The message reads, in part:
“Founded by decree of Catherine the Great ‘for the benefit of science and education’, the Imperial Public Library was the first state-run library and educational centre open to all. Its glorious history includes great names and unforgettable events, as well as the truly selfless devotion of many generations of highly skilled experts, who know and love their job.
Today the National Library of Russia remains true to its lofty ideals. It is important that its employees preserve and develop traditions of their predecessors, implement highly sought creative projects and make an enormous contribution to maintaining the national cultural and spiritual heritage.”
The oldest public and first national library of Russia was founded in 1795 in St Petersburg by a decree issued by Empress Catherine the Great. It took some twenty years to build, outfit and form the collection. Currently, the National Library of Russia is one of the largest in the world and has the second richest library collection in Russia.