The Sergei Taneyev Scholarly Library

The Sergei Taneyev Scholarly Music Library of Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory is Russia’s largest music library and one of the world’s leading libraries as to the volume and value of its collection.

In September 1860, Nikolai Rubinstein, the future founder of the Moscow Conservatory (1866), granted a large collection of his own sheet music and books to the music classes of the Russian Music Society’s Moscow Branch: it was that very private collection that formed the core of the future library.

As of today, the Library’s collection contains about 1.5 million items, including sheet music, books on music, periodicals, dictionaries, encyclopedias, newspaper clippings, booklets of musical competitions and festivals, concert programs, theses and other methodical papers, as well as a number of unpublished materials.

Both artworks of Russian composers and literature on Russian music are most fully represented; in addition, foreign music also occupies a considerable place among the Library’s holdings. The collection of rare editions and manuscripts of early Russian and Western European music, including personal collections and autographs, is also of great interest: it consists of about twenty thousand items in total and is stored at the Department of Rare Editions and Manuscripts.

The Taneyev Library serves not only students and teachers of other educational institutions but also Russian and foreign composers, musicologists, artists and media workers. Its research departments provide information materials on Russia’s music culture to various international bibliographic databases and have access to them:

  • RILM (contemporary musicology);
  • RISM (manuscripts and ancient editions up to the year 1350);
  • RIPM (musical periodicals of the 19th century).

Since 1969, the Library has been a member of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Information Centers (IAML), which unites musical institutions and organizations of over forty countries around the world. In 2010, Moscow hosted the IAML International Congress, and the Taneyev Library, together with the Russian State Library, took an active part in its preparation and holding.

Twenty volumes of bibliographic materials on Russia’s periodicals of the 19th and early 20th centuries, including the ten-volume Russian Musical Gazette, have been published in Russian under the aegis of IAML and UNESCO as part of the RIPM project, which is ongoing these days. The project of a new building for the Library is currently underway as part of the reconstruction of the Moscow Conservatory buildings.