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Russian Geological Research Institute (VSEGEI)
Russian Geological Library

Russian Geological Library


Russian Geological Library (RGL) is a scientific library with a specialized stock of published materials (about 1 million copies), where the country's most complete collection of books, journals and maps on geology and mineral resources is concentrated. This is a unique collection of scientific, historical and cultural value.

On April 24 (May 6), 1882, at the second meeting of the Council of the Geological Committee, Professor Valerian Möller indicated the need for the GeolCom to have its own library. It was decided to compose the GeolCom library. The library stock was based on 1,183 books from the collection of Nikolai Barbot de Marni, professor of the Mining Institute, purchased from his widow for 1,500 rubles.

In 1885, the GeolCom Director A.P. Karpinsky formulated the tasks of the library:

   «(a) the most complete concentration in the library of everything that was written anywhere and ever on Russia’s geology;

   (b) acquisition of geological papers and periodicals, which are absent in St. Petersburg bookstores;

   (c) acquisition, even in duplicate, of geological and paleontological monographs, which should be handbooks for every geologist engaged in processing paleontological and petrographic material...».

The library was entrusted to the senior geologist of the Committee Sergey Nikitin.

So hard work on the formation of the library stock began. Principles of special bibliography were laid, regular book exchange was organized with many domestic and foreign organizations.

The systematization was based on the sections adopted in the library of Nikolai Barbot de Marni:

I. Geology of Russia

X. Physical Geography

II. General Geology

XI. Descriptive Geography

III. Geological Guides

XII. Travels

IV. Paleontology of Russia

XIII. Mining Sciences

V. General Paleontology

XIV. Collections, dictionaries, guides, etc.

VI. Mineralogy of Russia

XV. Mixture

VII. General Mineralogy

XVI. Maps

VIII. Zoology

XVII. Anthropology

IX. Physics and Chemistry

XVIII. Periodicals

In 1914, the Geological Committee moved to the new building, constructed specifically for the geological survey. When constructing this unique building, premises with a triple-deck book storage (342 m2), with a ceiling height of 6.5 meters, with metal supports and removable shelves having total length of more than 7,000 m were envisaged for the library. All metal rafter structures for floors, metal ribs for reinforced concrete ceiling and stairs, as well as iron cross girders with iron columns and beams, were manufactured by the company “V.V. Palekh and sons."

All the technical equipment of the library, in accordance with standards of that time, including 6,792 bookshelves, was manufactured and installed by the Arthur Koppel Joint-Stock Company. At this stage of the formation of the library stock, it consisted of 12,000 copies.

Now the library stock contains about a million copies of books, journals, maps, a fourth of which are foreign scientific publications. Book exchange is carried out with 110 organizations from 32 countries of the world.

The library carefully stores all editions of the Geological Committee: news, proceedings, reports. In the library, there are complete collections of works of the founders of science: M.L. Lomonosov, G.P. Gelmersen, I.V. Mushketov, D.V. Nalivkin, A.P. Karpinsky, F.N. Chernyshev, A.P. Gerasimov, etc. Of great value is the collection of books and journals on paleontology, many of which are the only book in our country, many domestic and foreign journals from the day they were founded.

In 1930, the GeolCom Library was reorganized into the Central Geological Library (CGL) of the Main Exploration Department of the USSR Supreme Economic Council. The CGL began servicing all geological departments and the general reader. At that time, the service through inter-library loan began.

At the same time, a network of scientific libraries, one of the first in the country, was created. All scientific libraries of Regional Geological Exploration Departments became branch departments of the Central Geological Library.

Since June 1946, the Library became known as the All-Union Geological Library (AUGL) of the USSR Ministry of Geology.

In the early 50s, the Library received annually 15-17 thousand copies of books, almost half of them - an exchange fund for sending through the international and intra-union book exchange, as well as for libraries of newly created geological organizations.

The network of libraries existed until the 90s. By the beginning of the perestroika,AUGL had 385 libraries, which provided service for 155,000 readers and 750 service points (branches, travelling libraries, reference libraries). 80,000 copies of papers were sent to 700 field parties and expeditions. 1,700 enterprises and organizations of the country were served.

in 1974, in Moscow, by order of the USSR Minister of Geology dated November 6, 1974 No. 586, an AUGL branch was established to provide library and bibliographic services for the staff of the USSR Ministry of Geology and specialists of the MinGeo organizations of the USSR by reorganizing the VIEMS Scientific and Technical Library. Since 2005, it has been the RGL sector of the VSEGEI Moscow Branch.

To date, the sector stock contains about 50,000 copies of books and journals. Literature on economics of minerals and exploration is represented particularly widely.

In 1993, by order of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, AUGL was added to the List of Libraries of Russian and Interregional Importance. AUGL became known as the Russian Geological Library (RGL).

Since 2005, RGL has been a structural subdivision of FGBU “VSEGEI”.

Since 2016, after the reorganization of VSEGEI, RGL performs works under a project of the State Assignment: “Formation, Accounting, Physical Preservation and Security of Library Stocks” from the departmental list of public services (works) provided (performed) by federal budgetary institutions of the Federal Agency on Mineral Resources as the main activities.

Since 1995, the library has been developing automated library technologies. The electronic catalogue contains information on library's new acquisitions since 1995: books, collections of papers, papers from collections and periodicals. Retro-cataloguing of periodicals and maps has been carried out. RGL plans to digitize all of the library’s catalogues.

The electronic catalogue of the library makes it possible to remotely search for information of interest on various topics, simultaneously with online bibliographic information, as well as making copies of publications from stocks, etc.

To accomplish this task, the special Automated Information-Library System MARC-SQL is used, developed by NPO Inform-System. The key advantage of this programme is the elaborated principle of constructing complex bibliographic queries.

Since 2013, almost all entries in the bibliographic databases “Papers from Periodicals” and “Papers from Collections” have been systematized not only taking into account the administrative-geographical position of the object, but also according to the nomenclature of the GK-1000 or GK-200.

In 2017, a new way of providing information was added to the traditional library services: to perform the work on compiling sets of the State Geological Map-1000/3 and State Geological Map-200/2, services are provided on collecting published information on the basis of RGL electronic catalogues for the requested nomenclatures. The selection of literature for reference list, indexes, is possible in two versions:

1. Selection of journal papers on the nomenclature of GK-1000. In this version, each paper is supplemented with an abstract (provided that the paper has an abstract), Internet links to the full text (if any), and links to the paper in the Elibrary database (http://elibrary.ru).

2. Literature selection in accordance with “geographical headings”, and/or topical requests.

Lists include all types of published information: monographs, journal papers, papers from collections (proceedings of conferences, meetings, symposia, etc.).

To date, the RGL stock is a gigantic geological information bank, the rational use of which is possible only in conditions of direct, interactive contact with RGL. The effectiveness of the use of geological information increases the quality and efficiency of the information services provided to enterprises and organizations of the geological industry (Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, the Federal Agency on Mineral Resources, its territorial and regional bodies, research institutes, universities, subsoil users) based on modern IT technologies.