In the middle of February 2016 at the Reading hall of the Library of SPbIH of the RAS the exhibition “The history of the Institute – the history of the Library” timed to 80-year anniversary of the Institute has been opened.
The books inherited by the library from the Archaeographic commission and N.P. Likhachev’s collection are the most valuable items of the library funds. Their potential for exhibitions is enormous. The oldest books (incunabulum) belong to the former library of the Archaeographic commission; they are two editions of “Schedel’s World Chronicle” (Nuremberg, 1493). N.P. Likhachev’s collection is represented at the exhibition by French bindings of 17th century, two miniature “Elzevirs” (17th century) and book printed by publishing house of Aldus Manutius from the library of princes Ruffo Scilla. Among the exhibits from the Russian language part of N.P. Likhachev’s collection at the exhibition there are G.F. Dolgorukov’s binding (the first super ex-libris in Russia, 1723), a book from library of N.P. Likhachev’s great-great-grandfather Aleksandr Loginovitch dated 1783 (“Zertsalo myslennogo s Bogom sobesedovania…” printed in Moscow) and top rare “Pismo k drugu, zhitelstvuuschemu v Tobolske” (“Letter to a friend living in Tobolsk”) by A.N. Radischev (Saint-Petersburg, 1790).
However, not all the old and rare books belong to former library of N.P. Likhachev. Collection of A.D. Lublinskaya is represented by the the “Historia sui temporis” of Jacques Auguste de Thou (The Hague, 1740) in binding with the bookplate of N.I. Panin; two French books of the 17th century (Bourdonné. Pensées d’un gеntil-homme… Paris, 1659; Le Clerc J. Vie d’ Armand Jean cardinal duc de Richelieu…Cologne, 1696. V.1) and F. Brodel’s book (La Méditerranée et le monde méditerranéen… Paris, 1949) with author’s autograph.
The history of the library for the last 80 years is firmly connected with the history of the Institute. The library keeps not only the works of all the Institute scholars but also books they presented during their lifetime, bequeathed to the library, etc. Dedicatory inscriptions which are plentiful at the books of scholars of 20th century reveal circumstances of acquisition of one or another work, scholarly and friendly contacts and finally the atmosphere at the institute. At the exhibition books from former libraries of N.S. Chaev, academician S.A. Zhebelev and K.N. Serbina are demonstrated. True bibliophiles were V.I. Rutenburg and A.A. Fursenko. The collection of V.I. Rutenburg is represented by the works on Medieval period in foreign languages. Among A.A. Fursenko’s collection, which consists mostly of Russian and foreign works on the history of the USA and on the history of the 20th century, two books that got to the library from Rockefellers’ office in New York (with the stamp of office’s library and A.A. Fursenko’s dedicatory inscription) owing to A.A. Fursenko are represented.