The library started with a small collection of books belonging to the Depot of Reference Weights and Measures (1842-1892) renamed in 1893 into the Main Chamber of Weights and Measures. D.I.Mendeleyev, the first curator of the Chamber, increased the stocks of the library with his own books (about 1500 volumes). Year 1893 is considered to be the year of foundation of the library.
The library was located originally on the ground floor of the main building of the Chamber, which was built in 1879 by the project of architect F.F.Beckman. Later, in 1916, after heightening of the building (arch. A.F.Bubyr), the library was transferred to a new room on the second floor. In 1917, its stock numbered 4842 units of issue.
In 1927, the library of the J.-Rene Benoi, French metrologist, Honorary Director of the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures in Paris, was acquired. It numbered about 2000 issues including publications on natural history, physics and chemistry.
Nowadays, the library possesses a lot of valuable books and a great number of periodicals on metrology, physics, chemistry and mathematics, which were published before the coup of 1917, among which there are:
- D.I.Mendeleyev. On combining pure alcohol and water. St.Petersburg, 1865.
- D.I.Mendeleyev. On gas pressure. St.Petersburg, 1875.
- D.I.Mendeleyev. Oil industry in the Pennsylvania State of North America and in the Caucasus. St.Petersburg, 1877.
- D.I.Mendeleyev. On resistance of liquids and aeronautics. St.Petersburg, 1880
- D.I.Mendeleyev. Cherished thoughts. St.Petersburg, 1903.
- D.I.Mendeleyev. To the perception of Russia. St.Petersburg, 1906.
- D.I.Mendeleyev. Chemical principles. 8th edition. St.Petersburg, 1906. (the last life edition).
- F.I.Petrushevsky. Brief European metrology or description of the main weights, measures and coins, and the calendar of present and ancient peoples. St.Petersburg , 1831.
- F.I.Petrushevsky. Brief European metrology or description of the main weights, measures and coins in Europe, which are in use today. St.Petersburg, 1845.
- F.I.Petrushevsky. General metrology. Parts 1, 2. St.Petersburg, 1849.
- F.I.Petrushevsky. The course of observational physics. V. 1, 2. St.Petersburg, 1870, 1874.
- J.A.Puankare Hypothesis and science. Moscow, 1903. "Russia. The complete geographical description of out homeland". Edited by V.P.Semyonov (Tien-Shansky) (7 volumes). 1899-1913.
- Maxwell J.C. A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, V. 1, 2. Oxford, 1873.
- "Letteres a une princesse d Allemangne sur divers sujets de Phsique & de Philosophie". (Eular L.) T. 1, 2. St.Peterburg, 1772.
- Kuppfer A.Th. "Travaux de la comission pour fixer les measures et les poids de l empire de Russie". St.Peterburg, 1841.
- "Laws concerning the Weights and Measures". (Fischer L.A. and Hubbard H.D.) Washington. 1904. (Bureau of Standards).
The library stock include encyclopedias, idioglossaries, reference media in twenty languages of the world:
- Encyclopedia. Edited by Prof. I.E.Andreyevsky. Publishers: F.A.Brokhaus and I.A.Effron. 86 volumes. St.Petersburg. 1890-1904.
- The Encyclopedia Britannica. (26 v) Cambridge, 1910. La Grande Encyclopedie. (29 v) Paris. (1816).
- The New Century Dictionary. V. 1, 2 New-York, London. (1942).
- New International Encyclopedia. 13 v. New-York. 1926.
The library also possesses such periodicals as “Verification Business”, “Metrology and Verification Business”, “Measuring Equipment”, “Chronicles of the Main Chamber of Weights and Measures” (the publication founded by D.I.Mendeleyev where research works of the employees of the Main Chamber were published).
The unique stock of the library include the collected publications of the BIPM (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (since 1875); the OIML (Organisation International de Metrologie Legale) (since 1960); publications of the national metrological centers including “Circular of the Bureau of Standards” (since 1903), “Scientific Papers of the Bureau of Standards” (since 1904), “Technologic Papers of the Bureau of Standards” (since 1911).
Close cooperation between the D.I. Mendeleyev Institute for Metrology and the leading national metrological centers in the world makes it possible to receive by exchange the annual reports of these centers and their periodicals, preprints and monographies of foreign metrologists, proceedings of international conferences, congresses, symposia on metrology and measuring equipment in the UK, Germany, Italy, Canada, Republic of Korea, China, France, Finland, Japan, etc.
The stock of the Research Library numbers about 76 thousand units of issue: 39 thousand units of books and brochures, 37 thousand periodicals. The Research Library is placed in two large rooms with the total area of about 300 square meters, where the reading-room, scientific books and the periodical press stock are located.