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The Plekhanov House forms part of the Russian National Library in St Petersburg. It includes 72 archives of materials dating back to 1799. The materials include the archives and library of Georgi Plekhanov as well of numerous figures from Russian history, politics and intellectual life.
Plekhanov House contains a large collection of materials on Russian and foreign history, on the Russian and international revolutionary movements and social history, on education, culture, secular and religious education, and so on. It includes collections of a number of authors from Russian history and from theological sources. The heart of the collection, however, is the over 5,000 items of storage that include original materials from Plekhanov's own collection.
Over the years, Plekhanov House has published a number of works including the 24 volumes of Plekhanov's Collected Works, a 5 volume set of Selected Philosophical Works, and other works.
The opening ceremony of Plekhanov House took place on 11 June 1929, following the donation of the archives and library of Georgi Plekhanov by his widow, Rosalie Plekhanova, to the Soviet Union in 1925.
As noted in the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science:
It was organized and headed by Rosalia Plekhanov-Bograd, the widow of the founder of Russian Marxism, and immediately became the most important centre of scholarly analysis of the theoretical legacy left by that prominent thinker.
As noted on the website of Plekhanov House, soon after Plekhanov's death the Soviet Government, at the initiative of V. I. Lenin, went to Rosalie M. Plekhanova with a proposal to start publishing the works of her late husband and set up an Archive. In 1925, Rosalie Plekhanova presented the Archive and Library to the Soviet Union "having refused various individuals and research institutions, like Musée Social and Institut des Études Slaves, which suggested outright acquisition or temporary housing in Prague or in some West European archive institution." According to Plekhanov House:
The Public Library as the place was not an accidental choice. According to Rosalie M. Plekhanova, who took an active part in her husband's social and literary work, Plekhanov had always considered the Petersburg Public Library as his "Alma Mater", a spiritual source of theoretical and practical knowledge he resorted to during the early stages of his scholarly and revolutionary activities. Plekhanov's heirs presented his archives and private library together with the furniture of his study in Geneva to the Soviet Union on the condition of integral hold in the Public Library in Leningrad as an organizational unit in a separate area with specialized research staff.