Slavic & Eastern European Studies Collection


The Collection Policy of the Slavic, East European and Central Asian Area Studies Section of Memorial Library is to acquire material of research value published in all Slavic and East European languages covering subjects in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Every effort has been made to support the continued development of the collection at a time of rising material costs and budgetary constraints.

Collection Description

Russia, Ukraine & Belarus

The Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian collection is maintained through individual purchases, standing orders, gifts and through exchanges with several libraries of the region, including the National Libraries and the libraries of the Academies of Sciences of these countries.

Special Collections also holds substantial material related to Russia and Ukraine, including a collection of material relating to the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05).

Memorial Library houses a sizable collection of Ukrainian materials, as well as a smaller collection of publications from Belarus.

East Central Europe

The Polish collection was begun in the 1930’s by Witold Doroszewski and Jozef Birkenmajer, the first chairs of the Department of Slavic Languages, then called the Department of Polish. Later acquisitions include a collection of Polish Solidarity materials. In addition to substantial purchases and gifts, exchanges are maintained with many of the major Polish research libraries including: Biblioteka Uniwersytecka w Warszawie, Biblioteka Narodowa, Biblioteka Główna Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego, Biblioteka Jagiellońska (Kraków), Biblioteka Uniwersytecka we Wrocławiu, Biblioteka Główna Uniwersytetu Śląskiego (Katowice), Biblioteka Główna Uniwersytetu w Białymstoku and several others.

Memorial Library holds many of the major Czech, Slovak, and Polish scholarly periodicals in the social sciences, history, and literature. Active exchanges are maintained with the libraries of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and the National Library of the Czech Republic and the National Library of the Slovak Republic. Acquisition of new Hungarian material is maintained at a modest level through purchases.

The Balkans

The South–Eastern European collections have been maintained largely through exchanges with the National Libraries and the libraries of the Academies of Sciences of these countries supplemented by limited commercial purchases. Memorial Library contains the works of most of the major writers of Romania, Bulgaria, Albania and the nations of the former Yugoslavia. In addition, the library holds many of the major works of history about this region.

Scholars of Serbian history also have access to the Komadinic Collection in Balkan social and political history. This collection includes publications and pamphlets of peasant, socialist and other radical movements from the last half of the nineteenth century up until World War II. It consists of some 7,000 items, mostly in Serbo–Croatian, and is based on the private library of Milan Komadinic (1882-1944), the founder and organizer of the zadrugarstvo, an early society of cooperatives in Serbia. The collection was further developed by Slobodan Komadinic, the son of Milan Komadinic, and was subsequently purchased by Memorial Library. The collection is housed in Special Collections located in Memorial Library.

Central Asia & the Caucasus

The Library’s holdings from the Central Asian and Caucasus regions focus on history, politics, and literature. The library has been acquiring Russian–language materials about and from Central Asia for many years. The Library also acquires materials in the Tajik language, and in the Turkic languages of Azeri, Kazakh, Uzbek, Tatar, Bashkir, Turkmen, Kyrgyz, and Uighur. Materials relating to Armenia and Georgia are not collected at the research level and vernacular Armenian and Georgian materials are only collected on a small scale, with the exception of dictionaries. Materials in Turkish are also collected, particularly in the subject areas of modern Turkish literature and Turkish history.

Baltic Countries

The library has been steadily collecting Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian materials for several decades. Many of the major titles in Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian literature and history are represented. Professors Valters Nollendorfs and Valdis J. Zeps were instrumental in the acquisition of Latvian émigré books for Memorial Library. The Department of Special Collections houses a Latvian collection as well as the Alfred Senn Lithuanian Collection. The acquisition of materials from these three countries continues through purchases for Latvian materials as well as substantial gifts of Lithuanian materials and exchanges with the Lithuanian and Estonian National Libraries, the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, Vytautas Magnus University and Tartu University.

Purchase Recommendations

Users may submit individual purchase requests by filling out the Purchase Recommendation Form.