Ivan Alekseevich Vtorov

The National Library of the Republic of Tatarstan is one of the oldest and most popular libraries of Russia. It was opened in Kazan on the tenth of January in 1865 as a public city library. The foundation of the library collection was made possible by the donation of the personal library of well-known bibliophile Ivan Alekseevich Vtorov (1772-1844).

This collection was presented to the city in 1844 by his son Nikolay Ivanovich Vtorov (writer, archeologist and ethnographer), with the intention of creating a public library.

Ivan Alekseevich Vtorov was born on the first of June, 1772, in the village of Laskarevka in the district of Buzulutzki in the Samara Provinces. From the age of fourteen, Vtorov started to keep a diary which he continued all his life, only taking small breaks. In his diary he wrote down everything that happened to him, telling about events and people that were contemporary to him.

Vtorov had two main passions in his life: books and travel. He travelled to many cities in Russia. Everywhere he went he first visited book sellers and bought books for sums that would be enormous for such a poor bureaucrat. On July 23, 1793, Vtorov floated down the Volga to Kazan on a small boat. He arrived in Kazan on July 26th. The city’s architecture brought him much delight. Here he visited Kazan relics, viewed sights of the ancient city and continued to buy books.

In the small city of Stavropol, the finest and most valuable building was the Milkovich House. Vtorov, while in Stavropol, frequently visited Milkovich where he made the acquaintance of their daughter, Maria. In 1806, the two-year friendship of Vtorov and Maria Vasilevna Milkovich resulted in their wedding. In family life, Ivan Alekseevich was a kind and mild husband. He was a gentle father who loved children.

In 1826, Vtorov’s wife died of consumption and he became a single parent to his four children. In 1830, Ivan Alekseevich sent his son Nikolay for study to the Kazan grammar school. In 1834, Nikolay successfully finished grammar school and at once enrolled at Kazan University in the Department of Literature. In 1834, Ivan Alekseevich left on a deserved vacation, and on May 3, 1835, he moved from Samara to Kazan to set up a permanent residence. In the Vtorov House his library required a special room. It was filled from top to bottom with shelves which caved under the weight of all his books.

Ivan Alekseevich Vtorov died at the age of seventy-two on the night of the thirteenth of February 1844, as the result of a serious illness, with the company of his son in his loved library.

Last updated: 19 October 2017, 12:50

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