The New York Public Library has installed an interesting historical exhibit (through January 31, 2004) at its Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street main location. There are rare books, documents maps and artist's renditions that attempt to capture Russian history and culture during period from 1453-1825. It was a time, particularly during the reign of Peter the Great (1682-1725) when Russia absorbed Western influences that were important in shaping its cultural history.

During the reign of Catherine the Great (1762-96) the process continued, and to capture the phenomenon, the library has reached into its own huge collection for choices of what to display. Plan to spend more than a cursory visit, as much of what is on display invites close examination. There are dazzling items such as illuminated manuscripts as well as those of a more documentary nature. For further information phone: 212-869-8089.

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