The Library of Herbarium

The Library of the P.N. Krylov Herbarium of Tomsk State University contains a professional literature and books on botany and related subjects. P.N. Krylov, the founder of the Herbarium of TSU, along with the establishment of the Herbarium, began collecting botanical literature since the herbarium could be considered a full-fledged scientific institution only when there is sufficient complete collection of the required botanical literature. The sources for the establishment of the library collection are private collections of famous botanists working at the Tomsk State University; donations from certain scholars, TSU staff, scientific and educational institutions; an exchange with universities and research institutions, including foreign; books transferred from the TSU scientific library; subscriptions to periodicals; purchases at the expense of the university.
Initially, the library was established almost entirely through donations and was insignificant. Until 1917, the library contained about 800 books. In Soviet times, the library was frequently replenished, including by large private collections: the Herbarium received books from the private collection of V.M Florinskiy, the founder of the Tomsk University; PN Krylov during his lifetime donated to the Herbarium his private botanical library containing unique editions; the Herbarium also received a part of the V.V. Sapozhnikov’s library; many books were donated by V.V. Reverdatto; numerous students of P.N. Krylov and V.V. Sapozhnikov sent their works; famous Russian and Soviet Botanists – I.P. Borodin, V.L. Komarov, N.N. Lavrov also gave books to the library. Many books have signatures of the donators – to P.N. Krylov from the famous German taxonomist A. Engler, to V.V. Sapozhnikov – from outstanding scientists: academician V.L. Komarov, V.I. Lipsky, and V.V. Obruchev. Big collection comprising unique editions was transferred from the scientific library of TSU, some books were received from abolished Botanical office and Siberian Higher Courses for women. As a result, the Herbarium library held valuable works of the classics of Botany of XVIII – early XIX century – Carl Linnaeus, J.G. Gmelin, P.S. Pallas, K. Ledebour, N. Turchaninov and major summaries on the flora of the world by O.P. de Candolle and A. Engler.
The collection of books, being repeatedly extended, required systematization, thus in the middle of the twentieth century, L.P. Sergiyevskaya has developed a system of library catalogs that contained information on available literature. O.M. Marchenko, who worked in the Herbarium in the 1957-1978, made a great contribution to the establishment of the catalog. Bibliographic cards were being created for this catalog based on the botanical works from periodicals and scientific journals.
During the Soviet period, the Herbarium library had continued to replenish from all sources. After 1924, the library received books devoted to botany from the library of V.V. Sapozhnikov, many books were donated by V.V. Reverdatto, a lot of literature, including periodicals, have been transferred through the scientific library. By the mid-twentieth century, the Herbarium library had already 9700 thousand items, and by early 90s – more than 12 thousand. In the 90 years of the twentieth century, due to certain difficulties, the replenishment of the library was mainly donations and purchases through research grants received by the staff of the Herbarium.
Since 2000, the situation regarding replenishment of the library collections had been gradually improving: the subscription to periodicals was restored; the exchange of publications with other botanical institutions had begun improving. The Herbarium library received personal book collections of A.V. Polozhiy (2004) and S.V. Gudoshnikova (2008) from relatives. Particularly large influx of literature to the library occurred in 2006-2007. When TSU received large funds within innovation and education program, more than 3 thousand items of Russian and foreign publications, including such valuable voluminous works as “Flora of China” “Flora of North America and Mexico”, “Flora of Venezuela and Guyana” were purchased. Since then, the Herbarium library collection is replenished every year by more than 500-700 items of Russian and foreign publications within a wide range of botanical sciences, horticulture and agriculture. The Herbarium is subscribed to all the leading Russian (12) and foreign (9) scientific and popular scientific (10) periodicals. Much attention is paid to work on updating the library collection with old books and replacing lost or missing original issues or editions. Great support is provided by the library of the Komarov Botanical Institute of RAS (St. Petersburg). Herbarium Library maintains contacts with academic libraries of many universities and academic institutions in Russia and abroad, carrying out interlibrary exchange of scientific and educational publications. At the same time, the work on the improvement of the literature storage conditions, repairing and replacing covers of dilapidated books is being conducted.
By 2013, the Herbarium library had held about 35 thousand items. Due to the significant increase of the library collection, the Herbarium library in cooperation with the Scientific Library of Tomsk State University began developing a new structure of the Herbarium library with electronic catalog, which is scheduled to complete by 2015.
The Herbarium library traditionally has been popular not only among teachers, researchers, doctoral students, graduate students, students from not only Tomsk State University, but from other universities, academic institutions, agencies and organizations of Tomsk and other Russian cities. Moreover, among the regular visitors of the Herbarium library, there are people not related to education or science – florists, gardeners, phytodesigners. The Herbarium regularly hosts exhibitions of new literature, where readers have the opportunity to get acquainted with new books before they get into the collection.
© I.I. Gureyeva, A.A. Kuznetsov, N.V. Kurbatskaya