Library  Today

History of Library collection counted more than 230 years. Today Library of the oldest University in Russia is the large modern information centre with access to world scientific information.

The central stacks of the university library are situated in the main building of St Petersburg University, the Twelve Collegiums, which is monument of St Petersburg architecture of the eighteenth century constructed by Domenico Trezzini. The library was accommodated in this building in 1891.

Library print collection runs to 6, 8 million copies and near 2 million titles. The library collection is divided between basic scientific stock and subject libraries of the University departments. Library includes Central Scientific library and 21 subject libraries. It has 40 thousand current users; 30 thousand of them are students.


Historical reference

M. Gorky Scientific Library of SPbU is one of the oldest and largest university libraries in Russia. It also serves as a monument of the national enlightenment, science and culture. By the richness and variety of its stock it ranks among the most prominent libraries of the world. The basic stock of the library dates back to 1783, when Empress Catherine the Great presented the First Teachers Seminary with 1100 volumes from one of the private collection. Private donations have been supported the library throughout its whole history. Over 200 private collections of university professors and outstanding promoters of Russia science and culture are kept here. The collection of books acquired by the library in the middle of the nineteenth century most certainly are is of great historical and documentary importance. It include books from the collection of Petersburg Censorship Committee (20 thousand books ) and the Committee of Foreign Censorship ( about 10 thousand books ), the archive and the library of the Liberal Society of Russian Philologists, and also the library of the Bestuzhev Higher Courses for Women, which was the first higher education establishment for women in Russia. The collection of rarities which numbers 100 thousand books includes a collection of 15-20th century editions as well as incunabules, paleotypes and books in old Cyrillic script. The collection of Oriental manuscripts (about 50 thousand manuscripts) kept in the Oriental Department of the library is unique.

Rare book and manuscripts collection

E-resources and Catalogues

Access to resources from the list of electronic subscription open only via unique ID of St Petersburg university customer in any time from any point of the world.

E-books -,

E-journals -

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General Regulations

  1. M. Gorky Scientific Library of SPbU is open for all the students, teachers, researches and employees of St Petersburg University- for all registered as a borrower and have university reading card. The students and professors from other higher educational establishments of St Petersburg and from other cities of Russia can use the reading halls of the library.

Guidelines for using the SPbU library and information resources: a notice to reader

Addresses and contacts