National Library of Belarus disposes of rich information resources.
National Library of Belarus has been developing its information resources since 1921.Valuable book collections of monastery and church libraries and gymnasium libraries, private collections of academician E.F. Karski and professor N.A. Yanchuk on Belarusica, ethnography and literature; private collections of professor K.Y. Grot on Slavonic studies; private collections of professor K.K. Slichevski on law; private collections of I.P. Kornilov on history and Belarusica; private collections of S.M.Golgstein on the history of Lithuania and Poland, as well gifts of the main libraries of Moscow and Leningrad provided the basis of the National Library's collection.
From the year of the foundation, the Library obtains two free legal deposit copies of printed publications issued in Belarus and one free legal deposit copy of printed publications issued in the USSR (Russian Federation)till March 1995.
The NLB is depository of materials by the UN, the UNESCO, and other international organizations.
Nowadays the NLB's collection totals more than 8,300,000 items. The NLB's collection is universal. It includes printed publications, manuscripts, microscopies of documents, electronic and other materials, issued both in Belarus and other countries in more than 50 languages.
The most valuable is the
national documents collection that totals more than half a million items - publications issued in Belarus, and abroad in Belarusian, about Belarus, and written by Belarusian authors.
The collection includes the first publications by V. Dunin-Martsinkevich, F. Bogushevich, Y. Kupala, Y. Kolas, M. Bogdanovich, and other Belarusian classical literature.
Manuscripts, incunabula and rare books collection totals more than 70,000 items. It includes manuscripts and archive materials of the XIV-XXth centuries(more than 1700 items)in Slavonic, West European and Eastern languages; among them: collection of ancient manuscripts, including ones of Belarusian origin (gospels, prologues, ordinals, Lives of the Saints, dicta and morals etc.; manuscript of the XVIth century in Old Belarusian "Aristotle's Gates, or the Mystery of Mysteries" ("Aristotelevy vrata ili Tainaya tainyh"; collection of song manuscripts of crotchet and line notation; collection of Eastern manuscripts on grammar, philosophy, law, Moslem theology etc; manuscripts by eminent Belarusian scientists and cultural figures.
Old prints collection (more than 30,000 items) includes collection of incunabula (43 items), among them: "Chronicles" by H.Schedel (1493), issue of "The Divine Comedy" by Dante (1481); collection of palaeotypes (about 200 items), including 16 books by M. Luther issued in his lifetime; publications by Aldes printing house in Venice (XV-XVIth centuries), by Dutch publishers Elseviers(XVI-XVIIIth centuries), by eminent printers Etiennes, Frobennes, and others.
Cyrillic print collection includes the unique collected editions by the first Belarusian printer F. Skorina (10 issues of the Bible, Prague, 1517-1519); Gospel (Evangelie Ouchitelnoje) by V. Garaburda (around 1580); Apostle (Lvov, 1574) and the Bible (Ostrog, 1581)by I. Frdorov; books printed in P. Mstislavets' and Mamoniches' printing houses; issues by Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Russian printers of the XVI-XVIIIth centuries. The collection includes as well books by M.V. Lomonosov issued in his lifetime, books by the eminent Russian enlightened of the XVIIIth century N.I. Novikov and the journals issued by N.I. Novikov: "Ancient Russian Library" ("Drevnyaya rossiiskaya vivliofika"), "Artist" ("Zhivopisec"), "Purse" ("Koshelek"), printed publications issues during the Great French Revolution; leaflets of the period of the Commune of Paris; collection of partisan and conspiracy print of the period of the Great Patriotic War; publications banned by the tzar's censorship (collection of the free Russian press). Besides that, the collection contains books by eminent writers, artists, scientists, public figures (M. Bogdanovich, N. Gogol, V.Hugo, E.Zola, P.Picasso, S.Dali, and others), signed by the authors.
Periodicals and series collection
totals about 2, 8 million items, including about 1 million items issued abroad. The collection includes sets of journals, works, collected articles, including scientific papers issued by the oldest Belarusian scientific and higher educational institutions: National Academy of Sciences (from the years 20th, the XXth century), Belarusian State Agricultural Academy (Õ²Õ-ÕÕth centuries), Belarusian State University (from the years 20th, the XXth century) and others; besides that: "Documents, issued by Vilno Archaegraphical Commission", "Proceedings by Emperor's Academy of Sciences", "Proceedings by Emperor's Russian geographical society", "Works by the Free economic society", sets of journals "Contemporary" ("Sovremennik"), "Fatherland's Proceedings" ("Otechestvennyje Zapiski"), "Europe Bulletin" ("Vesnik Evropy"). Annually the NLB acquires more than 5,600,000 names of journals (more than 35,000 items).
totals 4500 names of Belarusian and foreign editions. The collection includes sets of newspapers published in pre-October Revolution period; sets of republican, district, and regional newspapers; newspapers by industries; the most popular Russian and foreign newspapers. The collection includes as well the first legal Belarusian newspapers "Nasha Dolja" and "Nashs Niva", the first illegal Belarusian newspaper "Muzhytskaja Prauda" published by K. Kalinovski, the first soviet newspaper in Belarusian "Dziannitsa". Annually the NLB obtains more than 1,000 names of newspapers.
Art materials collection
(more than 110,000 items) includes engravings, posters, reproductions, stamps, photos, diapositives, and video films. The NLB disposes of one of the biggest collections of posters in the Republic of Belarus. It includes works by Belarusian poster artists: V. Bukaty, V. Kriukovski, L. Krol, V. Shmatov, A. Kitaeva, and others.
totals 82,000 items. It includes works by Belarusian and foreign composers. The most part of the collection is Russian music literature. The most valuable are the first edition of the clavier of opera by A. Grechaninov "Dabrynya Nikitich", music publications by M.Glinka, S.Manyushka, A.Varlamov, P.Chaykovsky, A. Gurilev issued in their lifetime, and others. The colection includes as well claviers of operas by R. Wagner, G. Verdi, V. Bellini, G. Handel, C. Gluck, Sh. Gounod, J. Rossini, and others; music publications with autographs by L.Shleg, R. Mlodek, V. Kondrusevich, Sh. Widor, G. Nado, D. Polovtsev, and others.
Audio- and video materials collection
(29,000 items) includes CD, audio cassettes, vinyl disks, videocassettes with records of classical music by Belarusian and foreign composers. The collection contains records of folk music, jazz, pop- and rock-music. The collection includes as well literature records, lingaphone courses etc.
totals about 16,000 items and includes various types (historical, military, physical, touristic, topographic, panorama, etc.)of Belarusian and foreign cards, atlases, three dimensions relief models, photo maps, facsimile reproductions of maps, and others. The oldest maps are of the XVIIth century.
Dissertations and authors' abstracts of dissertations collection
includes manuscripts of dissertations defended in Belarus (from 1997), electronic copies of dissertations (from September, 2006), microfishes of dissertations defended in the USSR (more than 108,000 items), authors' abstracts of dissertations (more than 800,000)defended in Belarus and abroad, electronic copies of authors' abstracts of dissertations, defended in Belarus (from 1993). At present the Library is developing digital versions of retrospective materials.
Electronic information resources.
The Library provides the open access to more than 60 databases and collections of CD-ROM that totals more than 2,5 thousand items. There is full text, reference, factual, graphic, and bibliographic information on various fields of knowledge: economy, history, statistics, law, biology, geography, environment protection, technology, medicine, and others.
The library enriches its collections with legal deposit copies of printed materials issued in Belarus, purchases, subscription, international materials exchange, and gifts. Annually the NLB obtains about 200,000 items.
The main part of the collection is located in the ten-storey book depository. More than half a million items are located in open collections and reading rooms' additional depositories. The Library provides the open access to electronic resources from workbenches and via Internet.