• Table of contents

    • [+]Preliminaries (3)
    • [+]Introduction (4)
    • [+]Latin America (13)
    • [+]Sub-Saharan Africa (9)
    • [+]Arab World (11)
    • [—]Russia (11)
    • [+]India (11)
    • [+]China (9)
    • [+]Conclusions (6)
    • [+]Appendix (1)


Free access virtual libraries

In addition to these retail stores and commercial distributors, we find numerous first-rate libraries that make their backlists available to the public in digital format. Some sources claim that there are no less than 400 official electronic libraries in Russia, without counting the privately-run portals.[1] In this regard we must highlight the efforts made by the Russian State Library: the biggest institution of its type in Russia and one of the most important in the world, it has a digital repository containing hundreds of thousands of works of all kinds, which can be consulted on the Web and in countless virtual reading rooms. Its backlist consists largely of university theses, which total 600,000 documents.[2] In 2005, the Library promoted the creation of the Association of Electronic Libraries, a body that groups together the main local repositories.[3]

These platforms will no doubt prove to be essential in a country characterized by its vast geography. As stated on the State Library’s website:

Thanks to access to electronic collections, we are giving more educational opportunities not just to the inhabitants of big cities but to all Russians who are interested in learning.

  1. Cf. “Russian president says reading should be encouraged in all forms”, RIA Novosti, 22nd April, 2010.
  2. It should be pointed out that the digitization of academic contents is part of State policy – President Medvedev himself recently stressed the need for a centralized database incorporating all the theses in the country. Cf. , .
  3. Cf. , .

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