Skip Navigation Links The Library of Congress >> Researchers
European Reading Room: European Division, Area Studies
  Home >> About Division >> Reports >> 1959

Annual Report of the
Slavic and Central European Division for 1959

(For the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1959)


Fiscal year 1959 was marked by a proliferation of the Division's functions and responsibilities which engendered change and growth in its organizational structure. One part of the Division's responsibilities is to carry on its established programs with imagination and vigor; another is to respond to the best of its ability and resources to novel demands or new assignments which changing circumstances call for. It is perhaps worthy of mention that as of 1959, with the exception of cataloging, there is scarcely one major sector of library activities which is not performed by the Division in the field of its specialization -- beginning with recommending of publications, passing on to selection, reference and bibliographic work and ending, last but not least, with the custody and servicing of materials. This concentration of different yet coherent functions in one Division and the familiarity and contact of staff members with varying operations demonstrably works out to the advantage of everybody concerned.

This report is necessarily made up of only selected details from the multifarious activities of the Division. Routinely performed functions remain outside its scope.


In the fiscal year just finished the Library augmented its Slavic and East European Collections by roughly 15,480 monographs, 2,315 periodicals, and 260 newspapers originating in an area whose combined publications output in the Library of Congress fields of interest amounted in the same period to about 54,300 monographs, 5,520 periodicals, and 8,086 newspapers. The quantitative details concerning the Slavic and East European materials in Library of Congress collections and the ratio of the Library's acquisitions to the total publications output, separated by countries, are illustrated in the series of diagrams and statistical tables in Appendices II to IX.

The coverage for this area can be regarded as a representative cross-section of published information about this part of Europe particularly considering the fact that the publishing figures quoted above include materials of strictly local or highly specialized significance and of marginal or of ephemeral character which are of no interest to the Library. It should be borne in mind that in addition to publications emanating from this area the Division also recommended the procurement of a substantial volume of noteworthy contributions to the knowledge of these parts of the Eurasian continent made by writers and scholars outside the countries of East and East Central Europe.

While the quantitative aspects of the Library's acquisitions in this area are an important evaluative factor they should, however, not be overestimated. One or two dozens of average books do not make up for the absence of one or two basic works and a well-balanced collection must therefore successfully meet the test of qualitative analysis. The most remarkable publications recommended by the Division and received by the Library in the year under review were specified in three surveys prepared by staff members on Southeast Europe, Germany, and Hungary and published in the Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions.

A useful control mechanism for ascertaining the quality and completeness of publications in a given field was also provided by systematic collection surveys which the Division has carried out to determine comparative strength and weakness in various subject categories of the Library's collections. For example, a scrutiny of the Library's Hungarian collections has not only pinpointed important materials which the Library possesses but has also brought to light what the Library does not have. Subsequently, want lists were forwarded to the Exchange and Gift Division with the request that duplicates or microfilm copies of the missing items be secured. Similarly, holdings of Estonian and Lithuanian publications were surveyed and the Division intends to extend such surveys to other languages and subject categories, particularly in the German-language field.

Because of the freeze of funds for the purchase of retrospective materials, for the latter part of the fiscal year here reviewed the Division's purchase recommendations had to be limited primarily to current materials. Exchanges became the almost exclusive medium of procurement of retrospective publications and gained heightened importance also for current publications. Numerous occasions arose for the Division to participate both in matters of formulation of exchange policies and in initiating new exchange contacts. At the request of the Processing Department, the Division undertook an extended survey of Polish publications in an effort to determine the criteria for Polish official publications and in preparation for the conclusion of an exchange agreement concerning such materials. On another occasion, the Division took part in the formulation of policies for the acquisition of regional government documents by outlining the criteria applicable to Slavic and Central European countries, and several times the Chief and area specialists participated in briefing sessions for State Department officers concerned with the procurement of publications in East and East Central European countries.

The Division's area specialists have continued to give thoughtful consideration to the possibility of exploring new avenues of exchange. For instance, the Central European Specialist (Fritz T. Epstein) on the occasion of his trip to Germany and Austria last year visited various libraries and institutions and as a result supplied the Exchange and Gift Division with a list of over 30 Austrian learned organizations with which no exchange relations had been in effect. The Division was also instrumental in arranging for a series of exploratory meetings with Dr. Charles Jelavich, professor of history and Director of the Center for Slavic Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, in which tentative plans were discussed for acquisitions activities in Yugoslavia in the event that the Library of Congress becomes a beneficiary of P.L. 480 in that country.

Large number of journals and newspapers from various East and East Central European countries reach the Library's shelves but it is equally important that they are made available to readers as soon as possible. Studies were undertaken by the Division to determine whether the span between the publication of these serials and their availability to the reading public could not be shortened. The findings of this inquiry, in particular concerning Soviet materials, were placed at the disposal of the Processing Department along with lists of titles which ought to be on the Library's shelves at the earliest possible moment. On the basis of these data the Order Division is presently studying the question of expediting receipt of these materials by extending airmail delivery for the more important publications.

It was a constant concern of the Division's recommending officers to coordinate procurement by purchase and exchange in order to reduce to a minimum duplication and overlapping. Another step aiming at widening the scope of materials received by the Library was the compilation by the USSR Specialist (Boris I. Gorokhoff) of a master list of Soviet journals which included a number of titles not contained in the official Soviet subscription catalogs. This list of well over 1,000 titles was used in making exchange requests for such journals for 1959 from various Soviet libraries. Also considerable alertness was required to insure the receipt of a variety of transactions and proceedings of learned institutes and other publications and similar irregularly issued USSR serial publications. Materials of this type are particularly elusive because they are published, as a rule, in extremely small editions and are often not recorded in order lists and catalogs. To improve the coverage of these important serials, the preparation of a master list of pertinent titles was also undertaken.

Finally, a contribution of the Division toward strengthening Library acquisitions from East and East Central Europe was the participation by the Chief and the staff in various negotiations and conferences with visiting representatives of institutions and publishing organizations. For example, plans for an intensification of exchange relations were discussed with Professor Tadeusz Kotarbinski, President of the Polish Academy of Sciences, which is engaged in a very active publishing program. On other occasions, questions focusing on improving quality and quantity of current receipts were discussed by the Chief and his assistants with Mr. Zmeul, Director of the Soviet book export agency, the manager of a leading Polish publishing house of scholarly works and other representatives of East European booktrade organizations.


Prior to the merger of the Slavic Room with the Slavic and Central European Division, there were but few points of mutual work contact. Many materials in the custody of the Slavic Room resulted, it is true, from recommendations made by the specialists in this Division and, on the other hand, the Division staff made frequent use of the reference facilities and the resources of the Slavic Room. Yet, on the whole, because of jurisdictional separation, no teamwork based on a systematic coordination of efforts and activities was possible. This peculiar situation has undergone a radical change with the transfer of the Slavic Room to this Division and judging by the experience gained so far this situation has worked out to mutual advantage.

In the course of the years it was unavoidable that quite a lot of "dead paper" accumulated and gathered dust on the shelves of Deck 8. These materials of relatively recent date consisted of unwanted duplicates, publications outside the Library's subject interest and, last but not least, of items which at one time may have been useful but which now no longer could make claim to being incorporated into the Library's permanent collections. An attempt at weeding out these materials had been in progress for some time, but was considerably intensified when the Slavic Room came under this Division. The Division specialists who are responsible for recommending most of the material which subsequently is received in the Deck 8 service area were placed in a strategic position from which they could observe from close quarters, the demand on the part of the consumer. They also participated in "Operation Clearing the Deck" for the purpose of identifying certain materials either for transfer to other libraries (e.g. medical and agricultural publications) or for recommendation to the Selection Officer of the discard of publications which were no longer considered worth keeping. Concurrently, want lists were prepared and sent to Exchange and Gift Division for serials which, being available only in incomplete sets, would have to remain indefinitely on the shelves and could not be prepared for binding. Presently incomplete, these sets will be bound as soon as missing issues are received.

In the course of these activities, a significant amount of space -- at a premium on Deck 8 -- was gained. New procedures and simplified forms for the discard of materials were worked out in close cooperation with the Chief Selection Officer. So far, reviews of Polish and Baltic serials have been completed and surveys of Czechoslovak and Yugoslav materials are planned to begin in the near future. To epitomize the nature of these activities, the Polish and Slavic Research Librarian (Janina Wojcicka) assembled 85 sets for binding, recommended to the Selection Officer the change of the serial decision concerning 130 titles and prepared desiderata records for 63 periodicals.

Closely connected with these screening operations was the scrutinizing of a large number of retrospective, unprocessed periodicals in various Slavic languages which have been kept on Deck 8 for some time. Issues of titles recorded in the Library's catalogs were sorted out and added to the LC collections, and uncataloged titles were set aside for cataloging by the Descriptive Cataloging Division. The ultimate objective of this operation is to make Deck 8 a repository of unclassified Slavic serials for the current and the preceding year only. Almost 2,000 volumes collated for binding are stored on Deck 8, waiting to be absorbed by the Binding Division. No small part in this accomplishment was played by a reassignment of duties among the personnel of Deck 8, and the establishment of monthly binding quotas. Both matters were instituted largely at the initiative of the Curator of the Slavic Room (John T. Dorosh).

One other innovation should be mentioned in this context. Until recently, the collation of serials for binding was carried out on a rather mechanical basis, i.e., in the alphabetical order of available titles. This procedure, of course, did not guarantee that the serials in greatest demand would appear first as bound volumes in the collections. Consequently, it was decided that about 50 periodical titles of greater importance -- selected in conjunction with Science and Technology Division -- will henceforth be given not only preference in collating for binding but, pursuant to an arrangement with the Chief of the Binding Division, will also be given priority consideration for binding itself on a semiannual basis.

Great interest on the part of individual researchers and government agencies in using certain types of current East European materials made it necessary further to review practices concerning the loan of materials in the custody of the Slavic Room and Deck 8 with the aim of insuring to the greatest possible extent an equitable distribution and servicing of publications of timely significance. To this end loans of materials in the Slavic Room reference collections were reduced to a minimum and a time limit of ten working days was introduced for loans of unclassified serials on Deck 8. Simultaneously Slavic Room and Deck 8 charge files were examined and numerous overdue materials recalled. All charge files are now reviewed at regular intervals.

Other measures introduced on Deck 8 included provisions for the unloading and shelving of incoming materials within 24 hours and the signing in of all readers authorized to use the facilities. It should be mentioned here also that the responsibilities of the Slavic Room in connection with the processing and the custody of Slavic microfilms are now under reexamination.

As in previous years, the Division's specialists continued to screen regularly all pertinent incoming monographs and new serial titles and to recommend for the latter category retention, transfer or discard.


1. Reference Activities

Not more than a thumbnail sketch of the multifarious reference activities of the Division can be attempted here. Numerically the upsurge in this work is reflected in the statistical figures contained in Appendix I, which indicate that the total reference services trebled. While much of this increase is attributable to the adding of the statistics of the Slavic Room for the second part of the fiscal year, the fact remains that even without that addition, the reference volume in the Division increased.

Part of the Division's efforts were devoted to rendering reference assistance to individual members and committees of the Congress in the form of written studies, providing information on ad hoc problems of fact or interpretation as well as consultations.

Two factors contributed to enhancing the Division's posture as a reference center on East and East Central European affairs. First, the development of effective informational indexes which represent a rather unique reference tool in that they store a wealth of information contained in such West European-language periodicals as focus predominantly on that area. How intensive this periodical publishing on Slavic and Central European affairs is can be gleaned from the fact that well over 550 titles in that category are listed in a bibliography put out recently by the Division to which reference will be made later. About 70 titles are regularly scrutinized by the Division's staff and the relevant information is added to the Division's files at the rate of 400 entries per month. This bibliographic tool which supplies specialized information not readily available elsewhere provides many shortcuts to solving reference problems. Second, the fortuitous combination of reference and procurement work often done by one and the same specialist is beneficial to proficiency in either field. In this context it should be stated that in the recent past reference work in the field has been somewhat facilitated by the availability of late statistical, biographical, and similar reference aids which previously had been at a premium and the lack of which often turned reference work on East Europe into a detective operation.

The Division's clientele was as variegated as the questions and problems posed by them. Sustained services were given to the Congress and to many federal and state establishments all over the country. Other broad groups of users encompassed scholarly, industrial, business and labor organizations, newsmen, radio and television commentators, representatives of diplomatic groups, and of course large numbers of regular readers who neither disclosed their station in life nor the cause of their inquiry.

An impressive array of the Nation's major colleges is represented on the roster of those served by the Division. As to the geographical scope of reference work rendered, written inquiries were received from all parts of the Union and from 12 foreign countries ranging alphabetically from Australia to the USSR. This score does not include the countries of origin of visitors who called in person and discussed various reference problems.

A few examples culled at random from the Division's records serve to illustrate the type of reference work performed. Starting with the White House, the Division provided data on very complimentary opinions expressed by Leo Tolstoi about Abraham Lincoln, and the White House sent a note of thanks, enclosing a copy of the President's address given on Lincoln's birthday in which the quotation was used. Another time, Vice President Nixon was furnished a variety of informational materials pertaining to the USSR. The Library of Michigan State University requested and received a bibliography of selected titles on the Carpathian area, and selected bio-bibliographical references on M.V. Lomonosov, famous Russian chemist and man of letters, were supplied to a scholar of the University of Vermont. The presence on the Division's staff of Dr. John P. Balys (Reference and Acquisitions Assistant), an authority on East European folklore, stimulated a number of inquiries on this subject originating from German and other European centers of learning. Bibliographic data on "Hungary -- Land and People" were given to the National Geographic Society, and the National Education Association inquired about the Library's resources on audio-visual materials on Hungary. Repeated assistance was given to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in the preparation of a study on educational systems in Poland which was subsequently published. Passing to visitors from abroad, mention should be made of the head librarian of Catholic University for Economics in Tilburg, Holland, who was furnished with a bibliography on recent American scholarship related to Soviet affairs and cultural relations between the USSR and the USA. The military attache of the Republic of Korea was given bibliographic information on recent American materials dealing with the Soviet bloc.

Probably in reference work as well as in other pursuits, the proof of the quality of services rendered lies in the customer's satisfaction. Judging from letters of commendation, the Division did quite well by this standard. A faculty associate of the University of North Carolina, for instance, remarked as follows in a letter commending the personnel of the Slavic Room for good service: "While on many occasions I felt that my requests must surely amount to impositions, they were always handled in such an efficient and courteous way as if they were merely routine matters. If it is said of Scotland Yard that they always get their man, surely the Slavic Room always gets the book." In a similar vein, a professor of Blackburn College in Carlinville, Ill., acknowledged his thanks for reference assistance received by writing: ". . . let me assure you that your invaluable help will be fully acknowledged in print and that I am indeed grateful for this very great assistance."

2. Bibliographies

In the fiscal year under review, East and East Central Europe: Periodicals in English and other West European Languages was released by the Library in 700 copies. This publication, the first bibliographical guide of its kind to current periodicals dealing with the countries and peoples of that area and published in the West European languages represents the eighth published bibliography prepared by the Division. Early comments indicated a very favorable reception of this tool on the part of librarians and area students; Dr. Philip E. Mosely, Director of Studies for the Council on Foreign Relations, Inc., in New York, expressed his opinion as follows: "I an delighted to have a copy . . . This is going to be very, very helpful."

As the fiscal year drew to a close, three other bibliographies came to fruition and are now being readied for publication. East Germany: a Selected Bibliography contains over 325 titles of books and articles in West European languages dealing with postwar political, social, economic, and cultural conditions in the area. The latest addition to the Division's series of abbreviations in various East European languages is a volume dealing with Yugoslavia. The material was originally gathered and assembled by an East European Accessions Index staff member and includes over 2,000 common abbreviations which have come into use since World War II; the Division staff made a closer selection of the material compiled and has edited the list for publication.

A joint venture between the Division and the Hispanic Foundation is Latin America in Soviet Writings, 1948-59: a Bibliography. This compilation consists of bibliographic information gathered by the Division in 1956-57 as a special project for a government agency and subsequently brought up to date. The Hispanic Foundation has arranged the entries by subject category and attended to the final editorial work.

If the consumer's demand is a yardstick for the correct thematic choice and general usefulness of a publication it would appear that the Division's bibliographic program has, so far, been pursued in the right direction. Polish Abbreviations, for instance, is now in its second edition, Czech and Slovak Abbreviations has been out of print for some time, and judging by preliminary sales figures there seems to be lively interest in East and East Central Europe: Periodicals in English and other West European Languages. Various other bibliographic projects which are carried over into the coming fiscal year are specified in Appendix IX.

3. Special Studies

Another important facet of the Division's reference responsibilities was the preparation of a number of special studies. A comprehensive study on civil defense in the USSR was prepared by the Chief of the Division and the USSR Specialist at the behest of the Subcommittee on Military Operations of the House Committee on Government Operations. It appeared in print as part of House Report No. 300. The study has attracted widespread attention in Congressional circles, in the press, and on news broadcasts, and its compilers were commended by Congressman Holifield, Chairman of the Sub-committee. Other written studies for Congress included a report on the Soviet physical fitness program and an analytical survey of the process of decision-making in the Soviet government and its organizational apparatus for "cold war planning."

Among the literary legacy of the late Vaclovas Biržiška was a lengthy study of American-Lithuanian publications (1875-1910) which he prepared as a Library of Congress consultant on Lithuanian affairs. Dr. Balys, a Lithuanian expert in his own right, gave this article editorial attention and provided it with explanatory and supplementary notes. The articles was published in the January, 1959, issue of the Journal of Central European Affairs.

The Division maintains extensive lists of national and regional statistical handbooks of the Soviet Union. This material was not only found to be a very serviceable tool for answering numerous reference inquiries, but it served also as the basis of bibliographical surveys published in the American Economic Review and in Soviet Studies issued by the University of Glasgow. The staff also prepared a study on the procurement and dissemination of foreign science and technology publications in the Soviet Union requested by the Librarian for presentation to Congress.

Evaluative articles on the Library's acquisitions from various East and East Central European areas offered a welcome occasion for the Division's specialists to pause and reflect about the procurement program in their fields of specialization as well as to analyze achievements and shortcomings. Altogether, three major reports were contributed by the staff to the Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions: The Assistant Chief and East European Specialist (Paul L. Horecky) prepared an article on recent Library of Congress acquisitions from Southeast Europe thereby pioneering a complete geographic coverage for this area in the pages of the Journal (February issue). Dr. Epstein surveyed for the first time "The Growth of the German-language Collection" and the Hungarian Specialist (Elemer Bakó) covered "Hungarica." The last two articles appeared in the Journal's May issue.

A few developments bearing on the foreign consultant program which is being administered by the Division under the financial sponsorship of the Oberlaender Trust Fund should be reported here. Professor Peter Scheibert of Marburg University was commissioned by the librarian to prepare a study on the progress of Slavic studies in Germany since the end of the war. Dr. Gisela von Busse submitted recently the first installment of her report on the development of West German research libraries since 1945.


Participation in professional conferences and exchange of information and ideas with scholars, librarians and other visitors engaged in cultural pursuits offered the Division's staff a very welcome means of keeping abreast of the developments in the Division's area of specialization and, upon numerous occasions, of promoting the Library's interests in these fields.

Continuing to serve as a member of the Joint Committee on Slavic Studies (of the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council), the Chief attended the Committee's annual meeting in New York City and also the first meeting of the newly constituted Coordinating Committee for Slavic and East European Library Resources (of the Joint Committee and the American Research Libraries Association). On both occasions, Slavic library and bibliographic resources and other matters of immediate interest to the Library's Slavic program ranked high on the agenda. Other important gatherings attended by the Chief were the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences in Philadelphia devoted to the Soviet-American relations and an international Conference on Soviet-Asian Relations at Los Angeles. The School of International Relations, University of Southern California, was host to the latter event which was co-sponsored by several other research and educational establishments.

Dr. Epstein and Dr. Horecky were invited by CIA to lecture before groups participating in special area programs. Dr. Epstein spoke about the role of tradition in present-day political and cultural life in the German Democratic Republic and Dr. Horecky spoke about recent cultural developments in Communist Czechoslovakia.

While in Germany last summer, Dr. Epstein represented the Library at the 400th anniversary celebration of the Bavarian State Library.

Staff members attended sessions of the annual meeting of the American Historical Association last December, and of course the 78th ALA Conference. Dr. Balys was invited to participate in the Conference of the Institute of Ethnic Studies held at Georgetown University in April. Dr. Wojcicka has given regular assistance to USIA in preparing the monthly publication Ameryka for distribution in Poland.

The roster of visitors who came to the Division in official or nonofficial capacity included representatives of intellectual life in many parts of the world. In the winter, Mr. Aatos Erkko, publisher of a widely-read Finnish magazine, called at the Library and was briefed by the Chief as part of his tour. At the request of the Deputy Chief Assistant Librarian, tours were arranged under the guidance of Mr. Gorokhoff for Soviet nationals coming to this country in connection with the official cultural exchange between the USA and the USSR. These visitors included Mr. Paul Voloshin, an official of the USSR Ministry of Culture, and Professor A. I. Mikhailov, Director of the Institute of Scientific Information, Academy of Sciences in Moscow, and his two associates with whom questions of information storage and retrieval in the USSR and ways and means of improving the Library's exchange receipts of Soviet materials were discussed. From Poland came two prominent librarians: Dr. Jan Baumgart, Director of Cracow University Library, and Dr. Jan Piasecki, Chief Librarian of the Academy of Mining and Metallurgy, Cracow. Among other visitors were: Dr. Ake Kromnow, Chief Archivist of the Swedish Foreign Office; Mr. Alfredo Simari, Librarian of the National Library of Naples; Mr. Jasa Davico, editor of Ekonomska Politika, Belgrade, Yugoslavia; Mr. Pao Chin-An, delegate to the National Assembly of the Republic of China; Police Major Prasat Panyarachum of the Research Services Office, SEATO, Bangkok, Thailand; scholars from several German universities and Warsaw University. As for scholars from this country, they were too many for any detailed enumeration.


The selection of materials for exhibits initiated by or organized with the help of the staff in commemoration of or on the occasion of noteworthy events enabled the Division's specialists to test the quality of more narrowly circumscribed sectors of the Library's collections and to display these materials for the interested public. In November, the Library sponsored the "Champions of Liberty" exhibit in honor of freedom fighters whose likenesses appeared on a then newly-inaugurated series of stamps. Dr. Bakó lent an active hand in the arrangement of the section of this display dealing with Lajos Kossuth, Hungarian national hero and freedom fighter. Previously, Dr. Bakó had assisted in the organization of various Kossuth memorabilia which were displayed at the Department of the Interior in connection with the issuance of the above-mentioned stamp series. In a letter to the Librarian, the sponsoring Post Office Department expressed thanks for the Library's participation and commended Dr. Bakó for his assistance in preparing the exhibit.

Professional gatherings in this city of two eminent organizations occasioned two exhibits organized by the Division in the Slavic Room. East and East Central European historical periodicals and bibliographies were shown as an appropriate theme for participants in the annual meeting of the American Historical Association which was held during Christmas week. Similarly, a display of bibliographic and library publications on East and East Central Europe was arranged when the 78th ALA Conference took place in June. Finally, Dr. Epstein helped the Exhibits Officer last August in mounting the Library of Congress exhibit, "The Unguarded Moment," showing the photographic art of Dr. Eric Salomon (1886-1944), a pioneer in candid camera techniques. He was also interviewed by the Voice of America regarding this display.


Pursuant to General Order 1677, the Slavic Room was transferred to the Division from General Reference and Bibliography Division as of December 15, 1958. Well-laid plans prepared in advance of the event, made for a smooth and swift changeover which was accomplished in complete cooperation between the staffs of the two Divisions. The addition of the Slavic Room with a staff of seven nearly doubled the Division's personnel and broadened the base of its operational activities. Integration has progressed smoothly in the subsequent six months and the coordination and pooling of resources and know-how have proved to be highly beneficial. The Slavic Room has retained its original structure, but has been purposefully incorporated into the over-all Division organization in both the operating and administrative fields.

It was very gratifying to the Division that two new positions, requested in the budgetary recommendation for FY 1959, were added to the table of organization, that of Bibliographer and Reference Librarian (Soviet Bloc) and Reference and Acquisitions Assistant. Dr. Barbara Krader was appointed to fill the former position, and Dr. Balys was promoted from the position of Searcher and Reference Assistant to the latter post. With the allocation of these two new positions, the Division has been enabled to give faster and more specialized service to its rapidly expanding clientele among the Congress, the Federal government, industry, scholars, and the general public.

The Classification Office has been at work for some time surveying the Division's positions, five of which have been redescribed with the cooperation of the staff: Central European Specialist, USSR Specialist, Polish Specialist, Hungarian Specialist, and Slavic Library Assistant. As a result of this review, the following personnel actions occurred: The position of Polish Specialist was redescribed as the Polish and Slavic Research Librarian and raised in grade from GS-9 to GS-11, the position of Hungarian Specialist was redescribed, and the Slavic Library Assistant (GS-6) was retitled Slavic Processing Assistant and reallocated at GS-7. The positions of Central European Specialist and USSR Specialist were redescribed and reallocated at GS-13. Up to last December, the Division had no position of Assistant Chief although the Chief has been combining has job with that of a Senior Specialist in Russian Affairs, LRS. The accrual of responsibilities and personnel resulting from the transfer of the Slavic Room accentuated the need to provide for an assistant. Consequently, the position of Assistant Chief and East European Specialist (GS-14) was made available and Dr. Horecky who had in fact attended to related duties for some years past was appointed to this position.

It remains a cause of concern that of the Division's 18 positions, seven (or 39%) are financed from administrative working funds, or gift funds, which are not permanently budgeted for. The position of the Polish and Slavic Research Librarian is, perhaps, in the most precarious situation, since it is paid for from gift funds which could be withdrawn at short notice and with clearly detrimental effect on the Division's ability to meet its responsibilities. The Hungarian Specialist's position is financed with administrative working funds as are the positions of Searcher and Reference Assistant, and the entire force on Deck 8. The people who occupy these non-budgeted staff posts are engaged in day-to-day functions which represent an integral part of the Library's normal activities. The sudden withdrawal of the sponsors' support could throw the conduct of the Division's operations off balance and obviously the individuals who fill these posts necessarily lack a feeling of stability and continuity in their professional careers.

There are a number of personnel changes to be reported for the fiscal year, but only one which involves the departure of a staff member. Mrs. Lillian T. Simon, Research Assistant and Administrative Secretary, left the Division to take a position with a Congressional office and was replaced by an extremely able staff member, Mrs Virginia D. Edwards, formerly of the Copyright Cataloging Division. Mr. Bogomir Chokel of the Deck 8 staff was promoted to the position of Searcher and Reference Assistant left vacant by Dr. Balys' promotion and Mr. Jaroslav Shaviak replaced Mr. Chokel as Deck Attendant on Deck 8.


Again this year, the Division's professional staff gave proof of spirited intellectual activity and stamina in the fields of their specialization of particular interest. Indeed, the harvest of articles and book reviews was so abundant that it defies detailed listing here.

Two staff members joined the ranks of book authors: Mr. Gorokhoff wrote Publishing in the USSR (ca. 300 pp.) and Dr. Horecky authored Library and Bibliographic Centers in the Soviet Union (ca. 300 pp.). Both works are scheduled for publication by Indiana University Press in the very near future. Dr. Yakobson acted as consultant to these private undertakings which were supported by the Council on Library Resources, Inc. He was also an adviser to the Special Operations Research Office (American University) in the preparation of studies dealing with Soviet affairs.

Dr. Epstein was awarded by the German Federal Republic the Bundesverdienstkreuz, 1 Kl., in recognition of his efforts to reestablish and strengthen U.S.-German cultural relations in the postwar period. He continued to serve as a member of the Committee for the Study of War Documents, as well as a Chairman of a microfilming sub-committee, both sponsored by the American Historical Association. Dr. Balys was a contributor to Das Mythologische Wörterbuch der alten Kulturvölker, while Dr. Bakó contributed to the yearbook of the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology in addition to fulfilling a number of speaking engagements in the Washington area. Mr. Dorosh addressed the annual dinner of the Midshipmen's Russian Club at Annapolis on the reaction in Soviet bloc countries to Dr. Zhivago, and Dr. Horecky spoke at the Columbia University Men's Faculty Club on libraries in the USSR in an orientation session organized for a group of American graduate exchange students prior to their departure for the USSR in implementation of the USA-USSR agreement on cultural exchanges. Dr. Wojcicka, Dr. Krader and others were assiduous contributors to learned publications.

Respectfully submitted,
Sergius Yakobson, Chief
Slavic and Central European Division
[The report is signed by Sergius Yakobson. Ed.]

Appendix I.

NOTE:  The Slavic Room was transferred to the Slavic & Central European Division on December 15, 1958

A. Reference Services 1. In person:a. Estimated number of readers 1,87412,463
b. Reference conferences*1,4461,533
c. No. ref. questions answered*2,3422,072
2. By phone:a. Congressional410303
b. Government8562,156
c. Library of Congress2,7549,462
d. Other 1,1432,738
Total phone calls*5,16314,659
3. By correspondence:a. Letters & memos prepared:Congressional3717
Library of Congress 176157
Total corresp.*522599
b. Form letters, prepared materials, etc. sent*275283
4. Total direct reference services (add only the * items above)9,74829,146
5. Photoduplication activities:a. Requests received: 1298
b. Items searched:77208
c. Estimates prepared:18
d. Items supplied for reproduction:189162
B. Circulation 1. Volumes (in LC)-11,868
2. Other units (in LC)-12,269
Volumes (on loan)-875
Other units (on loan)-4
3. Call slips or requests for materials--
4. Items reshelved-61,766
5. Loan searches performed-2,841
6. Special searches performed-1,509
C. Bibliographical operations 1. Items screened101,354158,054
2. Entries compiled:Annotated7,4805,887
3. Bibliographies in process Number1926
4. Bibliographies completedNumber32
5. Indexes completedNumber11
6. Hours on bibliographic work2,4561,763
D. Special studies completed Number 4311
E. Translations Number3178
F. Trainees instructed Number2-
G. Special tours Number28

A. Lists and offers scanned: 1. Lists of 10 or more 1,6771,217
2. Short lists or separate items3,8223,822
B. Items searched16,53922,597
Items screened697,381441,214
C. Recommendations made for acquisitions: 1. Items recommended(in memos, catalogs, etc.)24,49019,086
2. PRs prepared--
3. Letters and memos of solicitation prepared--
D. Items accessioned --
E. Surplus items disposed of: 1. From collections*252,542
2. Other*65018,881
Total [1. + 2.]67521,423
F. L.C. committee meetings on acquisitions 127149
G. Acquisitions conferences in L.C. 7371,002
H. Hours devoted to acquisitions (A-G)2,4323,410

A. Items sorted or arranged6,450108,482
B. Items cataloged:Searched--
C. Other finding aids prepared:Cards-201
D. Authorities established--
E. Items or containers:Labeled--
F. New items or containers filed or shelved2,648142,615
G. Volumes or items prepared for:Binding-2,775
H. Cards arranged and filed20,34616,452
I. L.C. committee meetings on processing activities 21
J. Processing conferences in L.C 369
Hours devoted to processing activities (A-J)4152,738

A. External relations:1. Attendance at professional meetingsHrs.10999
2. Inter-agency conferenceHrs.87
3. Negotiations with public, private institutions and individuals off the premisesHrs.4432
B. Other:1. Hours devoted to selections activitiesHrs. 601471

[NOTE: The tables below appeared as charts in the original report.]

Appendix II.

Country Type of
Total published Received
by LC
Received as %
of total
USSR Books and Pamphlets29,20010,20035%

Appendix III.

Country Total published Received
by LC
Received as %
of total
Baltic Countries1,600 230 14%
Czechoslovakia6,100 1,600 26%
Poland 5,6001,00018%
Rumania 1,40040029%
Yugoslavia 4,00080020%

Appendix IV.

Country Total published Received
by LC
Received as %
of total
Baltic Countries138 61 44%
Czechoslovakia751 384 51%
Poland 59333657%
Rumania 34014242%
Yugoslavia 1,04331130%

Appendix V.

Country Total published Received
by LC
Received as %
of total
Baltic Countries232 15 7%
Czechoslovakia101 26 25%
Poland 1755531%
Rumania 651828%
Yugoslavia 1121715%

Appendix VI.

Country Receipts Received as %
of total**
Baltic Countries*** 2301.5

* Based on best available data
** [percentages recalculated in 2013--ed.]
*** Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Appendix VII.

Country Receipts Received as %
of total**
Baltic Countries*** 155.8

* Based on best available data
** [percentages recalculated in 2013--ed.]
*** Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Appendix VIII.

Country Receipts Received as %
of total**
Baltic Countries*** 612.6

* Based on best available data
** [percentages recalculated in 2013--ed.]
*** Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Appendix IX.


1. East and East Central Europe: Periodicals in English and Other West European Languages. 126 p.

Ready for Publication

2. East Germany: a Selected Bibliography
3. Latin America in Soviet Writings, 1945-58, a Bibliography
4. Yugoslav Abbreviations: a Selective List

In Progress

5. Bulgarian Abbreviations: a Selective List
6. Hungarian Abbreviations: a Selective List
7. Hungarian Collections of the Library of Congress: a Survey
8. Lithuania: a Selected Bibliography


9. Hungarian Periodicals and Newspapers Published in Hungary and Abroad
10. Hungary: a Selected Bibliography
11. The Russian Collections of the Library of Congress: a Guide


12. Fourteen area bibliographic card files for reference purposes.

Appendix X.

1. Religious Publications Issued in the USSR and Available in the Library of Congress. October, 1958. 3 pp. (For: Information and Publications Office.)

2. List of Specialists on the Soviet Union at American Educational Establishments. January, 1959. 3 pp. (Congressional request).

3. The Soviet Physical Fitness Program. January, 1959. 3 pp. (Congressional request.)

4. Southeast Europe: Yugoslavia, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Albania. Annual Report for QJCA. February, 1959. 12 pp.

5. How the Soviet Organization for Cold War Planning Works. March, 1959. 6 pp. (Congressional request.)

6. Civil Defense in the Soviet Union. March, 1959. 70 pp. Prepared for the Subcommittee on Military Operations, House Committee on Government Operations and published as House Report No. 300.

7. Procurement and Dissemination of Foreign Science and Technology Publications in the Soviet Union. May, 1959. 6 pp. (For: The Librarian)

8. The Growth of the German-language Collections. Annual Report for QJCA. May, 1959. 8 pp.

9. Hungarica. Annual Report for QJCA. May, 1959. 6 pp.

10. Statistical Survey of Publishing in East and East Central Europe. June, 1959. 7 pp.

11. The American-Lithuanian Publications, 1875 to 1910, by the late Vaclovas Biržiška (formerly Library of Congress consultant on Lithuanian affairs). Published in January, 1959 in the Journal of Central European Affairs with explanatory and supplementary notes added by Dr. John P. Balys.

12. The Rehabilitation of East European Studies in West Germany since 1945 (tentative title) by Peter Scheibert under the Oberlaender Trust Fund (in process).

13. Rebuilding Research Libraries in the German Federal Republic: a Survey of Developments since 1945 (tentative title) by Dr. Gisela von Busse under the Oberlaender Trust Fund (in process).


(Submitted Pursuant to General Order No. 1552)

Request of Alexis V. Babine

The unobligated balance at the beginning of the fiscal year was $3,312.24. Income during the year amounted to $267.38, making a total available of $3,579.62. The amount obligated for the purchase of Russian materials in the subject classes specified in Mr. Babine's will was $163.10, resulting in an unobligated balance at the end of the fiscal year of $3,416.52.

  Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> About Division >> Reports >> 1959
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  August 7, 2014
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian