The MNS library is one of Russia’s largest and contains about half a million books. The history of the library starts from the book collection of Fischer von Waldheim, the Society’s first director. The collection itself included several thousand volumes. D. Shelaputin, a merchant and the Society’s member, handed over more than 2,500 rare books to the library in 1831. Princess Z. Volkonskay also donated a large number of books.