By Nicola Bacon
Founded in 1862, the Russian State Library (RSL) holds a formidable amount of historical information, including unique collections of Russian and foreign documents, in approximately 247 languages. The RSL, as part of its scholarly activities, runs unique research projects in order to preserve and restore its key documents, and for many years they have been running a range of projects to enable the digitization of its heritage.
ProQuest products already in use by the RSL included ebrary Academic Complete™ and Ulrichsweb™ Periodical Directory; it is this historical partnership that led to the library approaching ProQuest once again. The RSL prides itself on the unique content that it has available for researchers and students. With a strong foundation of original dissertations on a variety of subjects and specializations (excluding medicine and pharmacy), they wanted to increase this further and turned to ProQuest.
Elena Kolgushkina from the RSL explained that they went to ProQuest to help expand their collections because “ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global is internationally known, and we are grateful to get access to the full range of dissertations from around the world." This purchase will greatly enhance their own collection of more than 900,000 volumes, a number which they see increase by 30,000 each year, including 20,000 Master’s Degrees, and 10,000 Ph.D. dissertations.
Since acquiring ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global (PQDT), the library has increased the electronic collection; each year over 90,000 works are added to the product from across the world. One of the key benefits that Kolgushkina likes is that “it is easy to search connected to other ProQuest products, and the library staff feel that it is a very convenient and extensive product.”
On average, the RSL welcomes 4,000 visitors every day, and also has Virtual Reading Halls available in 80 Russian and CIS cities, which are attended by about 8,000 visitors a day. The purchase of PQDT allows the RSL to deliver fast and seamless discovery of graduate works with a single access point; this reduces delays and enhances the user access to full-text works.