In December 2020, M.I. Rudomino Library for Foreign Literature (Moscow, Russia) ran a series of international educational events, in the blended (face-to-face and virtual) format, dedicated to the history of World War II. They highlighted the effective team work of librarians and educators to tap the libraries’ rich potential in providing original sources for teaching History. With the outbreak of the pandemic, the realm of education inevitably and actively shifted into the virtual environment, thus enhancing the demand of the society, particularly its younger generation, for employing cutting-edge formats in educational activities.

The recordings of all the project events are available on the Libraries as Witnesses of the Great Victory page on Facebook.

Web page of the project Libraries as Witnesses of the Great Victory: (English language version is available).

The Project’s reference materials (in Russian) can be used as an example of the effective collaboration on the following issues:

  • Library as a unique public repository of original documents to be used in the education process;
  • Libraries and secondary school;
  • Libraries and higer education;
  • Digital library projects for new generations;
  • International collaboration among libraries (incl. times of the pandemic).

We would be glad to provide consize description of project materials in English upon request.

About the Project

Video presentation.

Apart from Russia, the Project encompassed three CIS countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus. From the Kazakh side, the Project involved the National Library of Republic of Kazakhstan and the National Academic Library of Republic of Kazakhstan. Kyrgyzstan was represented by the A. Osmonov National Library of Kyrgyz Republic while Belarus – by the V.I. Lenin Gomel Oblast Universal Library with the support of the National Library of Belarus.

On 8 – 18 December, 2020, these libraries  hosted two-day events in the framework of the Project. On the first of the two days the theme „Educational Projects in the Virtual Environment: Partnership between Schools and Libraries (in the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory)” gathered teachers, historians and librarians in round-table discussions, focusing on most effective ways of conducting digital projects. On the second of the two days there were open interactive lectures for schoolchildren and students to discuss historical events of WWII.

Library for Foreign Literature presented several projects designed to preserve the historical memory shared by the participating countries. First of all, the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory was celebrated by the Libraries as Witnesses of the Great Victory international public resource, which played the pivotal role in the Project roll-out. The resource has accumulated memoirs and stories from library collections all over the world, told by people who were witnesses to the glorious Victory Day.

Libraries as Places of Rememberance. Child of the Field of Honour” is another unique LFL project initiated together with the Dutch author Remko Reiding, director of the Soviet War Cemetery Foundation (Stichting Sovjet Ereveld in Amersfoort).

The round-table discussions laid the groundwork for a diverse, meaningful and lively dialogue. The Project events gave the participants a boost of creative energy and outlined directions for their further joint activities. They demonstrated the will of the older generation to convey their expereience and wisdom to the youth. At the same time, the younger generation showed commitment to keeping up the efforts to preserve testimonies of Great Victory. These encounters strengthened the Organizers’ conviction that libraries and educational institutions have ample possibilities to develop joint digital projects using archival materials for promoting the history.

Schoolchildren and students attended interactive lectures presenting events and lives of WWII heroes based upon the real stories of the Libraries as Witnesses of the Great Victory international public resource. Discussing this topic at their school history classes, high school students came up with suggestions as to whom of WWII heroic soldiers they would like to see among the heros of the resource.

Over 1000 participants and more than 8000 viewers joined the events on the LFL virtual venue. The Organizers expressed their sincere gratitude to the audience and especially to the Rossotrudnichestvo Federal Agency for the financial and informative support of the Project.

Written by:

Svetlana Gorokhova, Advisor to Director General All Russia State Library for Foreign Literature, Moscow, Russia 

Daria Beliakova, Head of the Centre for Cooperation with International Professional Organisations, Library for Foreign Literature, Moscow, Russia

Maria Bereslawskaia, leading methodologist of the Centre for Cooperation with International Professional Organisations, Library for Foreign Literature, Moscow, Russia