Tautomerism of β-mono-, β,β'-dihydroxyanthraquinones, and their anions was studied for the first time by quantum-chemical and correlation methods. 2-Hydroxyanthraquinone exists exclusively in 9,10-quinoid form, and its ionization involves a tautomeric transformation into 10-oxido-2,9- anthraquinone. β,β'-Dihydroxyanthraquinones can exist as the corresponding 9,10-, 2,9-, 2,6-, and 2,3-quinoid tautomers, and the most characteristic forms of their anions are 2,9-quinoid structures. The considerable difference in the known spectra of the same compound is due to the shifts of the tautomeric equilibria. © 2007 Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.