National Library of Belarus

The National Library of Belarus (Belarusian: Нацыянальная бібліятэка Беларусі, Russian: Национальная библиотека Беларуси) is the biggest library in the Republic of Belarus.[1] The library is located in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. It houses the largest collection of Belarusian printed materials and the third largest collection of books in Russian behind the Russian State Library (Moscow) and the Russian National Library (Saint Petersburg).

National Library of Belarus
Нацыянальная бібліятэка Беларусі
Национальная библиотека Беларуси
Country Belarus
EstablishedSeptember 15, 1922 (1922-09-15)
LocationMinsk, Belarus
Size~10 million items
Other information
DirectorRoman Motulski


Construction of the new building started in November 2002 and completed in January 2006.[1] The library's main architectural component has the shape of a rhombicuboctahedron. The height of the building is 73.6 metres (241.5 feet) and weight is 115 000 tones (not including books). The building has 23 floors. The National Library can seat about 2,000 readers and features a 500-seat conference hall. The library's new building was designed by architects Mihail Vinogradov and Viktor Kramarenko and opened on 16 June 2006.[2]

The National Library of Belarus is the main information and cultural centre of the country. Its depository collections include about 10 million items of various media.[3] In 1993 the National Library of Belarus started to create its own electronic information resources. It has generated a collection of bibliographic, factual graphic, full-text, graphic, sound and language databases that comprise more than 2 million records. The scope of databases is quite wide: humanities, social sciences, history, art and culture of Belarus. Library users also have access to databases of other libraries and academic institutions, including foreign ones. The library service is in great demand. More than 90 thousand citizens of Belarus are library users, who annually request 3.5 million documents. Every day the library is visited by more than 2,200 people. The library delivers about 12,000 documents daily.

In addition to serving as a functional library, the National Library is a city attraction. It is situated in a park on a river bank and has an observation deck looking over Minsk. As of 2009 it is the only structure in Minsk with a public observation deck. The area in front of the library is used for many public concerts and shows.

Observation deck

A special elevator for tourists leading is located on the backside of the building. The library's roof is located on the twenty third floor. The roof has an observation deck equipped with free binoculars arranged over the perimeter. Also, there is a cafe and a gallery on the twenty second floor.[4]

Interesting facts

  • Saddam Hussein donated half a million dollars for the construction of the library.[5]
  • The building is also the subject of an art video by French artist Raphael Zarka, "Rhombus Sectus", shown at the Bischoff/Weiss gallery, London, in 2011.


  1. "Национальная библиотека Беларуси |". (in Russian). Retrieved 2018-06-26.
  2. "Национальная библиотека Республики Беларусь - ГПО "Минскстрой"". Retrieved 2018-07-28.
  3. О библиотеке. Национальная библиотека Республики Беларусь (in Russian). Retrieved 2018-06-26.
  4. "Observation Deck". Национальная библиотека Республики Беларусь (in Russian). Retrieved 2018-07-28.
  5. "Лукашенко: Саддам Хусейн инвестировал полмиллиона долларов на строительство Национальной библиотеки". 2006-11-23. Retrieved 2018-06-26.

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