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National Bibliography of Belarus

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National Bibliography

National bibliography as a tool to record all materials published in Belorussia and works in Belorussian language was non-existent until 20th century. Throughout the 19th century, continuous and systematic recording of Belorussian books was done by Russian and Polish bibliographers.

Among Russian sources, particularly important is the catalog by V. S. Sopikov (Opyt Rossiiskoi bibliografii ili polnyi slovar sochinenii i perevodov, napechatannykh na Slavenskom i Rossiiskom iazykakh ot nachala zavedeniia tipografii do 1813 goda), which included descriptions of works by Belorussian authors L. Zizania, P. Berdynia, F. Skoryny. It also included documents related to Belorussian history, folk tales, and religious literature. The catalog provides detailed annotations and quotations from original sources and informs the reader where to find these sources. For detailed description of this work, visit the Russian monographic resources page.

Here is a sample entry from Sopikov for a Belorussian book:

A sample entry from Sopikov

For early Belorussian sources, it is equally important to consider Polish catalogs such as Estreicher’s  Bibliografia Polska XIX. Detailed description of this work is provided at the Polish national bibliography page.

Here is a sample entry for a Belorussian book:

A sample entry from Estreicher

It is necessary to keep in mind that the catalog by Estreicher does not differentiate between Polish and Belorussian sources. There is no separate section devoted to Belorussian (starozapadnye) publications. Therefore, this catalog may present a challenge to the modern user.  Thorough knowledge of early Belorussian publications is recommended.

Continuous and systematic recording of Belorussian publications begins only in the 1920s. In 1922, Knizhnaia Palata BSSR (Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic)  was founded for the purpose of registering all current Belorussian publication. In 1924, Knizhania Palata produces the first Letapis druku Belarusi (Letopis’ Belorusskoy pechati) to inform the reader about materials currently published on the territory of BSSR. However, regular production of Letapis begins only in 1926.

Letapis druku Belarusi. Dziarzhanaunaia palata respubliki Belarus’, Minsk, 1924-.

Natsionalnaia Knizhnaia Palata Respibliki Belarus, 1995-. Other titles: Letopis’ pechati BSSR, Letapis druku BSSR, 1931-; Letapis’ pechati Belarusi. Letopis’ druku Belarusi with subtitle ‘Knizhny letapis’ ,1995-. Issued twice a month, 1926-, monthly, 1928-.
U of I Library Call Numbers: Main Stacks

  • 015.4765 L567 (1971,1977)
  • 015.4765 L5671 (1993-2006);

With the publication of Letapis druku Belarusi the national bibliography of Belorussia officially began. Its purpose is to keep track of entire publishing output of the region. Therefore, Letapis druku Belarusi represents an excellent bibliographic tool that guides the user through various types of publications in Belorussia: books, periodicals and continuing resources, newspapers, dissertations abstracts, literature related to music and graphic art. The bibliography includes all titles published in Belorussia regardless of the language.  Since the beginning, there were several types of Letapis: Letopis’ periodicheskikh izdanii (1925-), describing periodicals and continuing resources; Letapis chasopisnykh artykulau (1934-) and  Letapis’ gazetnykh artykulau (1937-) containing indexes to Belorussian serials and newspapers ; Belarus’ v pechati mira (1946-); Ukazatel’ bibliograficheskikh posobii Belarusi (1978-). It is important to keep in mind that during 1941-1945 (WWII), Knizhnaia Palata BSSR stopped virtually all publications. As of today, there are nine types of Letapis:

  • Letapis druku Belarusi. Knizhnaia Letopis’. U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 015.4765 L5671 (1993-2006); Recent issues in International & Area Studies library
  • Letopis’ periodicheskikh i prodolzhayushchikhsya izdanii (published once a year in issue 12 of Knizhnaia Letopis’)
  • Letopis’ spetial’nikh vidiv dokumentatsii I izdanii uzkogo naznacheniia (published once a year in issue 12 of Knizhnaia Letopis’)
  • Notnaia Letopis’ (recording musical literature) issued as a separate item
  • Letopis’ izoizdanii (for graphical art, posters, paintings, reproductions, etc.) issued as a separate item
  • Letapis chasopisnykh artykulau.  U of I Library Call Number: 015.4765 L56711 (1997- 2013); Recent issues in International & Area Studies Library
  • Letapis’ hazetnykh artykulau.   U of I Library Call Numebr: 015.476 L5671a (1997-2013); Recent issues in International & Area Studies Library
  • Letapis’ retsenzii (found in Letapis chasopisnykh artykulau and Letapis’ gazetnykh artykulau)
  • Belrus’ v pechati zarubezhnykh stran (issued every three years in 1,4,8 and 12th issues of Knizhnaia Letopis’)

Every issue of Letapis contains several indexes: names, titles, subjects, geographic locations, series titles, and language (except for items in Belorussian and Russian). Each entry contains full bibliographic description as in the example below.

A sample entry from Letapis druku Belarusi

After 1917, compilation of national retrospective bibliography of Belorussia becomes an important task for the bibliographers of the newly created Belorussian Socialist Republic. The responsibility for the development of such bibliography lay with Knizhnaia Palata BSSR and the National Library of Belorussia.

Letapis Balruskaha Druku, Part I

It was published in 1927. The volume was edited by Belorussian U. I. Bibila. It was designed as a retrospective guide recording of all materials published in BSSR from 1917 to 1924. This guide also included descriptions of “anti-socialist” works in Belorussian published by the emigrant press as well as those that were published during the German and Polish occupation of Belorussia. [Note: this item is not held by U of I] OCLC accession number: 28713927

Letapis Balruskaha Druku, Part  II

It was published in 1929. This volume covered Belorussian materials published in 1835-1916. The date of 1835 signified the beginning of publication history in modern Belorussian language. Part II covered all materials in Belorussian produced on the territory of the Russian empire and abroad. It contained only 244 book titles and 34 flyer- type publications, e.g.  proklamatsiia. The major weakness of this volume was that it neglected to include those Belorussian books whose titles were transcribed in Russian. These materials, such as folk art collections, law and government documents, were previously described in Karski’s Belorusy. [Note: this item is not held by U of I] OCLC accession number: 28713927

Letapis Balruskaha Druku. Part IV. Periodychny druk na beloruskai move

Minsk, 1927.

U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 016.914765 L567

Part IV described periodicals in Belorussian up until 1926. This was the first retrospective work on periodicals. There are several sections : 1). Belorussian periodicals published before 1917; 2) periodicals published in BSSR and USSR during 1917-1926; 3) periodicals published outside of Belorussia and during the occupation period; 4) single issues published in BSSR, 1921-1925; 5) single issues published outside of BSSR, 1918-1926. The volume includes two indexes: one for editor and publisher; the other by place of publication.

A sample entry for periodicals from Letapis druku Belarusi

Letapis pechati BSSR : Knigi i brishury, vypushennye izdatel’stvami BSSR during 1941-1945

Gos. Biblioteka. Kn. Palata. Minsk, 1947.

This publication is an addition to “Letapis pechati” which lacks coverage for the war years (Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945). It consists of two parts: “Knigi i broshury, 1941” and “Knigi i broshury, 1942-1945” The volume includes books published in Belorussia as well as Works published in Moscow and Tashkent (Uzbekskaia SSR) [places of évacuation]. It covers books in Belorussian, Russian, Yiddish, and Polish. Descriptions of Belorussian and Russian books are provided in the original language of publication; descriptions of Yiddish and Polish books are in Belorussian. There is an Introduction in Belorussian. Indexes include: author/editor/translator indexes provided separately for Belorussian, Russian, Polish and Yiddish works; title index by alphabet; subject indexes for in three languages (Belorussian, Russian and Polish). [Note: this item is not held by U of I]

Belarusski peryodychny druk 1917-1927. The Belorussian periodical press

Alphabetical index, 1917-1927. Belarusskaya Dzharzaunaia Bib-ka, Minsk, 1929.

U of I Library Call Number:International and Area Studies Microforms Room MFICHE 016.05799 B412

The bibliography is a useful guide to materials published in journal and sborniki (collections of articles) published in Belorussia during 1917-1927. This work complements Letapis chasopisnykh artykulau (1934-). The volume consists of two parts: Articles from journals and sborniki; 2) article review published in periodical literature during 1917-1927. It includes periodicals published in Belorussia (entire territory as of 1927) and publications of BSSR during Polish occupation in 1920. Publications in Belorussian and Russian are included. This is not a comprehensive source as some issues (identified with an asterisk) are not described in full (some materials were excluded, e.g. children’s articles). There is an Introduction in Belorussian. In Part I, materials are grouped alphabetically by author or title regardless of the language of publication. Part II is organized alphabetically by author and title of the review. Indexes: includes a combined alphabetical index and index of authors.

Podpol’nye periodicheskie izdaniia v Belorusi v gody Velikoy Otechestvennoi voiny: bibl. Ukaz

sost. V.S. Adamovich. Gos. Biblioteka BSSR im. V.I. Lenina. Minsk, 1975.

U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Ref Slavic– Ukraine/Belarus 016.05799 AD16P

This bibliography covers only journals and newspapers that were published in Belorussia from June 1941 to July 1944. Publications in Belorussian and Russian languages are included. There are two parts: one reserved for journals, the other for newspapers. Each part includes an Introduction in Belorussian and Russian.  Items in each part are organized by alphabet regardless of the language. The volume includes indexes of journals by publishing group and name; indexes of newspapers by publishing group and name (in Belorussian and Russian), geographic (by specific region). All materials are described de visu, and their location is specified. In 1980s-90s, several bibliographies were published adding to the body of retrospective national bibliography of Belorussia. An essential work in this regard is Kniga Belarusi.

Kniga Belarusi, 1517-1917: zvodny kataloh

Edited.by  H.I. Halenchanka, T.V. Neparozhnaiia, T.K. Radzevich. Minsk : “Belaruskaia sovetskaia entsiklopediia imeni Petrusia Brouki, 1986.

U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Ref Slavic– Ukraine/Belarus 015.4765 K748.

Kniga Belarusirepresents a union catalog of Belorussian publications and is, therefore, an excellent guide to Belorussian sources from 1517-1917. The date of 1517 represents the beginning of printing in Belorussian. The catalog has three sections. The first is dedicated to Old Cyrillic books from the 16-18th centuries. The second covers books in Belorussian from the 19th century to the beginning to 1917. The third part includes books in Russian from the 19th century to 1917.

“Kniga Belarusiincludes all Belorussian books regardless of their place of publication. Russian-language books published in Belorussia are also included. The bibliography is a product of the de visu examination of sources found in Belorussian libraries and museums. Sources from the Lenin Library in Moscow and Russian National Library in St. Petersburg have also been consulted. The catalog editors personally examined the sources and provided detailed description with the following information: bibliographic characterizations of each source, its location and bibliographic references. Descriptions are in chronological order with regards to the year of publication.

Part I. The section on Old Cyrillic books, XVI-XVIII cc.

It includes four indexes: author (except for authors of bibliographic books and books about Belorussia); title; place (e.g. tipografiia, pechatnik.) and year of publication; and geographic. There is a Supplement entitled “Spisok kirillicheskih knig grazhdanskoy pechati” providing information on old Cyrillic books of civil print. The list of nine books is provided containing brief bibliographic descriptions of each.

A sample entry from Kinga Belarusi

Part II. Books in Belorussian XIX-beginning XX cc

It was designed as a complete list of books printed in Cyrillic and Latin from the beginning of the 19th century to 1917 as well as a union catalog intended to provide information about location holdings of Belorussian libraries. In addition, it includes descriptions of books that are only known by their descriptions from bibliographic, historical and literary sources. This section is partly based on an earlier bibliographic work Letapis belruskaga druku, Part 2 (1929-). While Latapis contains 244 titles, Kniga Belarusi lists 579. This was due to the different selection criteria used. In addition to books published entirely in Belorussian, the present volume includes books in Russian, Polish that contain original Belorussian texts. It also covers certain publications from 19-20th centuries that are considered to be  important legal, historical and literary artifacts, e.g. Belorussian folklore texts collected by Romanov, Shein, and Bessonov. Finally, Kniga Belarusi included books that were discovered by Soviet bibliographers only after the publication of Latapis.

The section on Belorussian books from the 19th century to the beginning to 1917 includes detailed annotation of each source and provides information about its location. Another unique feature is the provision of colored illustrations of covers and title pages for some books. These illustrations are supplied with numbers which correspond to the number of the book description situated within the text.

A sample entry from Kinga Belarusi

Descriptions are organized in the alphabetical order by author or title. Book descriptions are provided in the original language; notes and comments are in Belorussian. The section has the following indexes: author, place of publication and distribution; publisher; and types of literature.

There is a separate section containing the list of all periodical literature (except pamphlets) in Belorussian  language before 1917.

Part III. Publications in Russian, XIX-beginning XX cc.

These publications published in Belorussia are characterized by subject. They are in alphabetical order organized by author and title. There are several indexes: author, geographic; subject; place of publication and distribution. Many descriptions contain references to the specific library where the book is located. This section contains colored illustrations of book covers and title pages of some books. These illustrations are supplied with numbers which correspond to the number of the book description situated within the text.

A sample entry from Kniga Belarusi

Letapis chasopisnyhk artykulau, 1928-1933

edited by L.K. Furastsianaia. Natsional’naia Kniszhania Palata, Minsk, 1992.

U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 016.05799 F221I (v. 1-2)

This is a two-volume work that is a continuation of an earlier work Belarusski periadichny druk 1917-1927. It is based on the card catalog of articles from 1928-1933 compiled by the National Library of Belarus’. The bibliography includes journals, newspeaper supplements and serials published in Belorussia. It includes publications in Belorussian, Russian and other languages (e.g. Yiddish). It consists of two parts: Letopis’ zhurnal’nikh statei, 1928-1933 and Letopis’ retsenzii, 1928-1933. Descriptions are provided in Belorussian and Russian. The bibliography includes a name index as well as title and geographical indexes.

Katalog belorusskikh izdaniĭ kirillovskogo shrifta XVI-XVII vv

sost. V.I. Lukiananeko. Leningrad : Gos. publichnaia biblioteka im. M.E. Saltykova-Shchedrina, 1993.

U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 016.89186 L969k.

This bibliography is a guide to books in Cyrillic published in Belorussia and Lithuania from 1693 to 1800. The catalog includes 160 items held by the National Library of Russia (NLR). The catalog includes 12 books that have not been described before. It also includes books that can only be found in NLR. Each entry contains an annotation regarding the time and place of publication. Full bibliographic descriptions are provided including information regarding physical characteristics as well as additional information about different editions, previous owners, etc. The catalog has five indexes: alphabetical index by title, name index, geographical index, index by place of publication, and finally index by libraries. The bibliography has been designed as a research tool for bibliographers, historians, and philologists.

Pazatsėnzurny pėryiadychny druk Belarusi (1971-1990)

sklad. Iuras’ Laŭryk i Larysa Androsik. : BHAKTs, Minsk, 1998.

U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Ref Slavic– Ukraine/Belarus 016.05799 P298

This bibliography is produced by Modern History Archives, which was set up in 1996 in Minsk with the purpose to record in a systematic way sources related the most important contemporary events in Belorussia. One of the goals was the creation of a bibliographic work reflecting the rich samizdat literature that was produced during the second half of the 19th century. In 1998, Pazatsėnzurny pėryiadychny druk Belarusi was published. It was designed as a catalog of non-censored print sources that appeared in Belorussia from 1971 to 1990. The 1990 was chosen as a cut off point due to the adoption of the “Law on Press and Other Media” that liquidated preliminary censorship in the USSR.

The catalog covers books including non-official artistic Belorussian works and reprints of Western titles. It also covers serials, newspapers, and single-issue volumes. Many of the items included in the catalog belong to the Modern History Archives. Their registration number is recorded at the end of the catalog entry.

A sample entry for Milavitsa

There are two parts: Part I (1971-1988) and Part II (1989-1990). Entries are organized alphabetically and by year of publication within each section. Descriptions of sources are in Belorussian. Each entry varies in its descriptive value. For some sources, only title and year of publication is provided. Some provide detailed descriptions including information about publication history, physical description of the item. Some entries include illustrations, such as images of the cover or title page.

There is an index of names of editors and editing groups given along with the titles of their publications. However, there are no page numbers provided. An introductory article about Belorussian samizdat in English is located at the end.

National Library of Belarus

URL: http://www.nlb.by/portal/page/portal/index

The National Library of Belarus maintains an electronic catalog that provides access to the following Belorussian resources held by the library: books published from 19th century until present, dissertation abstracts since 1993, full-length dissertations since 1994, periodicals and continuing resources, manuscripts and rare books. The electronic catalog features a basic search allowing the user to search by author, title, publisher, series, place of publication, subject, and local call number. It is possible to limit your search by defining the type of document (dissertation, digest, guide, etc.), language and year of publication. The catalog features for a separate search mechanism by a type of document, which allows for more accurate results. Another useful feature is a word search allowing to search by subject or name. It is possible to search in Belorussian, Russian and English.

National Library of Belarus

Below is a screenshot for sample entry for an early 19trh century edition. The search for this item was conducted in Russian. The different language search options are provided in the upper right corner.

National Library of Belarus

In addition, the library’s website offers the Image-catalog in Belorussian which is an electronic counterpart to the library’s card catalog. The Image-catalog offers bibliographic information about publications from 1800 until present including local call numbers. Bibliographic entries are organized alphabetically by titles, names of authors and organizations. The catalog contains scanned images of the existing index cards and allows the user to browse within the following sections:

  • General catalog in Belarusian language
  • General alphabetical catalog in Ukrainian language
  • General catalog in Russian language
  • General alphabetical catalog of materials Polish language
  • General alphabetical catalog of materials in foreign languages (Roman alphabet)
  • General alphabetical catalog of materials  in foreign languages(Cyrillic alphabet)
  • Alphabetical catalog microfiche dissertation
  • Alphabetical catalog of images
  • Systematic catalog of maps
  • Alphabetical catalog of printed music

Image-catalog in Belorussian