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Full collection of Schneerson Library available to visitors starting July 2014

December 17, 2013, 20:19 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 17. /ITAR-TASS/. The remainder of the Schneerson Library collection will be transferred from the Russian State Library to the Jewish Museum until spring 2014; since next July a full collection of the Schneerson Library will be available for all visitors to see, head of the Federation of the Jewish Communities of Russia Alexander Boroda told a news conference in Moscow on Tuesday.

At present, there are some 4,500 books left at the Russian State Library because they cannot be transferred elsewhere without being scanned. It takes around a month to scan 500-600 books. The scanning is being done alongside making an inventory of the books, which is not an easy process and requires studying notes on the pages and penned out pieces of the text. Historians and archive workers cannot study the collection if no inventory is made, Chairman of the Museum Board Borukh Gorin told Itar-Tass in a previous interview.

The Russian State Library will remain a juridical owner of the collection featuring 12,000 books and 50,000 rare documents, but the collection will be exhibited in rooms belonging to the Jewish Museum.

The Schneerson Library was started in the early 20th century by Rabbi Joseph I.Schneerson in the Russian city of Lyubavichi (present-day Belarus).

Earlier this year, a US court issued a ruling according to which Russia would be required to pay 50,000 dollars a day to an Orthodox Jewish movement headquartered in New York until it releases the historic Schneerson Library claimed by the Jewish group as their property.

Moscow ignored the decision as an act "of outrageous violation of the generally accepted norms and principles of international law," according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The conflict goes back to 1994, when the Library of the Congress obtained seven of the rare Schneerson Library books from the Russian State Library through an inter-library exchange program.

In January, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the recent decision of the US court, ruling to fine Russia $50,000 daily until it surrenders the texts, “has nothing in common with justice.” The collection is the “heritage of the Russian nation,” Lavrov said.

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