Do you need help with locating items or have difficult reference questions? If so, you may want to try this free year-round service at the University of Illinois. The Slavic Reference Service handles bibliographic and reference questions in all subject areas connected to Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. In addition to contacting the Slavic Reference Service directly, researchers can browse our collection of research guides which contain information on vernacular language print and electronic resources for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, see our research guides. Moreover, the reference staff have a blog, which highlights recent online resources they have found useful in answering requests.
What We Do
Answer bibliographic and reference queries. If you are in need of a specific piece of information, we will be glad to try to answer your query. We will use print and online resources in our searches. We also assist patrons with their questions on the use of fonts and keyboards for languages in the service areas.
Identify materials in our collection. Identify libraries that hold materials you need. We will search to find libraries in the U.S., European Union, and libraries from the service areas that can lend or copy the title you need if it is not in our collection.
Verify and correct citations. Oftentimes, titles are not fully or correctly cited in the existing bibliographic literature. Our staff are trained to search for the correct form of the citation, ensuring that you get the material you need.
Suggest reference materials you might find relevant for your research. We cannot be held responsible for the completeness or accuracy of online information.
What We Don’t Do
Charge a fee. The Slavic Reference Service is a federally funded agency, there is no charge for our reference services. However, we are not a document delivery service. Should you need a copy of some material from our collection you will be directed to our InterLibrary Loan Department [See: http://www.library.illinois.edu/interlibrary-loan/]
Obtain certain kinds of materials, specifically archival materials and the full text of dissertations.
Recommend particular books on a topic. We are all reference librarians with subject expertise in a variety of areas. None of us are experts in all areas. Our expertise lies in our familiarity with bibliographic materials. Therefore, we are not qualified to suggest a specific book in a subject area over some other work.
Supply detailed genealogical information. Our library is not equipped to handle detailed genealogical requests.
What We Need
Details. The more specific your explanation of what you are looking for, the better we are able to serve you.
Deadlines. All requests are handled on a first come, first served basis, although requests that have a firm upcoming deadline can usually be worked in. If you must have an answer by a certain date, please indicate that in your request.
Languages. In order for us to locate information that will be useful we must know if there are materials that would not be helpful because of language constraints you might have.
Affiliation. While we welcome queries from everyone, if your question will require the use of InterLibrary Loan, it is important for us to know if you are not affiliated with an academic institution. We may need to make arrangements with your public library to supply you with the material you need for your research.
Background. In order to make the search as efficient as possible it is important that we not duplicate the work you have already done.
Sources. All users are asked to supply the original source in which they found the citation to the material they are seeking. This saves us a great deal of time in locating and/or ordering material.
Slavic Reference Service Staff
- Joseph Lenkart, International Reference Librarian / Manager, Slavic Reference Service
- Jan Adamczyk, Senior Library Specialist
Phone: (217) 333-1349
Fax: (217) 333-2214
For a quick response, try our chat.
If you have a more involved question, please e-mail us at or use our FORM.
You can also reach us by mail at:
Slavic Reference Service
International & Area Studies Library
319a Main Library, University of Illinois
1408 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
For some of our favorite resources, visit the Slavic Reference Service blog.