On 4–5 October 2018, the 13th International Scientific Readings ‘The Theatre Book between the Past and the Future’ took place in the Russian State Art Library (RSAL). This year the conference was devoted to the 150th anniversary of the birth of the founder of the Library, Alexander Fomin, and consisted of two theme days: ‘Alexander Fomin: Personality and Destiny Against the Background of 20th Century Culture’ and ‘Theatre Book Collections’. The forum was attended by Russian and foreign researchers.
Alexander Fomin, a literary critic, teacher, museum and library worker (1868–1929), left a significant mark on the history of Russian culture, but much about his biography remains unknown. The conference summed up the first in-depth studies about Fomin’s life and work.
Reports were devoted to the multi-faceted scientific work of Alexander Fomin: his contribution to the formation of the collections of the Theatre Library (now the Russian State Art Library—RSAL) and collections of the State Historical Museum of Russia, his literary works, and role in the development of archaeological research in the Crimea. Conference participants and guests were given an overview of materials from Alexander Fomin’s archives at RSAL and a report on the activities of his contemporary— the professor and art historian, Deputy Director of the Armory Chamber Vladimir Klein.
The second day of the conference focused on theatrical source study. Speakers addressed the history of Soviet theatre, book and archival collections and literary monuments in the collections of libraries and other institutions.
Within the framework of the conference, a presentation on the collection of materials of the 12th International Mikhoels Readings ‘National Theatre in the Context of Multinational Culture’ took place.