The Russica Collection contains mainly German, French and English language literature printed in the Russian empire between 1829 and 1917, received as legal deposits by Helsinki University Library.
At the time, the library separated from the legal deposit collection those books that were thought to be useful to the research carried out at the university. This part was catalogued into the Humanities Collection. The Russica Collection was created of the other materials, seen as less important.
The Russica Collection includes, for example, scientific literature, fiction and poetry, textbooks, calendars, annual reports, devotional books and hymn books, statistics and other ephemera official in nature. Of the collection's 19,000 titles 5,000 have been catalogued.
The Russica Collection includes 16,193 publications in German, 1,770 in French, 385 in Latin, 231 in English, 114 in Greek, 74 in Italian, 43 in Esperanto and 12 in other languages.
In the storage, the collection has been arranged into two systematic classes, one of which has the catalogued part of the collection and the other the uncatalogued part. A separate catalogue has been made of the collection's newspapers and they have been placed with the newspapers in the Humanities Collection.