Giorgi Chubinashvili National Research Centre
Library & Archive

The library of the G. Chubinashvili National Research Centre for Georgian Art History and Heritage Preservation was founded in 1943 on the basis of library funds of the Museum of Shota Rustaveli and His Epoch. The library profile is art history, history and archaeology. The first Head of the library was Natalia Eliava, who was for a certain span replaced by Nino Eristavi. In 1960-2004 the library was headed by Nino Magalashvili. Since 2006 archive-library section is headed by Guram Zhgenti.

Similar to the entire Institute, the library had wide contacts with scholars, scientific institutions and diverse Universities all over Europe. This was the way of enriching the library collection, which comprised about 50 000 copies of books in Georgian and foreign languages. In 1991-1992, during the well known events Tbilisi, more than half of the library collection was burned down.

Unique editions, encyclopaediae in German, English and French languages, high quality editions of albums of the outstanding painters and architects, a rare edition of Bible with the commentaries in Russian, dissertations, books and works of the Institute researchers and huge important documentation kept in the library, all perished in fire. At present number of books reaches 10 500, while periodical editions equal about 1 200 copies.

The library collection is being filled and renewed. The library functions and serves scholars, students and all those interested in various problems of Georgian and world cultural heritage. Scholarly archives and photograph library were founded at the Institute of History of Georgian Art in 1940s, comprising the richest material – measured drawings of the Georgian architectural monuments, diverse documentation, graphic material, negatives of samples of cultural heritage, photographs and lantern-slides. Over its existence the archives were constantly enriched with the photographs and measured drawings by the Institute researchers and various significant materials purchased from private persons. In 1991-1992, during the well known events in Tbilisi, the building of the Institute was burnt down and the unique material kept in the archives perished in fire.

At present essential part (measured drawings of Georgian monuments, graphic and photographic material) of the archives of the G. Chubinashvili National Research Centre for Georgian Art History and Heritage Preservation consists of the material returned by the Italian scholars, which was earlier given to them for publication. Besides, they added the photographs and slides taken by them while working in Georgia. During the last decade the archive was enriched with the manuscripts and various documents, photographs and field-diaries of prominent Georgian scholars – L. Rcheulishvili, T. Virsaladze, V. Beridze.

The archives comprise extremely important material, especially if we take into consideration that in many cases the information concerns the monuments that either do not exist any more or have undergone transformation.

Till 1992 the archives was headed by Rusudan Mepisashvili. The first Head of the photograph library was Irene Japaridze, in 1945-1982 – Barbara (Babo) Agniashvili, and in 1985-1992 – Rusudan Pipia. Since 2006 the archive-library section is headed by Guram Zhgenti.