The Library of the Polar Commission of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg (1914-1936) contains about 4000 books and maps. The collection is currently being recorded in St. Petersburg by the computer firm EcoShelf, with the assistance of Dr. Tatjana Schrader, historian and former scientific co-worker and librarian of the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences. To secure the widest possible dissemination it will later be converted into polar CD-ROM PolarPac. This unique collection of Arctic books and maps belonged to The Polar Commission. It was founded in 1914 to initiate and co-ordinate Russian scientific research in polar regions. The collection dates back to the 18th century, when the great northern expeditions set out to explore and map out the Russian Arctic along the Northern Sea Route under the command of Arctic explorers such as Vitus Bering, P. Laptev, S. Chelyuskin and others. The library was built up during the nineteen twenties and thirties through expropriation of private book collections of Arctic researchers emigrating from the Soviet Union (L. Breitfus, I. Tomachev, etc.) and from donations, regular purchase and exchange. In 1936 the Polar Commission was reorganised and part of it moved to Moscow. The book collection was deposited in the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. The collection is located in the department of maps. The major part is in Russian language. Among the curiosities are books from the Norwegian Polar explorers with dedications and autographs (Nansen, Amundsen). For a more detailed description of the collection, see article by Tatjana Schrader.
Article by Tatjana Schrader in English
Same article coded in cyrillic Koi-8.
Same article transcribed to latin caracters.
Library of Polar Commission of the Russian Academy of Sciences. List of Books (Preliminary list)
(The book list contains at present about 3800 bibliographic records. They have been transcribed into latin caracters according to ISO/R9. Special caracters c,s,z with caron hachek have been rendered with the special signs #v etc.)
July 31 1998 Tor Sveum