The All-Russia Library of Foreign Literature, or VGBIL, was founded in 1921. VGBIL is a major international cultural and research centre whose activities are based on a publicly available multilingual collection covering the broad area of the humanities. Its principal research areas include international librarianship, cultural studies, book science, book conservation and restoration.
The VGIBL has launched several projects on looted cultural property research as it holds valuable stocks of displaced books in its archives. The Soviet Trophy Brigades transferred these books from several European countries to Russia during and after the Second World War.
As a joint project with the Goethe-Institute, Moscow, the Library published in 1996 a catalogue of two volumes with a total of 200 items on 'sixteenth century German-language publications' in the VGBIL. The catalogue provides provenance information on most of the items together with scanner-produced images of stamps and bookplates of thirty publications. The main concern of the researchers at the Archive is to collect and digitise materials for an index of detailed provenance information on all displaced books held. In the framework of the Internet Project 'Restitutsiya' researchers at the Archive are currently working on a digitised catalogue on all displaced books held in the VGBIL
Records have already been digitised for the following books removed from libraries and collections in Germany, Austria and Hungary:
· library of Count York Wartenburg (in Russian)
· Complete catalogue of the Jewish Theological Seminary Archive of Breslau (in Russian)
· Digital research aid on displaced books from the Hungarian Sarospatak Calvinist College which are held in the collections of the Nizhni Novgorod State Regional Library in Russia (in Russian and English)
Russian-language versions of the international newsletter Spoils of War are available from the VGBIL website at http://www.spoils.libfl.ru/. The newsletter provides information on international developments related to looted cultural property.
M.I.Rudomino All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature (VGBIL)
Tel.: 007 095 915 3621
Fax: 007 095 915 3637
Monday to Friday 10.30-19.30
Sunday 10.30-17.30 (closed June to August)
M.I.Rudomino All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature
< http://www.libfl.ru/>, accessed 16 March 2004.