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National Library Of Belarus

Minsk, Belarus

The National Library is a landmark of Belarus.

This is a multipurpose center that combines high technologies, ultramodern design and unique architecture. The library originates its history in

National Library history  starts in 1922 when  it was founded under the aegis of the Belarusian State University and Initially contained 60,000 books.  Later In 1926 the Belarusian State Library became an independent institution. During the Great Patriotic War the Belarusian State Library named after Lenin lost about 83% of its books and special equipment. It managed to evacuate all the rare and early printed books, editions stored in the circulation department and reading halls while the reserve fund building burnt down completely together with what was inside.After the war the library was reborn and developed, collecting more books and establishing international ties.

In 1992 as part of the sovereign state it was renamed into the National Library of Belarus.

With time its collections grew much larger,  requiring the construction of new, larger, and modern premises. In 1989 a USSR-wide contest was held to choose the best architectural design for the Library. The winners – architects Viktor Kramarenko and Mikhail Vinogradov – suggested the Belarusian diamond design that combines functionality and modern design solutions.

The design envisaged the construction of an original building in the shape of a rhombicuboctahedron — a complex polyhedron of 18 squares and 8 trianglesresting on a supporting podium (stylobate). The surface of the diamond is covered by heat-reflecting mirror glass.

The authors wanted the cut diamond shape to symbolize the value of knowledge and the endlessness of the perceptible world.

The collection of the "diamond of knowledge" contains about 9 million editions on various media. Those are printed editions, manuscripts, microcopies, digital materials and other materials created in Belarus and abroad in over 80 languages.

Visitors are welcome to use versatile information resources and collections of the Library:

  • manuscripts, early printed books (over 70,000)
  • newspapers (about 4,700 titles)
  • magazines and ongoing publications (over 3 million copies from the early 19th century and up to the present day)
  • graphic documents
  • printed music
  • audiovisual documents
  • compact disks
  • maps
  • thesis papers and autoabstracts of thesis papers
  • digital information resources (access to over 150 national and foreign databases)

Main part of the collections is located on ten floors of the storage facility. Over 500,000 copies are available for public access and in reading halls. Digital resources can be accessed via computers in the Library while some are available via the Internet

A center for international meetings and negotiations boasts multifunctional modern equipment and special communication solutions and allows hosting top political, cultural, and educational events.

Every year the Library hosts culture days of individual nations. The days involve exhibitions of books, paintings, and photos.

There are organized tours to the National Library

Address: 116, Nezavisimosti Ave, Minsk, Belarus


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