Virtual Reading Room of the Russian State Library
You are welcome to get access to more than 1 million dissertation theses, 350 thousand digitized book copies free of charge
As a new academic year has come and the VRR RSL service workload has increased, we recommend you to check the operability and settings of your virtual reading rooms. Any kind of problems revealed, please, report that fact to our support service on We are always ready to help.

Library Collections
Approximately 1 million documents (dissertation theses and author’s abstracts)
The Russian State Library (RSL) is a unique repository of authentic dissertation theses defended in our country since the year of 1944 in all subjects and specializations except for Medicine and Pharmacy. On the basis of that peerless collection, there was formed the Digital Library of Dissertations of the Russian State Library (DLD RSL) containing digitized copies of the dissertation theses and author’s abstracts. Beginning with the year of 2007, the DLD RSL has been acquiring all kinds of dissertation theses including works in Medicine and Pharmacy.
Over 200, 000 documents
The collection stocks printed editions that have been published since 1830 in Russian, in languages of ethnic minorities of the Russian Federation and in foreign languages. It represents a wide range of sources on the culture and history of Russia and adjoining territories which retrace the development of Russian statehood. There can be found pieces of Russian classical literature (18 – 20th centuries) and books on library science.
Approximately 100, 000 documents
Users are welcome to plunge into a wonderful world of knowledge. Here one can find monographs, collections of scientific works, textbooks and manuals published within last 10 – 12 years. There are also represented classics of scientific works the value of which cannot be overestimated. The collection has been created on the basis of contracts with authors and right-owners authorized to digitize the works and let them enter the RSL Digital Library.
Approximately 13, 500 documents
The collection represents Slavonic old-printed books published before the year of 1831 at first Slavonic printing houses. Here users are welcome to view the very first issues of most important legislative acts and regulations of the 18th century. Another point of interest could be electronic copies of books of high cultural, scientific and historical significance.
Over 9, 000 documents
The collection includes manuscript works dated by 10 – 18th centuries. It is destined to open for readers a captivating world of Slavonic word, to demonstrate the process of development of the Slavonic written language and culture. It also gives a bright insight on book–writing schools and workshops, on stages of development of the Church Slavonic language. In addition, the collection contains digitized inventory lists of the items of the RSL Manuscript Department.
Over 15, 600 documents
The collection represents an assembly of digital copies of musical works of special historical, cultural or scientific value. Its core is a selection of music publications of mid 18 —19th centuries.
Over 800 documents
The collection of the RSL periodicals covers the time limits beginning with 1725 – and till the present moment! Here one can find about 200 names of Russian magazines of diverse fields, that including art magazines. Among the items of a particular value there are to be distinguished the editions of the 19th century, the magazines issued in the first half of the 20th century, that including the modernist ones of the so-called Russian ‘Silver Age’. Besides, here are represented the magazines published by the Russian State Library itself.
Approximately 13, 000 documents
The collection includes pictures and drawings, posters issued in Russia and in the Soviet Union within the last – century term, engravings by different masters with historical, mythological or religious plots, a selection of Russian folk prints, pieces of pre-revolutionary and Soviet applied graphics, as well as a whole set of photos having been made since the 17th century and up to the modern times.
Approximately 800 documents
Here one can find geographical maps and atlases, handwritten plans and drafts of different epochs considered to be true cultural achievements. The collection is universal in geographical coverage and thematic scope. It reflects the main stages of development of national and world cartography. The map and atlas collection of the Russian State Library is the largest in the Russian Federation, and it remains one of the most significant collections of the kind in the world.
Operating Virtual Reading Rooms
For providing access to the RSL digital resources, from December 2003 on, there has been under way the project of launching RSL Virtual Reading Rooms.

Since the 1st of January, 2008, the RSL has been entering access contracts with libraries or other organizations containing libraries as their structural units. These contracts launch RSL Virtual Reading Rooms on the premises of the customers’ libraries.
News and Announcements
Questions and Answers
What is an RSL Virtual Reading Room?
An RSL Virtual Reading Room is the premise of a public library with workplaces equipped with personal computers with permanent IP addresses and access to the Internet, sufficient to serve RSL virtual readers with the collections of the RSL Digital Library.
How can I learn in which library there is an electronic reading room for work with the National Digital Library resources?
You are welcome to find a National Digital Library reading room convenient for you in its location by clicking on the “Virtual Reading Rooms” button.
Is there any fee for exploring the resources of the RSL Digital Library inside the VRR RSL?
Access to the Digital Library of the RSL at a VRR RSL is free for users.
Why are certain works accessible for reading while others are not?
Copyright works can be accessed solely from library reading rooms. The works of open access are those ones that have acquainted the status of national heritage.
RSL Projects
© 1999—2022 ”Russian State Library”
In case there arise any access problems with the RSL digital resources, feel free to address our VRR RSL administrator.

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