Skip Navigation Links The Library of Congress >> Researchers
European Reading Room: European Division, Area Studies
  Home >> About Division >> Reports >> 1954

Annual Report of the
Slavic and East European Division for 1954

(For the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1954)

I. ACQUISITION OF MATERIALS

A. The Division's Procurement Activities

The Division's responsibilities encompass the selection and recommendation phases of the acquisition of printed materials in all fields (other than law, music, science and technology) covering a wide range of languages and geographic areas. These activities cover:

  1. Publications of all Slavic countries (i.e., the USSR, including the three occupied Baltic countries, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Yugoslavia) as well as Albania, Hungary, Rumania and the area of Eastern Germany inhabited by the Lusatian Sorbs.
  2. The steadily increasing volume of publications about these countries and peoples in West European and other languages.
  3. Writings of émigrés from these countries in the many lands of their asylum.

Thus, the radius of recommending operations of the Division assumes a truly global dimension.

In discharging these functions, the Division staff has been constantly guided by the principle that the closing of signal gaps in the Library's collections of older imprints is as imperative as keeping abreast of current materials -- which are a vital source of information for Congress, the Executive Branch and private research. The former facet is of special import since Western libraries have become almost the sole repositories where the past intellectual production of the Soviet-controlled nations is accessible without hindrance or censorship.

These publications -- monographs, periodicals and newspapers -- extend over a wide spectrum of knowledge from linguistics to industrial organization and from the transactions of learned societies to daily newspapers. Yet the plethora of new titles, combined with the peculiarities of publishing in this area, make balanced selectivity difficult at times. Because the Communist-run agencies exporting printed materials tend to restrict the flow of information, certain types of desiderata, especially in bibliography, geography and economic planning, are difficult to obtain. Procurement ceases then to be the customary transaction of selecting, ordering, receiving and recording, and assumes the unconventional aspect of a search for substitute acquisitions machinery and of a hunt for elusive items. Thus, as a corollary to his assignment in Europe, the Division Chief was able to trace a number of hitherto insufficiently exploited procurement media, and to pave the way, through personal contacts, for improved exchange relations with West European libraries. The Processing Department has since successfully utilized several of these channels, such as the Bodleian Library at Oxford and the Institut d'Études Slaves at Paris which transmitted to the Library most valuable lists of Slavic duplicates. In this connection, mention should also be made of the annual Postzeitungsliste, whose listings of East European serials available on subscription in East Germany revealed the existence and subsequently led to the procurement by substitute channels of many items missing in the official export lists.

B. Development of Collections

Within these factors, a continuing effort has been made to develop collections representative in subject and area coverage and adequate to meet the active and varied demands of the government, scholars and the general public. In the past fiscal year the drastic curtailment of funds for non-current materials led to stricter criteria in their selection. In figures, procurement operations in fiscal 1954 were:

Number of items screened by the Division's staff for recommending purposes: 165,224
Number of items recommended by the Division's staff:  14,270
Estimated total intake of monographs (titles):  11,719
Estimated total intake of current serials (pieces):   18,729

Recommendations submitted by the Slavic and East European Division were derived from a screening and analysis of a multitude of sources, heterogeneous in nature and origin. They include six monthly or bi-monthly East European national bibliographies, scores of book catalogs, trade lists, exchange offers, communications from State Department Publications Procurement Officers, general and specialized journals, and so forth. Besides, numerous North, West and South European national bibliographies were periodically searched. Careful attention was given to the acquisitions lists of other libraries, such as the List of Accessions of the British Foreign Office, Neuerscheinungen wissenschaftlicher Literatur (East Germany), the List of Acquisitions of Czechoslovak University and Research Libraries, and the like. Finally, the scrutiny of the annual lists of newspapers and periodicals available from East and Southeast Europe led to a sifting, readjusting, discontinuing of unessential and adding of new serial titles.

To secure a balanced cross-section of materials and to test the efficacy of the procurement program, a system of checking devices was employed. In this respect, the concentration in the Division of three functions -- bibliographical, reference and recommending -- has proved most beneficial to the purposeful discharge of each. Minute information on press and publishing obtained in the course of the staff's recommending work were often of great help in handling the Division's reference and other functions. Conversely, in the course of dealing with reference and related bibliographical problems the opportunity often arose to identify weak spots in LC's collections and to recommend the procurement of wanted items.

The effort to fill conspicuous lacunae in the collections covering the pre-Communist era brought to the Library among other materials: sets for 1913-1929 and 1945-1947 of the yearbook of the Polish Academy of Learning; the missing volumes (1922-1946) of the Polish Academy's Commission for History of Art; the five-volume standard work on Hungarian ethnography by Dezső Malonyay ; a history of the Budapest University, 1636-1936, in five volumes; a twenty-volume work on the antiquities and historical monuments of Budapest, and various significant Czechoslovak and Rumanian items.

Special emphasis was placed on publications by escapees from Iron Curtain countries so that the Library's collections will cover this important group of materials as extensively as possible.

A noteworthy event was the presentation by Mrs. Anna V. Čapek of the fine collection of manuscripts and related materials of her late husband, Thomas Čapek, a noted Czech-American author who had an absorbing interest in the emigration of Czechs to the United States and in the various facets of their lives in the new country. The evaluation and interpretation of this extensive collection, most of which is now in the Manuscripts Division, was undertaken by Dr. Paul L. Horecky, the Czech expert on the Division's staff.

C. Exchange Procurement

Procurement through exchange, mostly on an institutional basis, has yielded a multitude of publications of research institutions. It has been an almost diurnal preoccupation of this Division to select items desired from exchange lists or to prepare on its own initiative desiderata lists for exchange procurement. Only a few out of the many exchange partners can be indicated here: the USSR, Polish, Czechoslovak and Hungarian Academies of Sciences, the Lenin State Library in Moscow, the Libraries of the Czechoslovak Universities of Prague, Brno, Olomouc and Bratislava, the Bibliographical Institute of the National Library in Warsaw, the Poznan Learned Society, the Bulgarian Bibliographical Institute, etc. Only recently the Division has completed a survey of an exchange offer of publications of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, resulting in the identification of about one hundred needed items from a total of about twelve hundred.

Active exchange relations with libraries and institutions in the free world, such as the Rumanian Library in Freiburg, Germany; the Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences in Winnipeg, Canada; the Institute for the Study of the History and Culture of the Soviet Union in Munich; the J. G. Herder Institut in Marburg; the Czechoslovak Foreign Institute in Leyden and London, and many others have enriched the Library's collections.

A priced exchange arrangement made with the Yugoslav Bibliographical Institute has enabled the Library to select from a consignment representing the entire Yugoslav book production and periodical output for 1950-1952 any item required for its collections. So far, the Division has selected for retention 461 out of 4,500 monographs for 1950 and complete sets of 455 out of 1,400 serial titles for 1950-1952. The Division has also participated in the preparation of a priced exchange agreement with the Technical Library in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, which entered into effect on January 1, 1954, and will entitle the Library to request, up to a ceiling of $250, any item listed in the Czechoslovak National Bibliography. Upon recommendation of the Division, significant improvements have been introduced into the former exchange arrangements with the Lenin Library in Moscow.

To utilize LC credits with several American libraries participating in the Russian Duplicates Exchange Project, the Slavic and East European Division was directed to prepare lists of more important newspapers missing in the LC collections and obtainable on microfilm from these libraries. These films, some of which have already been obtained from the Hoover Institute at Stanford, will fill many gaps in LC's Russian newspaper collections.

D. Review of Acquisitions

Acquisition reports for 1953 were prepared by two members of the Division's staff, Paul L. Horecky (for Bulgarian, Czechoslovak, Polish and Yugoslav materials) and Béla T. Kardos (for Hungarian materials). Devoted to the survey and the discussion of publishing trends and intellectual developments as well as of conspicuous receipts, these detailed reports appeared in the February, 1954, Library of Congress Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions.

E. Other Acquisition Activities

The Chief of the Division has participated in the deliberations of the Acquisitions Committee on matters pertaining to the Slavic and East European areas and has represented the Library of Congress in the negotiations leading to the obtaining of a Ford Foundation grant which will permit the Library to increase its intake of Soviet printed materials in cooperation with American non-governmental libraries.

II. ORGANIZATION OF MATERIALS

While no independent processing responsibilities are assigned to the Division, it participated, either on a regular or occasional basis, in the organization and the establishment of control over the Library's collections.

Throughout Fiscal 1954, except during his absence from Washington in July and August, 1953, the Chief of the Division attended regularly the weekly meetings of the Supervisory Boards of the Monthly List of Russian Accessions and of the East European Accessions List, and participated in the discussion and the resolution of manifold questions related to the Cyrillic Union Subject Catalog. He has also given special attention to problems involved in the eventual microprint reproduction of this Catalog.

To make important new accessions available to government and private research as soon as possible, the staff of the Slavic and East European Division screened the intake of East European materials almost daily and established appropriate cataloging priorities. The staff also advised the Selection Officer as to whether certain categories of East European materials (such as textbooks) should be fully cataloged, given priority treatment, recorded under form cards or transferred to other government agencies.

In connection with the preparation of the union list of Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian newspapers, the Library's pertinent collections spread over the various custodial areas were thoroughly examined. As a result, detailed recommendations for a consolidation and improved serviceability of these collections were submitted to the Reference Department.

When the Thomas Čapek collection was donated to the Library, the Czech specialist in the Slavic and East European Division cooperated with the Manuscripts Division in the classification and organization of the collection's numerous manuscripts, photographs and serials. On other occasions similar assistance was rendered to the Prints and Photographs and the Music Divisions. This is perhaps one of the basic features of the Division's work -- to be always ready to assist the various units of the Library whenever specialized knowledge in the Slavic and East European fields is required.

III. USE OF MATERIALS

A. Service to Congress

Service to Congress formed a continuous part of the Division's work. At the request of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the Legislative Reference Service of the Library undertook to prepare a series of documented reports on the tensions in the political, economic, social and intellectual structures of the seven Soviet-controlled East European countries. The Chief of the Division was entrusted with the over-all direction of this project, in his capacity as a part-time Senior Specialist in Russian Affairs in the Legislative Reference Service, and he called upon the Division's staff to assist him with the preparation of most of these reports. These services included bibliographical assistance and location of sources, the checking of facts and references, translations, recommendations of extensions or deletions and editorial attention to bibliographical detail. So far, the studies on Bulgaria,Rumania and the Soviet Zone of Germany have been printed as parts of Senate Document No. 70, 83rd Congress, 1st Session, while the remaining four are scheduled to be published shortly.

On numerous occasions the Division received assignments from the research staff of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Internal Security, involving both research and extensive translation work. Another Congressional Committee that availed itself repeatedly of the services of the Division was the Select Congressional Committee to Investigate the Seizure of the Baltic Countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia by the USSR. Furthermore, the Division answered many inquiries from Members of Congress and their personal staffs as well as the staffs of other Congressional Committees; they requested varied information on the East and Southeast European countries, translations from languages spoken in these areas, identification and verification of quotations, location of materials and so forth. Finally, individual members of the Legislative Reference Service frequently drew upon the Division's professional and linguistic skills. This phase of the Division's operations makes it, for all practical purposes, an extended arm of the Legislative Reference Service.

B. Nature and Scope of Reference Work

Reference activities occupied a prominent place in the daily work of the Division's staff. In view of the volume of this work, the major problem here was to attain maximum promptness and thoroughness despite the smallness of available personnel. A scrutiny of the Divisional reference files appears to indicate that this goal was very largely achieved. These records also reveal the far-flung range of the reference problems handled and their diversity in language, topic, geographical scope and patrons.

The agencies of the Government's Executive Branch serviced during the year include the White House, the Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force along with other defense agencies, the Departments of State, Agriculture, Commerce, Health, Welfare and Education, the Bureau of the Census, the Securities and Exchange Commission and many others. Extensive assistance in research problems was rendered to specialized learned institutions such as, for instance, the Russian Institute of Columbia University, the Russian Research Center at Harvard, the Council for Economic and Industry Research at Washington, D.C., and the Hoover Institute and Library on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford. Faculty members and students of well over thirty universities and colleges received bibliographical and reference aid. Representatives of private research institutions concerned with East European affairs -- including the Free Europe Committee, the Research Program on the USSR at Columbia University, the American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, the Committee for a Free Estonia, and the Current Digest of the Soviet Press -- consulted the Division's staff on a multitude of research problems. Another sector of the Division's clientele included a great variety of professional and scholarly organizations (e.g. the American Folklore Society, the Lee Memorial Journalism Foundation, the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the National Committee for Resettlement of Foreign Physicians), business and industrial establishments as well as news services and newspapers. Last, but not least, the Division answered numerous inquiries from individuals in the United States and foreign countries, the latter including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.

As to topic, questions varied from Shakespeare in Hungary to the comparative purchasing power of dollar and ruble. Some requests were concise, such as "what is considered the most scholarly and objective one or two-volume history of Poland written in English?" Less thematic moderation appeared in a request for "a bibliography on the literature, education, economy and social development of Poland." While some queries appeared to have been prompted by pure intellectual curiosity or abstract study or delved into the distant past, others were focused on the very real issues of our time. A student of Mennonite history sought and received enlightenment on Mennonites living in the Russian province of Volhynia from 1800 to 1874. The Massachusetts Audubon Society, a regular correspondent, was anxious to learn whether the word "Aizbarg" on a triangular Latvian stamp referred to the bird pictured on this stamp and identified as an Iceland falcon or gyrfalcon. The Division's reply was disappointing; the word "Aizbarg" stood for "National Guard" in Latvian. However, such ethereal assignments were largely outnumbered by the more terrestrial and serious ones. The Division furnished about 700 basic monographic and serial titles for use in rounding out the East European collections of the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. The Free Europe Committee, conducting research on a Czechoslovak-Polish Federation, with a view to the future requested a bibliographical study on precedents pointing in this direction. And the Specialist in Comparative Education of the U.S. Office of Education was given far-reaching help in tracing highly specialized current Czechoslovak and Polish educational materials.

A few statistical data are illuminative of the Division's reference work:
Total reference requests answered over the phone:3,687
Total reference calls and conferences in person:3,031

C. Reference and Bibliographical Aids in the Division

An invaluable factor for efficient reference work are the area catalogs and specialized files developed by the Division during the past two or three years.

The Division now maintains topically arranged card files of monographs, periodicals, and articles for fourteen countries, primarily in the West European languages published in the last fifteen years and selected for the specific needs of the Division's reference work. Their special usefulness lies in the inclusion of up-to-date articles from many journals -- materials of paramount importance and not accessible through the regular LC catalogs. The Division has given much attention to the development of this unique informational source, and research workers of old and new standing have used these files and catalogs with unmistakable benefit. All told close to 11,000 cards were added to the area catalogs during Fiscal 1954. The Division also maintains regionally and topically arranged folders of fugitive materials, e.g. reprints, mimeographed reports, photostats, and the like.

D. Bibliographical Work

1. Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian Newspapers, 1917-1953: A Union List

This 218-page list, compiled by Paul L. Horecky of the Division's staff, was published by the Reference Department in December, 1953. It represents a record of 859 Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian newspapers issued since January 1, 1917, within the territory of the present USSR, and held by libraries in the United States in May, 1953. A preliminary checklist of such materials was prepared by the Division and released by the Library in 1952 as a working paper for libraries, Government agencies and other interested institutions only. This early list was based exclusively on bibliographical information available in the Library of Congress. The rapid exhaustion of this limited edition clearly indicated the need for a comprehensive, definitive and more widely available list.

This Division therefore solicited additional bibliographical information from libraries believed to hold appropriate newspaper files. Fullest cooperation was extended by the participating libraries, and upon receipt of 37 affirmative reports, the Division proceeded to process the substantial information obtained. All entries were consolidated and standardized in entry, spelling and geographical terminology. Missing bibliographical elements were added and conflicting data clarified. The material in the final list is arranged alphabetically by place of publication with titles listed alphabetically under each place. Each library's holdings, in the original or on microfilm, are given separately and the percentage of completeness for each year is indicated by symbols. Title and geographical indexes are included.

The primary purpose of this tool was to assist area research by offering as complete a record as possible of pertinent newspapers in United States libraries. Professor Philip E. Mosely of Columbia University commended this publication in the following terms:

"This is an invaluable tool for a wide range of scholarship, and I am sure it will be referred to every day by dozens of scholars and research workers."

Other comments in a similar vein indicate that the list is regarded as a serviceable and highly useful reference guide.

2. Preservation of Early Soviet Printed Materials

The compilation of the union list was undertaken in connection with the project of microfilming early Soviet printed materials, sponsored by the Joint Committee on Slavic Studies of the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council. Under a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Library of Congress was entrusted with this program, the main aim of which is to preserve newspaper and serial files printed on low-grade paper, especially those of the first ten years of the Soviet regime, and thus subject to serious deterioration.

On the basis of the union list, the Joint Committee on Slavic Studies selected thirteen Soviet newspapers of basic research value for possible microfilming. To implement these recommendations the Slavic and East European Division had to identify the most complete runs of these titles collectively available in the United States. The issues of these newspapers preserved in LC were listed, item by item, and the missing ones were sought in other libraries. By December, 1953, this phase of the project was completed and lists of holdings in LC and other libraries were submitted to the Photoduplication Service for computation of microfilming costs and the sounding out of institutions interested in obtaining such films. Sufficient orders have since been received from Government agencies and research libraries to make possible the realization of at least part of the project.

3. List of Polish Abbreviations

During the fiscal year a list of Polish abbreviations was completed and prepared for publication. The maze of novel terminology in abbreviated form used in recent East European texts and often unknown to Western research makes such a list much needed for Government and private research. This compilation includes over 1,500 abbreviations of Polish government bodies, institutions and other establishments, as well as various recurring general terms. For each abbreviation a full expansion in Polish and an English translation are given. Most of the abbreviations and their meanings were obtained from a search of a vast number of Polish post-war periodicals and newspapers.

E. Pending Bibliography Projects

1. Bibliography on the Geography of Yugoslavia

In October, 1952, Dr. Borivoje Milojević, Professor of Geography at the University of Belgrade, served for a short time as a consultant on LC's Yugoslav collections on geography. For two weeks he was attached to the Slavic and East European Division. As a result of this assignment, he prepared the raw material for a bibliography of literature pertaining to Yugoslav geography. The staff of the Division subsequently edited this draft of nearly 600 monographic and serial entries into acceptable form and transmitted it several months ago to Dr. Milojević in Belgrade for review. When received, Professor Milojević's final draft will be edited for publication.

2. Collection Surveys

Relatively few persons are familiar in detail with the rich and highly diversified Slavic and East European collections of the Library and even those who are acquainted in general with the use of LC's catalogs do not always succeed in attaining access to the unique resources and hidden treasures in the collections. Brief manuals for various countries offering a composite picture of the riches accumulated on the Library's Slavic shelves, whether in the general collections or in such special areas as the Rare Book Room, Prints and Photographs, Maps and Music Divisions and the Law Library, are therefore highly desirable. Such descriptive surveys of the collection would be neither straight catalogs nor more bibliographical listings of materials, but would present in topical and chronological arrangement information on the important and the unique, and disclose also to the Library Administration the strengths and the remaining weaknesses of the collection. By presenting a general review of the growth and present state of the Library's Slavic collections, the manuals would tell the reader what he can expect to find or not to find in the Library's Slavic collection. They would include particulars on the location of various materials, the catalogs and other location tools, and the procedures for obtaining such materials. This approach has recently been employed with considerable success by the Hoover Library at Stanford in its publication The Hoover Library Collection on Russia by Witold S. Sworakowski. Some spadework for a similar survey of the Library's Russian materials was undertaken in the Division during this fiscal year. The complete realization of the project will, however, require manpower lacking at present.

F. Survey Studies and Participation in Other LC Bibliographical Activities

At the direction of the Acting Librarian, the Division prepared a quantitative survey of Soviet post-war book production and of LC's receipts of this type of material.

The Chief of the Division prepared for the Director of the Reference Department an outline of staff requirements and the available bibliographic resources for a study of the perversion of truth in Communist educational media.

The Chief of the Division organized and participated in a Staff Forum held on October 20 and 21, 1953, on the Library's Slavic program.

At the request of the General Reference and Bibliography Division, the Division staff critically reviewed the drafts of two prospective LC bibliographical publications: Supplement to the Guide to Soviet Bibliographies and List of Foreign Language-English Dictionaries.

Detailed lists of leading current newspapers in six East European countries, including bibliographical data and priority designations, were submitted for inclusion into the preliminary list of "Current Foreign Newspapers Recommended for Cooperative Microfilming." This working paper was prepared by the Processing Department for the Committee on Cooperative Access to Newspapers and Other Serials of the Association of Research Libraries.

Twenty-five articles and notes, most of them concerned with bibliographical information on new acquisitions were contributed to the LC Information Bulletin.

IV. EXTERNAL RELATIONS

A. Survey of European Collections

Increased interest in East European printed materials, the difficulties of securing them, and the inaccessibility of some of the national bibliographies published behind the Iron Curtain has led to the publication by the LC of the Monthly List of Russian Accessions, of the East European Accessions List, and the organization of the Cyrillic Subject Union Catalog. The next step in this development was directed toward ascertaining: a) the availability of important additional documentation on Slavic and Eastern Europe in West European libraries and b) the possibility of obtaining microfilms of pertinent catalogs. A grant obtained by the Library of Congress from the Ford Foundation permitted the Chief of the Division to examine in Fiscal 1954 over sixty Slavic and East European collections in French, Swiss, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, and British libraries. Though hectic, this exploratory journey was certainly fascinating and rewarding.

More emphasis is still being placed in Europe on the study of Slavic literatures and linguistics than on research in economics and law. In many instances they have not yet recognized the value of an over-all area study approach. But everywhere in Europe strenuous efforts are being made to enlarge the existing East European collections, and now the European libraries are busy buying --as some of them used to do in the past-Slavic and other books and materials on a rather large scale. As a result there are, for instance, remarkable collections of Polish and Ukrainian maps and geographical data at Paris and Sarcelles, France; Rumanian folklore materials at London; source materials on Dalmatia in Rome and Florence; early Soviet posters and early Russian publications from the 16th to the 18th centuries in Uppsala; Russian early post-revolutionary materials in Stockholm and Geneva; Russian newspapers at Geneva and Amsterdam; rare publications on the Russian church and religion in Basel, Rome and Paris; Russian periodicals of the 19th and 20th centuries in Munich, Paris, Amsterdam, and Stockholm; Polish historical materials in Paris and London, and so on. Without exception, European librarians proved to be eager to cooperate and are in principle ready to share the riches of their collections. This is important since, in these days of microfilms, photostats and microprint cards, it is, in the final analysis, not of importance which library keeps a Russian or Slavic publication as long as at least one copy can be traced outside the Iron Curtain.

The findings of the survey were presented in a detailed report which included an evaluation of the holdings of the various libraries and a list of recommendations for reproducing by microfilming or otherwise catalogs and bibliographical tools of the most significant European Slavic collections. The report was released for administrative use only; however, the Library made a number of copies available to the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, to the members of the Joint Committee on Slavic Studies, and to a few individual scholars. Two or three comments received might be cited here:

On May 10, 1954, Professor Philip E. Mosely, Director of the Russian Institute at Columbia University, wrote as follows:
"I have read your report from cover to cover and I want to congratulate you and thank you most sincerely for the splendid job, which is just what I expected. I feel sure that the results of your journey, however tiring it may have been, will bring about a great expansion of the bibliographical sources and hence of research for Slavic studies."

Mr. Cleon O. Swayzee, Director of Research of the Ford Foundation, observed:

"It is my opinion that the gratitude of the Slavicists in this country should be directed towards yourself for this fine piece of work."

Finally, Professor Geroid T. Robinson of Columbia University wrote on May 28, 1954:

"This report will be literally invaluable, in connection with plans for future research in Europe."

The implementation of the microfilming of European Slavic catalogs from now on is the responsibility of the Processing Department and depends on the solution of a number of technical questions. The standards of European catalogs are hardly comparable to those in America. Some European collections have never been listed or indexed. In other instances, catalogs were lost during World War II and until now have been only partly replaced. On the other hand, there are catalogs which still register parts of collections which were destroyed during the war. Lastly, only seldom are the Slavic entries in European catalogs separated from the titles of publications printed in West European languages. All this, of course, considerably complicates the envisaged microfilming program. Still, a solution of at least some of these problems will have to be found.

B. Contact With Academic and Research Institutions

A lively and fruitful exchange of information on library work and publishing developments in the Slavic and East European areas took place between the Division and foreign scholarly institutions of the free world. In direct consultations or by correspondence these establishments solicited the Division's aid in their research and bibliographical undertakings and many visiting scholars were introduced to the Library's Slavic and East European resources. Among these contacts were: L'Institut universitaire roumain Charles I, Paris; the Institute for the Study of the History and Culture of the USSR, Munich; Central Asian Research Centre, London; Bibliothèque nationale, Paris; École nationale des langues orientales vivantes, Paris; the University of Montreal; National Central Library, London; Societé scientifique Ševčenko, Sarcelles, Seine-et-Oise, France; Ryska Institutet, Stockholm; J. G. Herder-Institut, Marburg/Lahn, Germany; Oxford University; Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Bad Godesberg bei Bonn, Germany; British Library of Political and Economic Science, London; and many other government and non-government libraries, scholarly institutions, organizations, etc. Contacts with American institutions are described in the section on the use of materials.

C. Liaison Activities

As in previous years, the Chief of the Division served on the Joint Committee on Slavic Studies of the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council, which showed continuous and constructive interest in various LC projects. He also attended for the Library of Congress the Chicago meeting of the Ad-Hoc Subcommittee on East European Studies, established by the Joint Committee on Slavic Studies, and the research conference on Eastern Europe called in May, 1954, by Columbia University and the Mid-European Studies Center of the Free Europe Committee, Inc.

V. ADMINISTRATION AND PERSONNEL

The staff of the Slavic and East European Division -- consisting of four permanent members: the Chief (part-time), the USSR and East European Area Specialist, the Slavic Research Analyst, and the Secretary of the Division -- was able to perform its varied functions and to handle its increased workload only with the help of personnel temporarily added to the staff. Still, it must be emphasized that, although this additional personnel enabled the staff to complete several projects successfully, the Division was not sufficiently staffed to cover fully all the areas under its purview. It was, therefore, most gratifying that the Library Administration again recognized the need to alleviate this situation by requesting an additional position for this Division in the 1955 budget estimates.

Dr. Sergius Yakobson, Chief of the Division, spent ten weeks in Western Europe from June 29 to September 6, 1953, surveying significant Slavic collections. (See External Relations)

The temporary part-time appointment of Dr. Béla T. Kardos as Hungarian Specialist was extended to June 30, 1954. From July 1 to December 18, 1953, Dr. Kardos worked full time, devoting half of his time to writing "Tensions in Communist Hungary," prepared at the request of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for publication as a part of Senate Document No. 70, 83d Congress, 1st Session.

Dr. Fritz T. Epstein, USSR and East European Area Specialist, went from part-time to full-time status on March 1, 1954, when his duties as Director of Research at the War Documentation Project came to an end. On April 26, he left for four months to teach at the University of Bonn, Germany, under a Fulbright grant during the summer term. He was also invited to lecture on diplomatic history at the universities of Hamburg, Marburg, Tübingen, Göttingen and others.

The smallness of the Division's staff made an immediate replacement for Dr. Epstein imperative. On May 12, Mr. Boris I. Gorokhoff, Head of the Slavic Languages Section of the Descriptive Cataloging Division, joined the staff as a temporary transfer for a period not to extend beyond August 27, 1954, the date of Dr. Epstein's return.

Mr. Kemal Vokopola was appointed on June 29, 1953, to serve for one year as Consultant on Albanian Materials (without compensation). He prepared, at the request of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a study on "Tensions in Communist Albania," which will also be printed as part of Senate Document No. 70.

The Division's long-felt need for additional clerical assistance was eased by the creation of a temporary position of a clerk-stenographer to which Mr. John L. Harris was appointed on February 15, for a period not to extend beyond June 30, 1954. Until then the regular Secretary of the Division, Miss Patricia Sullivan, was functioning as administrative assistant to the Division, secretary of the Division, secretary to the Chief, leave clerk, telephone attendant and receptionist, plus typist and stenographer. Prior to this, some clerical assistance was received in the form of short-term details from the Air Research Division. Although this kind of assistance was greatly appreciated, each assignment was too short to be one hundred percent effective.

Work on a Union List of Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian Newspapers, 1917-1953, a by-product of the Rockefeller project to preserve early Soviet newspapers, brought two additional temporary staff members working under the supervision of Dr. Paul L. Horecky, the list's editor. Miss Alexandra Compton was appointed from July 1 to September 30, 1953, to serve as bibliographical, editorial, and clerical assistant and to prepare the final typescript of the list. Mrs. Malissa C. Redfield joined the staff on July 24 for four months to prepare a record of the best sets of thirteen Russian newspapers selected for microfilming by the Joint Committee on Slavic Studies.

The Division also included the following auxiliary members: Dr. Janina Wojcicka, Bibliographer on Polish Materials, on funds of the Free Europe Committee, Inc.; Mr. Di-Tsin Tsing, a State Department Grantee, who prepared a special study on Communist indoctrination of Chinese students; and Mrs. Yolanda Eliot, an Exchange Assistant whose services were shared with the Exchange and Gift Division and paid by the Air Information Division.

That the Division is able to record substantial accomplishments in Fiscal 1954 -- in spite of many improvisations and makeshift arrangements -- is much to the credit of its small but devoted permanent staff.

VI. PROFESSIONAL BUT NON-OFFICIAL STAFF ACTIVITIES

The regular staff members as well as the consultants of the Division displayed commendable initiative and industry in directing their spare-time pursuits to further study, research, or writing in their fields and to participation in the work of professional organizations. Thus, in an intellectual give-and-take, the experience and the know-how of official work were put to wider use and, in turn, the outside activities proved often beneficial to the performance of official duties.

Here is a record of some of these extra-curricular activities:

Chief of the Division:

1. Participated in the three-day Arden House Conference on the "Continuity and Change in Russian and Soviet Thought," at Harriman, New York; in the annual convention of the American Political Science Association in Washington, and in that of the American Historical Association in Chicago.

2. Opened the program of the 10th annual meeting of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages in Chicago. The topic of his talk was "The Slavic Activities of the Library of Congress and the Scholar."

3. A full summary of his study of the Soviet propaganda program released by Senator J. W. Fulbright's Subcommittee on Overseas Information Program of the United States Government appeared in German in two 1953 July issues of the periodical Ost Probleme, and an Italian version of his introduction to the LC collection of Maxim Gorki letters was printed in the September, 1953 issue of the Milan journal Inventario.

Fritz T. Epstein:

1. Presented, at the Convention of the American Historical Association in Chicago, a paper on "Washington Research Opportunities on the Period of World War II." This paper was subsequently reproduced and made available to interested institutions and individuals. It will also appear in the July 1954 issue of The American Archivist.

2. Contributed notes to the Handbook of Latin American Studies.

3. Taught, under a Fulbright Grant, at the University of Bonn, Germany, during the 1954 summer term. Also lectured at other German universities.

Paul L. Horecky:

1. Participated in the Annual Convention of the American Political Science Association.

2. Contributed articles to the Western Political Quarterly (University of Utah) and the Journal of Politics (organ of the Southern Political Science Association).

Béla T. Kardos:

1. Participated in the Annual Convention of the American Political Science Association and in a special research program organized by its Washington Chapter.

2. Prepared regularly radio scripts for Radio Free Europe and economic studies for the Free Europe Committee, Inc.

Janina Wojcicka:

Prepared two studies on Higher Education in Poland and Libraries in Communist Poland, published by the Free Europe Committee, Inc.

Patricia Sullivan:

Served as Corresponding Secretary of the Library of Congress Welfare and Recreation Association.

Yolanda Eliot:

Pursued graduate studies (evening classes in international affairs at American University).

  Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> About Division >> Reports >> 1954
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  July 24, 2013
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian