During the Khrushchev thaw, criminal cases from the era of Stalin’s personality cult were reviewed. Hundreds of thousands of wrongly convicted prisoners, including artists, were rehabilitated. Publications connected to the rehabilitated figures were moved from special funds to the main library holdings. The list of authors whose works were to be removed from circulation was whittled down by 2,535 names by January 1, 1960, from the initial total number of 3,310. 18,000 titles returned to general circulation.

The next large-scale opening up of special funds fell on the perestroika period (1985-1991), despite the Main Directorate taking every step to slow down the process.

Despite their main function of “a prison for books,” special funds have played an important role as a place where banned texts were preserved. The surviving 2-3 copies of banned books or magazines were kept in special funds while any other remaining copies were destroyed. Many Ukrainian titles from the 20th century now exist in less than 10 copies.