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Annual Report of the Slavic Section for 1920

Report of P. A. Speek for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1920.

July 15, 1920.

Accessions.   Owing to the continued unsettled conditions in the Slavic countries there has not been any possibility of purchasing and bringing over the needed Slavic publications during the last fiscal year. Order cards for such publications have been prepared and an attempt was made to acquire Russian literature through Siberia from the Russian cooperative unions, but the attempt failed, as have attempts undertaken during previous years. The few Slavic publications added to the Library during the year — about 400 in number — were acquired through local purchase, gifts, and official channels.

Gifts.   Among gifts the most valuable are as follows: (1) Russian index cards and reference material of George Kennan, presented by him to the Yudin Collection of the Library. The cards, about 10,000 in number, and the envelopes, of about the same number, contain bibliographical information, quotations, notes, and newspaper and magazine clippings. The index on cards was made and used by the author in writing his Siberia and the Exile System and is mainly related to exile, prisons, and the revolutionary movements in Russia. The index on envelopes and the clippings which they contain relate to Russian affairs in general from about 1888 to 1914. The cards and envelopes are classified separately according to the subject matter in alphabetical and chronological order, and are placed in the same order in special index cases in the Yudin Collection. They are now open for the use of the reading public. The whole index, representing the life work of Mr. Kennan, the foremost living American authority on Russia of pre-war times, appears as an encyclopedia of the conditions and affairs of the czarist Russia during the last decades before the war. The wealth of information it contains, especially that of a bibliographical character, and the fine classification arrangement made by the author himself, assisted by his wife, Mrs. Kennan, make the index highly useful for research workers on Russia in the Library, which possesses perhaps most of the sources in Russian as well as in other languages referred to in Kennan's Russian index. (2) A collection in 37 volumes of Russian and Georgian informative literature relating to the history, geography, ethnography, arts, religion, etc., of the people of the Georgian Republic in the Caucasus, presented to the Library by I. G. Harbord, Major General, U. S. A., is a valuable contribution to the Library sources in view of the fact that the peoples forming new national republics in the former Russian Empire are little known to the American readers. (3) The Czecho-Slovakian Information Bureau in Washington, D. C., has presented to the Library a collection of the Czecho-Slovakian war posters, pamphlets, resolutions and decrees connected with the birth and development of the Czecho-Slovakian Republic.

Technical work.   During the last fiscal year the rough classification of unclassified books has been continued, and about 1500 volumes have been bound, while over 1000 volumes have been classified in detail and catalogued.

Demands upon the section.  Assistance in research, translation, collecting bibliographical information, etc., has been continuously rendered to the members of Congress, to the Executive Departments, other libraries, research workers and readers in the Library. Various divisions of the Library have been also assisted in the matters of Slavic literature. During the past year American academic circles have exhibited noticeable interest in the works of Russian scientific investigators, especially in the fields of biology, mathematics, arctic explorations, agriculture, and folk-lore.

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