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Education - The State Hermitage Museum

The Research Library

The library began with an accumulation of books acquired by Catherine the Great, a voracious reader, and now contains more than 600,000 volumes in Russian as well as in other European and Oriental languages. In addition to the best art reference library in the country there is a Rare Books and Manuscripts Room, containing some 10,000 items, including a collection of book bindings and many rare periodicals.

The Archives

All aspects of the Hermitage's activity are documented in the archives. There are documents relating to the imperial Hermitage from 1767 onwards as well as State Hermitage papers from 1917 to the present day. There are over 24,000 items relating to acquisitions, staff appointments, restoration work and archaeological digs.

The Education Department

This department was founded in 1925 and has close links to the St Petersburg school system. The School Centre runs a drawing workshop for 5 to 10 year olds, 46 study groups and 2 clubs - the Young Archaeologists' Club and the Art Lovers' Club. Children can join the Hermitage archaeological digs and take part in their own annual exhibition, 'We draw in the Hermitage'. The department runs evening classes for adults and university students which are attended by more than 6,000 people a year, as well as organising a three-year university course in the history of fine art. The staff conduct between 24,000 and 26,000 guided tours of the Hermitage every year and give some 800 lectures, some in the Hermitage itself and some in lecture halls in other parts of the city. The department writes its own guidebooks and brochures, as well as preparing audio guides, videos and CD Roms.

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