Manuscript Division occupies a special place in the structure of Pushkinskij Dom. Together with the Literary Museum and the Library it constitutes the source base that had served as a foundation of the academic Institute of Russian Literature in 1930.
The year 1906 can be considered the date of its birth as then the archive received the library of A. S. Pushkin comprising 3500 volumes. In 1908 the first manuscripts were appropriated — letters of A. N. Plescheev to V. D. Dandeville. At the same time within the collection of books and manuscripts belonging by P. A. Efremov, Pushkinskij Dom acquired the first Pushkin's autographs, and later, in 1928 — the famous collection of manuscripts and relics of Pushkin's time owned by A. F. Onegin. The resolutions of the State (1938) and of the Academy (1948) decreed the concentration of all Pushkin's autographs, previously preserved at different archives of this country, within Pushkinskij Dom. Originally created for the preservation of cultural relics, associated with the life and art of A. S. Pushkin, Pushkinskij Dom soon drew into the sphere of its interests the whole Russian literary history. Already in 1917 it received the manuscript heritage of M. Yu. Lermontov (materials of the Lermontov Museum at the Nikolaev cavalry school), in 1919 — a vast Dashkov collection and the archive of M. I. Semevsky, which to a large extent held the extensive archive of the journal Russkaja starina. After Pushkinskij Dom had been included into the structure of the Academy of Sciences the Manuscript Division was created with its special functions of collecting, preservation, systematization and study of the manuscript heritage of Russian writers.
At present Manuscript Division possesses personal funds of V. A. Zhukovskij, K. N. Batjushkov, E. A. Baratynskij, N. I. Gnedich, of the Decembrists K. F. Ryleev, the Bestuzhev brothers, I. A. Annenkov, S. G. Volkonsky; literature of the second half of the XIX c. is represented by the collections of N. A. Nekrasov, M. E. Saltykov-Schedrin, N. A. Dobroljubov, F. M. Dostoevskij, N. S. Leskov, A. N. Ostrovskij, I. S. Turgenev, A. A. Fet and others; the enormous collection of materials represents the literary process of the late XIX — early XX c., these are funds of A. A. Blok, A. I. Kuprin, M. A. Voloshin, L. N. Andreev, F. K. Sologub, Vjach. Ivanov, A. M. Remizov and others.
Besides the personal funds Manuscript Division has funds of literary organizations, editorial houses, periodicals: Pushkin's Lyceum society, the House of Writers, Museum of Alexandrovskij Lyceum, Museum of L. N. Tolstoj, Russian bibliological society, editorial offices of Vestnik Evropy, Russkaja mysl, Russkoe bogatstvo and other journals. Manuscript Division preserves numerous reference and bibliographical matter, with the primary place occupied by S. A. Vengerov's card index. This card index contains information about more than 80 000 Russian writers, scholars, public and cultural figures and includes 2 million index card, that, to a large extent, cover all Russian publications of XIX c. The Vengerov card index is accompanied by card indexes of B. L. Modzalevskij and L. B. Modzalevskij, as well as V. I. Saitov that contain bibliographical, biographical and genealogical data not only on the writers but also on the whole cultural stratum of Russian society of the XIX c.
Manuscript Division is a developing and continuously growing archive. The scientific work of the Division is reflected in its editions and publications, the purpose of which is to introduce into humanitarian field the manuscript materials with scholarly annotations. The major serial publication of the Division is Ezhegodnik Rukopisnogo otdela Pushkinskogo Doma (currently in print is the issue devoted to the acquisitions and research work of 2000-2001).
The collections of Manuscript Division are annotated in the following publications: Baskakov V. N. Rukopisnie sobranija i kollektsii Pushkinskogo doma. Leningrad, 1989; Fondy i kollektsii rukopisnogo otdela. Kratkij spravochnik / Sost. V. P. Budaragin, M. V. Rodjukova. Avtor vstup. statii T. S. Tsar'kova. St. Petersburg, 1996; Modzalevskij B. K. Biblioteka A. S. Pushkina. Bibliograficheskoe opisnaie. St. Petersburg, 1910; Rukopisi Pushkina, hranjaschiesja v Pushkinskom Dome. Nauchnoe opisanie / Sost. L. B. Modzalevskij, B. V. Tomashevskij. Moscow; Leningrad, 1937; Solovjova O. S. Rukopisi Pushkina, postupivshie v Pushkinskij Domposle 1937 g. Kratkoe opisanie. Moscow; Leningrad, 1964; Opisanie rukopisej F. M. Dostoevskogo. Moscow, 1957; Aleksandr Blok. Perepiska. Annotirovannij katalog. Leningrad, 1975-1979, Vyp. 1-2; "Serapionovy bratija" v sobranijah Pushkinskogo Doma. Materialy. Issledovanija. Publikatsii / Avtory-sostavitely T. A. Kukushkina, E. R. Obatnina. St. Petersburg, 1998.
On the site of Pushkinskij Dom you can see the edition Lichnie fondy Rukopisnogo otdela Pushkinskogo Doma. Annotirovannij ukazatel'. St. Petersburg, 1999.