Centre for Doctoral Training in Russian, Slavonic & East European languages and culture


Russian State Library

Location and Contact Details

Address: ul. Vozdvizhenka d. 3/5
Metro: Arbatskaia, Aleksandrovskii sad, Borovitskaia, Biblioteka im. Lenina 
Web: www.rsl.ru
Email: post@rsl.ru
Head of the library: Aleksandr Ivanovich Vislyi

Opening Hours: Monday-Friday: 0900-2000
Saturday: 0900-1900 The sanitarnyi denʹ is the last Monday of the month.

How to Register

Entrance for registration is to the right of the main entrance. You just need to fill in a form and have your photo taken: a quite painless procedure. There is a small charge to obtain the card.

How to Order Material

To order a book, you need to find it in the catalogue. Trouble is, there are at least six different catalogues. The main three are the pre-1980 catalogue, the post-1980 catalogue, and the journals catalogue, which are on the left hand side of the second floor as you come up the stairs. To order a book or journal, you need title, author, etc., year of publication, but you also need the tsifr, which looks something like: Бр 70-55/570. When you've filled in all your trebovaniia, go to the order desk for your reading room, located in the corner of the room, next to the catalogues for checking. Some books are not in any of the card catalogues and need to be ordered online. Room 110, which is off to the right when you first enter the library on the ground floor, contains a room full of computers. You cannot access the Internet from these computers but you can order books online by opening the electronic catalogue and searching. If a book can be ordered this way, the option "zakaz" should pop up to the left and you can login to do so with your card number (minus all the zeroes and the reading room number). If there is no option to order it, you can ask the attendant at the desk to do it for you. Some things can be ordered using the kiosk-style terminals on the second floor. You can search by keyword or author. To order, select that option and place your library card's barcode before the red scanner. It will print off a little ticket that you need to sign at the bottom and take over to the appropriate desk for whatever reading room you are assigned to. Note that just because you can print off one of the newer trebovaniia, this does not mean that it can actually be ordered this way. If the attendant tells you that it needs to be ordered in the electronicheskii zal, head to room 110 and order it on the computer or through the attendant there. Traditionally, books ordered to reading room 3 will arrive the same day if ordered in the morning; 0940 the next day if ordered in the afternoon. Books order to reading room 1 will usually be ready to collect in 90mins. Your books may be kept for up to three working days.

Reading Room Practices, General Hints and Tips

The kontrol'nyi listok. How did we ever get by without it? The kontrol'nyi listok is the way the library keeps track of its books. When you enter the library, you get given a listok for your reading room. Fill in the details at the top, and then put it in the little box at the issue desk of your reading room and wait. When they've found your books, show your propusk at the desk. They'll get your books, and write the number of books you have on the listok. Then, when you leave, they count them back in and stamp it.

If you intend to use a laptop in the library, you need to say "s noutbukom" to the dezhurnaia when you enter the library, so it can be written on your kontrol'nyi listok. There are power points for laptops and WiFi is now available in the reading rooms. However, at time of writing (late 2013), Reading Room 3 - the reading room most foreign PhD students will be allocated - is in remont. You may therefore have the privilege of being allocated to Reading Room 1, usually reserved for professors and other self-important types.

You can photocopy sections and even whole books, the price for which varies (roughly between 7 and 20 rubles per page) depending on the age, size and weight (yes, weight) of the book, up on the third floor. If a book is an irregular size or particularly thick, they may insist on charging you up to double. There is a price list posted on the inside of the door. You can ask them to photocopy the pages "s umen'sheniem" - in other words, to shrink it to fit two book pages on one A4 sized paper - in order to cut down on costs. Otherwise, the women who work there are extremely quick and do a good job of producing legible copies. Payment is in cash. There is a good stolovaia and a bufet in the basement.

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