A library of “CaspNIRKh” is one of the oldest and largest fishery libraries in the Astrakhan Region. Books and periodicals on ichthyology, fishing, aquaculture, hydrobiology, hydrology, ocean science, fish processing technology, environment conservation, as well as on related branches – zoology, biology, botanics, biochemistry, microbiology etc. form its basis.
The library was founded in 1889 by the Astrakhan Administration of Fishery and Seal Fishery. In 1897 a museum and the library of the Administration together with a chemical laboratory were located in a special department called Ichthyological Laboratory.
Artificially of the 1-st of January 1907, according to the prospectus, the library numbered 774 books, among which works of first well-known Russian researchers of the region – academician P.S. Pallas and S.G. Gmelin, in particular a black-letter book of Samuel George Gmelin ”Travel on Russia to research 3 nature empires. Part 2. Travel from Cherkask to Astrakhan and staying there from the beginning of August 1769 to June 5, 1770” (1777), a book of Peter Simon Pallas “Travel on different places of the Russian State. Book 2.” (1786).
Unique books of European natural scientists of XVI-XVIII centuries in Latin are of great interest: earlier edition of Salviani (1554), in which the author describes 92 fish species, a manuscript book of Peter Artedi “Ichthyological philosophy” (1738); edition of the English naturalist Villobi “Fish systematics” (1686).
The library keeps a manuscript book written by a manager Fedor Redkin, “Historical description of the Chernorynskiy farm and fishing in the Caucasian Region and the Kizlyarskiy district on the Caspian Sea shore” (a scribal copy of the book published in 1825), valuable editions of Kessler, Grimm, Baire, Danilevskiy, Lepekhin, complete editions of pre-revolutionary periodicals: “Messenger of fish industry”, “Matter for perceiving Russian fishery”, and other books and periodicals.
At present the library of CaspNIRKh contains 69 thousands of printed publications. More than 4,5 thousands of manual writings are kept in its holdings and archives of the Astrakhan Region, belonging to the scientists’ quill of several generations – it is an original chronicle of changes in the Caspian Sea ecosystem during decades, elaborations on its conservation basing on industrial fish farming, water-resources management, etc.
Research officers of CaspNIRKh use the library, as well as readers from different organizations in Astrakhan, students, postgraduates and teachers of the Astrakhan State Technical University and the Astrakhan State University. A regional research library named for N. Krupskaya sends its readers, interested in fishery, to the CaspNIRKh library.