Omsk State Library

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The new building of the library.

The Omsk State Regional Research Library, named after Alexander Pushkin, is the oldest public library in Omsk and is the main research library in the region.

History[edit]

In 1899 the Omsk Municipal Duma made a decision to open a municipal public library in honor of Pushkin’s centenary. The library was opened in January 1907.

It was located in the extension to the Municipal Duma that was constructed against the special project of architect G.S. Bartkovsky. Two adjoining rooms were set aside for the reading hall and the premises where the books could be rented. The library numbered 4 160 books and magazines, 370 readers in the first year of serving the Omsk residents.

In 1920 they opened a room for studies and a museum with following departments: bibliography of Russian, foreign literature and modern editions, children’s department with a club and a bindery.

During the time of nationalization within 2–3 years the library archive fund expanded to 300 thousand items, which made the Omsk library to be one of the biggest book depositories in Siberia.

From 1922 to 1924 the library was located in the building of central post office (former store of tradeswoman Shanina, currently it’s a trade house “Lyubinsky”). However, in 1924 the library moved to its original place – at that time it occupied almost the whole building.

In 1930s Omsk became a regional centre and the library achieved the status of being regional. Since 1940 the library started to get compulsory copies of all books published in the country. During the Great Patriotic War all the activity of the Pushkin library was subordinated to the war time needs. The employees had to answer the inquiries of specialists from industrial enterprises, theatres and organizations that were evacuated to Omsk from the European part of the country, they also patronized hospitals.

In 1960 the departments of technical, agricultural and musical literature were opened; the information service for culture and art was created. The general fund exceeded one million items in 1967. In the 1970s by the amount of work the Omsk Regional Research Library named after A.S. Pushkin got into the best ten out of seventy three analogues libraries in the country.

On April 28, 1995 the library moved to a new building. The architectural and sculptural design of the library’s new building(eight sculptures and the surface of the side facade) was created by Vasily Trokhimchuk. The library achieved the status of the “Central State Library of the Omsk Region.”

The architectural and sculptural design[edit]

Vasily Trokhimchuk began to work on the architectural and sculptural design of the new building in 1982. Eight sculptures with the height of 3,5 meters made of hammered blued copper are installed in the niches along the principal front. Those are the statues of the outstanding figures of Russia that personify a thousand-year history of the nation: the founder of Russian statehood Yaroslav the Wise, the leader spiritual renewal of Rus Sergius of Radonezh, the symbol of Old Russian art Andrei Rublev; outstanding representatives of Russian science, art, technological advances – N.M. Karamzin, M.V. Lomonosov, M.N. Glinka, K.E. Tsiolkovsky. The image of A.S. Pushkin, whose name the library bears, has become the central figure of this sculptural pantheon. The statues of Alexander Pushkin and Andrei Rublev were created by the project author V.A. Trokhimchuk. Leningrad sculptors M.M. Ershov, L.Y. Kalibaba, V.I. Eremin made the other six. The statues were cast in mould in Leningrad at the art-production factory named after M.M. Torez. Their production was conducted by the cutting out sheet copper on the solid plaster model. The blessing and the installment of the sculptures on the pediment of the building took place in spring of 1993.

The side façade of the library building is decorated with the relief. It doesn’t depict real historical events; it looks more like a philosophical account of mankind's history. The centre of the composition is the image of the Earth mother. At the right and at the left the figures of Icarus and Atlas stand out for their size. These figures are made in the largest scale which emphasizes the special place these mythological heroes take in the human history. Proportions of the rest figures (for about a hundred) depend on the importance of this or that character. The relief (its length is 30 meters) was made of clay (the Leningrad sculptor V.A. Eremin has taken part in the modeling). The knock down relief (11 parts) was delivered to Omsk by the railway and later it was installed at the site under the direction of the author.

Visits[edit]

  • In 1923 the Omsk central library was visited by the people's commissar of education A.V. Lunacharsky.
  • In 2001 the library was visited by the president of Korean Democratic People's Republic Kim Jong-il during his mission to Omsk.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°59′33″N 73°21′37″E / 54.9925°N 73.3602°E / 54.9925; 73.3602