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National Library of Ukraine

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National Library of Ukraine

Національна бібліотека України імені В. І. Вернадського
English Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine
Country Ukraine
Established 2 August 1918
Location prosp. 40-richchia Zhovtnia, 3, Kiev (Ukraine)

50°24′14″N 30°31′07″E / 50.40389°N 30.51861°E / 50.40389; 30.51861

Size 16,000,000 total Items[1]
Other information
Director Volodymyr Popyk
Staff 900 [1]
Phone number +38(044) 525-81-04

Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine, VNLU (Ukrainian: Національна бібліотека України імені В.І. Вернадського) is the main academic library and main scientific information centre in Ukraine, one of the world's largest(top twenty) national libraries. It is located in the capital of the country – Kiev. The library contains about 15 million items. This unique collection includes books, magazines, serials, maps, sheet music, fine arts materials, manuscripts, rare printed books and incunabula, newspapers, and documents of untraditional materials. The library has the most complete collection of Slavic writing, archives of outstanding world and Ukrainian scientists and cultural persons. The holdings include the collection of the Presidents of Ukraine, archive copies of Ukrainian printed documents from 1917, and archives of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.


Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine was established on 15 August 1918 by Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi as the "National Library of the Ukrainian State" (Natsionalna biblioteka Ukrayinskoyi Derzhavy). On 5 September 1918 there was established the Provisional Committee on creation of the National Library headed by Vladimir Vernadsky (Volodymyr Vernadsky).

Scientific Activity

The Library performs functions of the principal library of the country and a complex cultural centre of scientific information and scientific research. It works on problems of bibliography, biography and book sciences, scientific description of manuscripts and old-printed books, preservation, restoration and conservation of documents.

Basic scientific trend of VNLU:

  • "Forming and Using Scientific Information Resources. Library Informatization";
  • "National Bibliography Creation. Ukrainian Biography Science";
  • "New technologies of preservation, conservation and restoration of library funds";
  • Elaborated works, proposed for joint revision and introduction.


The collection of the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine contains more than 15 million items. Its basis form the large book collections of 18th-19th centuries.

As a depository library the Library has systematic acquisition. Annually, it receives 160.000-180.000 documents (books, magazines, newspapers, etc.). Holdings include all Ukrainian publications and copies of all Ukrainian candidate and doctoral theses. The library exchanges materials with more than 1.500 research and academic institutions and libraries from 80 countries. As a United Nations depository library since 1964, the library receives all English and Russian language publications from the United Nations and its special institutions.[2]

The holdings of the Vernadsky National Library include large collections of manuscripts,[3] rare printed books and incunabula. The library has the most complete collection of Slavic writing, including the Peresopnytsia Gospels, one of the most intricate surviving East Slavic manuscripts.

Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine is the world’s foremost repository of Jewish folk music recorded on Edison wax cylinders. Their Collection of Jewish Musical Folklore (1912-1947) was inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in 2005.[4]

Using the Library

Materials may be searched through print and through the online library catalogs, card indexes, and reference databases. Materials from 1994 to present are included in the electronic card catalog. There are more than 30 department print card catalogs arranged by subject and classification.

Each year, about 500.000 readers use the library resources and receive 5 million documents. Each day, about 1.800-2.000 scientists, specialists, post-graduate students, and students visit the library. The readers are served in 16 specialized reading rooms of the main library complex, and 6 reading rooms at the branch site that houses collections of manuscripts, incunabula and rare books, prints and reproductions, music editions, Jewish manuscripts and printed editions, the largest newspaper collection in Ukraine, and the archives of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

The library serves governmental bodies such as Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine, the President’s administration and Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. For these bodies, the library provides not only traditional library services, but also prepares reviews and analytical materials.

The library serves as a research institute in the fields of library science, bibliographical sciences, book sciences and information technologies. The library publishes the magazine Library News and annually hosts international scientific conferences.

It has more than 390 computers in use for creating the National Electronic Library of Ukraine and to serve readers by providing electronic information resources.

The library has more than 40 departments, grouped by fields (such as library sciences, Ukrainian books, manuscripts, archived sciences, bibliographical research) and centers (such as preservation and restoration, culture and education, computer technologies, and publishing). The library has about 900 employees (70% librarians, 17% scientists, 13% auxiliary staff).

Highlights of the library


External links

  • On January 5, 2011, the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine launched its new online catalog: Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine – eCatalog
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