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"The Belarusian State Library named after V.I. Lenin is the largest book depository not only of the republic, but also of the country"

"The Belarusian State Library named after V.I. Lenin is the largest book depository not only of the republic, but also of the country"
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We continue to get acquainted with the pages of the history of the National Library based on the materials of the database "NBB in the press". We have previously covered the activities of our institution in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. On the eve of the Libraries Day, which has been celebrated since 2001, we will make an excursion into the second half of the 1950s.

Our path to tomorrow runs through modernity and history. It is very important to know how the State Library used to live, about library professionals who made a significant contribution to the development of our library and the library industry as a whole. Therefore, the staff of the institution is very happy with every article found, and especially with photographs that reveal the life of the library in more detail and vividly and expand knowledge about its history.

The book depository of the State Library was replenished with new copies of domestic and foreign literature. From the All-Union Book Chamber, the State Library received one copy of each book and magazine published in the Soviet Union. In "Zvyazda" on January 12, 1957, they wrote that the State Library informs its readers about new book publications.


In the reading room of the Lenin Library. "Soviet Belarus" ("Советская Белоруссия"). 1959. April 21. p. 1

The author of the article published in "Zvyazda" ("Звяздa") on October 16, 1957 also told about the channels through which the Belarusian State Library named after V.I. Lenin is being completed. In addition to the mandatory copy of all printed publications – books, magazines, brochures, sheet music, maps (54 thousand copies were received in 1956), the library issued periodicals through "Soyuzpechat" ("Союзпечать"), and ordered fiction in those institutions where it was published or where it arrived after publication.

It was interesting to find out that at that time a department – the republican patent library – was located in one of the library's repositories, which was supposed to facilitate the work of innovators and inventors, and enterprises - to find new technological techniques necessary for production, various improvements. To facilitate the work of the staff, a subject-thematic catalogue of such documents was compiled.The collection contained a large number of certificates, author's developments, patents.The collection contained a large number of certificates, scientific developments, patents and their descriptions for many war and post-war years. The Patent Library has materials on 91 classes of issues related to technology, industry, agriculture, culture and everyday life.
The collection contains a large number of certificates, scientific developments, patents and their descriptions for many war and post-war years. The Patent Library has materials on 91 classes of issues related to technology, industry, agriculture, culture and everyday life."Zvyazda" ("Звяздa"), 1957, September 3, p. 4.

The Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the BSSR "On conferring the honorary title of Honored Cultural Worker of the Byelorussian SSR tt. Kosach P.N., Lyubovich B.I., Simanovsky I.B. and Shidlovsky P.I.".

Joseph Bentsianovich Simanovsky "Soviet Belarus", ("Советская Белоруссия") 1957, December 17, p. 1

Special attention should be paid to the thorough article "Yanka Kupala i bibliyatechnaya on the right", published in the newspaper “Literature and Art” ("Лiтаратура i мастацтва"), where it was about the connection between writers and libraries, which is relevant today: "A special place among the supporters of librarianship belongs to writers who should be vitally interested in the best staging of the work of libraries and librarianship in general"(“Literature and Art” ("Літаратура i мастацтва") 1957. September 14. p. 2). In connection with the issues raised, a remarkable attitude to the library work of the people's poet of the republic Yanka Kupala acquires a special place.

The reader was not indifferent to the problematic article by Anna Grigorievna Melamed, methodologist of the State Library of the BSSR, who reported on the donation of book collections of district libraries, and also offered to purchase more books on various branches of knowledge, especially on new technology, agriculture, as well as textbooks for higher education.("Soviet Belarus", ("Советская Белоруссия")1959. August 19. p. 3)

The author of the article "In the largest book depository of the Republic" ("Soviet Belarus" ("Советская Белоруссия", 1957, July 17, p. 2) notes that the popularity of the library, whose fund at that time numbered 2,350,000 copies of books, is growing every year: "... in 1955, there were 22,500 regular readers of the library, in 1956 – 24,776.("Zvyazda" "Звязда" 1957, June 25. p. 2)

"Zvyazda" ("Звязда"), 1957. June 25. p. 2



In 1957-1959, exhibitions dedicated to Belarusian classics enjoyed special interest in the State Library: the 150th anniversary of the birth of V. Dunin-Marcinkevich, the 75th anniversary of the birth of Yanka Kupala; exhibitions dedicated to the birthday of V. I. Lenin, whose name the library bore at that time; the 40th anniversary of the proclamation of the BSSR; children's book exhibition.

The exhibition in honour of the famous Belarusian playwright, poet, literary and public figure Vincent Dunin-Martsinkevich opened with the phrase of the writer himself: "Don't say what they want to say, but this is the first poetry of our peasant people, dress in the shata of folk aesthetics, ove lives on stage and creates a domestic letter in a charaga, which I am proud of." The attention of visitors was attracted by his lifetime publications – "Gapon" (Minsk, 1855), the first work created entirely in the Belarusian language; "Are you interested? - Read it!"(Minsk, 1856); "The Belarusian Dudar, or the patron saint of Everything" (Minsk, 1857) and others. In 2023, the National Library of Belarus celebrated the 215th anniversary of the birth of the famous classic of Belarusian literature with the release of the CD "Live in our memory, our Dudar..." and an exhibition of the same name."

The richness and diversity of the library's collection were also demonstrated by exhibitions dedicated to the anniversaries of the birth of famous Russian, French, and German writers: the 150th anniversary of N.V. Gogol, the 100th anniversary of A.P. Chekhov; the 200th anniversary of F. Schiller, the 160th anniversary of O. de Balzac.

"Soviet Belarus"("Советская Белоруссия"), 1959, January 21, p. 1

At the exhibition dedicated to the 160th anniversary of the birth of Honore de Balzac, the lifetime editions of the great French writer were presented - the first collection of works in French, articles about his activities from the magazines Sovremennik and Otechestvennye Zapiski. The first 20-volume collection of Balzac's works in Russian was published in St. Petersburg in 1896-1899, the first editions of his works in Belarusian - in 1937-1938. (Soviet Belarus. May 20, 1959).

Today in the National Library you can get acquainted with some lifetime editions in French, as well as the novel "Gobsek" translated into Belarusian in 1937 edition.

Exhibitions of international themes were popular among visitors: an exhibition of literature for the Days of Romanian culture in Belarus, an exhibition "Economy and Culture of the People's Republic of China" and others.


"Soviet Belarus" ("Советская Белоруссия"), 1958, October 1

Since 1925, the State Library named after V.I. Lenin included the Book Chamber of the Republic, where it was possible to obtain reliable information about books, magazine and newspaper publications published in Belarus.

In 1959, the first citywide conference of library workers of Minsk was held, at which librarians shared valuable work experience. The focus was on the questions of how to get the book to each family faster and better, how to satisfy the needs of numerous readers. 

More detailed information on the topic can be found in the database "National Library of Belarus in the press". In addition, by subscribing to the newsletter of articles of the mentioned resource, you will receive all the news about our library.

The material was prepared by Tatiana Prostratskaya, the head of the sector of the information and analytical department.


  1. Выставка произведений писателя // Совет. Белоруссия. – 1957. – 26 дек. – С. 3.
  2. Указ Президиума Верховного Совета БССР о присвоении почетного звания заслуженного деятеля культуры БССР Симановскому И.Б. // Совет. Белоруссия. – 1957. – 17 дек. – С. 1.
  3. Папаўняецца кніжны фонд // Звязда. – 1957. – 16 кастр. – С. 4.
  4. Сіманоўскі, І. Янка Купала і бібліятэчная справа / І. Сіманоўскі // ЛіМ. – 1957. – 14 верас. – С. 2.
  5. Рэспубліканская патэнтная бібліятэка // Звязда. – 1957. – 3 верас. – С. 4.
  6. Черненко, Н. В крупнейшем книгохранилище республики / Н. Черненко // Совет. Белоруссия. – 1957. – 17 июля. – С. 2.
  7. Выставка, посвященная Янке Купале // Совет. Белоруссия. – 1957. – 28 июня. – С. 3.
  8. У адной з залаў бібліятэкі імя У.І. Леніна / фота  У. Дагаева // Звязда. – 1957. – 25 чэрв. – С. 2.
  9. [У Беларускай дзяржаўнай бібліятэцы імя Леніна адкрыта выстаўка...] // фота В. Лупейкі // Звязда. – 1957. – 21 крас. –  С. 4.
  10. Чытальная зала ў бібліятэцы // Звязда. – 1957. – 12 студз. –  С. 4.
  11. Черненко, Н. В крупнейшем книгохранилище республики / Н. Черненко // Совет. Белоруссия. – 1957. – 17 июля. – С. 2.
  12. Садовский, Е. Он волнует сердца людей / Е. Садовский // Совет.  Белоруссия. – 1959. – 1 апр. – С. 3.
  13. [В Государственной библиотеке БССР имени В.И. Ленина широко представлены произведения В.И. Ленина на выставках...] / фото П. Никитина // Совет.  Белоруссия. – 1959. – 21 янв. – С. 1.
  14. Богатства библиотек – народу! //  Совет.  Белоруссия. – 1959. – 14 нояб. – С. 4.
  15. Имени Ленина // Совет.  Белоруссия. – 1959. – 12 апр. – С. 1.
  16. В читальном зале библиотеки имени В. И. Ленина / фото // Совет.  Белоруссия. – 1958. – 12 апр. – С. 1.
  17. Литвин, А. Страницы борьбы и побед // А. Литвин // Совет.  Белоруссия. – 1958. – 1 окт. – С. 3.
  18. В Книжной палате БССР // Совет.  Белоруссия. – 1958. – 10 июня. – С. 3.
  19. Меламед А. Книжные фонды / А. Меламед // Совет.  Белоруссия. – 1959. – 19 авг. – С. 3.
  20. К 160-летию со дня рождения Бальзака // Совет. Белоруссия. – 1959. – 20 мая. – С. 4.


Handwritten catalogues of the library of the Nesvizh Ordination of the Radziwills

27 Nov 2023

At the XVI Belarusian-Russian scientific conference "Modern problems of book culture: main trends and prospects of development", held on November 22-23 at the Business and Cultural Complex of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the Russian Federation, the chief bibliographer of the Department of Reference and Information Services V.N. Polunchenko made a report "The role of library manuscripts in the bibliographic reconstruction of the library of the Nesvizh Ordination".

National Library of Belarus News

In memory of Larisa Finkelstein

24 Nov 2023

On November 21, Larisa Finkelstein, a good friend of the library, a well-known Belarusian art critic, art critic, curator of exhibitions, gallery owner, founder and art director of the author's non-profit conceptual gallery "Brama", a member of the Belarusian Union of Artists, the Belarusian Union of Designers, the Belarusian Union of Literary and Art Critics, the Association of Art Critics (Russia), passed away.

National Library of Belarus News