#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The collection contained only 600 copies of books brought by civil engineers. But two years later, the library became an independent subdivision with subordination to the combine’s technical department.
By Avraamy Zavenyagin’s order, library branches were created on the industrial sites, where for the first time prisoners from among highly qualified specialists engaged in responsible work were allowed to take technical literature. At that time, the library was already regularly receiving new books and magazines from the mainland, including foreign ones.
In 1942, together with the Severonickel combine, its technical library was evacuated from Monchegorsk to Norilsk. Its books were added to the funds of the STL.
Until 1949, the library was headed by Alexey Garry, a writer and international journalist. True, he was in charge as an interim – the status of a prisoner prevented him from becoming a full-fledged director.
Harry was also the first editor of the Technical Information Bulletin, Norilsk’s own scientific magazine. The bulletin featured articles by the best Norilsk specialists and engineers: Nikolay Urvantsev, Vladimir Kotulsky, Vitold Nepokoichitsky, Mikhail Potapov, Mikhail Kim.
They talked about real pressing issues that were acutely facing the best minds of Norilsk at that time: construction on permafrost, snow fighting, urban planning in the Arctic, geological exploration in Taimyr.
Alexey Garry even reviewed foreign scientific literature and periodicals on the pages of the magazine. The Technical Information Bulletin was published in Norilsk from 1943 to 1959.
In 1943, the library moved to the House of Engineers and Technical Workers, the most beautiful building of the 1940s. And in 1951 it was replaced to the tower-shaped building on October square, where it was housed for over 65 years.
In the year of its 80th anniversary, the STL moved to the Old Town. Unclaimed books from the funds were handed out to Norilsk residents.
Now the library is focused on the virtual reader, providing specialists with access to their collections over the network. And in the historic building, in the former premises of the library, a new public space is being made for the townspeople under the working name Tower.
In the last issue of the History spot photo project, we told that first capitalist VIP – the prime minister of Canada – visited Norilsk.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive