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Collections

The International and Area Studies Library holds several collections of note related to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian studies. While not exhaustive, the following list attempts to list these collections that would potentially hold the greatest research value for students and scholars alike:  

  • The opisi of the Communist Party Archives on 562 microfilm reels.  
  • The catalog of the Russian National Library (Saltykov-Shchedrin) on microfiche.  
  • The “Prague Spring” microform collection.  
  • The “Polish Independent Publications” microform collection.   
  • The “GULAG Press, 1920-1937″ microfiche collection.  
  • The Beloe Dvizhenie: Katalog Kollektsii Listovok (1917-1920 gg.) on microfilm.   
  • The complete biographical archives published by K.G. Sauer relating to  SEEE countries.  
  • The microfilm collection of 18th century Russian publications based on the Svodnyi Katalog.  
  • The majority of the archival guides referenced by Patricia Grimsted’s in her writings.  

These high-level collections are representative of the richness of the holdings present at the International and Area Studies Library. For a more granular exploration of our holdings, we have included a series of collection summaries below, all separated by country/historical regions. If you are planning a research trip outside of the country, we encourage you to visit the IAS Library and determine which of your sources already exist here. We are also happy to assist you in or determining which repositories will prove the most useful in your research efforts abroad.

The Library holds approximately 190,700 volumes in the languages of the former Soviet Union, plus another 58,465 or so volumes on Russia and the former Soviet Union in other languages. Materials related to the humanities and social sciences are covered extensively. Pre-Revolutionary publications are well represented, while Soviet imprints of the 1920s and 1930s are somewhat less so. The collection is most comprehensive for the period from 1950 onward due to standing orders, blanket orders, and exchange programs with Russian and other republic libraries, all of which have resulted in the acquisition of many provincial publications that were not generally exported. There is a good collection of books and journals published in Russian and Ukrainian outside the Commonwealth of Independent States, including the imprints of émigré publishing houses. 

In terms of microform materials, the library possesses about 99,818 additional volumes of Russian and Ukrainian titles, a collection that includes most serials of importance that are not available in the original. There are also long runs on microfilm of some 155 newspapers in Russian, Ukrainian, and Estonian, including both pre-Revolutionary and Soviet titles. Most of the important 19th and 20th century Russian periodicals and newspapers (typically represented in their entirety) are also available on microform, microfiche, or the original print version. Additional holdings of note include near-complete collections of Russian books dating from the 17th and 18th centuries that originated from major Russian repositories, and Russian book, periodical, and newspaper collections from the Hoover Institution, Harvard University, Columbia University and Library of Congress.

Currently, the IAS Library’s total holdings related to the Czech and Slovak republics reaches around 48,344 volumes. Nearly all of the major Czech and Slovak scholarly periodicals related to the subjects of history, literature, the social sciences, philosophy, art, and religion are encompassed within the larger collection. The literature collection (which totals about 9,350 volumes) includes complete editions of all noteworthy authors, with nearly all standard critical and bibliographical works being represented as well.  

More than 9,950 volumes on Czech and Slovak history and politics are also encompassed within the wider collection. Said volumes necessarily include many complete runs of historical journals, collections of published documents, and standard monographs.  Czechoslovakia-focused historical materials leading up to 1948 find extensive coverage, as well as contemporary periodicals and historical, literary, political and philological journals from the 19th century. Finally, the I. Perlstein Collection of Czechoslovak Book Design contains approximately 750 volumes of limited, signed bibliophile editions of Czech literature from the 1920s and 1930s and is housed in the Rare Book Room of the Main Room.

The IAS Library’s holdings related to the Former Yugoslavia currently totals around 41,425 volumes. In general, materials relating to the subject of “Law has received particular emphasis within the collection. Complete sets of nearly all of the publications of the Yugoslav Academy and its various historical and literary document series are present, as well as strong coverage of similar materials originating from the Serbian Academy. Slovenian periodical holdings are well-represented. Taken in total, there are more than 1,200 Yugoslav serial titles present within the broader collection. Note: Current publications are received on blanket orders which are in effect for all countries of Eastern Europe.

Currently, the Polish component of the Slavic, East European, and Eurasian-focused collection comes to around 49,494 volumes. There are about 11,425 volumes related to Polish literature, a collection that includes standard editions of the major authors and a fairly complete selection of literary history and criticism. 10,175 volumes in Polish history are present, with holdings in Polish law making up a substantial subset of this section. Retrospective periodical holdings are extensive in most fields, but there are fewer completeruns of journals in the Polish collection than in the ‘Czech and Slovak Republics’ and ‘Former Yugoslavia’ collections.

Currently, materials related to Hungary come to approximately 23,990 volumes. This collection contains standard reference works and a representative selection of works in most disciplines. The monographic literature is strongest in the history of Hungary up to 1918. The IAS Library also possesses an excellent collection of official documents and law booksfor example, the complete records of the Hungarian diet and parliament from 1790 to 1944 and nearly 2,500 items on all aspects of Hungarian law published before 1918 are held by the library. The periodical and serial collections related to history, literature, and language are also very strong.

Within the larger collection, Bulgaria is represented by extensive retrospective periodical runs, which includes most of the Academy and university publications.  Of the 13,755 volumes on Bulgaria, about 3,700 are devoted to literature and 4,450 to history and related fields.

At the present moment, materials related to Romania come to approximately 15,830 volumes.  Besides a basic collection of bibliographies and reference aids, there are significant holdings in history, language, literature, and law. Historical materials include numerous general histories, monographs, and collections of sources (materials related to the period of 1800-1945 and Transylvania are particularly numerous). The periodical collection contains the major publications of the Romanian Academy and its institutes since 1914. Finally, the library currently receives almost all significant national and provincial periodicals.

For more information on the digital facets of our collection, please utilize the pages related to Databases, Turkestanskii Sbornik, a digital collection consisting of over 220,000 full-text pages of newspaper articles, journal articles, and books on Central Asia published between 1867 and 1917 that originated with the National Library of Uzbekistan in Tashkent, and UIUC’s own “The Russian Empire and Soviet Union: A Guide to Manuscripts and Archival Materials in the United States.” Consider also browsing our Research Resources section for additional reference materials noted on a country-by-country basis. Finally, if you have any specific questions related to our collection, please feel free to reach out to a member of the SRS staff by utilizing the “Contact” section of our About Us page.