Manuscripts holdings is one of the world's richest collections of written landmarks of national and world culture from ancient Egyptian papyri to autographs of our contemporaries. The manuscripts held by the National Library of Russia comprise of over 1400 private archives and collections that today number more than 450 000 valuable items for all periods and countries.
The library's stock of rare books contains more than 70 000 volumes. An appreciable portion of those are incunabula (books printed before 1501): about 7 000 works. The library has no rival for its stock of early Russian printed books and Slavonic incunabula, it also holds a large amount of West European publications from the 16th and 17th century. The most remarkable among collections are Aldine editions of the 15th - 16th centuries and Elseviers produced by the celebrated 17th/century Dutch family firm. The Rare Books Department can boast Voltaire's Library, the unique monument of 18th century culture, that is one of some well surviving private libraries of that time.
The National Library's collection of printed maps and atlases is the second largest in the country, comprising more than 180,000 items printed in Russia and abroad from the sixteenth century to the present. It incudes maps, atlases, reproductions of manuscripts, globes, electronic cartographic publications.
The prints collections today number more than 1.26 million items. These include: albums, books, Ex Libris, photographs, posters, postcards, Russian and West European Prints
A unique photographic collection of the Prints Department is a true chronicle of the life of Russia since the second half of the 19th . It includes portraits from the 1850s, photographic views of cities and other places since the 1850s, photos on various subjects from the 1860s, photographic reproductions of works of art.
The exhibitions presents material from several collections:
Russian Books Foreign Books Russian PeriodicalsLiterature of Asian and African Countries Literature of the Peoples the Russian Federation "Plekhanov House".