MainFor a ReaderThe library code of service and user registration The reading room instructionsThe Manuscripts, old printed and rare books reading room instructions

The manuscripts, early-printed and rare books reading room


1.The rules of the Manuscripts, early-printed and rare books reading room (the Rules hereinafter) are regulating the user registration procedure, rights, duties and responsibility of users.

2. The Rules are developed in compliance with:

  • the legislation of the Republic of Belarus;
  • the Charter of the National Library of Belarus (the Library hereinafter);
  • the Code of Service of the National Library of Belarus;
  • the Scientific-Research Bibliology Department Provisions;
  • The National Library of Belarus In-House Rules
  • the occupation safety and health rules.

3. The Manuscripts, early-printed and rare books reading room (the Room hereinafter) provides services to all users with a library card, except for schoolchildren.

4. The Room provides access to the central and deposit collections of the Scientific-Research Bibliology Department (the Department hereinafter) and offers additional paid services in accordance with the Service Price List of the National Library of Belarus.


5. The Room opening hours:

  • Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10 a.m.– 6 p.m.;
  • Tuesday, Wednesday: 12 a.m. – 8 p.m.;
  • Sunday: the day off.

In summer (from 1 June to 31 August):

  • Monday, Thursday, Friday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.;
  • Tuesday, Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.;
  • Saturday, Sunday – days off.

6. To order manuscripts, archival material and books published before 1830, you should provide an application from the organization (university) at which you work or study; a theme of your study must be notified. A letter of request must be written on headed note-paper (of an institution), signed by head of institution and sealed; publications will be given against signature. A letter of request is valid during one year.

7. Non-employed retired persons, bibliophiles, collectors and foreign users are allowed to use manuscripts, archival material and editions published before 1830 upon presentation of a personal letter of request addressed to the Deputy Director for Research and Publishing and certified by the head of Department.

8. Publications from the Department's collection can't be delivered in other reading rooms or booked by interlibrary or individual loan. To receive documents from the Department's central stock, you should fill in an electronic order form for each source. The order acceptance schedule:

  • Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday – up to 5 p.m.;
  • Tuesday, Wednesday – up to 7 p.m.

In summer (from 1 June to 31 August):

  • Monday, Thursday, Friday – up to 5 p.m.;
  • Tuesday, Wednesday – up to 6 p.m.

9. You can get up to 5 volumes at once, including 2 manuscripts and archival materials. Each document is given against signature and registered in the journal.

Note: You can't receive fragile and time-worn material, or editions that are being restored, bound or scientifically processed. You can get their facsimile or digital copies, if available.

10. You can book documents from the central stock for 10 days. If you are a research worker, you can book documents for up to 30 days.

11. Documents from the closed section of the deposit collection are provided by request, upon presentation of a library card.

12. It is allowed to take publications from the deposit collection's open section. Please keep the bookshelves in order and remember to return the borrowed material to the librarian on duty.

13. In exceptional cases, if you are a research worker and your study requires access to multiple sources, you can order publications from other departments of the Library (the Book Storing Department, the Journals and Serials Department) and use them in the Room.

14. You should return all the borrowed material to the librarian on duty every time you leave the Room.

15. When giving or receiving documents, the librarian on duty must check them page-by-page in your presence.

16. Document reproduction is made under supervision of the librarian on duty, providing safety of copied material.

Note: Copying of the whole document or damaged documents is not allowed. In exceptional cases you can get digitized parts of them (for research work only). Manuscripts, early-printed and rare books of the 19th century, rare newspapers and leaflets before 1945 can't be photocopied.

Chapter 3. USERS’ RIGHTS

17. You can:

  • get information about the availability of publications from the Department's central and deposit collection;
  • get advice on how to search information;
  • borrow documents from the Department's collection;
  • receive copied documents from the Department's collection;
  • use personal computers in the Room;
  • get additional paid services;
  • access the Department's information resources;
  • address head of Department on the matter of user service.

18. You must:

  • treat the borrowed documents and the Department's property with respect;
  • notify the librarian on any damages found in borrowed documents;
  • keep silence and order in the Room;
  • observe the current Rules.

19. You can't:

  • give your library card to other persons or use a library card which is not yours;
  • bring to the Room printed material, audio equipment, photo or video cameras, book scanners;
  • make anything that can damage the borrowed documents (make notes notes in books or manuscripts, bend pages when reading, place one open book on another, rearrange sheets of unbound books, use any mechanical methods of copy etc;
  • make notes in catalog cards or take them out of catalog boxes;
  • take away the borrowed documents;
  • replace documents on the shelves after using.


20. You will be charged for lost, stolen or damaged items, according to the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

21. The non-observance of the Rules can result in a ban from the Library's services.