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The Centre of Social and Political History

The library funds

The fund of the Centre of Social and Political History is the richest thematic collection of more than 2,2 million of books, periodicals, leaflets; it contains the information about the history of social thought in the XVIth-XXIst centuries, philosophy, history of law, political, social and economic history of Russia, European countries and North America. Our collections about the history of work, labour relations, the history of Russian and foreign social and political movements are in the top three of the best world collections.

During the century the libraries of the Marx-Engels Institute, the Lenin Institute, the Commission on the History of the October Revolution and the Russian Communist Party (bolsheviks) (Istpart), the Communist International, the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the CPSU have become the part of the large library fund consistently. This library was the main book depository of the CPSU.

Books’ collections of the XVIth-XIXth centuries include social and political history of Germany, France, England, the Benelux countries, Southern Europe and North America, pre-revolutionary political history of Russia, the history of the Russians abroad in the XIXth-XXth centuries, the history of the world democratic and communist movements. Former party ideologists gathered not only works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, but in 1920s-1930s they bought the most valuable editions on the Ancient, Mediaeval history, philosophy, the history of economy, the rare books of Ancient and Roman philosophers, Descartes, Spinoza, Bacon, Diderot, Voltaire, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Feuerbach, etc., trying to show the role and global significance of Marxism–Leninism.

Among the great number of invaluable editions, large collections of the period of the French Revolution of the XVIIIth century, pamphlets, journals, newspapers of those times, collections of songs, leaflets, posters, booklets, relating to the period of the Revolution of 1848-1849 in Europe should be noticed. A unique on completeness collection of documents and media of the First International is of interest of researchers. In general, the library has invaluable collections of documents about the history of the First, the Second and the Third Internationals.

Hardly possible to find better funds which contain the information about social and political history of Russia, the history of all Russian pre-revolutionary social groups, parties and movements than in the Centre of Social and Political History of the State Historic Public Library of Russia. The social-democratic part of the funds and another part on the Party of Socialist-Revolutionaries are collected completely.

The collection of Russian revolutionary literature consists of four thousand legal and illegal books and booklets, thousands manifestos of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and several tens of thousands leaflets of different pre-revolutionary political parties and groups in Russia, from Narodniks, social democrats, socialist revolutionaries, anarchists till right-wing monarchical ones, «Black Hundred», etc.

The Russian Revolutions, the Russian Civil War, the formation of the Soviet State, the evolution of the Communist Party and country leadership (there are all power levels — from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union till district committees) for seven decades — all these themes are exist in our funds on exclusively completeness and carefulness.

It is worthwhile to note another distinguishing feature of funds of Centre of Social and Political History — the richest incomparable collection of foreign and Russian newspapers and journals of the XVIIIth-XXth centuries. Especially, from the period of the French Revolution till the Russian Revolutions and the Russian Civil War.


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