When the current borders of the Central Asian republics were drawn up in the 1930s, Uzbekistan received the most densely-populated areas of Central Asia along with the majority of its most historic cities. Tashkent, for example, was the fourth-largest city in the former Soviet Union (after Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev) and the administrative center of the vast region in Tsarist as well as early Soviet times. As such, bibliographies compiled in and on Tashkent and Uzbekistan are of particular importance for the region as a whole. In the pages that follow, however, an attempt has been made to distinguish between sources that pertain specifically to the territory of Uzbekistan and sources that were published in what is now Uzbekistan, but deal with Central Asia as a whole (e.g. Pankov). In some cases this has been difficult to achieve. In any case, bibliographies and other reference sources that deal with Central Asia in its entirety will be the subject of future research guides. Likewise, bibliographic sources having to do specifically with Uzbek archives (A. L. Troitskaia’s Katalog arkhiva Kokandskikh khanov XIX veka , Moskva, 1968 — U of I Library call number Central Asian Reference 016.9587 T74k), Uzbek history (e.g. V. I. Bek-Nazarova’s Istoriia Uzbekistana : bibliograficheskii ukazatel’ knig i statei v izdaniiakh Komiteta Nauk pri Sovete Narodnykh Komissarov UzSSR, Uzbekistanskogo filiala Akademii Nauk SSSR i Akademii Nauk UzSSR (1933-1957 gg.), Tashkent, 1960 — U of I Library call number Central Asian Reference 016.91587 Ak1i), or individual regions (e.g. Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’ literatury po Karakalpakii , Moskva/Leningrad, 1935 — U of I Library call number Central Asian Reference 016.9587 B471; Pechat’ Karakalpakskoi ASSR [1917-1986]: bibliograficheskii ukazatel’, Tashkent, 1986-1987; or M. P. Izosimova’s Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’ literatury o Samarkandskoi oblasti, vyp. 1, Samarkand, 1970 — U of I Library call number Central Asian Reference 016.9587 Iz6b v. 1), and other Uzbek-related subjects may be included in future research guides.
While arguably too narrowly-focused on the social sciences to qualify as a true national-bibliographic publication, mention should perhaps be made of the recurring bibliographies published annually in the December issue of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences’ journal Obshchestvennye nauki v Uzbekistane in the 1960s. “Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’ literatury po arkheologii, istorii, etnografii, filosofii i pravu Uzbekistana, vyshedshei v svet v … godu” listed books, articles, and in the social sciences that were published in Uzbekistan during the previous year. This was preceded (1957-1960) by a bibliography by the same title appearing once a year in Izvestiia Akademii Nauk UzSSR: seriia obshchestvennykh nauk .
Uzbekistan and Central Asia in general have benefited from the attentions of two great bibliographers of the pre-1917 period in V. I. Mezhov and Evgenii Karlovich Betger [SEE C.A. Ref. 923 L97b v.1 pp. 114 ff.]
Mezhov’s Turkestanskii sbornik is a major resource for the study of Central Asia before 1917, it is impossible to talk about Uzbek bibliography without mentioning it.
A list of Betger’s works is provided in M. P. Avsharova’s and M. S. Viridarskii’s Evgenii Karlovich Betger, 1887-1956: ocherk zhizni i deiatel’nosti (Tashkent, 1960)
The great bibliographic tradition established in Tashkent by Mezhov and Betger has yielded an impressive array of retrospective bibliographies covering most aspects of Uzbek intellectual production KNIGA SOVETSKOGO UZBEKSTANA, PROIZVEDENIIA KOMPOZITOROV UZBEKISTANA, GAZETY UZBEKSKOI SSR, ZHURNALY UZBEKSKOI SSR, ETC.)
Prior to the establishment of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic in 1924, much of Uzbekistan was administratively part of the Turkestan ASSR of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (or RSFSR, the oldest and largest of the constituent republics of the USSR). The rest was contained in the Khorezm People’s Soviet Republic and the Bukharan People’s Republic (successor states to the old Khanates of Khiva and Bukhara), which were abolished in 1924 and divided among the Uzbek SSR, the Turkmen SSR, and the Karakalpak ASSR (which remained part of the RSFSR until its assignment to the Uzbek SSR in 1936). The original capital of the Uzbek SSR was Samarkand, with Tashkent officially taking on that role in 1930. From 1924 to 1929, the Uzbek SSR also included what is now Tajikistan in the form of a Tajik ASSR. As a consequence, some early Tajik publications were indexed not in the Tajik national bibliography (which did not yet exist), but in the Uzbek national bibliography (see the entry for Kitob letopisi / Knizhnaia letopis’).
For more information on the history of publishing in Uzbekistan during the Soviet era, see Z. I. Esenbaev and E. A. Akhundzhanov’s Zdravstvui, kniga: stanovlenie, razvitie i sovremennoe sostoianie knigoizdatel’skogo dela, poligrafii i knizhnoi torgovli v Sovetskom Uzbekistane, 1917-1982 gg. (Tashkent, 1982 — U of I Library call number Oak Street 070.509587 Es282z). Akhundzhanov’s earlier and later works also cover other periods of Uzbek publishing history.
“The national bibliographies of the Soviet Union followed the general Soviet pattern, which monitored publishing in the USSR and whose basic function was the bibliographic registration of published items. In the production of the Uzbek National Bibliography, the Uzbekiston SSR davlat kitob palatasi and the State Public Library in Tashkent (now Uzbek National Library) play a key role. Uzbek bibliography has a long history, beginning with the publication in 1851 of a list of articles published in Turkestanskii Sbornik. During the 20th century this list was supplemented with retrospective bibliographies, covering works published in the region between 1740 and 1917.
Later on, the original list of books and periodicals was divided into two separate lists and the coverage of the bibliography was expanded to cover articles. Also, books and articles published abroad and dealing with Uzbekistan and Uzbeks were included. The national bibliography of Uzbekistan first appeared in 1968. The bibliography’s present form developed in 1983 and consists of 4 quarterly editions including native publications and material about Uzbekistan published abroad. The bibliography includes books, pamphlets, music scores, authors’ abstracts of dissertations, prints, essays from books, articles and reviews from periodicals, serials and newspapers. Entries are made in Russian and Uzbek. In order to fully utilize the content of the Uzbek National Bibliography it is necessary to know the geographic boundaries of the region from the Russian period. This means that books published in Turkestan are still included in the Uzbek National Bibliography.
Originally the Uzbek National Bibliography was published in printed form. This was supplemented with digital forms in the 2000s.”