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Annual Report of the
Division of Slavic Literature for 1936

(From the report of the Chief, Mr. N. R. Rodionoff)

This report contains 13 pages, supplemented with photostats of the two letters. (Attached to the first copy).


During the fiscal year 1935–36 the collections of the Division were increased through exchange, purchase, and gifts by 2,045 monographs of book size, 535 of pamphlet size, and 4,002 issues of periodicals, a total of 6,582 pieces of printed Slavic material. With 142,918 pieces collected prior to July 1, 1935, the Division, therefore, had 149,500 pieces on June 30, 1936, in which number about 32,140 issues of periodicals and serials, counted by issues upon their delivery, were subsequently bound in the Library into approximately 7,320 volumes.

Besides the holdings of Slavic material mentioned above the Library has several thousand Slavic publications in other divisions, but the Division of Slavic Literature has no way of ascertaining their approximate number.

The most noteworthy publications among the Division's new acquisitions are as follows:


  •  Akademiia Nauk S. S. S. R. Institut knigi, dokumenta, pis'ma (The Academy of Sciences of the U. S. S. R. The Institute of the book, the document, and the MS.), Moscow – Leningrad. Ivan Fedorov, pervopechatnik (Ivan Fedorov, the first printer). Moscow – Leningrad, 1935. This is a symposium of new studies, by several Russian specialists, on the origins of Russian printing and the work of Ivan Fedorov, the first Russian printer (mentioned in the Annual Report, 1933, p. 146). The book contains a valuable bibliography on the subjects, covering the period of 1564–1933.
  •  Akademiia Nauk S. S. S. R. (The Academy of Sciences of the U. S. S. R.), Moscow – Leningrad. Izdaniia grazhdanskoi pechati vremeni Imperatritsy Elizavety Petrovny, 1741–61 (The publications of the time of Empress Elizabeth, 1741–61, printed in the civil characters). Illustrated. Part 1st, covering 1741–55. Moscow, 1935. This valuable bibliography, compiled by V. N. Tukalevskii and V. P. Semennikov, continues the Academy's publication of 1914, The publications in the Church-Slavonic characters of the time of Empress Elizabeth, 1741–61 [editor's note: Materialy dlia istorii russkoi literatury i dlia slovaria pisatelei epokhi Ekateriny II], by V. I. Sreznevskii and A. L. Bem, of which the Division has a copy. Both publications are uniform in execution, giving the complete titles of all the printed material listed chronologically, with many of the titles and the woodcuts reproduced in facsimiles.
  •  Biblioteka Noskovaskoi Sinodal'noi Tipografii. Chast' pervaia — Rukopisi (The Library of the Moscow Synodic Press. Part first — MSS.). In three issues. Moscow, 1896–1901. This publication is a detailed bibliographical description, by A. Orlov and V. Pogorielov, of the Church-Slavonic MSS. of the XI–XIX centuries, belonging to the Library of the Moscow Synodic Press.
  •  Bodnarskii, B. S. Bibliografiia russkoi bibliografii. Bibliograficheskaia literatura s 1923 g. po 1925 g. vkliuch. (A bibliography of the Russian bibliography for 1923–25). Moscow, 1926.
  •  Iakushkin, E. I. Obychnoe pravo. Vypusk tretii. Materialy dlia bibliografii obychnago prava (Customary law. The third issue. Material for a bibliography of the customary law). Moscow, 1908. This issue continues the Division's set of the previous issues, published in 1875–1899, of a well known bibliography of the customary law and contains the unique and probably exhaustive annotated list of Russian books and articles on the customary laws regulating the land tenure of the Russian village communes.
  •  Muratova, K. D. Periodika po literature i iskusstvu za gody revoliutsii, 1917–1932 (Periodicals on Belles-Lettres and Fine Arts for the years of the revolution, 1917–1932). Leningrad, 1933.
  •  Putsillo, M. P. Ukazatel' dielam i rukopisiam, otnosiashchimsia do Sibiri, Moskovskago Glavnago Arkhiva Ministerstva Inostrannykh Diel (Index to the files and the MSS. pertaining to Siberia in the Moscow Main Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Moscow, 1879.
  •  Voznesenskaia, E. A. and Piotrovskii, A. B. Materialy dlia bibliografii po antropologii i etnografii Kazakstana i sredne-aziatskikh respublik (Material for a bibliography of the anthropology and the ethnography of the Kazakstan and the republics of Middle Asia). Leningrad, the Academy of Sciences of the U. S. S. R., 1927.


  •  Grushevskii, M. Ocherk istorii Kievskoi zemli ot smerti Iaroslava do kontsa XIV stoletiia (A history of the Kiev territory from the death of the grand duke Iaroslav to the end of the 14th century). Kiev, 1891.
  •  Ocherk Istorii ukrainskago naroda (A history of the Ukrainian people). The second edition, augmented. St. Petersburg, 1906.
  •  Kievskaia Rus' (Russia of Kiev). St. Petersburg, 1911.
  •  Istoriia ukrainskago kozachestva do soedineniia s Moskovskim gosudarstvom (A history of the Ukrainian Cossacks up to the Union with the Moscow State). Kiev, 1913–14. In two volumes. The late Professor M. Grushevskii (or Hrushewsky) was a prominent Ukrainian historian and nationalist.
  •  Kulakovskii, IU. Istoriia Vizantii (A history of Byzantium). Kiev, 1912–15. In three volumes (of which the volume first is in the second edition), covering the period from 395 to 717. With illustrations and maps.
  •  Latyshev, V. V., ed. Inscriptiones antiquae orae septentrionalis Ponti Euxini Graecae et Latinae. Volumes 1st, 2d, and 4th, comprising all the published parts. The first volume is in the second edition, of 1916, which is very much augmented. St. Petersburg, the Imperial Russian Archeological Society, 1890–1916. Semi-folio. With many illustrations. Professor Latyshev's Latin explanatory text to the inscriptions, collected by him from the ruins of the ancient Greek and Roman colonies of the Northern shores of the Black Sea and published in these volumes, made them understandable to historians, archeologists, and epigraphers of various nationalities, and this monumental work has become one of the important sources of the ancient history.
  •  Lietopis' Voiny (Annals of the War). Petrograd, 1914–17, Nos. 1–132. This is an unofficial, richly illustrated, semi-folio periodical, edited and published by General D. Dubenskii. The set covers the period from August 30, 1914 to February 25, 1917.
  •  Rostovtsev, M. I. Rimskiia svintsovyia tessery (The Roman lead tesseras). St. Petersburg, 1903. This is an archeologic study on the small lead objects used by the Romans as tokens, vouchers, and the like. It was published by the Imperial St. Petersburg University, supplementing the publication of the Imperial Academy of Sciences in that city, by the same author and of the same year, under the title Tesserarum urbis Romae et Suburbi plumbearum Sylloge, of which the Division had already acquired a copy. The author is a prominent Russian historian of the Ancient World and archeologist, now a Professor at Yale and Columbia Universities.
  •  Russia. Kavkazskii Uchebnyi Okrug (The Caucasus District of the Ministry of Public Instruction). Sbornik materialov dlia opisaniia miestnostei i plemen Kavkaza (Collection of material for a description of the localities and the tribes of the Caucasus), Tiflis, 1881–1912. Volumes 1–3 and 5–42. This serial publication contains innumerable and invaluable data on the history, geography, ethnography, and anthropology of the Caucasus and the philology of the many Caucasian languages.
  •  Yudin, G. V., editor and publisher. Materialy dlia istorii goroda Chukhlomy i roda kostromichei Iiudinykh; 1613–1895 (Material for a history of the town of Chukhloma and the family of Iiudin, of the Kostroma Province; 1613–1895). Krasnoyarsk, 1902. Two volumes, in-quarto. No copy of this publication has been found in the collection of Russian books acquired by the Library from G. V. Yudin in 1907. G. V. Yudin's zeal in tracing the origin and the history of his family for about three centuries back urged him to undertake an expensive and extensive historical and genealogical research through the old and unpublished official cadastres of the town of Chukhloma, in Northern Russia, where several generations of his family had their abode. A mere location and deciphering of the old MSS., dug up in various archives, required of G. V. Yudin and his collaborators a great skill and perseverance in this research. The high value of the old Russian cadastres (Pistsovyia Knigi) for researches in Russia's economic and social history was recognized by prominent Russian historians. To each volume of G. V. Yudin's publication are attached the printed catalog cards for it, in the two sizes.
  •  Struys, J. J. Tri puteshestviia (The three journeys). Moscow, 1936. A complete translation into Russian by E. Borodina from the first original Dutch edition of 1673. Edited by A. Morozov, with the reproduction of all the illustrations of the said original. Among the numerous accounts, reports, memoirs, etc., written by foreign visitors in Russia in the past, "The three journeys" used to be one of the widely read books in the original as well as in many translations into German, French, and English, owing to its vivid and entertaining descriptions, by which the author proved a keen observer of, and a brilliant reporter on, Russia's life and customs in the 17th century.


In this class the Division acquired a collection of very rare revolutionary publications in the Russian and the French (the latter by the Russian authors and pertaining mostly to Russia), dating from the middle of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th centuries. This literature was published outside of Russia and circulated in that country illegally. The collection is in a very good state of preservation, with many of its parts being uncut, and consists of 28 sets of serial publications and 47 titles of monographic literature (including several pamphlets).

I. Serial publications can be grouped as follows:

A)  Representing various branches of the Russian liberal and revolutionary movement and thought, not affiliated with, and not dependent on, any particular political party, some of them being identified by the names of their well known editors, A. I. Gertsen, P. L. Lavrov, P. B. Struve, and V. L. Burtsev, Russian liberal and revolutionary publicists.

In this group the set of the Kolokol (The Bell) stands first by its rarity and reference value. In its first, the most important, series the Kolokol was a famous Russian semi-monthly serial, edited by A. I. Gertsen and published in 1857–67 in Geneva and London. Forbidden by the Russian Imperial Government for importation into Russia, the Kolokol had been successfully smuggled there. It gained a wide circulation in all the literate classes, including the highest official circles, and acquired a great influence in expediting the liberal reforms of Emperor Alexander II.

The Division acquired an almost complete set of the first series of the Kolokol, i.e. 245 in-quarto issues, numbered continuously and with continuous pagination, each issue usually having 8 pages, and also complete sets of its main supplements, of the same size, namely, the serial Pod Sud! (To the Trial!), Nos. 1–13, published in 1859–62, and the serial Obshchee Vieche (The Popular Assembly), Nos. 1–29, published in 1862–64. The set of the Kolokol lacks the 4 pages only in the "Postword to the first decade." Among its minor supplements lacking are several issues of the periodical list of publications (mostly revolutionary literature), which were on sale at Trübner's, London.

Besides the Kolokol, the following serials are noteworthy in this group:

  •  Vpered! (Forward!). Non-periodical review. Complete set of 5 issues, in-octavo, edited by P. L. Lavrov and published in 1873–77 in Zurich and London.
  •  Vpered! (Forward!). A semi-monthly serial. Complete set of 48 nos., in-quarto, edited by P. L. Lavrov and published in London, 1875–76.

Gertsen's and Lavrov's serials were published without covers to facilitate the smuggling of them into Russia and, probably, for the sake of economy. By the absence of covers they resemble newspapers.

  •  Osvobozhdenie (The Liberation). Complete set of 79 nos., in-quarto, edited by P. B. Struve and published in Stuttgart and Paris, 1902–05. The dark red covers of each no. of the set are well preserved. The covers became an important feature of the Osvobozhdenie, very familiar to, and respected by, thousands of its readers. Owing to the covers, this serial resembles a magazine. Among the illegal and revolutionary Russian serials the Osvobozhdenie was one of very few published in covers, and its market price, either in sets, or in separate nos., fluctuates considerably, depending on the presence, or the absence, of the covers, i.e. the absence of them would reduce the price by at least 50 per cent. Like Gertsen's Kolokol, Struve's Osvobozhdenie was one of the most influential Russian illegal serials, with a wide circulation in Russia.
  •  Budushchee (The Future). Complete set of 48 nos., edited by V. L. Burtsev and published in Paris, 1911–12.
  •  Obshchee Dielo (The Common Cause). Complete set of 4 nos., edited by V. L. Burtsev and published in Paris, 1909.

B)  Published by the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party, representing the consecutive phases of its history and its two main factions, the Bolsheviks (now ruling Russia) and the Mensheviks (now persecuted there). They are as follows:

  •  Iskra (The Spark), Nos. 1 and 3–112, i.e. incomplete by No. 2 only, which the Division has in a later reprint), with 22 supplements. Folio of thin paper, edited mostly by G. V. Plekhanov, with V. I. Lenin collaborating in Nos. 1–51. Published in Geneva, 1900–05.
  •  Proletarii (The Proletarian). The second half only, comprising Nos. 21–50, with 3 supplements. "Edited by V. I. Lenin and published in Geneva, 1908–09. Nos. 1–20 of this paper were published in 1905 in Finland, under the editorship of Lenin also. Between 1905 and 1908 the Bolsheviks succeeded in publishing several legal serials in Russia.
  •  Vpered (Forward). Complete set of 18 nos., edited by V. I. Lenin, the creator and leader of the Bolshevik faction, and published in Geneva, 1904–05.
  •  Golos Sotsial-Demokrata (The Voice of the Social-Democrat). Complete set of 26 nos., with 5 supplements, edited by G. V. Plekhanov, the leader of the Mensheviks, Geneva and Paris, 1908–11.
  •  Dnevnik Sotsial-Demokrata (The Diary of a Social-Democrat). Nos. 1–7 and 9–15 (incomplete by the Nos. 8th and 16th), Geneva, 1905–12, and No. 1st, the only published in Petrograd, 1916. All edited by G. V. Plekhanov.

C)  Published by the Central Committee of the Party of Socialists-Revolutionists:

  •  Za Narod (For the People). A complete set of 59 nos., published mostly in Paris, 1909–14.
D)  Published by the Anarchists:
  •  Khlieb i Volia (Bread and Freedom). Complete set of 24 nos., with 3 supplements. Geneva, 1903–05.
  •  Listki Khlieb i Volia (Leaflets Bread and Freedom). Complete set of 18 nos. London, 1906–07.
II. Books and pamphlets.

In this group 30 Russian, 16 French, and 1 German titles were acquired. All the non-Russian publications are works of the Russian political exiles in Western Europe, and all, but the two, of their topics pertain to the Russian political development. By choosing the French for their writings the authors served and reached the two categories of readers, the Western Europeans and the Russians. For the French had been a predominant language of the upper and educated classes throughout continental Europe for more than two centuries since the times of Louis XIV, the king of France in the years of 1643–1715.

Among the Russian titles in this group the most noteworthy are probably the following:

  •  Bakunin, M. A. Pis'ma k Gertsenu i Ogarevu (Letters to Gertsen and Ogarev). Geneva, 1896.
  •  Gertsen, A. I. Prervannye razskazy (Interrupted stories). The second edition. London, 1857.
  •  _____________. Eshche raz. Sbornik statei (Once more. Collection of articles). Geneva, 1866.
  •  Ogarev, N. A. Razbor novago kriepostnago prava (An analysis of the new serfdom). London, 1861.
  •  _____________. Finansovye spory (Financial discussions). London, 1861.
  •  Ogarev, N. A., ed. Russkaia potaennaia literatura XIX stolietiia (The Russian secret literature of the 19th century). London, 1861. This is a collection of poetry by various Russian authors forbidden for publication in Russia at that time.
  •  Bervi, N. (Flerovskii, pseud.). Azbuka sotsial'nykh nauk (The ABC of the social sciences). London, 1894. In three volumes.
  •  Lavrov, P. L. Opyt istorii mysli novago vremeni (A history of the thought of the modern times). Geneva, 1888–93. Among the French publications acquired in this group 11 are works of I. Golovin, a well known Russian political emigrant. They considerably increase the Library's collection of 10 other books in the French by the same author.

Besides I. Golovin's books, the two other publications in the French acquired in this group deserve to be mentioned here, namely:

  •  Gertsen, A. I. Du dévelopement dea idées révolutionnaires en Russie, Londres, 1853; and
  •  Ogarev, N. A. Essai sur la situation russe. Lettres à un anglais. Londres, 1862.

Besides the revolutionary publications, mentioned above, and many other, not mentioned, the Division acquired during the year, in the same class of Social Sciences, some excellent Russian researches in Economics, among which the following out of print publications are noteworthy:

  •  Emel'ianov, I. V. Kooperativnyia organizatsii sredi zemlediel'tsev (Agricultural cooperative organizations). Prague, 1923. This is a comprehensive study on the subject, which is very vital for the American farmer.
  •  Fridman, M. I. Vinnaia monopoliia (The liquor monopoly). St. Petersburg-Petrograd, 1914–16. In two volumes. In this work the late Professor Fridman made a thorough analysis of the liquor monopolies of Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, the Scandinavian countries, and Russia.
  •  Prokopovich, S. N. Kooperativnoe dvizhenie v Rossii, ego teoriia i praktika (Cooperative movement in Russia, its theory and practice). Moscow, 1913. According to Professor M. I. Tugan-Baranovskii, a noted Russian economist, this book is "absolutely the most valuable generalizing work on the Russian cooperative movement."
  •  Turgenev, N. I. Opyt teorii nalogov (A theory of the taxes). St. Petersburg, 1818. This is the first Russian treatise on taxation. Its author, like Gertsen and Ogarev, was a liberal Russian publicist and persistent propagandist for the abolition of the serfdom of the Russian peasant. Connected with the so called Conspiracy of the Decembrists, he luckily escaped their terrible fate of convicts in Siberia, by his leaving Russia for England before their revolt in December, 1825, and by the subsequent refusal of the British Government to extradite him to Russia at the demands of Russian Emperor Nicholas I. However, N. I. Turgenev published his treatise on taxation legally and several years before his long and forced exile in Western Europe. On the page immediately preceding the title page of the book the censor's permit for its publication is printed, and, below it, — the author's inscription, which means: "The author, assuming all the expenses of the printing of this book, grants the money, which will be obtained from the sale of the book, for the benefit of the peasants, who have been kept in jail for arrears in the payment of their taxes."


  •  Bliokh, I. S. Budushchaia voina v tekhnicheskom, ekonomicheskom i politicheskom otnosheniiakh (The future war in the technical, economic, and political respects). St. Petersburg, 1898. In 7 volumes. In this monumental work the author, assisted by the several specialists of various nationalities, collected vast material on the progress and destructive power of the military technique and disastrous effects of militarism on the economic development of the modern nations. Persistently advocating the peaceful ways of settlement of international disputes and conflicts, by this publication he promoted the convocation of the International Peace Conference of 1899 in Hague.


In this class the Division acquired during the year about 300 volumes of Russian fiction, several books of poetry, criticism, and history of literature, and a few publications pertaining to the drama and the dramatic art. The majority of the new books in this class was received through the International Book Exchange. Most of them are works of contemporary Russian authors, little known outside of Russia. Some of them, however, are new and well annotated editions of the works of the Russian writers of the 18th and the 19th centuries, as those of V. IA. Briusov, A. A. Del'vig, N. V. Gogol', M. Gor'kii, M. IU. Lermontov, M. V. Lomonosov, D. N. Mamin-Sibiriak, A. N. Ostrovskii, A. S. Pushkin, K. F. Rylieev, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, A.P. Sumarokov, L. N. Tolstoi, V. K. Trediakovskii, A. KH. Vostokov, etc.

The following acquisitions in this class are noteworthy:

  • Slovo o polku Igorevie. Igoria syna Sviatoslavlia, vnuka Ol'gova (The Word of the Campaign of Igor, the son of Svyatoslav, the grandson of Olga), Moscow, 1934. Folio. This ancient Russian anonymous poem of the 12th century, one of the greatest literary monuments in the world literature, appears here in the most luxurious edition since its discovery in 1795. The Russo-Slavonic characters of the text were especially painted for this edition by Ivan Golikov, a well known Russian artist, and reproduced in it lithographically. It is an artistic conception of, and approach to, the characters of the original MS., which perished by the great fire of Moscow during the invasion of Napoleon in 1812, and the text of which was saved for the posterity in a few extant copies of the first edition of the poem published in 1800. Several plates in colors are exquisitely done by the same artist in the manner of Russian masters of the village of Palekh, a well known seat of the ancient Russian icon painting.
  • Moskovskii Khudozhestvennyi Teatr (The Moscow Art Theatre). Moscow, n.d. A folio album in 9 issues, containing photographs of the several scenes and of the chief characters from the five well known plays, successfully produced by the Moscow Art Theatre during the first decade of the 20th century, namely, "Brandt," by H. Ibsen; "Uncle Vanya," by A. Chekhov; "Lonely Souls," by G. Hauptmann; "The Power of Darkness," by L. Tolstoi; and "The Lower Depths," by M. Gor'kii.
  • Teatr i Iskusstvo (The Theatre and the Art). St. Petersburg-Petrograd, 1902–16. Volumes 6–20. This is a weekly Russian illustrated theatrical magazine, in-quarto, which used to be one of the leading in its field. It was edited by A. R. Kugel, a well known Russian dramatic critic. The volumes newly acquired complete the Division's set of this periodical.


The growing demand for the Division's reference service during the year left no sufficient time for its even elementary technical library work in cataloging, classification, bookplating, labeling, adding call numbers, preparing unbound material for binding, the proper distribution of material on the shelves, and of the new catalog entries in the boxes. For the small staff of the Division has long become inadequate to its numerous functions, while the Catalog and the Classification Divisions have been unable to devote a considerable time to the cataloging and classification of the Slavic Division's holdings.

Nevertheless, about 2,500 new author entries were prepared by the Division during the year, about 2,200 titles were classified, over 6,000 volumes were bookplated, labeled, and marked with call numbers, 6,140 pieces of printed material condensed in 1,320 volumes [that] were prepared for binding, and over 17,500 pieces (including over 6,500 newly acquired) were distributed on the shelves.

In selecting the material for its new acquisitions the Division checked over 3,000 items through various bibliographies, booksellers' catalogs, price lists, lists of the books offered for exchange, etc. Unfortunately, there was no sufficient time to follow closely the numerous opportunities of the book market even in the Russian language only and to make out a want list of all the publications which have a high reference value for the living generations as well as for many generations to come.

The Division answered during the year over 1,500 oral and written inquiries and attended on 2,450 readers and visitors, including those who were accommodated on Saturday afternoons, Sundays, and Holidays.

Since the special divisions have been organized in many [of] the large central libraries of the world for the primary purpose of securing better reference service, the Division of Slavic Literature is now answering this purpose to the best of its possibilities, and this was acknowledged many times by some American scholars, to whom the Division's reference service had been rendered. *)

A few topics illustrative of those on which the Division rendered its reference service during the year are as follows: classification of the village communes; the changes in Russia's sown areas in 1912–17; anthropological features of the Ossetians; history of the Russian drama; history of the Polish literature; labor conditions in Russia; the medieval history of the Georgian Kingdom; Russia's educational systems of the 19th century; Pushkin's life and works; history of the first Russian Council of the workers' deputies of 1905; psychiatric study on Garshin, a Russian writer; the comparability of the Russian agricultural statistics for 1912–15 with those for 1916–20.

*) Attached are photostats of the two typical acknowledgments of this kind, namely, from Dr. H. Field, of Field Museum of Natural History, dated April 15, 1936, and from professor G.T. Robinson, of Columbia University, dated July 17, 1936. [These letters are not present in the Archives. Ed.]

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