The glorious history of one of the oldest University libraries in Ukraine – the Fundamental Library of Kharkiv National Agrarian University (KhNAU) named after V. Docuchayev – originates from the moment of the foundation of the first in Russian Empire agricultural higher educational institute – Agrarian Institute on the territory of Poland. Having been born in a picturesque town of Marimont near Warsaw, the library had existed for more than 100 years under its hospitable roof.
During the period of its existence the library together with the institute changed not only its addresses but its names as well.
In the opening year of the library (1816) its collection consisted of 250 books issued in Polish, German and French.
The brightest page of the library’s activity is connected with the name of outstanding soil-scientist V. Docuchayev, thanks to whom the formation of the library’s fund with agricultural literature started. It was his scientific activity that began the development in the library service system of agrarian scientists, widened the book-exchange geography of the Institute scientific publications and set in the acquisition with Russian publications (1873) which put foundation of the most valuable library fund.
By the end of 1876 there had been 11000 volumes, and in 1892 – 14,000 ones.
When the Institute moved to Kharkiv (1914), the books published in the Polish language were presented to the Polish educational organizations.
In 1930s XX age library got the status of the fundamental library and became a depository of works and collection of the outstanding agricultural scientists: V.V. Docuchayev, M.M. Sybirtsev, F.F. Matskov, M.M. Kulyeshov, O.O. Migulin, G.I. Gorokhov and others.
The unique librian funds have entered into the World Catalogue of Agricultural Information Resourses.
At present there are more than 600,000 printed works, 22,000 foreign books of which being issued in 11 world languages. Besides books and periodicals, dissertations and abstracts of theses (about 8,000 volumes) are kept here.
The pearls of book funds are rare editions. The oldest of them is “The General Land Description of the Russian State issued according the highest order of the queen Katherine II”, published in 1787 in St. Petersburg.
Every year the librarian funds are supplemented with new editions (about 7,000 copies).
Today the library is the leading trade centre of Kharkiv region, information and cultural centre of the university.
Since 2002 the library has been forming the information resources: electronic catalogues, bibliographing data base, as well as the collection of electronic publications of the Agrarian University scientists.
The library cooperates with cultural centres and educational institutes of Kharkiv region, the University Youth and Students Union in restoration of national and cultural traditions, popularization of agrarian knowledge, and celebration of memorable days, using for this purpose literature rewies, literature and musical parties, meetings with writers, poets and artists, and so one.
The system of librarian services includes 8 reading rooms for 400 working places, 4 subscription offices, 10 chair libraries, an Internet-hall. About 22 thousand readers enjoy services of the library annually.