Universal Room



"... The room creates a great impression. There's ultra comfortable ventilation. Colours of walls and ceiling are soothing and pleasing to the eye. Modern eight-sided lanterns, with mirrored top parts, illuminate the entire room by reflected soft and plain light. A huge full-length portrait of the sovereign in a gilded frame is placed in the back of the room. A large carpet running through the entire room, ..."  

" garlands of live vines on walls, flowers and palm trees in elegant plant stands on the windows, copper bars on the Delivery Desks, busts of our best writers in the spaces between windows - all this makes the room extremely cozy and conducive to studying..."

Birzhevyie Vedomosti ('Stock Exchange News'). 1901



The reading room was designed by the architect Evgraf Vorotilov and was open to visitors in 1901. The room can accommodate up to 400 people. It was built to comply with the health and hygienic standards of the time. Both the staff and readers appreciated the convenience and comfort of the space.

36 huge two level windows produced a plenty of light. An excellent ventilation system provided supply of clean air. Soft interior colours were the easiest on the eyes. In the anteroom in front of the reading room, there was a reference section with a librarian sitting at the desk.

The back wall was decorated with a full-length portrait of Emperor Nicholas II, made by the artist V.A.Vorotilov specially for this room.

After reconstruction, the room has retained the architectural features of the style. Currently, it has 274 seats for readers. The Universal Room provides open acces to the reference collection of about 80 thousand items covering all fields of knowledge. You can consult up-to-date scientific literature, encyclopedias and reference books, tutorials, as well as manuals from leading universities in Moscow and St. Petersburg, published over the past 10-15 years. Here you can also view the recent issues of Russian newspapers and the most demanded Russian magazines.


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National Library of Russia
Digital Library
Digital Library
A Stroll in the Library