixime partie, Botanique. Mimoses et autres plantes Legumineuses (1819).


Virtual Wander through Ancient Cities

The National Library of Russia invites you to explore a treasure of our Map Collection, the first city atlas Civitates orbis terrarum. The online exhibition takes you to a selection of cities in Renaissance Europe, Asia, Africa and South America for a virtual wander!