02:10 GMT +321 August 2019
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    Russia’s Presidential Library Opens First Electronic Reading Room in USA

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    The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library has opened its first virtual reading room on the territory of North America in the US capital of Washington, D.C., offering a special collection dedicated to the relations between the United States and Russia.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The fund of the Library, which is fully electronic and the most advance in Russia, currently consists of some 500 thousand items containing some 50 million digital pages, a third part of which has open access on the website. The reading rooms provide readers with full access to the library’s resources.

    The special collection of reading room in Washington provides readers with scientific research, archival documents, and graphic materials on US-Russia relations. Among others, it includes North America’s map of 1784, materials on the history of Russian-American Company and Russian America, as well as the joint declaration of the anti-Hitler Coalition of the defeat of Germany signed by Georgy Zhukov and Eisenhower.

    The reading room, located at the Russian Cultural Center, has become the 27th reading room abroad, and is available to anyone interested in learning more about Russia’s history and language by getting access to digital copies of archival documents, maps, and photos, to copies of magazines and books, as well as images of museum objects, audiovisual and multimedia documents.

    Library’s representative Alexey Sholomov told Sputnik on Monday that the interest of the foreign public to learning more about Russia is increasing.

    “In countries of Old Europe, including Spain, Portugal, and France, the interest to learning more about Russia is constantly growing,” Sholomov said.

    Sholomov believes that the reading room will be popular among the US citizens who wish to learn about Russia from inside the country.

    “In Russia there are people who want to know more about the United States, not just the information from the media. I am sure that in America, there are people who are interested in Russian history and culture from inside Russia,” he explained.

    Presidential Library Named After Boris Yeltsin
    © Photo : Presidential Library Named After Boris Yeltsin
    Sholomov added that in order to avoid difficulties in the relations between countries, people must very thoroughly know their state’s history as well as the history of those nations with whom they are building the relations.

    “In order to improve the relations between our countries [Russia and the United States], people should be interested in both the history of Russia and the United States,” he said.

    The representative noted that while most of the Library’s resources are in Russian, the texts are accompanied by the detailed bibliographical descriptions in English to make the search easier.

    “Most of the fund is in Russian language. The Library is aimed at preserving our cultural values,” Sholomov said. “We translated some documents into English upon the request from the Library of Congress. We also have a desire to create a platform for automatic translation of some of the documents.”

    Library’s librarian Liubov Zavialova told Sputnik that the audience has been increasing with the growing number of the reading rooms.

    “The number of people virtually coming to the library is continually growing. The Large part of our users are Slavisists, but also who are interested in Russia,” Zavialova said. “Most of the readers are advanced Russian speakers.

    Zavialova also noted that the fund of the library is constantly growing.

    The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library was opened in Saint-Petersburg in 2009 as a versatile information center with a law status of national library of Russian Federation. The library has a well-developed infrastructure including computerized reference room and showroom, a conference hall, a multifunction multimedia complex, data storage centers and a printing facility.


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