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Министерство культуры Оренбургской области
Оренбургская областная универсальная
научная библиотека им. Н.К. Крупской

г. Оренбург, ул. Советская, 20, orenlib@bk.ru
Тел. для справок: +7 (3532) 32-32-48, приемная: +7 (3532) 77-06-76
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Главная / О библиотеке / Library’s History

Library’s History

The history of the library started long before its opening. Since 1830, attempts to establish a province public library have been made by a number of Orenburg governors, such as P. Suchtelen, V. Perovsky, N. Kryzhanivsky, M. Astafyev, N. Maslakovets.

The first library was founded in Orenburg in 1853. It was established at the Perovsky Governor-General's office by the outstanding scientist of Oriental Studies V. Grigoriev. It was intended for the office members who needed the reference books and periodical publications on local history and Oriental studies.

It took about 3 years (from 1853 to 1855) for the library to grow significantly. In 1855, there were 335 essays in 686 volumes. Those books were either from the Governor-General's private collection, or bought in St. Petersburg. The library was officially established in 1856.

In 1867, the Governor-General N. Kryzhanivsky posed the question to give the library the status of Public Library. However, for various reasons, the Town Council adopted the resolution on the establishment of a Public Library and set up a commission for drafting of the charter only in 1882. On February 19, 1888, the town's head S. Nazarov opened the Public Reading Room. In 1889 there was the opening of the Public Library and the museum.

The library was based on "Model Library for Teachers and Public Schools", provided by the Directorate of Public Schools, the library of the Statistical Committee and a part of the library of the Orenburg Department of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society. The latter two previously included collections of the library at the Governor-General Office.

The number of visitors grew year by year. There were 5,388 visitors in 1893, and in 1908 the number increased to 23,973. The library was not free to use, still it was accessible to everyone due to the benefits provided to certain categories of specialists, students and a low-income group of people. The library took place in the building of the Town Council (now the Museum of Fine Arts). It was open daily: on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Sundays and holidays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

October Revolution of 1917 drastically changed the library routine of the province and the Public Library. In 1918 a library decree "On Protection of Libraries and Book Depositories of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic" was issued. Nationalized book collections of liquidated institutions and requisitioned private collections of the Provincial Committee of Political Education library department became the source of the book warehouse - depository library. The funds of the pedagogical library and a part of "Narodnoye Delo" society library fund became the source of valuable books selected for the Town Research Library which was opened in 1919, and also for the Province Central Town Library, opened in 1921.

In 1925, the funds of the first Orenburg Public Library in the amount of 17,481 copies were transferred to the Province Central Town Library which had the following structure of functioning: subscription department, reading room, department of foreign literature, department of children's literature and mobile library department. In 1928, the Province Central Town Library got subscription department and reading room. By this time, there had already been over 40,000 books in the fund.

In January 1935, soon after the establishment of the Orenburg region (in 1934), the library was transformed into the Regional Library. This had a favorable effect for library's development and greatly changed the nature of its activities. Since that time, the library has started to receive a paid depository copy of books, published in the country. It became the town's main library. In February 1936, the library was named after N. Krupskaya.

In the 1930s, the region got the role of a large national economic area. And from that time, the library staff made every effort to become not only a center of ideological education and self-education but also an aid to scientists, engineers, and other specialists in the further development of science, national economy, and culture.

During the Great Patriotic War (World War II) the library, like the rest of the country, was going through difficult, stressful times. On the fourth day of the war, when the country started equipping hospitals and libraries in it, Chkalovsk Regional Library (in 1938, Orenburg was renamed in Chkalovsk) was a great supporter in the training of library staff for hospitals, whose function was to supply the wounded with books and newspapers.

The library staff (mostly women) also had other numerous responsibilities. They took care of the wounded, washed clothes for hospitals, collected gifts and warm clothes for the soldiers, assisted with the harvest, cleared the snow off the railway tracks, collected scrap metal, and took part in logging. It is hard to imagine how thousands of books and unique publications were saved. And it is the merit of people who worked there during the war: the head of the library Tatiana Ivanovna Arinina, heads of the departments K. Bocharova, A. Gorelova, L. Kartashova, T. Kiseleva, A. Sokolova, the chairman of the local committee E. Zhilina, the librarians R. Kissarnova, Pikalova, Romanitskaya, A. Stepanova, A. Volodarskaya...

The first post-war years were marked by the growth of the book fund, readers and book circulation. That was the time when the library became a methodical center. In 1955, there was the book depository with a fund of 300,000 materials.

In 1959, the CPSU Central Committee adopted the decree "The situation and measures to boost the Library Science in the Country". Since that time, the formation of the library as the Region's Major Library has begun. G. Kuchapina, an Honoured Culture Worker and head of the library from 1961 to 1986, as well as its deputy directors V. Dolganova and L. Kostyukova, and heads of the departments V. Ronges and A. Tatarzhinskaya contributed a lot of their effort to its formation.

Specialized divisions such as Patent and Technical Department, Agricultural Employee Service Department, Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), the Department for Arts, and Sector for Culture and Art attracted a wide range of specialists and researchers. By the beginning of the 1980s, the library was visited by over 30,000 readers annually and lent out about 1,000,000 copies of publications.

Now the Regional Library has become the center of Orenburg's cultural life. The library holds numerous public events, such as book and art exhibitions, literary and creative meetings, scientific and practical conferences, concerts, roundtable discussions, local history and library readings, contests, training seminars, and sessions on fine art and music. All these events are very popular among the city residents.

On May 6, 2010, a new library complex was opened. It was made taking into account modern technologies and fitted with the latest equipment. The complex provides great opportunities for residents of Orenburg and the Orenburg region to access various information resources.

Currently, the Regional Research Library has a universal fund which contains literature on all branches of knowledge, over 2,300,000 documents, including about 30,000 publications in 100 foreign languages. The section of rare editions (about 13,000 documents) has a great historical, cultural and scientific value. It contains handwritten books, books of XVII-XIX century, lifetime editions of classic literature - A. Pushkin, G. Derzhavin, L. Tolstoy, books with autographs of scholars, writers and public figures.

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