Subject resources can be anything from an annotated bibliography to a true guide to the discipline. The latter will contain information on research strategies, archival resources, periodicals in the field, encyclopedic resources and biographical materials.
For those working with Russian language materials there are a wealth of these resources. If you are working on a new research topic, these can be an extremely efficient way of familiarizing yourself with the literature and publishing patterns. The guides listed below are listed by subject area. The notes fields in these citations will attempt to give you an idea of any particularly significant areas of coverage or unusual features of the source. Unfortunately, for most subject areas the most comprehensive published guides have not been updated since the 1980s. Finding more current publications in any of these areas will require the use of online resources or more recently published bibliograhies.
Online guides or portals, focused on a specific discipline tend to limit themselves to other online resources. In particular, they focus on web resources. Thus, they lack the scope of the older sources. The latter would include all materials, regardless of format. It will be interesting to watch the resources on the web to see if they begin to incorporate information on printed sources that are not available in electronic form. Until they do the scholar must be prepared to consult both printed and electronic materials.
This guide is a work in progress as we have noted elsewhere. We have not completed sections on all disciplines. Those that are complete are accessible on the menu at the top of this page and below. We apologize for any inconvenience and encourage those of you working in areas that are not yet covered here to contact us directly using email, phone or our chat sessions. Sections will be loaded as they are completed so the course will be changing over time.
The section below will list those sources that cover a number of subjects. They are listed as “General sources.” These are included here because their subject organization separates them from the most general sources listed in the section on Bibliographies of bibliographies.
Kirpicheva, I. K. Leningrad: Gosudarstvennaia ordena trudovogo krasnogo znameni Publichnaia Biblioteka im. M. E. Saltykova-Shchedrina, 1958. 480 p.
U of I Call Number: Russian Reference 010.1 K63b
This is a basic guide to sources for the scholar beginning research on a topic requiring Russian sources. This is a true researcher’s guide, explaining the types and use of reference sources in all disciplines. The first section of the volume is dedicated to a discussion of the mechanics of doing scholarly research. Some of the explanations on the structure of a bibliographic record in the card catalog may seem antiquated. However, it is valuable information that transfers to the electronic environment. Kirpicheva also covers the various types of reference sources available and how they can assist the scholar in beginning their research. The second part of the book is devoted to bibliographic sources of information that span all disciplines. Each section is divided into chronological subsections, which are further subdivided by type of publication: books, periodicals, journal articles, newspaper articles and reviews. There is one section on Russian sources and another on foreign resources. The third part of the volume is divided into sections on sources for specific disciplines.
Each subject section begins with a discussion of current resources and general principles guiding research in the area. There are tables describing the publication history of the major serial bibliography for the discipline. The table below is an example of such an entry.
The volume is completed with a list of all the resources cited in the earlier pages of the book.
Ienish, E. V. Moscow: “Kniga”, 1982. 246 p.
U of I Call Number: Russian Reference 016.01 Ie6b
In many ways, this is the update to Kirpicheva’s 1958 work. The book is divided into three parts. The first is devoted to the use and variety of library and bibliographic resources for the scholar. The second part of the book is devoted to information on interdisciplinary sources.
This site has not been updated since 2005. However, it is one of the best introductions to Russian bibliographic sources available. Wojciech Zalewski has drawn on his expertise as a bibliographer to produce a thorough guide to the sources and, perhaps more importantly, a discussion of how most effectively to use those sources. The guide begins with an explanation of how to work with the full array of Russian reference sources, bibliographic and informational. There is a guide to the resources arranged by type of bibliography and a second guide to type of informational resources. The bibliographic descriptions are complete but include only brief annotations. The site was designed for students at Stanford and contains numerous references to their catalog and resources.