Pages of History
There are only a few libraries mentioned in a worldwide known encyclopedia “Britannica”. But in an article devoted to Kirov we can read: “… there are teacher-training and agricultural institutes and a library founded by the Russian revolutionary leader and writer A.I. Herzen during his exile there in the 1840s”. These words underline the importance of the Vyatka public library founding. It’s named nowadays after A.I. Herzen.
Historical addresses of Herzenka
During the first years of existence, the library didn’t have its own building, moving from one place to another. Let’s have a look at Herzenka’s historical addresses:
P. G. Arshaulov’s house (at the corner of Spasskaya and Voznesskaya streets).
Nowadays it’s the building of regional studies Museum and the Theatre for young Spectators in Drelevsky/Lenin, 17/ 82 streets.
The opening ceremony of the Vyatka Public Library was held on the first floor of the Nobility Assembly Hall.
The house was built by the Vyatka merchant Arshaulov according to the design of an architect Anisimov M. A. in 1812-1816.
The owners of the house were Repina Elena Pavlovna and her sons, who came of merchant’s stock. They used to rent the house to some persons, among them the board of the Nobility Assembly. The Library has been situated here for more than a year, from the day of its opening till the Nobility Assembly’s abolishment in 1838.
Photo from the book: Vyatka. Monuments and Memorable Places. – Kirov, 2002. - p. 80.
The House of Filimonova M. P. in former Kopanskaya str. (nowadays Herzen str).
The house was situated opposite the modern Herzen library’s building. The house was not preserved.
A wooden house built on stone foundations was owned by a land surveyor Filimonova Maria Pavlovna. It was situated opposite the regional studies department of Herzenka. In 1840 the Library had to leave the house because of overrent (300 roubles).
The House of Averkii Perminov (former Spasskaya str.). At present time it’s Drelevsky street, 10 a.
The house is an architectural monument of XVIII century. After reconstruction it is still being preserved.
The third location of the library was in the town’s major house. His name was Vassily Arshaulov. The house was built approximately in 1755, and by the middle of the XIX century it had fallen into disrepair. That’s why at the beginning of 1842, Arshaulov decided to get rid of the house-selling it for the town society’s necessities. So in April 1842 the library left its shelter.
Photo from the book: Vyatka. Monuments and Memorable Places. – Kirov, 2002. – p. 61.
The house of A. Suyatina (at the corner of the former Spasskaya and Voznesenskaya streets). At present time Drelevsky /Lenin str. 19/ 75.
The building didn’t preserve. Later a stone building of Volzhsko-Kamskii bank was built on its place. It is known now as “Kardakovskii shop”.
The library was being quartered for 4 years in the house of the middle-class citizen Afanasii Suyatin. The rent was 400 roubles a year. A small house was built by a wife of the first government’s architect Pelageya Roslyakova. In 1780 the house was bought by a merchant Ivan Maslennikov, then Alexander Fyodorovich Mashkovtsev became the house’s owner. Nadezhda Suyatina bought it in 1830. She rented part of the house to the Public library in 1842.
The house of P. G. Arshaulov. At present time Cooperative lane, 4.
The house was more than once rebuilt, preserved and is known as Narodny (Public) house. The house was built in 1812 by the merchant Arshaulov accordingly to the design of an architect M. A. Anissimov. In 1835 it happened to be the property of Elena Pavlovna Repina and her sons, who used to rent the rooms. The library was housed there till the 10-th of October 1847 and had to leave because of crowded conditions and newcomers, renting neighbouring rooms.
Photo from the book: Vyatka, Monuments and Memorable places. – Kirov, 2002. – p. 79.
The house of Suntsov (at the corner of former Spasskaya and Tzaryevo-Konstantinovskaya str.). At present time, Drelevsky/Svoboda str. 14/73. The house is still preserved.
In October 1847 the library moved to the house of Andrei Stepanovich Suntsov, built in 1843 and designed by an assistant-architect I. T. Solovkin. The library occupied four rooms of the first floor. Librarian’s flat, consisting of two rooms, was next to it. For moderate rent (180 roubles a year) the Public Library got the whole first floor at its disposal.
Photo from the book: Vyatka. Monuments and Memorable places. – Kirov, 2002. – p. 93.
The house of I. J. Ukhov. 1856 (at the corner of Spasskaya and Vladimirskaya str.). At present Drelevsky/K. Marx str. 32/74. The rebuilt house is still preserved.
The house occupied by a district (uyezd) college became the library’s next shelter. A two-storied stone building was built by a merchant Ukhov. It was designed by an architect N. A. Andreevsky. In April of 1856 the library left this house, as its owner (public college’s board of directors) decided to sell the house for the benefit of an orphanage.
Photo from the book: Vyatka. Monuments and Memorable places, - Kirov, - 2002. – p. 93.
The house of N. Moskvitinova (former Spasskaya str.). At present time, Drelevsky str. 23. house isn’t preserved. In 1863 a Public bank named after Veretennikov was built there.
On the 19-th of December 1853 a private house was bought for the library. A two-storied building with a wing, three stables, coach-house and cellar was sold by the heirs of the middle-class citizen Natalya Moskvitina by auction. The cost of purchase was 1425 roubles. But the library could move there only in September, 1856, after rebuilding and repairing, which lasted several years.
The house of Khokhryakov (at the corner of Copanskaya and Spenchinskaya str.). Nowadays Herzen/K. Liebknecht str. 50/96.
From 1863 and till present time this building is occupied by the library named after A. I. Herzen. In 1863, the director of the library P. V. Alabin did his best to buy the merchant A. F. Mashkovtsev’s house for 3.000 silver roubles. The house was built in 1792 and meant to the merchant E. K. Khokhryakov. It was designed by government architect F. M. Roslyakov. In 1928-29 they added a reading hall to the library’s building. The whole reconstruction of the building was fulfilled in 1954-59. According to the design of an architect a depository was built. In 1997 an architect A. G. Tinsky discovered that in March-April of 1837 in a corner room of an old part of the library’s building lived A. I. Herzen. He had lived there before the building became the property of the Public library.
This issue is prepared in accordance with an article “Follow the trace of the Vyatka Public library”, written by Tinsky A. G., Khokhlov A. A. (“Herzenka. Vyatskie notes”: [Popular-science almanac]: issue 1. - Kirov, 2000).
Herzenka’s History in Data
Circular of the Voluntary economical society on the formation of Public libraries in government towns in Russia was issued out. The residents of Vyatka raised on subscription list 418 roubles for a library to be opened. But it didn’t happen then.
1836, April, the 9-th
A council of management was established. It dealt with the foundation of a library. The headman of the council was titular councilor V. J. Titov. A. I. Herzen was appointed as his assistant. He “willingly accepted this responsibility” and personally worked out and sent hundreds of letters to the Vyatka citizens; Herzen asked them to assist the library with books and money. The first to answer was a merchant K. V. Belyaev from Jaransk acquainted with Herzen. He sent 70 books (among them “Boris Godunov”, published in 1831) and 1000 roubles. By the time of the opening ceremony the library has got 1313 volumes.
1837, December, the 6(18)
The opening ceremony of the Vyatka Public library took place. A. I. Herzen delivered his famous speech, emphasizing the role of books and libraries in the history of mankind. The happening took place in the Noble Assembly building. Text of Herzen’s speech (100 copies) was printed in a government printing house. These printed texts became the first literary issue in Vyatka. After Herzen left Vyatka his friend (a gymnasium teacher A. E. Skvortsov) began to work as a librarian. The Public library led a miserable existence, as its existence fully depended on private donations. In the 1840s the library practically didn’t get any accessions and fell into decay.
Thanks to social enthusiasm of those days in Russia, it was decided to revive the library. Vyatskyii governor paid attention to its disastrous situation. M. K. Klingenberg: “I’m ashamed that we nearly commited a sin of closing the library. To leave it in such a situation when people’s need for reading is constantly growing - is a real shame”.
P. V. Alabin was appointed a manager of the Vyatka Public library. In order to provide it with money, he organized concerts, lotteries and literary parties.
1862, March, the 20-th
The Vyatka Public library was reopened. The works of A. S. Pushkin, N. V. Gogol, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, N. A. Ostrovsky, I. A. Goncharov, L. N. Tolstoy, F. M. Dostoevsky were bought that year.
A house of a merchant A. F. Mashovtsev was purchased for the Public library. A staff librarian began to work. Departments for ladies, children and music-lovers were organized.
Since 1863 annual reports have being printed. P. V. Alabin compiled and issued the first printed “Catalogue of the Vyatka Public library”.
1866, January, the 22-d (February, the 3-d)
On the initiative of P. V. Alabin a public museum was opened in the library, but due to financial difficulties the museum was sold to Vyatskoe Zemstvo (Vyatka country - court).
The first woman was engaged as a librarian.
At the request of the local authorities and with the highest permission the library was named after the emperor Nicolai I.
The department of local region was organized (department of regional studies at present).
At the request of Vyatka residents the library was named after A. I. Herzen, “its founder and fighter for freedom”.
The first issue of a journal “Leaflet of the Vyatka region librarian” (the first provincial library issue in Russia) was published. The journal announced a new library principle: “It defined its scientific status and introduced an appointment of a director”.
Government Executive Committee passed a resolution and the library began to receive a free obligatory presentation copy of each local issue.
The library began to receive a free obligatory presentation copy of every book production in Russian Federative Republic; since 1931 – a paid obligatory presentation copy.
A reference department was formed.
A book museum was formed due to manuscripts, and rare books of XVI-XVIII centuries in foreign and Russian languages.
Notes and claviers (10000 copies) were separated from the main stock and became the basis of a theatrical-musical department.
1929, December, the 19-th
Opening of a large Reading-hall, comprising 450 seats, took place.
Interlibrary exchange department was opened.
Formation of the book stock for lending began. Later lending book department was organized. Since 1935 it served party-economic activists and progressive workers of the town; since the 1-st of March 1936 this department has been serving all Vyatka residents.
Methodological chamber was organized.
A division for the blind was opened. Later it was singled out into the library for the blind.
Periodical department was organized.
Foreign literature department was opened.
According to the Public commissioner of education V. P. Potymkin’s order and though the Currency fund the library began to receive foreign periodicals from Great Britain and the USA.
1941 – 1945
During the years of war many industrials enterprises, scientific and cultural institutions were evacuated from large cities (mainly from Moscow and Leningrad) into Kirov. The library became the place where many outstanding scientists and cultural workers could work and communicate. One could see and listen to the academicians E. Tarle, K. Bykov, writers A. Marienhof, B. Lavrenyov, E. Schwarz, E. Charushin; gave concerts pianist H. Neuhaus, actors of Leningrad Bolshoi drama theatre named after M. Gorky.
The Library became the first among regional libraries of Russia. In 1944-1945 it hold the challenge Red Banner of Public Commissariat of Education and Trade union Central Committee. More than 30 librarians were awarded to a medal “For valorous work during the Great Patriotic war of 1941-1945, and to other awards.
1948, October, the 31-st
A monument to A. I. Herzen (sculptor V. S. Ryazantsev) was opened near the Library’s building.
Patent-technical department of the library was organized.
The construction of a new multilevel book storage and reconstruction of the library’s old building were completed.
1962, October, the 18-th
The first meeting of a club “Thursday of Regional Studies” (kraevedcheskii chetverg) took place.
Specialized reading halls were organized: literature on agriculture and natural science; art and humanities.
The library became a member of Exhibition of National Economic Achievement and was rewarded to a diploma “The best library of RSFSR”.
The first Saltykovskiye Readings took place. They were devoted to the life and activities of M. E. Saltykov-Schedrin (in 1848-1856 he was exiled as a deportee to Vyatka). In November, 2006 the 10th Saltykovskiye Readings took place.
1973, March, the 30-th
Club “Vyatskiye Booklovers” began to work.
The library was awarded with Honoured letter of commendation by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
Rare and valuable and manuscript division was organized.
1975, April, the 24-th
The first meeting of the literary club “Zelyonaya Lampa” (The Green Lamp) took place.
The Library was confirmed an interregional depositary of disused literature from the libraries of Kirov region and republic Mari-El.
1977, December, the 22-d
The first Herzenovskiye Readings took place. They were devoted to the literary heritage of A. I. Herzen, his staying in Vyatka (1835-1837), the situation in Russian province Vyatka, cultural bonds etc. In April 2007 the 9th Herzenovskiye Readings were held.
Hygiene and Book repair division and bookbinder’s shop were organized (today – Restoration and conservation Centre).
In connection with the one hundred and fiftieth jubilee, the library was awarded with the “Order of Honour”.
“Polskii Club” (Polish Club) was organized at the department of literature in foreign languages.
The first Petryaevskiye Readings – an interregional scientific conference, devoted to memory of a writer and a scolar Y. D. Petryaev were held. In February 2005 the 8th Readings took place. As a result of these Readings the laureates of Petryaev’s prize were named.
The first computer appeared in the library.
1992, April, the 1-st
The Department of Electronic Resources was organized. The forming of the electronic catalogue began in January 1994.
The Cabinet of West European Book was opened at the department of literature in foreign languages.
The department of Registration and Control was organized (it was based on the sector of accounting and registration).
The Art Centre began its work – the Club of intellectuals in our town.
The German Centre was opened (with the help of the Institute named after Goethe).
On the meeting of Kirov Regional Duma the laws on “Library Deal in Kirov Region” and “Free obligatory presentation copy of documents in Kirov Region” were passed.
1997, November, the 3-d
The cabinet of Electronic Data was organized (at the department of Electronic Resources). On the 18th of December (2002) it was reorganized into the Center of Legal Data and Electronic Resources.
The historical fact was determined by Tinsky: in the building, wheretoday the library is based, in 1837 (from April till May) lived A. I. Herzen.
The exhibition “Vyatskay Book” took place. Later it was held every year.
The library became the member of Russian Librarian Association.
The first issue of the almanac “Herzenka. Vyatkie Notes” was published.
The Book Chamber was organized. It controls the accounting and registration of free obligatory presentation copy of documents, which were published on the territory of Kirov Region.
The Department of scientific publications was organized.
The Library was awarded the diploma of the winner of XXII competition “Russian scientific works in librarianship, bibliography and regional studies 2004-2005” in nomination - “The best work in regional studies. The librarian aspect.” The Library also had got the diploma of the winner of IV Russian competition “Libraries in environmental education 2005-2006”.
The Centre of environmental data and culture was opened.
2007, June, the 26-th
The library was visited by S. V. Stepashin, the president of Russian Book Union.
Herzenka’s History in Persons
Alexander Ivanovich Herzen
He was a writer and publicist. He was in exile in Vyatka from 19(31).05.1835 till 24.12 (5.01) 1838. He played a crucial role in the opening of the Vyatka Public Library. He gave a speech during the opening ceremony on 6(18).12.1837. He said: “A book is a last will and testament of one generation to another, of a dying elder to a youngster, just a beginner…Almost all the humanity’s life was gradually written down in books. Tribes, people, states vanished, but a book stayed alive. ”
A. I. Herzen was the first librarian and reader of the Vyatka Public Library. The library was named after A.I.Herzen in March 1917.
Peter Vladimirovich Alabin
He was a military man, writer, scientist, bibliophile and philanthropist. He served in the Vyatskaya Uyezdnaya Kontora (The Vyatka District Office) from 1857 till 1866. He ran the Vyatka Public Library over the 1861 to 1866 period. During his ruling one could see “The Golden Age” in the history of the library’s existence. Thanks to Alabin’s effort the building of the library was built; the book stock was enriched.
Peter Vladimirovich compiled the first printed “Catalogue of the Vyatka Public Library”. In 1866 an absolute record of borrowing in the pre-revolutionary period was achieved. It accounted 51000 copies.
P.V. Alabin published “Leaflet of the Vyatka Library”, Regulations and the Rules of the library usage. The last two were the foundation almost for all regional libraries in Russia.
According to Alabin’s effort a museum in the library was opened in 1866. Having left Vyatka in 1866, he continued sending books and items to the library and museum. P.V. Alabin was a Vyatka honorary citizen, that’s why the hall of the Vyatka Public Library was decorated with his portrait.
Being a governor of Samara, Alabin became a head of a guardianship board of the Samara Public Library. He took part in the liberation war in Bulgaria. Alabin was the first civil governor of Sophia and a founder of The Public Library there (nowadays known as the Library of Cyril and Methodius).
Alexander Nicolaevich Luppov
He was official, county and public figure. From 1908 till 1918 he was a manager, but later headman of the Vyatka Public Library’s Directors Board.
A.N. Luppov was able to revive the library. The library was paid allowances by the government in the amount of 3000 ruble to enrich the book stock. The number of staff was also increased. Alexander Nicolaevich contributed much to the library’s development, f-ex: he abolished fee taking for visiting the library reading- room, a book-stock was considerably extended and lightning was installed. Due to these the attendance of the reading-room went up from 408 visitors in 1908 to 6046 in 1912.
One of the most important events was an opening of a regional studies department in 1909. According to Luppov’s efforts a new printed catalogue was published in 1910 (made by Molomin N.V., with subsequent editions in 1910, 1913, 1914). This catalogue is still now used as a valuable guide to pre-revolutionary part of the book-stock. Luppov was one of those who developed a plan of the library’s reorganization and made a project of new Regulations.
Gogel Elena Vladimirovna
She was a famous specialist in the library science, an active participant of the Russian Library Community. She studied librarianship in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and France. From 1903 she was a librarian in Saint-Petersburg Women’s Teachers Institute.
Elena Vladimirovna moved to Vyatka at the end of 1917 and began to work as a learned librarian in the Herzen library, later as a head of the library. The plans to reorganize the library were put into practice during her ruling. The reading-rooms with the free access and reference department were opened; the specialization according to the different branches of learning was conducted; the book’s scientific processing and classification were brought into; the card cataloguing was introduced.
While she was ruling the library it began getting an obligatory copy of regional than of the Russian publications free of charge. Gogel organized courses for the staff, through which ran more than 300 employees.
Due to her efforts “The librarian’s leaflet of the Vyatka region” began to issue. It was the first provincial library edition in Russia. Thanks to Gogel’s activity the library structure was put in accordance with the standards of all the Russian academic libraries; the library was granted the status of the scientific and methodological centre.
Vojkhanskaya Klavdia Mikhailovna
She was a specialist in the library science, teacher, Honoured Cultural Worker of Russia (1965). She had been working in the library from 1924. After graduating from the Moscow Library Institute in 1938 she became a head of the department in the State Public Historical Library. She was a director of the Kirov Library College from 1939 till 1941, but from 1941 till 1975 – in the Kirov Herzen Regional Scientific Library.
Being a qualified specialist, a great organizer and a scholar of authority K.M. Vojkhanskaya created a brand name of the ‘’Herzen Library’’. Due to her efforts the Herzenka joined the ranks of the best regional Russian libraries.
Her energy and persistence allowed to find means for the library’s reconstruction and to build a new book depository.
K.M. Vojkhovskaya was a permanent member of the International Federation of Library Association which sessions took place in Moscow, Leningrad, Montreal, Bucharest, Sophia, New-York and Brussels.
Having retired on a pension in 1975 she continued working in the library in a department of valuable rare books and manuscripts. She was awarded with the Order of People’s Friendship.
Chudova Galina Fedorovna
She was a librarian and bibliographer, an Honoured Cultural Worker of Russia (1965). She graduated from the Moscow Library Institute. She was evacuated to Kirov region in 1941.
On Vojkhanskaya’s invitation she began working as a librarian in the regional studies department in the Kirov Region Scientific Herzen Library in 1942 and later in 1949 as a chief librarian of a reference department.
Being an enthusiast of the librarianship and a qualified specialist G.F. Chudova wrote the unique regional studies bibliographic scholarly works. Among them were “The Centenary Bibliography Index of the Kirov Region”, “Kirov regional Studies Museum”, “P. N Luppov”, and the most important among her works was “The Chronicle of Kirov Region”.
She made a stock of documentary sources devoted to the Kirov Region History (The stock “D”). G. F. Chudova became a laureate of the Ural Regional Historian Prize named after V. P. Birukov for her book “In those farthest years: Essay to the history of the Vyatka regional studies”.
Having been on a pension from 1960 she continued working in the library about 30 years on a voluntary basis.
Petryaev Evgenii Dmitrievich
He was a scientist, a military physician, regional studies researcher and bibliophile. He was a member of the Writers’ Union (1955). He was the author of more than 100 scholarly works in biology and microbiology, the Candidate of Science. He had been living in Kirov since 1956.
Having gone into retirement in 1968 E.D. Petryaev completely devoted himself to the literary and regional studies activities. He was not only a regular of the Herzen Library, but also a librarians’ counselor. While living in Vyatka he wrote a lot of books. Among them were “The People and the Fortunes” (1957), “Literary Discoveries” (1966, 1981), “People, Manuscripts and Books” (1970), “M.E. Saltikov-Shchedrin in Vyatka” (1975, 1988), “The bibliophile’s Leaflet” (1978), “Live Memory” (1984), “Vyatskie bibliophiles” (1986) (Vyatskie knigolubi).
In each Petryaev’s book there are pages devoted to the Herzen Library the book stock of which he studied with great care. With his participation the Herzen, Saltikov and Grin readings were conducted. The clubs such as “Regional studies Thursday” and “Vyatskie bibliophiles” (nowadays named after him) were organized.
From 1988 Petryaev’s readings devoted to the literary regional studies and bibliology problems in Kirov are being taken place nowadays.
Shumikhin Victor Georgievich
He was a bibliographer, specialist in bibliology, an Honoured Cultural Worker of Russia (1977). He graduated from the Leningrad Cultural Institute named after N.K. Krupskaya, a librarianship department. He worked in a reference department of the regional library named after A.I. Herzen from 1961-1984.
Being an inborn bibliographer, unsurpassed expert of cultural history for his rather short life he made a lot of historical and regional studies discoveries, published some articles in the sphere of bibliography, bibliology and regional studies.
After his death the bibliographical indexes such as “M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin and Vyatka” (1985, co-authorship with S.P. Kokurina), “Evgenii Dmitrievich Petryaev” (the second edition, 1993), and one more research called “For present and future life: Book industry of the Vyatka country-state (Vyatskoe Zemstvo)” (1996) were issued.
One can call his indexes an example of bibliographic manuals. Together with E.D.Petryaev he initiated new activities in the library: Herzen and Saltykov readings, musical Wednesdays in the department of literature in art.
He was a permanent member of the club “Vyatskie Knigoluby” (Vyatka’s bibliophiles).
Being a man of great erudition and kindness he was a center of attraction for almost all creative people including writers with whom he had long friendly relations. According to A. Likhanov’s words “His life was sacrificed to the book” and he himself “was a knight of bibliography”.
Kokurina Svetlana Petrovna
She was a bibliographer, regional studies researcher. Svetlana Petrovna graduated from the Kirov State Teachers’ Training Institute, a historical department. Since 1959 she had been working in the reading-room of the Herzen Library as a library assistant, later-in the reference department.
From 172 till 1991 she was a chief librarian of the regional studies department. Svetlana Petrovna was the author of the numerous bibliographical indexes and lists of literature. Among them were “Kirov”, “Urzum”, “Yaransk”, “Kirovo-Chepetsk” and others.
Being a historian she revived a good genre in the Vyatka regional studies – historical chronicles.
Together with her colleagues she created an index “The Kirov Herzen Regional Scientific Library: 1837-1987”. This index became a literary monument of the Herzen Library.
Having retired on a pension in 1991 she was the leader of the regional studies association “Vyatka”. Her participation in the creation of the unique regional studies scholarly work “The Encyclopedia the Vyatka Region” (10 volumes, 12 books) could be called a feat of labour.
In the period from 1996 till 2005 S.P. Kokurina was a head of the Vyatka Branch of the Russian Cultural Fund. Thanks to her selfless labour she joined the ranks of the most outstanding librarians of the XX century. She was awarded with the “Order of Honour”.