It was established by the enlightener tsar Peter I. He ordered to assemble the library of the Pharmaceutical Prikaz, a collection of books of the Duke of Courland and the so-called Gottorp Library, which he was given by the Duke of Holstein. A sizable collection obtained in 1725 was handed over to the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences. The Academy retained it and today it is the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences. So if you hear from your scientist friend from Saint Petersburg that he “went to BAS,” it is not a bath.
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