Loading Library Hours...

Slavic Reference Service



The Slavic Reference Service – What We Do

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter how scholarly research is performed, we are committed to offering additional virtual bibliographic support, research consultations, and reference services. For example, if you are looking to secure digital copies of resources held at the University of Illinois Library remotely, please contact the SRS’ Duplication Team through our Duplication Request Form.  

Do you need help with locating items, conducting a literature review, searching with controlled vocabulary, or identifying collections of materials for your research? The Slavic Reference Service is here to help! The SRS handles bibliographic and reference questions in all subject areas connected to Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Our specific purview involves the following consultation-based activities: 

  • Answering bibliographic and reference queries. 
  • Identifying materials in our collection and libraries. 
  • Verifying and correcting citations.  
  • Suggesting reference materials you might find relevant for your research. 

SRS staff are available to consult with faculty, students, course instructors, and scholars in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies during our regular service hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., CST, Monday through Friday. You do not need to be affiliated with the University of Illinois to use our consultation services, though students and scholars located at the University of Illinois can also schedule in-person sessions. To schedule a meeting with a member of our staff, please use the online scheduler and indicate your location and affiliation. To learn more about our consultation sessions, please see the FAQ located below.

In addition to contacting the SRS directly, researchers can browse our Research Resources, which contain information on vernacular language print and electronic resources for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

What We Need

When scheduling a research consultation with staff from the SRS, it is important to keep in mind what details and materials our staff will need in order to best assist you in your research. All users are asked to supply the original source in which they found the citation to the material they are seeking; additionally, if you must have an answer to your queries by a certain date, please indicate that in your request. In terms of sourcing materials, we must know if there are materials that would not be helpful to you because of language constraints. Finally, if you are not affiliated with an academic institution, staff will need to know of this in order to conduct an Interlibrary Loan and make arrangements with your public library to supply you with your research materials.

What We Don’t Do

Finally, it is important to understand what services the SRS does not provide before scheduling a research consultation with a member of our staff. The SRS does not…  

  • Charge a fee for its services.  
  • Act as a document delivery service.  Should you need a copy of some material from our collection, you will be directed to our InterLibrary Loan Department.  
  • Obtain archival materials and the full text of dissertations. 
  • Recommend particular books on a topic. As we are all reference librarians, we are not qualified to suggest a specific text over another within any given subject area.  
  • Supply genealogical information.  
  • Advise on copyright related issues. 

In the event that the above text does not completely satisfy your questions on the nature of research consultations conducted by the SRS, please consult our About Us page, as well as the FAQ, for more general information about the Service and the larger International and Area Studies Library. If you have a specific question, please reach out to a member of our staff through the “Directory” section of the About Us page

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Although the Slavic Reference Service prides itself on the clarity of its communication, questions by researchers and patrons are all but a given in the world of reference consultation. This page of Frequently Asked Questions attempts to field the most common queries relayed to the SRS in a succinct fashion. As new questions are sent to and encountered by the SRS on a fairly regular basis, this page will be updated accordingly; therefore, this webpage can be seen as a living reflection of user concerns and the SRS’ attempts to respond to such concerns. This FAQ does not encompass all information related to the SRS and should be taken as a primer on common questions related specifically to research consultations.

Research consultations with SRS staff allow patrons to receive specialized, reference-based assistance with their research projects at their convenience for no cost. If you are looking for project assistance in the area of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian studies, there is no better place to get said assistance than the SRS.

We offer consultations to Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian scholars from around the world, regardless of their affiliation to a particular university.

When you are ready to schedule your consultation, please utilize our Schedule an Appointment application and choose the date and time available on the calendar that is most convenient for you.

After you schedule your research session through our calendar, we will follow up with you via email. Our message will include details about your session, including a link to join the consultation through Blackboard Ultra. This link is all you will need to join the session; therefore, there is no need to download or purchase any software before the consultation.

A typical research consultation with a member of the SRS staff will last between thirty minutes and one hour; however, we are happy to arrange for shorter or longer consultations depending on your availability and needs.

If desired, we are happy to offer a series of consultations to either supplement a single research consultation session or support a long-term research project. Simply let us know how often you would like to meet, and we will work with your schedule and research needs.

While every consultation is customized to our patrons’ projects, we will typically provide an overview of resources relevant to a patron’s project and familiarize them with important collections. We will also go over local, regional, and international catalogs and provide strategies for conducting a thorough literature review surrounding the project’s topic. Any additional coverage of topics is up to the discretion of the researcher.