Domestic foundations: Types Of House Foundation – Forbes Home

Types Of House Foundation – Forbes Home

Most folks don’t give much thought to the foundations underneath their houses let alone foundation issues. But these buried features are arguably the most important aspects of the home as they carry the entire weight of the building. And, just as there are different types of homes, there are many types of foundations to build upon.


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1. Poured Concrete Slab

As the name suggests, a poured concrete slab is simply an 8-inch-thick, flat section of concrete that is poured using wood forms. The forms hold the wet concrete in place until it dries. Slabs typically contain rebar (metal rods wired together to create strength), but they may not have footings (thick sections of concrete under load-bearing walls.


In general, poured concrete slabs are affordable and easy to install. They don’t require a lot of excavation or materials, and they can support quite a bit of weight. They’re especially popular in areas of the country like the south and southwest, where issues like the ground freezing and pushing the slab up isn’t a concern.


Poured concrete slabs aren’t as strong as some other foundation types as they typically don’t have footings to disperse the weight of the building. Also, if there are utilities or anything mechanical under the slab, any subsequent repairs will require you to break up the slab or excavate underneath.

2. Crawl Space

A crawl space is a type of foundation with short walls (typically masonry) along the perimeter and footings underneath the center of the home. This creates a space below your abode with a dirt floor and just a few feet of clearance between the bottom of the house and the ground. These foundations have ventilation to prevent moisture build-up.


Crawl space foundations can be the best option in rocky soil on sloped ground, especially in areas where freezing is a concern. These foundations don’t require nearly as much excavation as a slab, making them relatively affordable.


Crawl spaces are unfinished and unconditioned. This can create pest control issues like termites or rodents, and if the area is not ventilated properly, moisture and mold can grow.


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3. Wood Foundation

When we think of foundations, concrete may be the first material that comes to mind. But there are actually options compromised primarily of wood, and while this might seem impractical, there are some benefits. Traditional wood foundations were made with materials like cedar, redwood and cypress. However, today’s builders use pressure-treated lumber for its relative affordability and availability.


Wood foundations are very easy to build. They require simple construction techniques and relatively entry-level tools. They’re also ready to build upon as soon as they’re constructed, as there isn’t any drying time to deal with. They also require very little excavation, which makes these foundations ideal for sheds and very small buildings.


Wood foundations can’t support nearly as much weight as concrete foundations. Also, they do typically require some rot-resistant barrier between the foundation and the ground, such as concrete blocks, pavers, or gravel. And, as time goes on, even pressure-treated lumber will begin to degrade and attract pests.

4. Slab-on-Grade

Slab-on-grade foundations are heavy-duty concrete slabs with footings dug into the ground under the slab. They’re typically reinforced with rebar, and their wide footings disperse the weight of the building above. Concrete block walls can be built on top of the slab to create a basement or crawl space, or the builder can frame the main floor right on top of the slab.


Slab-on-grade foundations are much stronger than poured concrete foundations, allowing them to carry the weight of a larger structure. The wide footings spread the weight out while also locking the foundation into place, making them a suitable option for cold weather regions where frozen ground can cause heaving. And while these foundations do require more excavation than poured slabs, they’re still relatively affordable.


Slab-on-grade foundations are affordable, but they’re more expensive and require more time than a poured slab. Also, if any of the pipes or mechanicals are under the slab, the repairer will have to break up the slab or cut the utility and reroute it.

5. Full Basement

Full basement foundations consist of deeply-dug footings, walls that allow for standing room and a concrete slab. Standard options are buried below grade with small windows at ground level, while others have at least one wall above grade (known as daylight foundations). They can be finished to add usable space to the home, such as a playroom or family room, or left unfinished and used as storage.


Full basements are all about flexibility. They can be used for workshops, entertainment spaces, storage or even wine cellars. They’re generally easy to condition, as the masonry surfaces will stay cool in the summer and retain heat in the winter (once heated). And since their footings are dug so deeply, full basements are very strong and stable.


These basements are expensive. The excavation and formwork required are extensive, meaning increased labor costs. Additionally, these basements required the most concrete, driving up materials costs. They also take the longest to pour and cure before building upon.

6. Stone

Admittedly, stone foundations aren’t nearly as popular as they once were. Until the widespread use of concrete, however, folks would pull field stones from the ground around their property and pile them up to form walls. They may have been dry-stacked (with no mortar) or mortared in place.


Stone foundations are incredibly traditional, and many folks enjoy the classic look. In the past, this option was rather inexpensive to build as the homeowner typically pulled the stones from their own property. Many of these foundations still exist, proving their durability over time.


Very few jurisdictions will approve a traditional stone foundation these days. Also, since stones are naturally irregular, gaps and holes may exist where rodents and pests can enter the basement. Despite the thermal mass of large boulders, these foundations tend to insulate poorly.


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7. Insulated Concrete Form

Insulated concrete forms, or ICFs, are a modern approach to foundation building. These foundations consist of forms made from extruded polystyrene (think styrofoam) that interlock together like children’s building blocks. These forms are light as they have a gap between the two foam panels. Once the panels are place, the builder fills the resulting space with concrete.


ICFs are easy to install, and they’re actually stronger than traditional poured concrete walls. Also, they’re excellent insulators, retaining heat in the winter and keeping cool in the summer. The foam also can act as a vapor barrier, preventing moisture from penetrating the masonry walls.


The foam blocks that make up an insulated concrete form foundation are expensive. Moreover they require footings, and since most folks intend to use these types of foundations for basements, they need a slab as well. The costs add up, but this option may still be worth it to some homeowners.

8. Piers

Pier foundations are somewhat similar to crawl spaces in that they hold the home up from an unfinished surface underneath. However, unlike crawl spaces, these foundations don’t have masonry perimeter walls. Instead, they have deeply-dug footings at load-bearing points under the house. There are generally heavy-duty timbers that extend from the footings to the home, and this design helps keep the home dry and safe in coastal areas where flooding is common.


The overwhelming benefit of pier foundations is that they can resist flood waters better than other foundation types. Additionally, they can be the most practical option in unstable soil, as the builder can dig the footings as deeply as necessary to reach stable ground. This allows builders to construct homes in areas where it would otherwise be impossible.


Pier foundations require the planning and oversight of an engineer. The footings need to be sized properly, and the correct specifications for any hardware used is extremely important. For this reason, despite seeming like a rather sparse design, these foundations can be extremely expensive. Also, the wooden posts used in the construction can degrade over time and be susceptible to pests.


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How to Choose the Best Foundation for You

Choosing the best foundation for your needs is the real trick. The most important things to keep in mind are budget, long-term use and site considerations.

The home’s foundation can be one of the most expensive aspects of a project. A slab-on-grade foundation may get the project off to a great start without a massive price tag, while a full basement will cost much more in time and labor but provide more flexibility for the homeowner in the long run.

You also only get one chance to build a house, so it’s important to consider the long-term use of the property. If it’s likely to be a “forever home,” the expense of a full basement may be worth it. However, if it’s an inexpensive home that the homeowner plans to live in and then rent or sell in a few years, a slab variation or crawl space may be best.

Finally, keep site considerations in mind. Some terrain won’t allow for a full basement, while other sites may require deeply-dug footings or flood provisions. In these cases, builders will likely have to consult an engineer to decide which foundation is best for the home.

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Foundation Types: 8 Different Types of Home Foundations

A home’s integrity depends significantly on a strong and durable foundation. The right selection of foundation type and material can also improve a construction business’s profitability by saving on labor costs and potential repairs if the foundation fails while still under warranty. Foundation type and material depend on how the homeowner plans to use the space, the local climate, the soil and water conditions, and the site’s topography.

A strong foundation shifts a home’s load to the footings and into the ground, resisting seismic and wind forces and providing anchorage for the above-grade building. A durable foundation ensures a moisture-resistant barrier (following the building codes) and resists bending and shear stresses from water and lateral soil pressures. A poorly constructed foundation can lead to tremendous structural damage, endangering the home’s occupants and the neighborhood.

The foundation type and material must ensure a solid and long-lasting foundation able to support the weight of the house. Elements to consider when choosing the type and material choice for the foundation include:

The foundation type you choose depends on how you plan to use the below-grade space. For instance, if you plan to use it as living or storage space, the foundation’s design should provide a warm, dry, and healthy basement or crawl space.

The Local Climate

Climate affects the foundation choice. For example, in warmer climates prone to termites, you should avoid wood foundations. You should also avoid slab foundations in cold regions with freeze and thaw cycles because the foundation will crack under pressure.

A foundation requires settled and undisturbed soil to prevent shifts resulting in a breakdown of the house. To ensure that your foundation will perform adequately, conduct a soil test to determine the kind of soil at the site, its moisture content, and its compaction quality.


To ensure a long-lasting and robust foundation, you must make sure the foundation will stay dry with a perc test. A perc test determines if the soil will percolate water through it properly for a septic system, keeping the groundwater from accessing the foundation. However, you should still protect the foundation with drainage materials like gutters, downspouts, and a sub-slab drainage pad that redirects moisture away from the foundation.


The layout of your building lot affects your foundation style. For example, a daylight foundation requires a sloping lot.

Three common house foundation types include basements (30 percent), crawlspaces (15 percent), and concrete slabs (54 percent). Builders can construct basements and crawl spaces with several types of materials: wood, stone, poured concrete, concrete masonry units (CMU), concrete panels, and insulated concrete forms (ICFs).


Poured Concrete Slab

Concrete slab foundations (slab-on-grade foundations) with a thickness of four to eight inches, cost less than basements or crawl spaces. They work best in climates where the ground doesn’t freeze and thaw in the winter. However, the home’s water and drainage pipes are difficult to access because they lie just a few inches below the slab.

2. Crawl Space Foundation

Three to four-foot deep crawl spaces are typically unheated but vented for airflow to prevent moisture build-up. Crawl space foundations support the entire structure and provide some storage and possibly enough room for the furnace and water heater. Materials used for crawl space foundation include ICFs, CMUs, and poured concrete walls.

3. Wood Foundation

Building a wood foundation includes below-grade foundation walls made of wood pressure-treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) sitting on a concrete slab atop a bed of crushed gravel or rock. The CCA provides resistance to fungus, mold, rot, termites, and ants.

Some consider wood foundations easier and quicker to install, creating warmer homes with lower energy bills than CMUs and poured concrete wall foundations. However, wood foundations cost more than CMUs and poured concrete walls, and are toxic to workers during installation. Moreover, rot and insects can damage a wood foundation if it is not correctly built.

4. Stone

Common during the early 20th century, charming stone foundations contain stones, bound together with mortar spread between the stones and on top. Stone foundations require waterproofing to prevent the mortar from degrading and diminishing the durability and strength of the wall. Also, stone foundations will crack and bow if the house is not level or improperly built, leading to water leakages.

5. Pre-Poured Concrete

The density, strength, and joint-free construction of poured concrete foundations makes them more waterproof than CMU foundations. In addition, poured concrete foundations construct faster than CMU foundations.

However, the strength of poured concrete foundations diminishes if it spalls (when the concrete surface peels, crumbles, or flakes off). Water leakage problems can occur if the wall cracks due to improper construction, non-structural cracks and if the foundation drops, settles, or sinks from the soil, collapsing below the foundation. Moreover, poured concrete foundation, with low R-values of less than 3, offers little insulation value.

The first step in building traditional poured concrete foundations involves constructing and securing large-heavy-wooden form walls for an 8- or 10-inch wall. Next, workers pour concrete continuously into the wooden forms, hardening (cures) onsite—rebar, installed in the footing, secures the weak points and joints.

6. Concrete Masonry Units

Properly installed CMU foundations provide more compression strength than poured concrete foundations. Installing CMU foundations saves on labor costs because they do not require massive wooden forms, like poured concrete.

However, a CMU wall requires an air and moisture barrier, adding another trade to the foundation product. Water can wear down the mortar holding the CMUs together, diminishing CMU foundations’ integrity, resulting in expensive repairs. CMU walls that are not fully grouted with rebar will lose lateral strength. CMU foundations offer little insulation with low R-values ranging from 2 to 3.

CMU foundations often use large (8- or 10-inch wide and 16-inch long) hollow concrete blocks, however sizes can vary depending on the home’s weight load. To optimize stability and strength, professionals install the blocks in an overlapping pattern, inserting steel rods vertically and horizontally into the blocks’ openings. The blocks rest on concrete footings that are held together with mortar.

7. Concrete Panels

Concrete panel foundations have solid concrete studs for load-bearing support and a concrete footing. Some also include insulation (R-value ≅ 5) and polypropylene fibers and rebar for strength. A precast concrete foundation works best with consistent sill heights of a full basement. Different wall heights slow the building process, lessening the cost benefits.

Concrete panels are prone to moisture problems if improperly detailed, leading to unhealthy and structurally damaging mold. Fire Engineering Magazine reports several fire-related related problems with precast concrete panels.

Constructing a concrete panel basement begins by preparing a gravel base, then placing and connecting the panels, installing a capillary break, and installing the flooring and backfilling. Quick to install concrete panels do not require concrete onsite and can proceed in any weather – freezing or wet.

8. Below-Grade ICF Walls

ICFs build durable and energy-efficient below-grade walls. ICFs provide an excellent curing environment for concrete walls, resulting in a foundation with nearly double the compressive strength of a poured concrete foundation. ICF foundations are typically 6 or 8-inch reinforced concrete. ICF foundations also provide disaster-resistance, protecting against fire, wind, and earthquakes.ICF foundations provide superior insulation (R-values greater than R-20), incorporating continuous insulation with few to no thermal bridges.

Construction of an ICF foundation involves dry-stacking blocks to a foundation’s length, then the next step is to reinforce and brace. Workers carefully pour concrete into the hollow form blocks. It’s important to know that pouring concrete into the ICF can occur at ambient temperatures as cold as 5°F. ICFs are a fast and straightforward method of foundation construction. Below-grade ICF construction requires a waterproofing membrane and a reliable drainage system to reduce the possibility of moisture intrusion.

We can show you how to improve your construction business with ICF foundations, saving you time and money. Compared to other concrete wall foundations, Fox Blocks ICFs is a superior solution to foundation walls.

Fox Blocks Hasten Construction Time

The fast and straightforward installation of Fox Blocks ICFs lessens labor costs and construction risks over other concrete foundation types. The Fox Blocks all-in-one wall assembly combines five construction steps into one, including structure, insulation, air barrier, vapor retarder, and attachment. This feature significantly accelerates project delivery by eliminating the need to coordinate multiple trades while achieving the foundation goals.

Moisture-Resistant Fox Blocks Create Durable Foundations

The Fox Blocks wall system includes a vapor retarder that effectively resists moisture intrusion over CMU and poured concrete wall foundations. Fox Blocks ICF foundations are also less likely to shift in the ground than CMU and poured concrete wall foundations. Shifting walls leads to moisture problems and potentially costly repairs. The forms used in ICF construction protect the concrete, making them less prone to cracking and leaking than poured concrete foundations.

Fox Blocks Below-Grade Walls Create Warm-Dry Spaces

Fox Blocks ICF foundations have an R-value of 23, ensuring warm, comfortable living and storage spaces that save on energy and money compared to other foundations.

A foundation built with Fox Blocks ICFs simplifies construction, lowering costs, saving time, and lessening long-term problems over other foundation materials. Fox Blocks create warm, dry, healthy, and quiet below-grade spaces.

Contact Fox Blocks experts today so we can show you how commercial construction can improve your business and why Fox Blocks ICF is the best solution for building basement and crawl space foundations.

Russian grant support funds


The Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) was established by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. Potential of the Russian Federation” and is a self-governing state non-profit organization in the form of a federal institution administered by the Government of the Russian Federation.

As a representative of the state, the Foundation provides targeted, targeted, diversified support for advanced groups of scientists, regardless of which department they belong to. Support for initiative research work in all major areas of fundamental science is carried out strictly on a competitive basis based on the results of a comprehensive examination.

The Fund operates in accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal laws, decrees and orders of the President of the Russian Federation, decrees and orders of the Government of the Russian Federation and the charter.

RFBR website:


leading positions in a certain field of science.

To achieve the goal of its activities, the Foundation conducts a competitive selection of scientific, scientific and technical programs and projects in several areas. Such areas, in particular, are the conduct of initiative fundamental and exploratory research by scientific teams, individual scientific and scientific and pedagogical workers, the development of scientific organizations and educational organizations of higher education, the creation of world-class laboratories and departments in scientific organizations and educational organizations of higher education, the development of an experimental base for conducting scientific research.

RSF website:


Main the goal of the Program is to develop the scientific and technological potential of the Russian Federation in order to implement priority areas for the development of science, technology and technology in the Russian Federation.

Federal target program “Research and development in priority areas of development of the scientific and technological complex of Russia for 2014-2020”

The program focuses on conducting and funding research leading to specific developments and products. It allocates resources to applied research in those technological areas that are a priority for the Russian economy and contribute to increasing its competitiveness.

In addition, the Program finances the creation and support of an innovative infrastructure designed to link the research and development sector with the subjects of a market economy, to ensure the conversion of knowledge, their transformation into a market product.

Research and development in priority areas of development of the scientific and technological complex of Russia for 2014-2020.

FTP site:

GRANTS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION Russian scientists – candidates of sciences and doctors of sciences

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation announces competitions for the right to receive grants from the President of the Russian Federation for state support of young Russian scientists – candidates of sciences (hereinafter – the competition MK-2014) and young Russian scientists – doctors of sciences (hereinafter – the competition MD-2014).

The competition is organized by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

Russian scientific or educational organizations, as well as organizations engaged in the production of scientific and technical products, having labor relations with young Russian scientists – candidates of sciences and (or) young Russian scientists – doctors of sciences, whose works were submitted by these organizations to the competition, can take part in the competitions.

Website of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation: http://minobrnauki.rf


The Russian Humanitarian Science Foundation was established on the initiative of Russian scientists by the Government of the Russian Federation in September 1994. The main goals of the fund are state support for the development of the humanities, the dissemination of humanitarian knowledge in society, and the revival of the traditions of the domestic humanities.

To achieve its goals, the Foundation holds several dozen competitions of various types in all major areas of humanitarian knowledge: history, archeology, ethnography, economics, philosophy, sociology, political science, jurisprudence, science of science, philology, art history, psychology, problems of a comprehensive study of man, psychology and pedagogy.

Annually, within the framework of competitions, the Russian Humanitarian Foundation supports initiative research projects, projects for the publication of scientific papers, projects for the development of scientific telecommunications and the material base of scientific research, projects for the creation of information systems, projects for expeditions, other field research, experimental laboratory and scientific restoration work, projects for the organization of Russian and international scientific events, projects for the participation of Russian scientists in scientific events abroad and business trips of Russian scientists to work on joint research projects.

Types of competitions: Main competition. Regional competitions. International competitions. Competition for the support of young scientists. Competition of projects for the preparation of popular science works. Competition for individuals. Competition of the Russian Humanitarian Foundation – the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society

Website of the Russian Humanitarian Foundation:


ROSNAUK PEOPLE’S PRIZE is an annual national award given to Russian scientists, engineers and inventors. The budget of the award is formed on the basis of the principle of public and sponsorship funding and will be distributed equally among the seven nominations. Laureates are determined by popular vote and the decision of the Prize Committee.

The prize is awarded for a separate scientific, engineering or creative work, or for a set of works united by a single theme and performed on the subject of one of the seven nominations announced by the Foundation. The works submitted for the competition must include both scientific and technical and feasibility study of the proposed project, confirming the possibility of its practical implementation and the expected economic and social effect.

Foundation website:



The Foundation for Assistance to the Development of Small Forms of Enterprises in the Scientific and Technical Sphere implements programs to support small forms of enterprises whose activities are aimed at creating high-tech products.

Foundation programs: smart guy, smart guy at the start, development, cooperation

Young scientists (citizens of the Russian Federation up to 28 years old) can take part in competitions under the UMNIK Program at the Russian Academy of Sciences with innovative projects that have a medium-term (3-6 years) perspective of practical implementation – the development of the final product (technology).

UMNIK programs are held twice a year ( spring, autumn ), the duration of the program is 2 years. Funding for research work (R&D) carried out under the Program is provided in the form of a grant.

Foundation website:


The Vladimir Potanin Charitable Foundation is one of the first private foundations in modern Russia. It was created in 1999 by entrepreneur Vladimir Potanin to implement large-scale programs in the field of education and culture.

The Foundation conducts long-term scholarship and grant programs addressed to talented students and teachers from leading state and non-state universities in Russia, museum specialists, sports industry professionals, specialists in the creation and development of endowments.

Vladimir Potanin Scholarship Program, which includes:

  • Scholarship competition for students studying in the Master’s program.
  • Grant competition for master’s degree teachers.
  • School Foundation for students and teachers.
  • Internship for MGIMO students.
  • Scholarships for master’s studies at GSOM SPbSU.
  • Grants for education at the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU).

Foundation website:


October 16, 2012 No. 174-FZ.

The starting point for the adoption of the law was Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of May 7, 2012 No. 603, in which the head of state instructed the Government of the Russian Federation to ensure the dynamic development of breakthrough high-risk research and development of fundamental science, as well as the implementation of applied research programs in the interests of ensuring the country’s defense and state security. The Advanced Research Foundation was created as one of the key instruments for solving these problems.

The Fund’s work is carried out in three main areas of research: chemical-biological and medical, physical-technical, information.

Foundation’s website:


The Foundation for the Development of the Center for Development and Commercialization of New Technologies is engaged in the creation of the Skolkovo Center, unique for Russia.

The goal of the project is to create favorable conditions for the innovation process: scientists, designers, engineers and businessmen, together with participants in educational projects, will work to create world-class competitive science-intensive developments in five priority areas.

The Biomedical Technology Cluster supports and develops innovation in biomedical technology. The cluster includes over 90 companies.

Skolkovo Foundation website:


The Fund for Infrastructural and Educational Programs was established in 2010 in accordance with Federal Law No. 211 -FZ “On the reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies”.

The purpose of the Fund’s activities is to develop an innovative infrastructure in the field of nanotechnology, including the implementation of educational and infrastructure programs already launched by RUSNANO.

Foundation website:


The Dynasty Foundation was established in 2002. The search for and support of talents, their ideas and projects in the field of natural and social sciences – this is how the Dynasty Foundation sees its task.

The priority areas of the Foundation’s activity are the development of fundamental science and education in Russia, the creation of conditions for the work of scientists at home, the popularization of science and education.

Dynasty is the first private non-profit foundation in modern Russia that supports science and education. Its work is managed by the Council of the Foundation, which decides on key issues of the development strategy and determines the priorities of the activity.

Annually 18 open grant competitions are held: for young theoretical physicists, mathematicians, biologists, chemists, computer scientists, teachers of physics, mathematics, chemistry and biology, competition “Science Museum in the 21st century”, etc.

Since 2011, the Dynasty Foundation has been holding a grant competition for young biologists specializing in molecular and cellular biology.

The Contestant must be under 35 years old on the start date of the Contest (he must not be 35 years old on September 1 of the year the Contest is announced).

Foundation website:


(Alferov Foundation)

The Foundation was established on February 23, 2001 by Nobel Prize winner Academician Zh.I. Alferov in order to combine the intellectual, financial and organizational efforts of Russian and foreign individuals and legal entities to promote the development of Russian science and education.

The Foundation pays grants and scholarships to support and develop Russian science, the system of higher and secondary education to the most talented schoolchildren, students, young scientists, including a scholarship to them. D.N. Tretyakov, awarded for outstanding achievements in the educational process and success in research activities in the field of technology of semiconductor materials.

The Fund takes part in the implementation of scientific and technical projects and programs for the development and use of high technologies that correspond to the priority areas of development of science and technology.

Foundation website:


Grant Program of the V.I. Vernadsky provides for the allocation of grants to provide specific support to Russian organizations in solving the environmental and social problems of the territories, followed by a report on their use and presentation of the results of the work.

The program is implemented with the aim of practical implementation of projects, developments and ideas aimed at preserving a favorable environment, ensuring environmental safety and maximizing the rational use of natural resources for the health and well-being of current and future generations.

Foundation website:


The Russian State Library houses a unique collection of domestic and foreign documents in 367 languages. The volume of all funds exceeds 48.1 million storage units (as of January 1, 2022), of which about three million are especially valuable publications and other documents.

The funds are divided into categories of publications and are available in the respective reading rooms. In addition, about 1.7 million documents have been digitized and are included in the Digital Library of the RSL. Also available are hundreds of thousands of online remote resources purchased by the library for our readers.

You can work with the documents of the electronic library and network remote resources on computers in the reading rooms of the RSL, and some of them are available from any computer connected to the Internet.

RSL electronic library

Fund size: About 1.7 million titles
Coverage period: from the 11th century to the present

not requested publications from the RSL funds, from external sources, as well as documents originally created in electronic form.

More about the library

Central core fund

Volume of the fund: more than 32 million items
Coverage period: from the 18th century to the present

The central core fund is a universal collection of books, magazines, continuing publications, documents for official use. It contains printed publications in Russian, in the languages ​​of the peoples of Russia and foreign languages ​​(except for Eastern ones). Of particular value are more than 200 private book collections of Russian figures in science, culture, education, outstanding bibliophiles and collectors of Russia. Among the most significant are the collections of N. P. Rumyantsev, P. Ya. Chaadaev, A. F. Veltman, A. S. Norov, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.

More about the fund

Central reference and bibliographic fund

Fund size: about 300 thousand items of storage
Coverage period: from the 19th century to the present

Central reference – the bibliographic fund, which has in its structure a universal part and branch sub-funds (sections), contains a significant collection of bibliographic indexes in Russian, the languages ​​of the peoples of the Russian Federation and foreign languages ​​(with the exception of eastern ones).

It also includes modern abstract publications, domestic and foreign encyclopedias, dictionaries (terminological, linguocultural, biographical, biobibliographic), reference books.

All of this rich content is presented in a variety of media such as print (books and serials), microfiche, electronic media and databases.

More about the fund

Central subsidiary fund

Fund size: about 100 thousand items
Coverage period: books – from the end of the 19th century to the present; periodicals – the current year for newspapers and the last 3 years for magazines

Includes open access publications: books in all branches of knowledge (except for legal sciences, music, library science, bibliography and book science, oriental linguistics), magazines for the last three years and newspapers for the current year.

More about the fund

Fund of rare and valuable publications

Volume of the fund: about 370 thousand items
Coverage period: from the 15th century to the present

The fund is formed on the basis of the collection principle and consists of a number of thematic book collections and owner’s collections. Structurally divided into subfunds, taking into account the chronological and linguistic characteristics of the materials included in them. The fund widely presents early printed domestic editions of the 16th – first quarter of the 19th century, foreign editions of the 15th – 17th centuries, books of later periods (selectively). In addition to books, there are brochures, leaflets, newspapers, magazines, notes, maps, albums. Mostly there are publications on traditional media (in the form of separate samples there are copies printed on unusual materials – silk, cork and others).

More about the collection

Collection of art publications

Volume of the collection: about 1. 3 million items
Coverage period: from the 17th century to the present

Main collection of art publications It is a collection of domestic and foreign documents in the format of leaf publications, albums, books, optical CDs. The most significant part is occupied by albums. Their range is extremely wide – from printed editions to collector’s collections. They give an idea of ​​the most diverse types of visual materials – engravings, photographs, reproductions, posters, postcards, and so on.

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Fund of official and normative publications

Fund size: more than 2.5 million items
Coverage period: from 1830 to the present

9000 2 The fund includes official normative publications on legislation and law; official regulatory production and practical publications. To ensure comprehensive user service, the fund also includes the most important systematized editions of legislative acts of pre-revolutionary Russia. These are the “Complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire”, “Code of Laws of the Russian Empire”, “Collection of Laws and Orders of the Government” and other publications of domestic legislation. The fund also has a collection of charters of institutions, public and socio-political organizations of Russia and the USSR (1857-1991).

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Fund of Russian Literature Abroad

Fund size: more than 700 thousand items
Coverage period: from 1917 to the present
Structures but it is part of the central core fund

Collection of Literature of the Russian Diaspora of the RSL is a unique phenomenon, reflecting in its bizarre fate the paradoxes and drama of modern Russian history, which has radically changed the face of the country twice in a century.

The main fund includes books, magazines, newspapers of the Russian abroad, foreign books and magazines about Russia, domestic publications about Russian emigration, microforms of “Rossiki” on the rights of the original, publications on electronic media (CD) on Russian abroad.

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Military literature fund

Fund size: more than 614 thousand items
Coverage period: from the 16th century to the present
Structurally included in the central core fund

The main fund, formed on the basis of the book collection of the library of the General Staff of the Russian Army (1811-1917), consists of a number of thematic collections on military administration, regimental historiography, Russian military clothing, etc. The fund contains rare reference documents, among which stand out “Commemorative Books”, “List of Generals by Seniority” and “List army infantry captains by seniority. The specialized closed owner’s collection of the famous Moscow bibliophile A. M. Makarov is of lasting value.

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Remote network resources fund

Fund size: about 3.3 million items
Coverage period: from the end of the 19th century to the present

Includes e-books, magazines and newspapers in Russian and foreign languages, as well as reports, company profiles, images and other types of documents.

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Optical CD fund

Fund size: about 73.5 thousand items
Coverage period: from 1991 to the present

The fund includes text editions, audio books (talking books), audio performances, guides to museums and architectural monuments, foreign language courses, textbooks, teaching materials, systems self-training, simulators, workshops on various university disciplines and school subjects, practical guides, manuals, reference books for specialists in various fields of knowledge, conference materials, applied systems for computer-aided design, construction and modeling, and others.

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Microform fund

Fund size: approx. Structurally, it is part of the central core fund

The core fund is structurally divided into sub-funds of books, periodicals, newspapers, dissertations, taking into account the chronology of shooting publications into microforms. It has about 3 million items in Russian and foreign languages. Partially presented are publications that do not have paper equivalents, but correspond to such parameters as value, uniqueness, high demand.

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Literature fund “For official use”

Fund size: more than 700 thousand items of storage
Coverage period: from the 1920s to the present

The collection includes literature with a restrictive stamp “For official use” in various disciplines, for example: abstracts, books and magazines on technical and chemical sciences, agriculture, forensic science and criminology, military sciences, etc., population census tables 1950-1980s.

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Manuscript fund

Fund size: about 652.6 thousand items
Coverage period: from the 6th century to the present

Main fund — this is a universal collection of written and graphic manuscripts in Old Russian, Ancient Greek, Latin, Slavic, Western European and Oriental languages. It contains handwritten books of secular and spiritual content, archival collections, personal (family, tribal) archives, archival funds of various state, church, private institutions and public organizations. There are funds of Peter I, M. I. Kutuzov, P. A. Rumyantsev-Zadunaisky, G. R. Derzhavin, A. S. Griboedov, M. Yu. Lermontov, F. I. Tyutchev, V. O. Klyuchevsky and other prominent figures of Russian history and culture. The unique part of the collection is the monuments of Slavic and Old Russian book culture.

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Fund of cartographic publications

Volume of the fund: about 157.8 thousand items
Coverage period: from the 16th century to the present

lines, maps, plans, maps, globes, cartographic works on microcarriers and optical disks. There is a large array of plans for settlements, land holdings, estates, as well as maps reflecting the administrative-territorial division of regions and districts.

The collection contains both book and sheet atlases. Cards differ in a variety of printing performance and presentation forms – on sheets and on fabric, wall-mounted in rolls and on cardboard, folding, embossed, stereographic, in the form of postcards and calendars. There are special cards for the blind. The collection also includes textual, graphic, illustrative appendices to cartographic documents.

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Fund of printed music and sound recordings

Fund size: more than 500 thousand items
Coverage period: notes — from the middle of the 16th century to the present; sound recordings – from the beginning of the 20th century to the present

Domestic and foreign printed music, sound recordings (gramophone records, magnetic tapes, audio and video cassettes, CD, mp3), literature on music (monographs, reference and bibliographic publications).

The main fund of musical publications includes domestic and foreign sheet music in the form of single-volume and multi-volume notebooks, leaf editions, albums, postcards, calendars, posters, as well as books of a mixed type, in which the musical text is the main one. The fund receives publications with text in Russian, other languages ​​of the peoples of the Russian Federation, and foreign languages. The music fund includes original documents, copies (including facsimiles), documents on micro- and electronic media, including supplements to printed publications.

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Literature fund on library science, bibliography and book science

Fund size: about 200 thousand items
Coverage period: from the 18th century to the present

The fund includes literature on librarianship and book science, as well as on related branches of knowledge (issues of computer science, culture, archiving, science of science, sociology), encyclopedias and reference books of a general nature, language dictionaries. Book publications in Russian and foreign European languages, as well as in the languages ​​of the peoples of Russia, the CIS countries and the Baltics are widely represented. The fund includes magazines, ongoing and leaf publications, specialized newspapers, databases and documents on electronic media. Provides access to network resources. Editions of the Russian State Library are allocated to a separate collection.

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Fund of literature in Oriental languages ​​

Volume of the fund: more than 900 thousand items
Coverage period: from the 16th century to the present

Main The fund includes domestic and the most significant scientific and practical foreign publications in 230 languages ​​of the peoples of Asia and Africa. These are books, magazines, newspapers, ongoing publications, certain categories of cartographic, musical, visual products and voice recordings (on CD and DVD media).

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Newspaper fund

Fund size: approx. domestic newspapers in Russian, newspapers in the languages ​​of the peoples of Russia and neighboring countries, in foreign languages ​​of European countries. It includes newspapers of active demand: Moscow (central) and regional; working copies of microfilms of dilapidated and especially valuable publications; reference books and general encyclopedias.

The most valuable part of the fund is Russian pre-revolutionary newspapers of 1801-1918 (more than 5,000 titles) and publications from the period of the first years of Soviet power for 1917-1922 (more than 4,000 titles). From the collection of Russian domestic publications, the following collections were singled out: “Russian newspapers in civil type. 1801-1830”, “Zemsky newspapers. 1866-1918”, “Newspapers of the period of the First Russian Revolution. 1905-1907”, “Newspapers of the first years of Soviet power. 1917-1922″ and others.

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Thesis fund

Fund size: more than 1.1 million titles
Coverage period: from 1944 to the present

abstracts (mandatory copies of the original dissertations from 1951 to the present; microforms of dissertations made to replace the originals of 1944-1950; mandatory copies of abstracts of candidate and doctoral dissertations, except for abstracts with the heading “Forecasting Board”, since 2015).

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Fund of the RSL Department in the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center

Fund size: more than 4.6 thousand items
Coverage period: from the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century

The Department of the Russian State Library in the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center was established in 2013 to store the Schneerson collection – a book collection of the family of the leaders of the Hasidic movement Chabad, whose center was in the town of Lubavichi. The library began to take shape during the life of the founder of the movement, Shneur Zalman from Liad, from the end of the 18th century and was collected until the 19th century.15 years. After the revolution of 1917, the collection was nationalized and transferred to the Rumyantsev Museum, later renamed the State Library of the USSR named after V. I. Lenin (now the RSL).

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Exchange fund

Fund volume: more than 800 thousand items
Coverage period: from the 18th century to the present

Exchange fund universal in content and chronological characteristics.