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Reading Rooms

Our Reading Rooms are located in five buildings:

Admission to the Library's reading rooms

Our reading rooms are available to visitors over the age of 14. Access to all reading rooms is by reader cards issued by the Library.
Cards are issued for the exclusive use of the reader named on the card. Cards which have been issued to a particular reader may not be passed to another person.
For more information about reader registration, please see how to get a reader card.

How to Obtain a Reader Card

Reader cards can be obtained at the Registration Desk in the ground floor of the Main Building  or  the New Building  and  the Building on the Fontanka Embankment.

The Reader Registration Desk's hours are:

  9.00 - 21.00 Monday - Friday
11.00 - 19.00 Saturday and Sunday

Foreign citizens will be asked to complete a registration form and present:

  • a valid passport with a visa;

  • registration documents issued by the Federal Migration Service of Russia at their place of stay on the territory of the Russian Federation;

  • proof of status level conferred by an institution of higher education, confirming the academic degree and status of the reseacher, e.g. a Graduate Diploma of Education,
    students must provide proof of status and level of the course studied, e.g. a undergraduate student card.

Please note that original documents are required; we cannot accept copies.

Photographs for a card are taken concurrently with the reader registration.

All potential readers are required to read the Conditions of Use of the Library's Reading Rooms carefully and sign a registration form and a reader card to accept the conditions.

NOTE!   Reader cards for foreign citizens are issued for the period of validity of their visas but not longer than twelve months and on the condition of annual renewal.

Please note that manuscripts are not made available without a letter of recommendation received and approved by the Head of the Manuscripts Department. For more information about admission to the Manuscripts Reading Room see Conditions of Use of the Manuscripts Reading Room

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