The Fundamental Library of the Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences (INION RAN—Russian acronyms) is a state library, granted federal status. It is one of the largest centralized information networks in the humanities and social sciences in the Russian Federation and consists of the central library and twenty-one satellites at various institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and other academic institutions focusing on the humanities. The Library serves scholars affiliated with RAS, faculty at institutions of higher education, and both graduate and undergraduate students.
The Library holds a wide variety of materials in the social sciences in nearly every language, going back to the early sixteenth century. As a depository library, by law the Library receives a copy of everything published on the territory of the Russian Federation and Soviet Union before in the humanities and social sciences. Foreign publications are obtained through exchange programs with libraries in many countries. In its almost century-long history, the library has built a sizable and valuable collection of reference materials and complete runs of journals and magazines. The library also publishes abstracts and bibliographic indexes of many foreign and Russian scholarly journals.
Access to the collection is provided via integrated library catalogs, databases, and current and retrospective bibliographic indexes. Since a devastating fire in January 2015, the Library has been undergoing reconstruction, replacing destroyed collections, and modernizing its services. At present the Library is digitizing some of its holdings to create full-text databases, developing an online catalog, and working on an open-access repository of literature in the social sciences issued by Russian Academy of Sciences institutes. The Library has also begun working on normative, legal, scientific, and methodological aspects of librarianship in the humanities.