“For the Benefit of the Fatherland and good Englihtement”: Library Intelligentsia and the War Cover Image

«На пользу отечеству и благое просвещение»: Библиотечная интеллигенция и война
“For the Benefit of the Fatherland and good Englihtement”: Library Intelligentsia and the War

Author(s): V. V Komissarov, A. A. Soloviev
Subject(s): Other, WW II and following years (1940 - 1949), Book-Review
Published by: Ивановский государственный университет
Keywords: library intelligentsia; the Great Patriotic War; the State Library named after V. I. Lenin; L. M. Koval;

Summary/Abstract: The review analyzes the book by L. M. Koval “Not only with weapons: the Russian State Library during the Great Patriotic War”, the release of which was timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory. Lyudmila Mikhailovna Koval (1933—2020) is the author of over 370 publications, candidate of historical sciences, Honored Worker of Culture of the Russian Federation. She devoted 57 years of her life to work in the Russian State Library. She is rightfully considered the ―chronicler‖ of this library, its main historian. The reviewed book is the logical conclusion of the series of books by L. M. Koval devoted to the war. She, like the characters in her last book, is a representative of the library intelligentsia. The book shows the contribution of the staff of the State Library named after V. I. Lenin to the cause of Victory at the front and in the rear. The book is replete with interesting materials from the archive of the Russian State Library, including those that have never been published before. It is also organically complemented by numerous letters from veterans and memoirs of library staff, which distinguishes this publication. As a remark, it should be noted that the publication would only benefit if it included illustrative material. Photographs of the war years, as well as portraits of library staff, would add artistic expression and clarity to readers, which would further enhance the effect of the facts presented in the book. Another remark relates to the fact that L. M. Koval used some of her articles from previous years when writing the book, as a result of which there are repetitions of the same facts in several chapters. However, the above remarks do not spoil the overall positive impression of the book. It raises a very important for today theme of patriotism and loyalty to the cause you serve. L. M. Koval was able to demonstrate, using specific examples, how the library intelligentsia in the difficult war years managed to fulfill the behest of N. P. Rumyantsev — to serve “for the benefit of the Fatherland and for good enlightenment”. The library staff in the most difficult conditions saved the national treasure — the book fund of the main book depository of the country. At the same time, they efficiently and promptly fulfilled all information requests from the front and rear, did not forget about research activities, worked in hospitals, on the labor front, donated the last money to the Defense Fund.

  • Issue Year: 2021
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 142-149
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: Russian