Tenafly, NJ: Hermitage, 1988. Krynsky, Anatoly (book design). First edition. Original publisher's wrappers. Item #421
Book measures: 23 x 15.5 cm. 222 pages: illustrations. Text in Russian. Signed by the author on the free endpaper. The book comes with a five-page-long book review compiled and signed by the former Curator of Arms and Armor, Heritage Museum, Senior Research Associate, Department of Arms and Armor, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Leonid Tarassuk, Ph. D. A lightly worn copy; very good internally.
The book provides an account of one of the most significant Russian libraries, the Hermitage Library in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. The author draws on their personal and professional experience, having worked as a bibliographer in the Hermitage Library for many years before leaving for the West. The library's collection contains precious books reflecting the role of Peter's Russian culture in assimilating Western Europe's spiritual, scientific, and artistic accomplishments into Russia. The book restores the picture of Catherine II of Russia collecting activities, who established the Hermitage Library. The Empress was lavish in spending, acquiring several vast private collections in Russia and abroad. The description of the methods employed in procuring foreign book treasures is particularly interesting. The book also contains fascinating historical material and a rich bibliographic apparatus, making it a valuable resource for Slavists, historians of Russian culture, bibliographers, and collectors interested in the history of Russian libraries.