Skip Navigation Links The Library of Congress >> Researchers
European Reading Room: European Division, Area Studies
  Home >> About Division >> Reports >> 1962

Annual Report of the
Slavic and Central European Division for 1962


At the present time, the Library's Slavic and East European resources (probably the largest in the field outside the USSR), conservatively estimated, have reached close to 350,000 volumes of books, well over 16,000 periodical titles, and 1,400 newspaper titles. These holdings are augmented annually at a rate of more than 21,000 books, 5,000 current periodicals, and 450 current newspapers. It appears that — on the average — about every fourth book published in Eastern Europe comes to the Library as a result of purchase, transfer, and, in an ever-increasing measure, of a multiplicity of exchange arrangements in which some 1230 partners participate. A projected Soviet union catalog which is to list Russian and Soviet book production from 1708–1957 will reportedly encompass circa 1,200,000 entries. In this age which witnessed an unprecedented "publications explosion," the printing presses of the Soviet Union alone turn out each year about 60,000 books and brochures. Considering the fact that the Library received in FY 1962 some 15,000 monographic titles in the Slavic languages of the USSR, a mechanical but inaccurate computation would place the Library's intake at about one fourth of the current soviet output. If, however, as it should be, the non-Slavic items are deducted from the Soviet production total, and if allowance is made for material which is outside the Library's collecting interest (e.g., publications in technical agriculture and clinical medicine, unaltered reeditions, translations, and similar peripheral material), one could well assume that the Library's receipts amount to an equivalent of 40–45 percent of the pertinent Soviet book output.

An informed guess as to the corresponding percentages of German-language materials received by the Library from the areas of West Germany, East Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, would bring these figures into the neighborhood of 25% of the monographic literature and 20% of serials.

The Division staff has taken a most active role in the policy-planning, recommending, survey, and coordination aspects of this ambitious acquisitions program. It would be repetitious, however, to discuss here again the details of these recurring operations because these functions have become part and parcel of the Division's responsibilities and have been described in previous annual reports. Suffice it to point out that the Division staff screened altogether 683,937 items and as a result submitted 33,551 recommendations for the acquisition of materials.

We would like to report only upon several major developments along with a few problems which are encountered in connection with this program.

During his stay in England and France in the spring of 1962, the Chief established contacts with a number of institutions, libraries, and bookdealers which yielded fruitful results. Lists of East European duplicates, particularly from the rich stores of the Institut d'Études Slaves in Paris, were secured and when searched against the Library's catalogs it turned out that many of these out-of-print materials were missing from the Library's collections. The organization of Radio Free Europe because of its strategic location in Munich, Germany, and its direct procurement facilities in the countries concerned has been able to develop sizeable collections of East European serials. Through personal contacts, this Division has endeavored to pave the way for a possible transfer of these holdings to the Library. On the basis of a survey by the Division staff members, desiderata lists were prepared, and negotiations are now in progress with the aim of bringing to the Library needed materials which are unprocurable otherwise.

Pursuing the tradition of retaining for a limited period of time the services of scholars in the interests of surveying in depth specialized sections of the Library's collections, the Division arranged for the employment under a six-weeks consultant contract of Dr. Stephen A. Fischer-Galaţi of the Department of History, Wayne State University. He surveyed inter alia the Library's Rumanian collections and submitted a rather favorable appraisal along with concrete recommendations for further improvement which were followed up by the Division. Collection surveys leading to the preparation of detailed lists of recommendations were also undertaken by Dr. Price for Austrian and East German serials. The latter survey included 2,000 titles and brought about the recommending of titles not currently received, the cancellation of duplicate or defunct subscriptions, and the clarification and rectification of Order Division records. Dr. Price also advised the Order Division on finding ways and means to maintain continuity in the procurement of East German materials in the face of East-West tensions over Berlin and participated in the briefing of the newly-assigned publications procurement officers attached to the U.S. Mission in Berlin.

Having been for six years on loan in New York, the Hungarian Reference Library of New York (formerly known as the Charles Feleky Collection), was recently returned for integration into the Library's collections. Dr. Bako undertook the screening of 7,000 pieces of Hungarian serials, as well as of other types of material for incorporation into the general collections and the collections of Map, Prints and Photographs, and Manuscript Divisions. He recommended the transfer or discard of unwanted items.

The termination of the East European Accessions Index (EEAI) as of January 1, 1962 deprived the Division's recommending officers of a most serviceable acquisitions aid, which not only listed publications received by major U.S. research libraries, although not by the Library, but also contained a cumulative subject list of periodicals which stood in excellent stead in the annual review of serial subscriptions from countries under the Division's responsibility. To alleviate this situation, substitute tools have been developed by the Division's staff and they will be discussed in the section on organization of the collections.

Blanket order arrangements which, similar to automatic exchanges, grant outsiders discretionary power to decide "what is good for the Library," often give cause for misgivings. While at first glance such modes of procurement may seem attractive because of administrative ease and convenience, there is danger that a merely mechanical and numerical increase of intake could take precedence over selections made to bring about a proper substantive composition of the collections and their even balance.

Clearly such arrangements resemble "blindfolded" collecting; those making the selection do not necessarily have sufficient knowledge of the complexion of the Library's collections and of its concrete procurement needs, and in certain areas involved, cannot always be regarded as impartial and entirely disinterested parties fully qualified to meet the Library's actual requirements by their selections. Such misgivings were demonstrably substantiated by several reviews undertaken in the Division, including surveys which scrutinized over several years receipts from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and also from West German blanket dealers. On these occasions it was established that numerous imperial items failed to be selected by these outside sources.

The absence of funds for the purchase of retrospective materials — and these, by definition, also comprise relatively recent imprints — made it necessary to pass up quite a few dealers' offers which, if accepted, would have contributed to a considerable strengthening of the collections. Consequently, almost exclusive reliance had to be placed on exchange procurement and, for Russian materials, on the modest means available from the Babine fund. Among the few acquisitions of notable retrospective materials were substantial sets of Finnish and Hungarian parliamentary publications (the latter for 1867–1944); the first edition of the famous poem Máj (May) by the Czech romantic poet, Karel Hynek Mácha; the first edition of the comprehensive collection of the Rumanian chronicles compiled by Mihail Kogalniceanu, published as Letopisitle Tăriĭ Moldoviĭ in Jassy between 1845 and 1852; and microfilms representing pre-1918 works by the noted Russian philosopher and social critic Nikolai A. Berdiaev.

Another worrisome situation which stems from the lack of funds for purchase of retrospective publications is the drying up and the deactivation of important procurement sources, which have been cultivated for many years. For instance, D. A. Varadi, a book dealer in London who had supplied the Library with quite a few unique, rare East European materials, when contacted by the Chief in London, voiced his impression that the Library was no longer interested in his offerings. It is known that his catalogs go now to other large research libraries here and abroad.


1. Clearing of the Deck

This fiscal year was marked by the final victory over a tenacious and elusive enemy — masses of old, unbound periodicals which the Division had inherited when it assumed responsibility over Deck 8 in December 1958. This material, dating back in part to the 1950s and 1940s, not only congested valuable space but was, to all intents and purposes, buried on the Deck without bibliographic control and inaccessible to the readers. The attack was begun in spring of 1960 through concerted efforts of a team of staff members headed by Dr. Hoskins, who with the help of Deck 8 personnel went through the chore of sorting and collating tens of thousands of issues and thousands of titles, searching them against the Serial Record and then making the indicated decisions: preparation for binding of hitherto unrecorded titles, addition of scattered missing issues to already bound serial sets, discard of duplicates or of unwanted issues, or transfer of medical and agricultural publications to the respective federal libraries. At this reporting, a few residual pockets of resistance are being eliminated. In cold figures, the story of this undertaking is told in Appendix IV. The final liquidation of these arrearages, not only frees precious shelf space, but brings clear gain since readers will now be able to make use of these publications — and this is the ultimate raison d'être of library resources.

With a few exceptions, the unbound serials on Deck 8 are now current, i.e. they are limited to 1961 and 1962 imprints. However, single issues or scattered files of "old" serials continue to come in routinely both through transfer from government agencies and on exchange. To prevent such titles from sneaking in through the back door and from accumulating on the shelves it was decided, rather than to channel them to Deck 8 for automatic custody, to intercept them at their point of entry in the Slavic Room for direct routing to the staff members concerned, who give them immediate attention and decide upon appropriate disposition.

2. Improvements in the processing and flow of current materials.

To insure the earliest possible flow to the shelves of bibliographic and research serial publications, which are in particularly heavy demand, a priority list of 57 titles was drawn up which the Binding Division agreed to process within four to six weeks. Another measure along these lines was the setting up of time tables for the preparation of binding records for, and transmittal to the Binding Division of, all other current serials: the target date for all Soviet serials published in the preceding calendar year is June 30; for serials in other Slavic languages, September 1. This schedule is naturally not applicable to incomplete serial sets. Whenever feasible, missing issues are requested primarily on exchange; such claiming of single back copies is a hazardous proposition, but it has brought positive results in some instances. On the other hand, to forestall indefinite postponement of processing for binding, because of pending completion claims, a suspense file was established which indicates to Deck 8 personnel the dates for proceeding with binding arrangements after attempts at completing sets have proved unsuccessful. Overtime funds made available by the Reference Department during the last few months of the fiscal year for two Deck attendants have been of great help in accelerating this program and in reducing binding backlogs.

3. Improvement of service in Slavic Room

The additional space gained at the entrance area of the Slavic Room made possible a major reorganization of the Slavic Room Russian reference collection, a task which involved the consolidation in one consecutive alphabetic shelf arrangement of Russian and English-language material hitherto shelved separately. This measure resulted in improved accessibility and serviceability of reference materials which were simultaneously extended by the addition of a shelf section consisting of current issues — and in some instances of bound retrospective volumes — of the Slavic language national bibliographies. Also, the collection of Western language periodicals, service copies of which are kept in the Slavic Room for reference purposes, underwent thorough review aimed at insuring balance and currency of this collection.

4. Assistance to other LC areas

At the request of the Library's Selection Officer, the Division's professional staff assumed an additional responsibility attended to by EEAI personnel prior to the discontinuation of the project at the end of 1961. The Division's staff now screens regularly monographic receipts from East Europe in order to recommend, whenever indicated, discard or transfer for material outside the Library's acquisitions interest before it enters the flow of further processing. Among the various Divisions which have availed themselves, often regularly, of the linguistic and subject know-how of the Division's staff members were the Manuscript, Serial, Serial Record, Music, Map, Prints and Photographs, Rare Book, Descriptive and Subject Cataloging Divisions.

5. Substitute devices to replace EEAI

The termination of the East European Accessions Index deprived the Division of a most valuable and often-used tool for reference and bibliographic purposes as well as for the qualitative and quantitative control of acquisitions. To fill this lacuna at least in part, substitute measures had to be instituted. As a make-shift replacement for the monographic part of EEAI, staff members were given the assignment of developing broadly organized files of preliminary cards for current incoming material pertaining to their respective areas. More importantly, since an up-to-date and complete record of current Slavic and Baltic serials available in LC is a must for reference and recommending work, the Slavic room was made responsible for setting up a card file for East European serials grouped by major subject categories, which serves as a supplement to and a continuation of the cumulative subject index of periodicals contained in the last issue of the now defunct EEAI. An analogous card file of East European serials arranged alphabetically within the countries of origin is also maintained. Information for these card files is chiefly secured through regular screening of New Serial Titles.


1. Reference Activities

The total of the Division's direct reference services increased this year to 42,160 a gain of nearly 2,000 over those for the previous fiscal year. Inquirers from all three branches of the federal government, from a score of foreign countries, and from nearly every state in the Union (as well as Puerto Rico) made frequent use of the Division's reference resources. The clientele included such diverse individuals as Walter Lippmann and an inmate of a penal institution in the Middle West bent on self-improvement, and climbed the scale of government from a county agent in Iowa, up through Carl Hansen, the Superintendent of the District of Columbia's schools, and on to Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. of the White House staff. Topics involved were equally wide in range and dealt with multiple facets of the life and culture of the countries under the Division's jurisdiction.

Two particular types of inquiry accounted for numerous letters and oral requests during the year. Last summer, the Division supplied standard specifications for a typical Soviet one-family house, which was later built as an exhibit in a Florida real estate development; this example of the frugality of Soviet living must have startled everyone who saw it, because many similar requests were received from other parts of the country. Indeed, another builder in Michigan erected a model soviet home as a tourist attraction. Then there was a flow of letters and telephone calls asking for authentication of a variety of quotations, allegedly from statements made by various Soviet leaders; such inquiries were received throughout the year and gave reason to believe that in some cases at least the inquirers were looking for ammunition to be used in domestic political controversies.

The Division handled a large volume of requests for translations from Members of Congress who wanted the English versions of material written in many Slavic and Baltic languages as well as in Finnish and Hungarian.

The staff devoted nearly 1,000 man-hours to the preparation of special studies or to the editing and reviewing of special studies and reports prepared outside the Division. Congressional requests sparked many of these undertakings and the assignments dealt with topics such as Soviet press comments on shortages in consumer goods, housing, and industrial and agricultural production; militant statements made by Soviet leaders; the comparison of statements in a recent speech by Nasser with those found in Communist literature; and the location and translation of definitions of 100 significant terms used in Communist political communications. Other special reports prepared by individual staff members or by a group working as a team included a study of USSR and East European publications and their utilization in the Library of congress; literature on the Hitler putsch of 1923; and five articles for publication in the Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions on recent acquisitions from Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Czechoslovakia. In addition, the staff compiled a number of shorter request bibliographies in such fields as the Hungarian revolution, the life and customs of the Cossacks, and a comparison of the economies of East and West Germany.

Congressional sources also repeatedly called upon the Division for reference services involving such topics as the status of Soviet women, the repression of religion in Yugoslavia, a chronology of events preceding the proclamation of Ukrainian independence in 1941, the reaction in Soviet newspapers to the resumption by the U.S. of nuclear testing, and the methods employed by the Soviets in dominating the press in satellite countries.

More and more use is being made of the Division's reference facilities by institutions, universities, and individual scholars abroad. Very recently the Bulgarian Bibliographic Institute requested a survey of Bulgarian works which have been translated into English; Professor Akdes Nimet Kurat of the University of Ankara has visited the Division on two occasions to discuss Soviet minorities with the Chief, and M. Jean Prinet, Curator, Department of Periodicals of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris received a lengthy indoctrination on the Division's resources and reference tools. The former Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia (now Mrs. Howard Oxenburg) was referred to the Division by the White house for identification of a 17th century Russian book which she owns and an Indian student, Mr. K.L. Keshava Murthy Rao, of the Indian School of International Studies in New Delhi spent a number of months in the Library making particular use of the Slavic Room facilities. Upon his return a letter was received by the Division from a Professor A. Appadorai of the School expressing "heartfelt thanks for the trouble you have taken in making his stay fruitful." Dr. Alexander Bennigsen, Director of Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris and his assistant, Mlle. Chantal Quelquejay, were given extensive reference counsel by the Chief and the staff on the Library's Soviet resources, particularly those relating to the USSR's Central Asian republics in which he specializes; and two Soviet scholars, Professors J.V. Lemin and I.S. Glagolev of the USSR Academy of Sciences, who toured the U.S. as part of the exchange of scholars program sponsored by the Academy and the American Council of Learned Societies, were also briefed.

American authors also found the Division's resources indispensable to their work. Professor John Armstrong of the University of Wisconsin whose The Politics of Totalitarianism: the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1934 to the Present was published last summer made the following acknowledgement in his preface: "I am especially grateful to the staff of the Library of Congress which received me most hospitably for over a year. I owe a very heavy debt of gratitude in particular to Sergei Yakobson, Frits T. Epstein, and Paul L. Horecky of the Slavic and Central European Division." The novelist, Leon Uris, was supplied with a bibliography of materials on the siege of Leningrad and the Russian counteroffensive of 1944 for a new book, and another writer asked for data on the geography and ethnic groups of the Volga river for a work of historical fiction set in this locale. Look magazine also called upon the Division for information, as did CBS, which needed a translation of the poem "Babii Iar."

2. Publications and Exhibits

The Division had a banner year in the domain of its publication of bibliographies and reference aids. Three such works were released; in addition one bibliography was readied for the printer and is awaiting publication shortly, and two other reports have progressed so auspiciously that their completion in the coming fiscal year is now very probable. What more convincing justification of the soundness of bibliographical planning could there be than the confirmation that the product is needed and widely used? The acclaim and recognition which these publications have received from scholars and users have added to the reputation of the Library as a leading center of East European bibliography. That the Division has been able to expand its bibliographic operations so actively without a special bibliographic section and even without a full-time bibliographer is perhaps a cause for additional gratification.

Eighteenth Century Russian Publications in the Library of Congress. A Catalog, prepared by Tatiana Fessenko, proved to be a most successful venture. Its publication was initiated in the Division and carried forward under its editorial and administrative direction. Far from being a mere mechanical listing, this attractively printed and illustrated 1316-entry catalog demonstrates the wealth of the Library's collections in the field, probably second to none outside the USSR, and constitutes an original contribution to the scholarship, since it identifies a large number of anonymous Russian publications, the authorship of which had hitherto eluded specialists. This catalog has drawn complimentary comments from individual scholars such as: ". . . I thought it an enormously useful book . . . I hope that you can produce other bibliographies of this kind in the future . . ." (Professor Robert F. Byrnes, Indiana University). ". . . You have completed a tremendous and much needed work . . ." (Professor Gleb Struve, University of California at Berkeley). On his recent visit to England, the Chief learned, that according to a letter received in Oxford from a staff member of the Rare Book Department in the Lenin Library in Moscow, this catalog has "created a sensation there," and that it has also given rise to a plan to prepare a similar union catalog of 15th Century Russian publications in British libraries. A long article recently published in Novoe Russkoe Slovo, the oldest Russian language newspaper in this country, concluded as follows: "The Library of Congress can pride itself on the wealth of literature on Russia and on her culture. The Library's staff members who organized and prepared the catalog of XVIIIth century publications deserve gratitude. But the Library's books themselves deserve study and are awaiting it." It was in this spirit that the Rare Book Division and this Division joined forces in assembling an exhibit of some of the Library's pièces de résistance recorded in that list; they have been on display in the foyer of the Rare Book Division since the beginning of April.

A considerable leap in time and also in geographic location leads us to the setting which is the subject of the 82-page study on West German Library Developments since 1945, with Special Emphasis on the Rebuilding of Research Libraries, written in German by Dr. Gisela von Busse of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft in Bad Godesberg, Germany, and prepared for publication in English under the editorial supervision of this Division with the financial support of the Oberlaender Trust of Philadelphia, Pa. This report, which deals both with the recovery from the effects of Nazi oppression and war devastation and with modernization and unique solutions to present-day technical problems, has been welcomed by scholars and librarians interested in German affairs.

Yugoslav Abbreviations; A Selective List, compiled by Ilija P. Plamenatz having been quickly sold out, was readied by the Division for a second enlarged edition. Dubbed recently, with some justification as "an unlikely best seller" in a note in the Washington Post and Times Herald — a vignette which incidentally holds also true for some of its companion volumes which are either out of print or well along in their second editions — the publication of this reference aid brought to a conclusion, at least for the time being, the Division's contributions to the novel lexicographic activity of compiling acronyms and initialisms.

Greener pastures of perhaps somewhat more complex bibliographic endeavor opened up. Thus, as the fiscal year drew to a close, the Division was able to complete for publication the typescript of Newspapers of the Soviet Union in the Library of Congress which offers a detailed record of holdings of these important and much sought-after research materials (Slavic 1954–60; Non-Slavic 1917–1960). It promises to become a very useful bibliographic aid, since it is probably the most detailed and up-to-date compilation of this kind available outside the USSR.

Furthermore, for some time the Division has been at work formulating plans for the preparation of concise bibliographic guides to various areas, characterized by high selectivity and brief evaluative comments. When Dr. Stephen A. Fischer-Galaţi stayed at the Library last summer as a temporary consultant on Rumanian affairs, this idea was presented to him for possible implementation as a pilot project which could serve as a model for similar bibliographic studies in other areas. Dr. Fischer-Galaţi was very receptive to this suggestion and during his six-week stay he completed the first draft presenting in a narrative text the essential publications pertaining to the study of Rumania — primarily books, and to a lesser extent journals and articles — issued in Rumania and elsewhere. Subsequently his draft underwent thorough editorial review by the Division staff and the final manuscript of the Guide to Rumanian Area Studies should be ready soon. Promising headway was also made in the compilation of another Division-sponsored bibliography, The Rehabilitation of East European Studies in the German Federal Republic, 1946–1960, which is being prepared in German by Professor Peter Scheibert of Marburg University. A large portion of Dr. Scheibert's manuscript is now in the Division's possession, and is being translated and given close editorial attention to make it conform to American practices of presentation and bibliographic citation. When completed this extensive study by a leading German authority will certainly prove very useful, since it covers East European research in Germany which has not only a distinguished tradition, but has also displayed remarkable vigor and productivity in the post World War II period.


Numerous occasions arose in preceding sections of this report to mention the diversity of reference and bibliographical services rendered by the Division to American and foreign scholars and institutions, and contacts established with them in the interests of strengthening the Library's collections. Enhanced by the support of the government, foundations, and private organizations, exchange programs have undergone a remarkable expansion in recent years, and whereas not too long ago visiting scholars and official representatives from Eastern Europe belonged to a rather rare species, they appear now in increasing numbers, and welcoming them and introducing them to the Library's collections in the field has now almost become one of the Division's routine operations. In fact, Dr. Krader has been assigned the task of chaperoning these visitors through the Library and explaining to them, often in their native languages, the many worth while things to be seen. While travelling in groups and as delegations is customary for East European visitors, guests from other parts of the world are more given to individual travelling.

In the past year, the first exchange students from Poland and the USSR, presently engaged in graduate study in this country, showed up to seek information on questions of historical research. When a group of leading Soviet citizens, which included the Rector of Kiev University, paid a visit to the Library, the Chief was at hand to address them, at the request of the Library administration, and to satisfy their curiosity on the Library's activities in the cultural field. An excerpt from the Division's "guest book" for April 1962 may give a more concrete idea of the nature of these external relations (the visitors are listed in the order of their appearance): Mr. Jean Prinet, Curator of the Department of Periodicals, Bibliothèque Nationale; Dr. Peter Burton, University of Southern California; Professor Nicholas Spulber, Indiana University; Mr. Zygmunt Warycha, Director of the Minister's Cabinet, Ministry of Agriculture, Poland; Dr. Vida Marković, University of Belgrade; Professor Mehri Ahi of the University of Teheran; Professors J. V. Lemin and I. S. Glagolev of the USSR Academy of Sciences; Zoia Solodkaia, Zoia Malkova, and Olga Semenova, participants in the Soviet exhibit of children's art held in Wheaton, Md.; Professor William B. Edgerton of Indiana University; and Professor Chauncy Harris, University of Chicago.

Conferences between the Chief, Dr. Horecky and Dr. Price, and the cultural attaché of the Swiss Embassy afforded an opportunity of reviewing a number of cultural questions of mutual interest and discussing possibilities for intensifying work relationships. Other diplomatic visitors included the Yugoslav Ambassador to the USA, who accompanied Mr. Milentije Popović, member of Yugoslavia's Federal Executive Council. Both expressed lively interest in the status of reciprocal publications procurement programs and their effective operation. On the other hand, the Division staff conducted a number of intensive briefings of individuals preparing to visit the Soviet Union or other countries in Eastern Europe. Dr. Bako, at the invitation of the Foreign Service Institute, gave a talk on Hungarian literature to an audience of students in the Institute's Hungarian language program, Judge David Bazelon of the U.S. Court of Appeals sough detailed information from Dr. Allen in connection with his visit to the USSR as a member of the President's Commission on the Mentally Retarded, and Dr. Horecky was requested by the Department of State to hold a briefing session with American students planning to spend a year of study at the University of Bucharest.

Exhibits were other media employed by the Division to promote relations with cultural institutions and their membership and to bring to their knowledge some of the Library's activities and treasures. Thus on the occasion of the annual convention of the American Historical Association, a display of topical publications from Eastern Europe was arranged in the Slavic Room, and an exhibit of Czech and Slovak rara and memorabilia was sponsored by the Division in connection with the First Congress of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in America which was held in Washington, D.C.

Finally, the Division staff assisted in readying for publication the forthcoming report of the American delegation of librarians to the USSR by critically reviewing the draft, supplying additional data, and preparing various translations.


In the field of administration and personnel, the Division may be said to have had a quiet year. Turnover, in contrast to the previous fiscal year, was at a minimum, the classification review has been completed, and training activities are at the stage of reaping the harvest as concentrated efforts to orient and indoctrinate new staff begin to pay off. The orientation course planned and supervised by Dr. Hoskins which has proved so successful for indoctrinating new employees who are engaged in searching, binding, and processing activities has been streamlined and improved on the basis of experience gained in actual instruction of new employees in this field. It was gained in actual instruction of new employees in this field. It was put to good use again this year in teaching a new staff member on Deck 8 the details of the Library's organizational structure, the use of catalogs and reference tools, and actual on-the-job techniques. This course of instruction has been set up to cover the first six weeks of the tour of duty on a regular schedule of one hour sessions three times a week.

The Division also took advantage of Library-wide programs for employee instruction, assigning one staff member to the 1961–1962 lecture series conducted for Library recruits and other selected personnel. The Chief, Dr. Horecky, and Mr. String were all participants in the supervisory development training program. In the secretarial and clerical fields, the Division has appointed staff members to attend study courses in secretarial training, in preparing material for duplication, in handling the telephone, and in the cleaning and proper use of electric typewriters.

Efforts are also being made to broaden the experience of various staff members by special assignments and interchange of duties. To this and Dr. Balys who has been engaged in recommending Baltic materials and in various aspects of the Division's reference activities is now serving as Reference Librarian in the Slavic Room twice weekly for the hours of extended service, thus freeing Mr. Robert G. Carlton for two days during the week to work on a variety of bibliographic, reference, and research assignments.

During the fiscal year, the Division has lost the services of Mr. Ostap Zynjuk, Circulation and Reference Assistant in the Slavic Room, who was promoted to a position in AID. Since January 1960, six occupants of the Division's GS-5 positions of Searcher and Reference Assistant, Circulation and Reference Assistant, or Circulation and Binding Assistant have left our staff for promotions to positions elsewhere in the Library. While such mobility is advantageous to the individuals concerned and to the Divisions which acquire their services (after they have received a solid orientation in Library operations, procedures, and techniques), it presents a serious problem in this Division's operations. Recruits with the necessary language skills are not easy to find and, once found, it is a time-consuming and difficult task to train them only to lose them to higher-paying jobs at just about the time they reach peak efficiency. In the case of the vacancy created by Mr. Zynjuk's promotion, a replacement was found in the ranks of the staff — Mr. George Driscoll, Circulation and Binding Assistant on Deck 8. Mr. Bohdan Kudryk was recruited from Cleveland to fill the Deck 8 post left vacant by Mr. Driscoll.

At present, of a Division staff of 20, five employees are serving in indefinite appointments — and in this group of five is the entire working force on Deck 8. While the problem of key positions which are financed from non-budgeted funds has greatly improved with the conversion to permanent of two of these positions during the past year, it remains a cause of concern that employees who perform duties which are essential to the Library's functions are on a somewhat insecure basis. The Division, for the past three years, has sought no additional positions, but has fulfilled its assignments and met its deadlines by trying to achieve the best possible use of the available staff; however, budgetary allocation for at least some of these positions presently financed from administrative working funds would greatly enhance the stability of the Division's and the Library's operations.


Many facets of professional and scholarly activity engaged the attention and talents of the Division's professional staff, who participated during the year in a wide variety of roles, as authors, lecturers, reviewers, editors, and translators. Their work made a valuable contribution to the fund of knowledge in the area of Slavic and Central European studies; in turn, it enhanced individual reputations and brought credit to the Division and to the Library as a whole. As members or officers, the staff actively participated in the work and meetings of the American Historical Association and its Conference on Slavic and East European History, the Joint Committee on Slavic Studies and its subcommittee on Bibliographic and Reference Aids, the Coordinating Committee for Slavic and East European Library Resources (COCOSEERS), the Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, the Committee on Linguistic Information, the Ninth International Congress on Linguistics, and many other professional groups. Staff members lectured at Indiana University, American University, Columbia University, the Foreign Service Institute, and the Sorbonne. They wrote book reviews and articles for scholarly journals in numbers too great to be listed here. Only a partial, but representative, account of all this is possible here.

1. Staff activities

Dr. Allen lectured at American University on Soviet international political communication and also contributed to the American Historical Review. Dr. Bako is engaged in making a series of tape recordings of Hungarian dialects used in the United States under a grant from the American Philosophical Society and continued, in the fall semester, his lectures at Columbia University. The Lithuanian encyclopedia includes five articles written this year by Dr. Balys, who also delivered a series of lectures on folklore and folksongs to Lithuanian groups in Michigan, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and here in Washington. Dr. Hoskins reviewed books for the American Historical Review and the Mississippi Valley Historical Review and has received recognition for her work as a contributor to the Historical Periodicals: an Annotated World List of Historical and Related Serial Publications. The Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University invited Dr. Horecky to lecture on LC collections and services in the Slavic and East European field, and an adapted version of his address will be reprinted in Cahiers du Monde Russe et Soviètique issued by the Sorbonne's École Pratique des Hautes Etudes. He also contributed an article on recent library literature in the Soviet Union to the Library Journal and a bibliography to the forthcoming report by the ALA delegation to the USSR. Dr. Krader has written several book reviews for the Washington Post and Times Herald and contributed articles on folklore and folk music to a number of scholarly journals. Three Erfurt Tales. 1497–1498 was translated by Dr. Price from unique incunabula in the Rosenwald Collection and was published in a handsome special edition by the Bird and Bull Press of North Hills, Pa. He was also named as section editor for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland of the American Historical Review and continued to lecture on economic developments in Europe at American University. The Chief lectured at the Sorbonne on the subject of Russia and Africa and is the author of a chapter on the same subject in Russian Foreign Policy: Essays in Historical Perspective, published by Yale University Press.

2. Relations with scholarly groups

Through his continuing memberships on both the Joint Committee on Slavic Studies and on COCOSEERS, the Chief was at a vantage point to maintain close liaison and a mutual exchange of information with the ranking representatives of Slavic and East European scholarship in this country and to participate actively in the planning and the deliberations of these bodies.

In the capacity of Editor of and contributor to Basic Russian Publications: an Annotated Bibliography on Russia and the Soviet Union which is scheduled for publication this fall by Chicago University Press — a project sponsored by COCOSEERS in conjunction with the American Council of Learned Societies — Dr. Horecky was in continuing and rewarding touch with leading subject and area specialists in Soviet studies in the United States and abroad who contributed to the undertaking. Dr. Allen served as Assistant Editor and was also a contributor to this work. Dr. Krader prepared the section on folklore.

Sergius Yakobson, Chief
Slavic and Central European Division
July 9, 1962

REFERENCE DEPARTMENT — SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES [This section contains primarily charts]

Appendix I

A. Reference Services 1. In person:a. Estimated number of readers 28,90127,028
b. Reference conferences*1,6812,277
c. No. ref. questions answered*19,09720,116
2. By phone:a. Congressional279356
b. Government2,9363,003
c. Library of Congress12,45211,419
d. Other 2,8283,922
Total phone calls*18,49518,700
3. By correspondence:a. Letters & memos prepared:Congressional5998
Library of Congress 125118
Total corresp.*654778
b. Form letters, prepared materials, etc. sent*245289
4. Total direct reference services (add only the * items above)40,17242,160
5. Photoduplication activities:a. Requests received: 1223
b. Items searched:60140
c. Estimates prepared:4
d. Items supplied for reproduction:4497
B. Circulation 1. Volumes (in LC)24,82330,294
2. Other units (in LC)16,5928,803
Volumes (on loan)1,405563
Other units (on loan)4525
3. Call slips or requests for materials
4. Items reshelved104,42243,347
5. Loan searches performed1,084746
6. Special searches performed1,0951,140
C. Bibliographical operations 1. Items screened180,279215,922
2. Entries compiled:Annotated8,6207,984
3. Bibliographies in process Number2527
4. Bibliographies completedNumber98
5. Indexes completedNumber
6. Hours on bibliographic work1,4241,779
D. Special studies completed Number 1217
E. Translations Number225262
F. Trainees instructed Number1
G. Special tours Number229

A. Lists and offers scanned: 1. Lists of 10 or more 2,8082,528
2. Short lists or separate items7,05212,994
B. Items searched24,18819,126
Items screened730,531683,937
C. Recommendations made for acquisitions: 1. Items recommended(in memos, catalogs, etc.) 36,47933,551
2. PRs prepared
3. Letters and memos of solicitation prepared
D. Items accessioned
E. Surplus items disposed of: 1. From collections* –*
2. Other*198,497220,866*
Total [1. + 2.]198,497220,866
F. L.C. committee meetings on acquisitions 165111
G. Acquisitions conferences in L.C. 1,2221,711
H. Hours devoted to acquisitions (A–G)4,6094,050

A. Items sorted or arranged525,784761,906
B. Items cataloged:Searched
C. Other finding aids prepared:Cards2,8493,107
D. Authorities established
E. Items or containers:Labeled
F. New items or containers filed or shelved250,250218,604
G. Volumes or items prepared for:Binding3,6398,183
H. Cards arranged and filed18,58239,151
I. L.C. committee meetings on processing activities 1
J. Processing conferences in L.C 183269
Hours devoted to processing activities (A–J)5,6447,980

A. External relations:1. Attendance at professional meetingsHrs.130102
2. Inter-agency conferenceHrs.74
3. Negotiations with public, private institutions and individuals off the premisesHrs.1914
B. Other:1. Hours devoted to selections activitiesHrs. 514723

Appendix II


  • Yugoslav Abbreviations. A Selective List (2nd enlarged edition).
  • Eighteenth Century Russian Publications in the Library of Congress.

Submitted for Publication

  • Newspapers of the Soviet Union in the Library of Congress.


  • 22 area bibliographic card files for reference purposes.
  • Statistical handbooks published in the USSR.
  • Master list of Soviet serials.


  • Guide to the Russian Collections in the Library of Congress.
  • Guide to the Hungarian Collections in the Library of Congress.

Appendix III

  1. West German Library Developments since 1945 with Special Emphasis on the Rebuilding of Research Libraries, by Dr. Gisela von Busse, under the Oberlaender Trust Fund. (Published this year).
  2. The Rehabilitation of East European Studies in the German Federal Republic, 1946–1960, by Professor Peter Scheibert, under the Oberlaender Trust Fund. (The parts submitted are now being translated, preparatory to publication).
  3. Guide to Rumanian Area Studies, by Dr. Stephen A. Fischer-Galaţi. (Now being prepared for publication).
  4. Comments from the Soviet press on shortages in consumer goods, housing, industrial and agricultural production.
  5. Helvetica, by Dr. Arnold H. Price. (Article for QJCA)
  6. Hungarica, by Dr. Elemer Bako. (Article for QJCA)
  7. Library of Congress holdings related to the Hitler Pusch of 1923.
  8. USSR and Eastern European publications and their utilization in the Library of Congress.
  9. Draft report on the visit by a delegation of American librarians to the USSR. (Reviewed by Division staff and the Chief)
  10. Militant statements by Soviet leaders.
  11. Report on a trip to Russia. (Reviewed by Division staff)
  12. Soviet space program. (Reviewed by the Chief)
  13. "Poland," by Dr. Janina W. Hoskins. (Article for QJCA)
  14. "Russia," by Dr. Robert V. Allen. (Article for QJCA)
  15. "Czechoslovakia," by Dr. Barbara Krader. (Article for QJCA)
  16. 100 terms used in Communist political literature.
  17. Parallels of statements in speech by Nasser to statements in Communist literature.

Appendix IV

Prepared for Binding Transfer, Elimination of Duplicates and Other Discards Hours Spent
Titles Issues Titles Issues

Appendix V

(Submitted Pursuant to General Oder No. 1771)
Bequest of Alexis V. Babine

The unobligated balance at the beginning of the fiscal year was $1,953.98. Income during the year amounted to $267.38, making a total available of $2,221.36. According to preliminary information, the amount obligated was $1,139.95, resulting in an unobligated balance at the end of the fiscal year of $1,081.41.

The fund was used for the purchase of important Russian publications in the subject classes specified in Mr. Babine's will.

A number of interesting items were acquired as a result. One of the most important such acquisitions was that of a number of microfilms comprising all writings by the Russian philosopher Nikolai A. Berdiaev which appeared in Russia before 1917. They filled many gaps in the Library of Congress' holdings of the works of this major writer on Russian history and religious thought. Other items included memoirs of the noted art collector P. I. Shchukin, Count D. S. Sheremet'ev's reminiscences concerning the Emperor Nicholas II, and microfilms of two Russian-language newspapers published in Paris and in Geneva before 1917 by groups of political exiles.

  Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> About Division >> Reports >> 1962
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  February 21, 2017
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian