Annual Report of the
Slavic and Central European Division for 1960
(For the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1960)
The other day I came across a little book, now in its eighth printing, entitled The Elements of Style by Professor William Strunk, Jr., in which the author hurls at the reader a stern command to "omit needless words!" I was particularly impressed with his ode to brevity, which I quote in part: "A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines, and a machine no unnecessary parts."
I thought that it would be a good idea to live up to this prescription in the preparation of the Division's annual report and to trim away any excess of wordage, reiteration, and routine accounting.
This was another eventful, as well as successful, year for the Division and the best way of reporting on the vigor, relevance and scope of its activities is to let the record speak for itself.
I. ACQUISITION OF MATERIALS
In response to a greatly increased interest in materials from the critical area of East and East Central Europe, the Division expanded and intensified its recommending activities. The Library received an estimated 14% of the total annual book production of the Soviet Union and, on the average, some 22% of that in the remaining Soviet Bloc countries and Yugoslavia. The corresponding ratio of periodicals was for the USSR approximately 38% and for the remaining countries an estimated average of upward of 50%. While this volume insures an adequate coverage of relevant publications in the Library's field of interest, there is still room for some improvement and the Division has made surveys and recommendations designed (1) to increase the volume of purchased materials and to accelerate their receipt and (2) to broaden the base for the exchange of official publications. Because the publishing and procurement situation in this part of the world, to a larger extent than elsewhere, is changeable and fluctuating and beset with numerous imponderables constant alertness, re-examination, and search for ways of improving coverage are imperative.
In an effort to improve a situation which has been a matter of concern, a study was made of the receipts of Czech and Hungarian current materials to identify trouble spots in these areas. As a result, the following findings were brought out: (1) The Division's recommendations are sometimes implemented with considerable delay, (2) recommending materials including national bibliographies in some cases arrive late and irregularly, (3) only a portion of the publications recommended for purchase are actually received. These findings were reported to the Processing Department for remedial action. Similarly, the Division scrutinized current receipts through priced exchange with Yugoslavia and found that they were not adequate and called for improvement. There has also been some doubt as to the performance of governments of various East European countries in the discharge of their obligations to exchange official publications with the Library. An investigation of this problem completed by the Division's staff yielded the following results which were made available to Exchange and Gift Division: lists of periodicals published or sponsored by central agencies of the governments in these countries; quantitative data on the adequacy of the receipts of monographic government publications; and lists of the central agencies of the governments in these countries. Generally, it was established that receipts of official publications from this area are susceptible to improvement.
As an outgrowth of these surveys initiated by the Division, the Processing Department arranged for meetings with Hungarian and Czechoslovak diplomatic and trade representatives in which the Chief and some of the Division's recommending officers participated. Since the exclusive reliance as a recommending tool on national bibliographies -- which often list publications only many months after their appearance -- was thought to be a major cause of delays and incomplete receipts, it was agreed to use in the future the so-called pre-publication "thematic book plans" which will be airmailed to the Library; to work out a blanket order arrangement which insures the receipt of material not listed in these plans; and to expedite delivery of issues of the respective national bibliographies to be used only for recommending publications not covered in the previously mentioned recommending tools. This new procedure enables the Library to select about 40% of Hungarian books some six months before they would be listed in the national bibliography.
Conferences with representatives of other libraries provided another possible way to improve the situation. Thus, talks with Dr. Jorma V. Vallinkoski, Director of the Helsinki University Library, offered an opportunity to explore the procurement of important Finnish periodicals missing in the Library's collections (identified by a Division survey), to widen the scope of exchange materials received from Finland, and to accelerate their receipt by the Library. Some of these measures have already been implemented.
For some time it has been felt that it was indispensable to have a complete run, in two sets if possible, of East European national bibliographies for eight countries. The Division's specialist scrutinized holdings of these basic materials for 1918-1958, uncovered several major gaps, and prepared wantlists for handling by Exchange and Gift Division. A check on the speed and regularity with which important USSR periodicals arrived at the Library was a continuing objective of inquiry.
To keep abreast of the changing picture of serial publishing, the Division's recommending officers will also review, at least once annually, the Order Division's subscription lists in order to assess their usefulness, to weed out unnecessary subscriptions, to eliminate duplications, and to add important new titles. Of great usefulness is the master file of 1,800 Soviet serial titles prepared from a variety of Soviet bibliographic sources and kept au courant by the Area Specialist (USSR) (Boris I. Gorokhoff).
As a by-product of a continuing survey of German-language periodical sets conducted by the Area Specialist (Central Europe) (Fritz T. Epstein) many desiderata were pinpointed. To secure them, several hitherto dormant exchange partnerships were reactivated and new exchange relations with various organizations and institutions initiated.
The regular attendance by the Chief at the acquisitions meetings of the Processing Department provided a welcome forum for translating the Division's recommendations into action and coordinating the recommending and procuring work.
Last fall a cooperative arrangement with the Science and Technology Division went into effect by which the Division's Hungarian Reference Librarian (Elemer Bako) recommends scientific and technical materials listed in Hungarian-language catalogs and bibliographies.
Limited funds for the purchase of retrospective material which made it necessary to pass up many attractive purchase offers, dictated strengthening and thorough utilization of channels of exchange procurement as a partial substitute. In the pursuit of this aim, the Division proposed more active exchange programs with the Estonian and Lithuanian Academies of Sciences and also recommended that the Free Europe Committee be requested to transfer to the Library Czech and Slovak newspapers, both current and retrospective and very difficult to obtain, when they are no longer needed by the Committee. Under the circumstances, Babine Fund money stood us in good stead and was used for the building up of the already outstanding collection of 18th Century Russian books. Late in June, the Division was fortunate in obtaining on exchange eight more volumes of Polska encyklopedia szlachecka of which the Library had the first four volumes, an acquisition which will facilitate the answering of many reference questions concerning Polish genealogy.
II. ORGANIZATION OF MATERIALS
Operations on Deck 8 and in the Slavic Room were aimed at improving the organization, safety, and servicing of materials and the eliminating of backlogs. The following summarized account shows that solid strides were made:
1. Improved Servicing of Materials.
One of the major projects was the complete revision of the Slavic Room visible file of serials which serves both as a reference tool and as an alibi file for materials in the custody of the Division. This revision became necessary because many entries were at variance with entries in the Serial Record and often the actual shelving on Deck 8 did not correspond to either of these files. These discrepancies are now eliminated. The revised visible file contains more than 2,700 entries of current serial titles which demonstrates the size of the collection under the jurisdiction of the Slavic Room.
The task of renovating the Slavic Room's charging procedures was completed and a new centralized system is now in effect. The number of persons authorized to use the facilities of Deck 8, as well as the volume of overdue charges of loaned materials were substantially reduced. These measures, including the issuance of Deck passes and the closing of the southeast entrance to the area, which was ordered by the Reference Department at the Division's request, made for considerable progress toward improving the security of materials. Better procedures for the routing, binding, and discard of Slavic serial materials were worked out in consultation with the Processing Department and new directives on these procedures were formulated for the guidance of the Division's personnel. The Division and Science and Technology Division cooperatively compiled a list of Slavic serials to be bound in two copies and incorporated these data into the Serial Record in order to eliminate some confusion about this matter and to bring Deck 8 binding records in line with the Serial Record.
Newspaper titles on Deck 8 were surveyed and the data compiled recorded in a card file which has been very useful for the binding and reference work. These steps supplied a much-needed record of current Slavic newspapers and clarified the problem of some serials which appear in newspaper format, although they are in fact periodicals and need to be handled as such; on the other hand, serials which are newspapers and therefore a binding responsibility of the Serial Division are now clearly identified.
2. Liquidation of Backlogs.
An unprecedented flow of current Slavic and Baltic materials made it indispensable to divest Deck 8 of materials which have no proper place there.
At this writing, the first inventory of serials in several years was taken on Deck 8 and it revealed a total of 216,000 pieces of which about 60% are newspapers for which the Division has custody prior to their transfer to Serial Division. It is gratifying to report that the overwhelming majority of the serials represent current material. An accelerated flow of materials from Deck 8 as a result of binding, transfer of materials to areas in and outside the Library, and the discard of duplicates has materially contributed to a tangible reduction of arrearages.
The systematic clearance of the great volume of pre-1958 serials on deck 8 has made very satisfactory progress. To push this work forward on a sustained and continuing basis, four of the Division's recommending officers have been assigned the task of surveying this material with the objective of arranging for binding, transfer, discard, or procurement of missing issues (as a prerequisite for future binding). Since the initiation of this program close to 10,000 pieces representing about 900 titles have been cleared from the Deck 8 shelves to be incorporated into the collections or otherwise routed to their destination. Old and uncataloged Slavic non-Russian serials published by corporate bodies and stored on Deck 8 were organized and researchers using them have expressed their gratification that they can now be located more readily. Also, a collection of several thousand old Russian pamphlets which have been without classified or subject organization although they are of considerable potential research value are now under broad bibliographic control. It is hoped, of course, that these materials will ultimately be handled by the Processing Department.
3. Assistance to Other Divisions.
Dr. Epstein and Dr. Bako have been engaged in a continuing project of surveying the bound and unbound German and Hungarian periodical collections with the aim of closing gaps in these collections. To this end, they have been in close contact with the Serial Division and the Library's acquisitions divisions. Mr. Gorokhoff provided the Descriptive Cataloging Division with a revised version of his "Proposals for the Transliteration of Church Slavic," and also prepared for that Division a study on some problems of Ukrainian transliteration.
III. USE OF MATERIALS
Examination of the Division's reference services reveals a picture in miniature of intense American interest in the history and current affairs of the sensitive part of the world which the Division's area assignment encompasses. Thus, the Vice President was given reference assistance in connection with his visit to the Soviet Union; the arrival in the United States of Chairman Khrushchev and Vice Chairman Kozlov produced a round of questions; the White House expressed interest in early Russian travelers to this country and their descriptions of what they saw; and the Congress, the Executive Branch, the press, business and the public at large all formed a clientele interested in every aspect of life in the area from information on the Soviet oil and sugar industries to a man who wanted an explanation of the multiplicity of names, nicknames and patronymics used in Dr. Zhivago. That the Division has a reputation as a well-known reference and bibliographic center beyond the borders of our country is evidenced by many reference letters which were received from twenty-two countries including Chile, Ethiopia, Japan, and Luxemburg.
The Congress has drawn repeatedly on the Division's services. A lengthy directory of American émigré groups from East European countries was prepared for a Member, and another Congressman required assistance in preparing a radio broadcast on Soviet affairs. Translations of a number of biographical sketches were prepared for the use of a delegation from the Hill planning a trip to the USSR and in recognition of this service the Senator who headed the party expressed his appreciation "of the fine service given our office," as well as "his personal appreciation of the effort" put forth. On another occasion the staff assisted the Chief in the preparation of a statement for a Member on the challenging question: "How Important is the Control of West Berlin to the Soviets?" Other Congressional requests included a study on "Recent Developments in Kazakhstan" and a lengthy bibliography on agriculture and industry in Bulgaria since World War II.
A few words should be said in illustration of the services rendered by the Division to the Executive Branch. A representative of the National Aeronautics Space Agency consulted the Division and inspected its files for data on Soviet scientific personnel. The Office of Naval Research was supplied special documentation on the current status of Soviet science and scientific education in preparation for a NATO science committee session; it acknowledged this contribution by expressing "sincere gratitude for the excellent selection of source material provided." The U. S. Department of Agriculture was interested in budgetary statistics for Bulgaria, Rumania, and Hungary; at the request of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Division ascertained relevant data from Hungarian sources in connection with a court proceeding; and the Foreign Service School received information about the teaching of Russian in the Soviet Bloc countries.
A novel trend in the Division's work was the increased number of reference and bibliographic requests from scholarly institutions in East Europe. The USSR Institute of Theater, Music, and Cinematography was interested in securing references on Russian performing arts in the United States. The Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences asked for data on the Library's collections of rare Czech books, and the Chief Librarian of Warsaw University requested and obtained a list of Maria Konopnicka's works in English.
A growing number of institutions drew on the Division's know-how in requesting consultative services and expert opinions. The Division's specialists advised the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Indiana University, concerning the feasibility and planning of a bibliography on Slavic languages. The Chief participated in a meeting called by the Chief Assistant Librarian to discuss the distribution to interested governmental and scholarly institutions of translations of social science materials prepared by the United States Joint Publications Research Service. At the request of the American Council of Learned Societies, the Division undertook a survey of American college and research libraries which should receive Polish, Russian, and Yugoslav sets of publications under the provisions of P.L. 480 and submitted tentative proposals to the Council. Several times the National Science Foundation requested the opinion of the Division's specialists on the advisability of initiating projects which the Foundation had been asked to sponsor. The editors of Ameryka, a USIA Polish-language magazine for distribution in Poland, consulted with the Polish and Slavic Reference Librarian (Janina W. Hoskins) concerning biographical and background data on prominent living Americans of Polish descent. At the request of the University of Minnesota, Dr. Bako stated his views on the need for preparing a bibliography of Hungarian publications in American library collections.
Services given by the Division to scholarship and inquiries from abroad were varied and in many cases complex and detailed. Relations of the German Imperial government with Russian revolutionaries and a number of questions on various aspects of the Hitler period are examples of problems handled in the Central European area. In response to a request from the Venezuelan Embassy to Canada a bibliography on the Soviet oil industry was prepared and the Division received a letter of thanks from the Director General of the Statistical Office of the European Communities in Brussels for materials furnished on the economics of energy in the USSR and Soviet Bloc countries. Among other reference inquiries handled was a letter concerning Russian Orthodox Church literature in the Library of Congress from the Pontificium Collegium Russicum in Rome; material on Rumanian historiography before and after World War II and information on basic reference works on Russian numismatics prior to 1917 in compliance with a request from a scholar from Purdue University. It was gratifying that the basic works in this list, with a few exceptions, could be located in the Library's collections which also contain a rare volume on this subject which is reportedly not even in the Leningrad Public Library, the second largest library in the Soviet Union.
The Division's capability to cope effectively with all these demands has been substantially aided by the improvement and expansion of services by the Slavic Room. The evening schedule went into effect on August 25, 1959 and since plans and work schedules had been set up well in advance, the transition to the longer hours of public service was effected smoothly and easily. The new hours have been acclaimed by numerous readers, particularly from among those whose occupations do not permit the daytime use of the Slavic Room facilities. In this connection it should be mentioned that the shelves of the Slavic Room provide a telling example of the transiency of the significance and usefulness of reference materials. Many publications thought of considerable reference value only a few years ago are today quite obsolete and are superseded by more recent works. It is therefore imperative (also because of the limited shelf space available) to review these collections periodically so that the reader has the benefit of using a condensed, well-selected, and up-to-date reference library. Similar reviews have been in progress concerning the selected serials on the shelves in the Slavic Room.
The Curator of the Slavic Room (John T. Dorosh), who has an uniquely intimate knowledge of the Alaskan Orthodox Church records in the Library's Manuscript Division, traveled this year to New York to testify in court concerning the original records of the Cathedral of St. Michael in Sitka, Alaska.
Another supporting factor in the Division's reference operations is found in the extended files of articles in American and West European periodicals which are maintained continuously by the Division. Time and effort devoted to this undertaking yields fine results in terms of locating most useful information at maximum speed. Another aid of proved reference value is the Division's list of statistical handbooks which have been released in past years in large numbers by central and regional planning authorities in the USSR. Part of this list was made available for publication in a bibliography which appeared in the January, 1960 issue of Soviet Studies (Glasgow University).
Bibliographies and Related Studies
Three bibliographies were published by the Division: (1) East Germany. A Selected Bibliography compiled by Dr. Epstein which contains 325 titles of books and articles in West European language dealing with postwar political, social, economic, and cultural conditions in the area, (2) Latin-America in Soviet Writings, 1945-1958, cosponsored by the Division and the Hispanic Foundation and (3) Yugoslav Abbreviations. A Selective List, prepared by Ilija P. Plamenatz with substantial editorial cooperation by Division staff members.
So far all three reference tools have had a very favorable reception and drew a number of comments. Thus Dr. Philip E. Mosely, Director of Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, Inc., wrote of Latin-America in Soviet Writings "This is going to be extremely useful and it looks like a most thorough job." Similarly, Professor Geroid T. Robinson of the Russian Institute, Columbia University, commented about the same publication: "This is an extremely valuable reference work. In view of all that is happening now in Cuba and elsewhere in the area covered by this manual, there is something uncannily prophetic in the advance planning of this project. My heartiest congratulations to you and to the others involved in this very important undertaking." It was not surprising, therefore, that several months after appearance, this bibliography was out of print and the Committee on Bibliography and Publications authorized a re-edition.
Unfortunately, two other bibliographies did not quite make the June 30 deadline and are being typed at this writing for publication by the Library: Hungarian Abbreviations. A Selective List compiled by Dr. Bako, and Bulgarian Abbreviations. A Selective List prepared by Dr. K. Z. Furness of East European Accessions Index and edited by the Division's staff.
Appreciable headway was made in regard to two surveys conducted under the German consultant program which is financed by the Oberlaender Trust Fund in Philadelphia and administered by the Division. A Survey of Library Developments in the German Federal Republic, 1945-1959 was completed by Dr. Gisela von Busse of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft in Bad Godesberg. Its German manuscript was translated into English and it is now under final editorial review prior to publication. The Division has also received the first installment of The Rehabilitation of East European Studies in the German Federal Republic, 1946-1959, a survey by Professor Peter Scheibert of Marburg University.
A review of other bibliographies put out by the Division in recent years reveals active readers' interest and good sales which, after all, are the acid test of the usefulness of a publication. A review in the British Journal The Slavonic and East European Review states for instance that East and East Central Europe. Periodicals in English and other West European Languages (published last year) "is extremely useful and its method of arrangement is clear and workmanlike."
Mention should be made of three extensive contributions made by staff members to the Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions (1) "Slavica: USSR -- Fields other than Science" by Boris I. Gorokhoff. February, 1960, 15 pp, (2) "Slavica: Czechoslovakia and Poland" by Paul L. Horecky, Myroslava Tomorug, and Janina Wojcicka Hoskins, May, 1960, 19 pp. and (3) "Hungarica" by Elemer Bako, May, 1960, 5 pp.
IV. EXTERNAL RELATIONS
The Chief's membership in committees of leading scholarly organizations provided a connective and coordinating link between the Slavic and East European programs conducted at the Library and those at the leading research and academic centers of the country. In addition to being invited to serve for another year on the Joint Committee on Slavic Studies (American Council of Learned Societies and Social Science Research Council) he has been named one of the six members of the new Coordinating Committee for Slavic and East European Library Resources which represents a platform for joint planning and action by Slavic scholarship and librarianship. In this capacity, he attended several meetings devoted to a review of the current status and to the future development of library resources in that area. As a newly appointed member of the Subcommittee on Government-Academic Relations (also of the Joint Committee) he and other members held last January a series of conferences in Washington which included meetings with Ambassadors Lacy and Bohlen, Robert Thayer, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State, and other officials of the Department of State. These deliberations focused on problems of cultural exchanges.
It has been the Division's long-standing policy to cultivate in every possible way contacts with scholars and specialists in East European affairs and experience has shown that such relations have been turned to fruitful account both from the viewpoint of the Library's activities and from that of the visitors seeking information and orientation on East European studies in this country. A case in point is the recent visit of Dr. Borislav Blagojevic, Rector of the University of Belgrade, who discussed with the Chief and his staff at length relations between the Library of Congress and other scholarly institutions in the United States as well as current programs of the Yugoslav Bibliographic Institute and other academic institutions in Yugoslavia. Similarly, the visit of Mr. J. T. G. Simmons of the Taylor Institute, Oxford University, provided an opportunity for the Division to arrange a well-attended briefing session with the Processing Department at which current Slavic activities in Great Britain and exchange relations between the Library of Congress and Oxford University came under review.
A group of leading Soviet writers touring the United States to return a visit by American writers to the Soviet Union last summer visited the Library and at the request of the Deputy Chief Assistant Librarian were shown the Slavic Room where an improvised exhibit of their works and recent Library of Congress Slavic bibliographies had been assembled for their inspection. In the group were: Stepan Shchipachev, a poet; Aleksandr Honchar, Ukrainian writer of novels and short stories; Mukhtar Auezov, the Kazakh novelist; and Sof'ia Krugerskaia, a translator.
Another visitor of note was Erich Heller, Professor of the University of Wales and distinguished writer on German literature, who while staying in Washington to deliver a lecture at the Library as part of the poetry series, paid his respects to the Division and was escorted by its staff members through the Library.
Visitors from the diplomatic colony were: Thomas Brimelow, Counsellor of the British Embassy and expert in Slavic affairs; Dr. Bruno Werner, Cultural Counsellor, German Embassy, and Jagdish Rana, of the Embassy of Nepal.
Cultural and political representatives from abroad who came to the Division comprised, to name only a few: Professor Kentaro Hayashi, University of Tokyo; Misses Campbell and Hamilton, Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, England; Mrs. Eva Pederson of the Atomic Energy Commission Library, Roskilde, Denmark; Dr. Kamhi, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Sarajevo, and legal advisor to the Yugoslav National Assembly; Professor Vlajko Begovic, Director of the Institute of Social Sciences in Belgrade; Dr. Dieter Sattler, Director of Cultural Relations Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, German Federal Republic; and Krste Crvenkovski, Secretary for Education and Culture and a member of the Federal Executive Council of Yugoslavia.
V. ADMINISTRATION AND PERSONNEL
With the inauguration of extended hours of service in the Library's reading rooms, the Division was allotted a new GS-9 Reference Librarian position in order to furnish increased reference service in the Slavic Room. In addition, a new clerical position was authorized to provide for typing the Division's publications and to assist with the increased workload in the Division Office which resulted from a broadening of the base of the Division's operations and responsibilities particularly in connection with the integration of the Slavic Room.
The survey of the Division's positions by the Classification Office was continued
and resulted in the following classification actions:
|Reference and Acquisitions Assistant (GS-7)
||Reference Librarian (GS-9)|
|Research Assistant and Administrative Secretary (GS-6)
||Administrative Secretary and Editor (GS-7) |
||Assistant Division Secretary (GS-5)|
|Library Assistant (Deck Attendant) (GS-4)
||Circulation and Reference Assistant (GS-5)|
|Library Assistant (Deck Attendant) (GS-4)
||Circulation and Binding (GS-5)|
These reclassification actions described on a more realistic basis the functions which the incumbents of the above-listed positions are performing and brought the position descriptions into better alignment with actual duties and present-day classification practices. All of the above-mentioned personnel actions have made a solid contribution to strengthening staff organization and improving employee moral. They also increased the efficiency of the overall operation by making possible (1) action on processing problems which of necessity had been left unsolved because of lack of manpower, (2) improved reference service, (3) better coverage of acquisitions of materials from the Baltic countries, (4) faster and more efficient administrative and clerical service, (5) typing of the Division's publications on our own premises rather than resorting to "farming out."
There still remains, however, one factor in the field of personnel which is a cause of concern, both from the point of view of the Division's operations and of the individuals involved. Of the total of twenty positions now allotted to the Division, eight (or 40%) are financed from administrative working funds. This percentage includes the entire working force on Deck 8. If at least some of these positions could be put on a more stable basis, it would remedy a continuing and troublesome situation.
The Division during the current year expended considerable effort on training programs both inside and outside the Division's own facilities, acting upon the premise that time so spent yields rich dividends in increased productivity and employee know-how. The Division has been alert to the need of conducting orientation courses for new staff members which are designed to acquaint newcomers with the main aspects of their responsibilities and at the same time to give them a proper understanding of how their own work relates to corresponding Divisional and Library-wide operations. A training program in binding activities was inaugurated this year which proved to be very successful and resulted in a substantial reduction in the backlog of unbound materials. Two staff members attended the lecture series conducted for Library recruits and other selected personnel, and a third attended the Workshop on Plain Letters presented by the National Archives.
It was with great regret that the Division received the news that Mr. Dorosh plans to retire in the very near future. Mr. Dorosh came to the Library thirty years ago, on July 1, 1930, and has served as Curator of the Slavic Room since this reading room came into existence in April of 1944. He is closely linked with the development of the Library's Slavic collections.
Other personnel changes included the addition to the staff of the Slavic Room of Miss Myroslava Tomorug who joined us in August, 1959; Mrs. Roberta W. Smith is the Division's new editorial clerk-typist and correspondence assistant; and Mr. Theodore Caryk replaced Mr. Boris Stranov (a transfer to Air Research Division) as Circulation and Reference Assistant in the Slavic Room. Mr. Bogomir Chokel left the staff in January to accept a promotion in General Reference and Bibliography Division and his position of Searcher and Reference Assistant was filled by Mr. Robert C. Christner.
The allocation of another study room during the year has helped considerably in ameliorating a rather tight space problem.
VI. PROFESSIONAL BUT UNOFFICIAL
The Division staff, always prolific writers, this year contributed a trio of books to various fields of learning. The Assistant Chief (Paul L. Horecky) was the author of Libraries and Bibliographic Centers in the Soviet Union, which was published by Indiana University in its Russian and East European series. A companion volume, Publishing in the USSR, was written by Mr. Gorokhoff. Both books attracted much favorable critical comment and the first-named was included in Constance M. Winchell's "Selected Reference Books of 1958-1959" which appeared in the January, 1960, issue of College and Research Libraries. The third author was the Reference Librarian (John P. Balys), whose book Lithuanian Folksongs in America, was published in December, 1959, by the Lithuanian Encyclopedia Publishers in Boston. In addition, the professional staff continued to produce numerous articles and book reviews on subjects in their fields of specialization which because of their volume unfortunately cannot be listed here individually.
The lecture platform also employed the talents of a number of Division speakers. American University's course on the History of Eastern Europe continues to be given by Dr. Epstein, while Dr. Bako is a visiting lecturer for the Department of Uralic and Altaic Languages at Columbia University; he also spoke at Rutgers University. Mr.Gorokhoff addressed the regional meeting of the Special Libraries Association at Princeton, New Jersey, on "Technical Literature in the USSR" and delivered a paper on "The Nature and Extent of Publishing in a Large Country -- USSR" at a conference sponsored by the Library Association of the city of New York. The Bibliographer and Reference Librarian (Soviet Bloc) (Barbara Krader) delivered addresses on several occasions: before the Shakespeare Society of Washington, at George Washington and American Universities, and at a meeting of the American Association of University Women.
The Chief presided over a session of the American Historical Association meeting in Chicago on "New Ideas and New Aids in Historical Research" and participated in a conference at Berkeley, California, on "Transformation of the Balkan States Since the Turkish Era." Dr. Epstein continues as contributing editor of the American Historical Review and serves on committees of the American Historical Association. Dr. Krader chaired a joint session of the Society of Ethnomusicology and the American Musicological Society in Chicago.
[The report is signed by Sergius Yakobson. Ed.]
REFERENCE DEPARTMENT -- SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES
NOTE: Figures indicating major increases are accounted for by full 12-month totals from the Slavic Room, which was transferred to the Division on December 15, 1958 and by the inauguration of extended service on August 25, 1959
|I. REFERENCE ACTIVITIES
|A. Reference Services
||1. In person:||a. Estimated number of readers ||12,463||26,750|
|b. Reference conferences*||1,533||1,742|
|c. No. ref. questions answered*||12,072||21,973|
|2. By phone:||a. Congressional||303||455|
|c. Library of Congress||9,462||17,964|
|d. Other ||2,738||3,458|
|Total phone calls*||14,659||25,106|
|3. By correspondence:||a. Letters & memos prepared:||Congressional||17||35|
|Library of Congress ||157||125|
|b. Form letters, prepared materials, etc. sent*||283||235|
|4. Total direct reference services (add only the * items above)||29,146||49,697|
|5. Photoduplication activities:||a. Requests received: ||98||23|
|b. Items searched:||208||163|
|c. Estimates prepared:||8||3|
|d. Items supplied for reproduction:||162||98|
||1. Volumes (in LC)||11,868||22,878|
|2. Other units (in LC)||12,269||13,672|
|Volumes (on loan)||875||1,503|
|Other units (on loan)||4||147|
|3. Call slips or requests for materials||-||-|
|4. Items reshelved||61,766||134,694|
|5. Loan searches performed||2,841||**836|
|6. Special searches performed||1,509||1,983|
|C. Bibliographical operations
||1. Items screened||158,005||150,096|
|2. Entries compiled:||Annotated||5,887||6,557|
|3. Bibliographies in process
|4. Bibliographies completed||Number||3||2|
|5. Indexes completed||Number||1||-|
|6. Hours on bibliographic work||1,763||2,455|
|D. Special studies completed ||Number
|F. Trainees instructed
|G. Special tours
**Improved organization of materials on Deck 8 caused a drop in this total.
|II. ACQUISITIONS ACTIVITIES
|A. Lists and offers scanned:
||1. Lists of 10 or more ||1,217||1,481|
|2. Short lists or separate items||2,251||2,420|
|B. ||Items searched||22,597||20,928|
|C. Recommendations made for acquisitions:
||1. Items recommended(in memos, catalogs, etc.)||19,086||22,486|
|2. PRs prepared||-||-|
|3. Letters and memos of solicitation prepared||-||-|
|D. Items accessioned ||-||-|
|E. Surplus items disposed of:
||1. From collections*||2,542||10,918|
|Total [1. + 2.]||21,423||60,318|
|F. L.C. committee meetings on acquisitions|| ||149||131|
|G. Acquisitions conferences in L.C.|| ||1,002||527|
|H. Hours devoted to acquisitions (A-G)||3,410||3,491|
|III. PROCESSING ACTIVITIES
|A. Items sorted or arranged||108,482||274,518|
|B. Items cataloged:||Searched||-||-|
|C. Other finding aids prepared:||Cards||201||1,252|
|D. Authorities established||-||-|
|E. Items or containers:||Labeled||-||-|
|F. New items or containers filed or shelved||142,615||359,208|
|G. Volumes or items prepared for:||Binding||2,775||4,930|
|H. Cards arranged and filed||16,452||29,650|
|I. L.C. committee meetings on processing activities|| ||1||9|
|J. Processing conferences in L.C|| ||9||38|
|Hours devoted to processing activities (A-J)||2,738||4,309|
**Processed microfilm (reporting no longer required by Reference Department).
|IV. RELATED ACTIVITIES
|A. External relations:||1. Attendance at professional meetings||Hrs.||99||125|
|2. Inter-agency conference||Hrs.||7||13
|3. Negotiations with public, private institutions and individuals off the premises||Hrs.||32||-|
|B. Other:||1. Hours devoted to selections activities||Hrs. ||471||752|
BIBLIOGRAPHIES PREPARED OR SPONSORED BY THE DIVISION
1. East Germany: A Selected Bibliography
2. Latin America in Soviet Writings, 1945-1958; A Bibliography
3. Yugoslav Abbreviations: A Selective List
4. Bibliography on Agriculture and Industry in Bulgaria Since World War II
5. Latin America in Soviet Writings, 1945-1958; A Bibliography (reprint)
6. Bulgarian Abbreviations: A Selective List
7. Hungarian Abbreviations: A Selective List
8. Hungarian Collections of the Library of Congress: A Survey
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.
13. Statistical Handbooks Published in the USSR: A List
14. Master List of Soviet Serials
- A Survey of Library Developments in the German Federal Republic, 1945-1959, with Special Emphasis on the Rebuilding of Research Libraries, by Dr. Gisela von Busse under the Oberlaender Trust Fund (now being edited for publication).
- The Rehabilitation of East European Studies in the German Federal Republic, 1946-1959, by Peter Scheibert under the Oberlaender Trust Fund (in process).
- List of American Organizations of Emigre Groups from East European Countries (Congressional request) 18 pp.
- Recent Developments in Kazakhstan (Congressional request) 6 pp.
- Wlodzimierz Michajlow -- Polish Scientist (Congressional request) 2 pp.
- Slavica: USSR (Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions) 36 pp.
- Slavica: Czechoslovakia and Poland (Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions) 43 pp.
- Hungarica (Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions) 13 pp.
- Current Status of Soviet Science and Scientific Education (for Office of Naval Research) 5 pp.
- Tentative Distribution Key for Polish, Yugoslav, and Russian Publications under P.L. 480 (for American Council of Learned Societies) 4 pp.
- Sholokhov and the Soviet Critics (for Information and Publications Office) 7 pp.
- Survey of Czechoslovak Official Serial Publications Received by the Library of Congress (for Processing Department) 7 pp.
- Survey of Czechoslovak Official Monographic Publications Received by the Library of Congress (for Processing Department) 62 cards
- Survey of Rumanian Official Publications Received by the Library of Congress (for Processing Department) 4 pp.
- Survey of Library of Congress Receipts of Czechoslovak Purchased Publications (for Processing Department) 2 pp.
- 16. Survey of Library of Congress Receipts of Hungarian Purchased Publications (for Processing Department) 2 pp.
SPECIAL PROJECT PROGRESS REPORT
(Submitted Pursuant to General Order No. 1552)
Bequest of Alexis V. Babine
The unobligated balance at the beginning of the fiscal year was $3,410.48. Income during the year amounted to $267.38, making a total available of $3,677.86. According to preliminary information, the amount obligated was $708.02, resulting in an unobligated balance at the end of the fiscal year of $2,969.84.
The fund was used for the purchase of important Russian books in the subject classes specified in Mr. Babine's will.
Among the important works acquired through the Babine Fund during the fiscal year 1960 was a large volume of nineteenth century Russian folk prints (lubochnye kartinki). The prints, numbering over one hundred, with some colored in peculiarly Russian traditional fashion, depict historical figures and events of the nineteenth century as well as scenes relating to folksongs, folklore and urban life.
Another valuable addition was the 1818 edition of the Kirsha Danilov collection Drevniia rossiiskiia stikhotvoreniia. The very rare first edition (1804) of this collection of Russian heroic songs (transcribed in the early eighteenth century) came to the Library with the Yudin collection. The 1818 edition, also very rare, contains additional texts, and for the first time, includes the melodies of the texts as well. The Kirsha Danilov collection is a landmark for Russian folklore and for literature too; Pushkin is known to have read it and prized it highly.