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IQ Consultancy students saw the most inaccessible halls of Russian National Library

In January 2014 students, who study Russian as a Foreign Language with IQ Consultancy, had a unique chance to visit Russian National Library with the excursion. Former Imperial Public Library celebrates this year its 200 Anniversary. Today it’s the 5th largest library in the world.

Even though any person from any country can sign in the library, some areas such as book storages, manuscript and rare book departments are only accessible by the employees, scientists and researchers. During excursion the students could feel themselves as privileged ones for whom the doors of “the holy of holies” (sancta sanctorum) were opened.

«Russian Fund» hall knocked us down by the sheer number of book shelves surging to the ceiling 4 floors high. The fund contains the largest collection of Russian books from 1725 till nowadays - 7 millions.

Walking from building to building, from hall to hall packed with book cases and catalogs, one of the participants sighed: «It’s like the Hermitage, it goes on and on». Treasures in the possession of the Russian National Library can rightfully compete with those of the Hermitage: Guttenberg Bible, books of first Russian typographer Ivan Fedorov, oldest dated manuscript in Cyrillic of 1057, letters of English king Henry VIII, Mary Stuart’s prayer book, which according to the legend she hold while ascending the scaffold.

The students were allowed to the manuscript and rare book departments, “Faustus’ study”, Voltair’s hall. Voltair’s hall contains the private library of the great philosopher purchased by Russian Empress Catherine the Great.

“Faustus’ study” with low vaults and atmosphere of Middle Age scientist’s study holds the largest collection of incunabula – 6000 books, printed from 1441 to 1501.

Great news: the library can be attended not only on the excursions. Citizens of any country can sign up for reading books in the library. For this one only needs a passport and diploma of higher educational institution (optional).