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Central Scientific Agricultural Library (CSAL)

Name and Contact Points


Central Scientific Agricultural Library (CSAL)


Pozdnyakov Vyacheslav Grigorievich, Candidate of Economy Sciences, Professor, Academician of the International Academy of Informatization


Sadovskaya Lydia Klavdievna ( Science) Honoured Scientist of Culture of RF

Avetisov Mikhail Andreevich Automation of the library-bibliographic processes


Abbakumova Nina Petrovna Scientific-methodical and coordination activities


107139( Moscow, Russia, Orlikov bystr. 3,corp. V


Abbakumova Nina Petrovna


(095)205 8972 (Director's office) (095)204 4819 ( Executive officer) (095)207 8806,207 5448 (Service Department)


(095) 207 8972






The history of the Central Scientific Agricultural Library is inseparable from the development history of Russian agricultural science and agriculture.

The foundation of the CSAL is originally linked with the establishment of the All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences named after V.I.Lenin (VASKHNIL) - the leading center of the soviet agricultural science.

In 1930 the fundamental agricultural library was opened. It was aimed at meeting the information demands of the academicians. Then the fund of the library numbered about one thousand volumes.

In July 1930, the People's Commissariat of USSR Agriculture adopted the Decree on the Establishment of the All-Union Agricultural Library (VSKHB) on the base of VASKHNIL's Reference Library. The Library was given the funds of the Central Library of the People's Commissariat of Agriculture of the RSFSR, the libraries of the former Moscow Agricultural Society, of the Union of Agricultural Cooperation of the Kolkhozcentre. The total fund of the libraries reached about 23 thousand volumes. Since that time the library constantly intensified its work. Its staff grew. A serious attention was paid to the collections of the fund, both current and retrospective. The reference and bibliographic activities were intensified, the reference facilities were formed, new forms with the readers were introduced.

In 1934 the library received a new status -it was act nowledged the scientific establishment and was named the Central Scientific Agricultural Library of VASKHNIL.

An important event, which intensified the work of the Library, was the transformation into its branch of the Fundamental Agricultural Library of Leningrad ( now St. Petersburg ),organized on the basis of the Library of the Agricultural Department of pre-revolutionary Russia (founded in 1838). The rare fund of the Library allowed to better meet the requests for information coming from scientists and agricultural experts. To that period we refer the organization of the individual and interlibrary exchange, the introduction of new forms of mass information: exhibitions, readers' conferences, etc.. The international document exchange is rapidly growing: about 600 institutions from 80 countries all over the world have become the CSAL partners on book exchange.

The Library started to create reference facilities, including a comprehensive systematic catalogue. This was a catalogue of a new type, which comprised the properties of the subject and systematic catalogues for all types of documents.

The information-bibliographic activities of the CSAL were further expanded and soon the Library became the country's center of the agricultural bibliographic information.

The subsequent development of the CSAL activities was stopped by the war. In 1941 the Academy and the Library with the most valuable funds and some of the staff-members were evacuated to Omsk. The rest of the funds were dispersed in various districts of Moscow.

In 1943 the Library was reevacuated to Moscow. But the building of the Library was used for military purposes, the funds were scattered, irregularities in arrivals of current literature and other factors were obsticles to its development. Even under such difficult conditions the Library didn't stop its work.

In 1946 the Presidium of the Academy adopted a new "Statute of the Central Scientific Agricultural Library", which made it the methodological and bibliographic center for all agricultural libraries of the VASKHNIL system.

In 1948, the CSAL published the first edition of the systematic current bulletin ( "Agricultural Literature in the USSR" ), which later performed the functions of the registration character, and since 1954 - the annotated systematic bibliography foreign publications ( "Agriculture"). By the beginning of the '60s, the CSAL has built a harmonious system of the bibliographic information, comprising the whole complex of the current, retrospective and recommendation indices. The publication of the Annotation Cards of the Centralized Bibliographic Information ( CBI) has become an interesting form of the information service. This publicati on of the bibliographic cards up to now retains broad popularity, as it used the coming CSAL document flow. The cards were available in thematic series and used for the creation of the agricultural library catalogues in the country. Imp lementing CBI gave the CSAL the possibility to act as a main body of the centralized cataloguiing and agricultural literature classification in the country.

The '70s were marked by the development of scientific-research and methodical work in the Library. The decadewas also marked by a number of scientific research works the Library undertook independantly or in cooperation with other big libraries.

The results of these studies were incorporated into a number of scientific-methodological documents, that regulate the work of the Library and its network in various directions.

In 1971 the Library moved into a new nine-storey building. This was a memorial event in its life. By this time the fund of the Library included 2.5 million volumes of books on agriculture and related branches of knowledge. Its staff numbered 300 employees. The total sitting capacity of its reading halls was 400. The depository was equipped with modern technology. These opened new possibilities for its work.

The Library continued to develop its international contacts in the form of scientific and technical cooperation with foreign countries and expended its participation in the work of international organizations. The international book exchange is at the highest level. The Library exchanges books with over 1200 organizations. The book exchange became one of the sources of foreign literature fund acquisition.

The '80s are marked with considerable movement of the country towards the establishment of the common state automated system of technical information (GASNTII of the USSR), uniting all branch and departmental ASNTIs. The CSAL, as the head body, together with All-Union Scientific Research Institute of technical-economic Investigations in Agriculture ( now VNIITEIagroprom ) managed the common system of NTIAPK ( ESNTI Agroprom). The Library became the main generator of the branch documentographic agricultural data base "ASNTIsel'khos", in the creation of which participated ( on the unique technical, program and linquistic base ) all big libraries and APK information organs of the country.

The GASNTI stopped its work after the USSR broke up. The branch subsystems, as well as the other scientific, in formation and all-union library net did not function. The Library tried to adopt its activities to the new conditions of so called "resrtuctive economy". The main directions of the Library 's work in "90s were the deidologization of the activities, the access to the limited fund, the replenishment of the fund with the works and proceedings of the repressed scientists, expanding the rate of services ,taking into acount the customers payment demands, the technical reconstruction , the transfer to the computer information technologies. The content and the forms of the scientific methodical management of the agricultural library net, the coordination of the bibliographic and scientific work, the forms of interlibrary cooperation have changed. The CSAL passed under the departmental submission of Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VASKHNIL stopped its activities ) retaining the status of the All-Union center of the agricultural bibliography, international book exchange, the coordination of the agricultural libraries activities. The Library did not get the government currency allocations for foreign literature acquisition, many others free of charge and centralized domestic publications acquisition sources, and also lost the main subscribers to the bibliographic publications, but inspite of the fact, it acquired a considerably much economic independence, enreached its fund with food industry documents, when it merged with the Central Scientific Technical Food Industry Library (in 1996 ), multiplied its bibliographic resources, acquiring the world agricultural data base on CD-ROMs. The Library actively participates in federal programs to include the Russian libraries into the world information space ( "Libnet", "Libweb", "Russian Libraries in Internet", etc.). Since 1996 the Library published the abstract magazine "Veterinary Science" ( 4 issues).

At present, the CSAL RASKHN, as an academic library, performs the duties of the branch library of Russia and provides the wide range of information services, that quarantee the users' rights for free access to the information and scientific knowledge.



The Central Scientific Agricultural Library RASKHN contains the biggest in Russian Federation collection . Its aim is to meet the demands of all categories of users. Its fund numbers about 3 million volumes ( 1 million 800 - domestic, 1 million 200 - foreign literature ) in 32 languages. The Library contains domestic and the most important foreign publications on all problems of agriculture and related sciences ( natural sciences ), also food and food processing and can meet most diversified information requests of scientists and agricultural experts of our country.

Every year the Library receives over 50,000 new books, magazines and pamphlets.

Well represented in the funds are the works of prominent Russian scientists and agronomists, such as K.A.Timiriazev, N.I.Vavilov, I.A.Steboot, D.N.Pryanishnikov, A.G.Doyarenko, N.M. Tulaikov, V.P.Goryachkin, P.A.Kotychev, M.F.Ivanov, V.I.Edelstein and many others.

The Library has many bibliographic rarities dating back to the 18 century. Such books allow the reader to trace the history of agricultural science and the progress in Russian agricultural literature. Among such rarities are :"The Economy of Florin "( 1738 ), I.M.Komov,"On Agricultural Instruments"( 1785 ), A.T.Bolotov "The Pictures and the Descriptions of Various Sorts of Apples and Pears from the Dvoreninovskie and other Gardens" (1900 ) and many others. Of great interest are various pre-Revolutionary Zemskie ( Regional ) publications on agriculture ( before 1917 in Russia existed self-governed local bodies, called Zemstva ), statistical reports, publications of meetings of agronomists.

The Library's funds contain works of agricultural scientific research institutions over a considerable period. Among them are the materials of 746 agricultural experimental stations ( the Shatilovskaya station - beginning with 1905, the Rostov-Nakhichevan - 1910 and some others ). The Library has the pre-Revolutionary magazines for a period of over 100 years. For example "The Works of Free Economic Society"- for 150 years ( 1765-1915 ),"Forestry Magazine"- for 85 years ( 1833-1918), all copies of the " Soil-Science" magazine every since 1899 - the year of its foundation, the "Horticulture" - since 1838.

Recently, the Library organized the memorial fund of books, which were awarded Gold Medals for outstanding achievements and discoveries in agriculture, forestry, irrigation, the fund of deposited manuscripts and the fund of translations that numbers 42,000 copies.

The Library possesses a rich fund of foreign literature. Apart from the books, it includes over 3,000 foreign magazines, some of which are represented over since its foundation.

The Library's fund also includes publications of many international organizations. Among them are: FAO,UNESCO, the International Federation of Apicultural Unions, the European Association on Plant Selection, the International Centre for the Improvement of varieties of Maize, Wheat, and some other organizations.

Some of rare foreign agricultural publications represented in CSAL fund date back to 16-17th centuries. The Library possesses many valuable reference books, such as :"Production Yearbook", "Agricultural Statistics", "Bibliography of Agriculture", "World of Learning", etc. Also interesting are specialized foreign publications such as : "Encyclopedia agrarian Italiana"' "The Standard Cyclopedia of Modern Agriculture" ( a British encyclopedia ),"The Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture", etc.



The users of the Library are the juridical persons, regardless of their organization - legal forms and property forms, the citizens with no restrictions in education level and profession, irrespective of social status, religion and political orientation. It's necessary to have permanent or temporal pass for access to the Library and enjoying its services. In the whole one can work in the Library free of charge. It refers to a number of services and functions set, but the CSAL also provided 20 types of payment services.

The CSAL possesses a whole system of reading halls: general reading hall, the hall of new arrivals, the hall of to the funds for effective readers service and providing with the latest domestic literature arrivals. In the Reference and Bibliography Sector the user has the access to domestic and foreign reference publications of a universal character, encyclopedias, dictionaries, reference books both general and in specific branches of agriculture and related sciences, bibliographic and reference periodicals, retros pective bibliographic index on agriculture and related branches. In the Scientific-Methodical Sector the user can get the access to the literature on bibliography, library, science, information science and borrow books for work at home by international interlibrary exchange ( since 1995 the Library is a member of International Agricultural Library Net - AGLINET ), and also by interlibrary exchange. The in formation users services include the access to the main world data bases on agriculture on CD-ROMs: AGRIS, CABI, FSTA, AGRICOLA, etc. The net regime of activities is becoming more popular in readers service. The user is provided with necessary information not only through the access to the own CSAL document funds, but also through the access to LIBNET, INTERNET.

The user can participate in mass information arrangements: scientific readings, specialists days. open literature demonstrations, scientific-practical conferences. The Club of Gardeners is also of great interest. If needed the Library organizes excursions about the Library.

The CSAL works daily from 10 A.M. till 7 P.M. Sundays and Saturdays are days - off.




At present, the CSAL data base is on Web-server of the "Integrum-Techno" information center. The data base accumulates more than 700 thousand documents and is constantly renovated. The data base includes bibliographic descriptions of books, collections of works, deposited manuscripts, etc. The bibliographic descriptions are supplied with short annotations, abstracts ( 15% of articles ),thesaurus terms, rubricator rubrics on agriculture, etc.

The basic information on CSAL as an "Integrum-Techno" information agency partner is available on the server.

The address: http://www.cnshb.ru - the Agroprom library base.

(c) LibWeb, 1997