Annual Report of the
Division of Slavic Literature for 1935
(From the report of the Chief, Mr. N. R. Rodionoff)
Statistical data on the division's holdings
By the end of the fiscal year the division had 101,224 books and 21,694 pamphlets, or a total of 122,918 pieces of printed Slavic material (including the year's acquisitions, mentioned below), of which amount 49,000 are bound, and 73,918 - unbound.
Since among the bound material the division has condensed about 26,000 issues of periodicals and serials (counted by issues on their deliveries) within approximately 6,000 bindings made in the Library, the proper computation of the division's holdings by pieces on June 30, 1935, for a comparison with its initial Yudin Collection of 68,000 Russian books (Annual Report, 1907, page 20), is as follows: 122,918 - 6,000 + 26,000 = 142,918, or approximately 143,000 pieces.
This shows, that since 1907 the collections of the division have been increased by
(143,000 - 68,000 =) 75,000 books and pamphlets.
It should be noted, however, that about one third of this increase (or about 23,500 pieces) had been acquired during 1908-1926, or the first 19 years of the existence of a separate unit of the Slavic collections in the Library (first called the Yudin Collection, and later the Slavic Section, the Slavic Division, and the Division of Slavic Literature), and over two thirds (or about 51,500 pieces) have been added during the last 9 years, 1927-1935.
Therefore, since 1927 the division has been increasing its holdings at the rate of about 5,700 pieces per year, without an increase of its staff to secure the proper technical care of this influx of new material and to make it accessible for reference use in the shortest possible time.
Besides the holdings in the Slavic material, mentioned above, the Library has several thousand of Slavic publications in other divisions, but the Division of Slavic Literature has no way of ascertaining their approximate amount.
Accessions in 1934-35
During the fiscal year 1934-35 the collections of the division were increased through exchange and purchase by 1,924 books of monographic literature, 3,745 issues of periodicals, and 877 pamphlets, a total of 6,546 pieces of printed Slavic material. The Library's book exchange was especially effective in supplying the division with many important Russian periodicals and serials, published in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The most interesting publications among the division's new acquisitions are as follows:
- Akademiia Nauk S. S. S. R. Institut vostokovedeniia (The Academy of Sciences of the U. S. S. R. The Oriental Institute), Leningrad, Bibliografiia Vostoka (Bibliography of the Orient). Issues 1-6, Leningrad, 1932-34.
This publication gives valuable references on the Orient, published in both European and Oriental languages.
- I. Publichnaia Biblioteka (The Imperial Public Library), St. Petersburg. Otchet. . . za 1904-1909 gody (Reports . . . for 1904-1909). 6 volumes. St. Petersburg, 1911-15.
These volumes were lacking in the division's large set of the annual reports of the said library, one of the greatest central reference libraries in the World.
- Russkii Muzei Imperatora Aleksandra III. Etnograficheskii otdiel (The Russian Museum of Emperor Aleksander III. The Ethnographic Division), St. Petersburg. Katalog Biblioteki Etnograficheskago Otdiela: 1 dekabria 1909 goda - 30 noiabria 1914 goda (Catalog of the Library of the Ethnographic Division: the publications received from December 1, 1909, to November 30, 1914). In 5 issues. St. Petersburg, 1911-15.
- Balukhatyi, S. Kritika o M. Gor'kom (The Criticism on M. Gorky). Moscow, 1934.
This is an annotated bibliography of the Russian critical literature (comprising the books and articles published in 1893-1932) on the works of Maxim Gorky, a famous Russian fiction writer and publicist.
- Bitovt, Iurii, Katalog Biblioteki Konstantina Makarovicha Solov'eva (Catalog of K. M. Solov'ev's Library). Moscow, 1914.
- Savel'ev, M. A., ed. Lenin na inostrannykh iazykakh, Bibliograficheskii ukazatel' (Lenin in the foreign languages. A Bibliographical Index). Moscow, 1931.
- Startsev, I. I. Dietskaia literatura. Bibliografiia 1918-1931 (The Literature for children. A Bibliography of Russian literature, published in 1918-31). Moscow, 1933.
- Vladimir, arkhimandrit. Sistematicheskoe opisanie rukopisei Moskovskoi Sinodal'noi Biblioteki. Chast' pervaia: rukopisi grecheskiia (A systematic description of the Greek MSS. of the Moscow Synodical Library). Moscow, 1894.
General. Collected works
- Gertsen, A. I. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii i pisem (Complete collection of the works and letters). Vols. 1-22. Petersburg - Leningrad, 1919-1925.
Gertsen (or Hertzen and Herzen), Aleksandr Ivanovich (1812-1870), a famous Russian liberal publicist, agitator, novelist, memoirist, political emigrant, left Russia in 1847 and lived the rest of his life abroad, where he published and edited the two periodicals and many books and pamphlets in the Russian. All this literature was illegally smuggled into Russia, gained a wide circulation there and a considerable influence on the highest Russian official circles in expediting the liberal reforms of Emperor Alexander II.
This is the first complete collection of Gertsen's works and letters, edited by M. K. Lemke, who had spent 18 years in preparing it for publication. Well commented and indexed, the collection represents a thorough research in the realm of the European social movements of the 19th century.
- Shishkov, A. S., Admiral. Sobranie sochinenii i perevodov . . . (Collection of works and translations). Vols. 1-16. St. Petersburg, 1818-34.
Admiral Aleksandr Semenovich Shishkov (1754-1841) was a well known Russian conservative writer, translator, and statesman. This set of his works, in a very rare edition and the perfect state of preservation, bears the stamps of the Library of Tsarskoe Selo, i.e. the Library of the Imperial palaces of that town, which used to be one of the suburban residences of Russian Emperors near St. Petersburg.
Philosophy and Religion
- Blonskii, P. P. Filosofiia Plotina (The philosophy of Plotinus). Moscow, 1918.
- Zhebelev, S. A. Apostol Pavel i ego poslaniia (Apostle Paul and his Epistles). Petrograd, 1923.
- De Cardonne, C. L'Empereur Alexandre II. Vingt-six ans de régne (1855-1881). Paris, 1883.
This is quite a rare history (in the French) of the reign of the Russian Emperor Alexander II, the Liberator. The copy acquired by the division is made of thick rag paper and bound in three quarters morocco, the top edges are trimmed and gilt, while the side and bottom edges are untrimmed. This is the presentation copy to Grand Duke Nicholas (a brother of Alexander II) and bears his bookplate.
- Krug, Philipp. Forschungen in der älteren Geschichte Russlands. Vols. 1-2. St. Petersburg, 1848.
This is a posthumous edition of essays in the history of Russia by a German historian and numismatist, who had long lived and worked in Russia. He was a member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg. The copy acquired by the division, handsomely bound in contemporary green morocco bindings, bears the bookplates of Emperor Alexander II.
- Liubavskii, M. K. Istoriia zapadnykh slavian (A history of the Western Slavs). Moscow, 1917.
- Rostovtsev, M. I. Skifiia i Bospor (Scythia and the Bosporian Kingdom). Leningrad, 1925.
A critical review of literary and archeological monuments, pertaining to the peoples of ancient Southern Russia, is presented in this publication by a well known Russian historian and archaeologist, now a professor at the Yale and Columbia universities.
- Uspenskii, F. I. Istoriia Vizantiiskoi Imperii (A history of the Byzantine Empire). Vol. 1st and the published part of vol. 2d. St. Petersburg, 1913-1927.
The late professor Uspenskii was one of the outstanding historians of the Byzantine Empire, and the publication named above is his monumental research work of many years.
- Vasil'evskii, V. G. Trudy (Works). Vols. 1-3. St. Petersburg-Petrograd, 1908-1915.
These works of one of the profound Russian historians of the Russo-Byzantine early cultural relations were published by the Imperial Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg.
- Hübner, Iohann (1668-1731). Zemnovodnago kruga kratkoe opisanie. Iz staryia i novyia geografii po voprosam i otvietam chrez Iagana Gibnera sobranoe. I na nemetskom dialektie v Leiptsikie napechatano, a nynie povelieniem Velikago Gosudaria Tsaria i Velikago Kniazia Petra Pervago Vserossiiskago Imperatora . . . na Rossiiskom napechatano v Moskvie. Lieta Gospodnia, 1719, v Aprielie Miesiatsie (A brief description of the terraqueous circle. Collected by Johann Hübner from old and new geography by way of questions and answers. And printed in the German dialect at Leipzig, and now in the Russian printed in Moscow, by order of the great Sovereign, Czar and Grand Prince Peter the First . . . In the year of the Lord, 1719, in the month of April).
About 100,000 copies, in 36 editions, of the German original of this early Russian text-book on Geography were sold in the 17th and 18th centuries. Its several translations and editions in the Western European languages also gained a wide circulation in Europe. The Library has a copy of its second edition in English, published in London in 1742.
The Russian edition, named above, is of an exceptional interest, being the first Russian text-book on Geography, which describes America. It has 5 full page copper engravings, four of them representing emblemata of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, with appropriate inscriptions. The emblem of America represents an Indian chieftain, with two slaves, two snakes, and six bullions of gold near him, sitting on a shore of a river, and two beavers and a chain of mountains, which are seen on the other shore. The inscription on this plate, if translated into English, would read: "Of what avail is great wealth to these, when they do not have the excellence of wisdom."
- Golovnin, V. M. Puteshestvia Rossiiskago Imperatorskago shliupa "Diany" iz Kronshtata v Kamchatku. . . v 1807-09 godakh (The Voyage of the sloop "Diana" from Kronstadt to Kamchatka . . . in 1807-09). Vols. 1-2. St. Petersburg, 1819.
- Kotsebu (or Kotzebue), O. E. Puteshestvie vokrug svieta . . . na voennom shliupie "Predpriiatii" v 1823-26 godakh . . . (The Voyage around the World. . . on the war-sloop "Predpriiatie" in 1823-26). St. Petersburg, 1828.
These two publications are official accounts of the two voyages undertaken by the orders of Emperor Alexander I under the command of the authors, well known Russian navigators and explorers, of the Russian Imperial Navy. Two maps are attached to Golovnin's work, and 4 maps - to Kotsebu's. Among the latter a map of the harbor of Sitka, Alaska, is especially interesting.
- Zhivaia Starina (The Living Antiquity). Vols. 1-25. St. Petersburg-Petrograd, 1890-1916.
A complete set of the leading Russian pre-revolutionary quarterly magazine in Ethnography, published by the Ethnographic Division of the Imperial Russian Geographic Society.
- Atlas promyshlennosti Soiuza S. S. R. (Atlas of the industries of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Parts 1-5, containing 179 folio maps. Moscow, 1931.
This monumental work by many Russian specialists was published by the Supreme Council of National Economy of the Union and is, of course, indispensable to students of the recent industrial development in that country.
- Bliokh, I. S. Finansy Rossii XIX stolietiia. Istoriia - statistika (Russia's finances of the 19th century. A history - statistical data). St. Petersburg, 1882. Vols. 1-4 in quarto, with 7 diagrams in colors.
The author was a big financier, the president of several Russian railway companies. He also distinguished himself by some important researches in economics, and financial history of Russia, named above, is unique in the field by the copiousness of the data compiled from the official sources and by an expert analysis of the public revenues and expenditures of the Russian Empire during the three quarters of the 19th century. The author published his work himself, selecting good thick paper for it, which will last for a long time. By limiting the edition to 760 copies only he made them very rare.
- Kulisher, I. M. Istoriia ekonomicheskogo byta Zapadnoi Evropy (An economic history of the Western Europe). The 8th edition, revised and augmented. Vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1931.
Though the author did not adhere to the Bolshevistic concept of the economic history, being a follower of the historical school in political economy, the State Publishing Office of the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic, controlled, of course, by Bolsheviks, had found this work worthy of the new edition. The author was well known long before the Russian revolutions as a very profound specialist in his field. The abundance of historical data and references make this work one of the outstanding on the subject.
- Trudy Komissii po izucheniiu sovremennoi dorogovizny (The works of the Commission on the study of the contemporary high cost of living). Vols. 1-3, Moscow, 1915.
The Commission was organized in Moscow during the World War by the Society in the name of Professor A. I. Chuprov (a famous Russian economist), and this publication, which is now quite rare, contains many valuable economic researches by Russian economists and statisticians. The full name of the said society was: the Society in the name of A. I. Chuprov, at the Imperial University of Moscow, for the treatment of social sciences.
Belles-Lettres and History of Literature
In this group the division acquired out of print editions of the collected works of the following Russian writers: E. A. Boratynskii (the Puti i pereput'ia in 3 vols., published in Moscow in 1908-09), V. I. Dal' (in 10 vols., published in St. Petersburg in 1897-98), F. M. Dostoevskii (the 6th, jubilee edition of 1904-06, in 14 vols.), A. I. Ertel (the edition of 1909, in 7 vols.), A. S. Griboiedov (the edition in 3 vols., published in 1911-17 by the Imperial Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg), and M. IU. Lermontov (the illustrated edition of 1914-15, in 6 vols.).
Besides these sets, separate works of 168 Russian novelists, fiction writers, poets and historians of literature were received by the division during the year from Moscow through the Library's book exchange.
The majority of these authors are newcomers in the realm of the Russian Belles-Lettres, whose names are hardly known outside of their country, where many of them became popular during the last decade.
Of the old Russian writers, whose works in new editions were received by the division during the year, a copy of the new excellent, illustrated and well commented, edition (published in Moscow, in 1934) of the Zhitie Protopopa Avvakuma im samim napisannoe i drugie ego sochineniia (The Life of the Archpriest Avvakum by himself and his other works) should be noted. This unique classic of the 17th century Russian literature became accessible to English and American readers in 1924 through the publication of its good English translation in London.
The division continued its usual routine work in the elementary cataloguing and classification of its material and also in the bookplating, labelling, numbering of it, and the preparing of it for binding.
A steady stream of about 4,000 issues of the new periodicals and serials, received during the year, required a considerable time for their proper registration and distribution.
The primary consideration was given by the division to its readers and correspondents seeking for references. This demand for the division's reference service, growing during the year, required from the staff a more than superficial acquaintance not only with the Slavic sources of information in several fields, but quite often with the literature in other languages.
The Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon and evening service was maintained by the division to accommodate those readers, who are unable to use it at the regular office hours.
A few illustrative topics on which the division's reference service was rendered during the year are as follows: the early migrations and history of the Alani; the latest condition of the sugar industry in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; Dostoevskii's influence on the French literature; Paul Pestel and the Decembrist revolution of 1825; general history of Russia; history of the Byzantine rites; the general concept of the Soviet law and state; the documents of the Russian revolution; the political influence of the Communistic International in Mongolia and China; the state farms in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.