Skip Navigation Links The Library of Congress >> Researchers
European Reading Room: European Division, Area Studies
  Home >> About Division >> Reports >> 1965

Annual Report of the
Slavic and Central European Division for 1965


In the parts of Eastern and Central Europe which are within the Division's area assignment, the aggregate current book production comes close to 145,000 per annum, or more than five times the annual output of the United States. A statistical survey completed by the Division early in calendar year 1965 reveals that close to 36,000 books ( i.e., about every fourth newly-published volume from Central and East Europe) reach the Library's shelves. The extent of coverage varies, of course, from country to country, ranging from 41 percent for Bulgaria to circa 28 percent for the Soviet Union and the countries producing German-language books (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland); it reaches a low of one percent for Albania, with which the U.S. has no diplomatic relations and the Library consequently no direct acquisitions ties. Even more remarkable is the average increase in actual intake for calendar year 1964 over 1963 of 90 per cent-again, of course, with a considerable variation for area to area. Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Rumania lead with increases of 262, 232, and 220 per cent respectively, while Albania is at the bottom of the totem pole with a decrease of 50 per cent. Similarly, an analysis of Eastern Europe's periodical press indicates that the combined average increase in numbers of serial titles published is in the neighborhood of 10 per cent per annum, and this trend too is reflected in the Library's receipts.

Obviously, this East European phase of the world's "information explosion" has acute repercussions affecting almost every segment of the Division's work and poses problems, not only of the judicious selection of pertinent publications, but of their organization and ready retrievability for reference use under effective bibliographic controls.

Those engaged in shaping the profile of future collections in the domain of Soviet and East European Communism encounter problems sui generis. In an intellectual and political climate in which the pendulum swings from rigid coercion to relative relaxation, where change comes about — erratically and convulsively, even apparent realities tend to assume a transient and mutable character. An intelligent and purposeful selection — without the advantage of hindsight — of the potentially authentic records of human knowledge and of valid sources of information out of the mass of the current book and periodical production becomes a challenging and demanding pursuit. How does one discern on the basis of titles only the work of emerging talented writers and scholars? Which are the journals providing a platform for at least a modicum of heterodoxy and which are the newspapers portending, though in Aesopian language, new directions in political and economic thought?

Much of the progress that has been made toward speedier and fuller acquisitions can be ascribed to realignment and streamlining of procedures and procurement sources in which the Division's recommending officers take a very active part. The main stumbling block in the way of smooth acquisitions arrangements, aside from the often substandard efficiency of some state-run export agencies in Eastern Europe, was the inordinate time lag between appearance of a publication and its listing in the national bibliography, between the issuance of that bibliographic and selection tool and its arrival in the Library, and between recommending and final filling of the order. New ground was broken in this direction during the Assistant Chief's publications survey trip to Eastern Europe two years ago, and since then innovations have been gradually extended to the entire East European acquisitions field. As a result, qualified and limited blanket order arrangements are in effect insuring early and automatic receipt of basic tools for reference and information pursuant to a standard specification of subjects and categories worked out by the Division's staff. These materials are supplemented by subsequent selections from pre-publication book catalogs, which are now used as primary recommending aids in lieu of the national bibliographies. In the case of Czechoslovakia, one-shot selections have been made on an experimental basis from the annual cumulative pre-publication catalog for the entire prospective book output for 1965, and, if this modus operandi works as we are encouraged to believe it will, only relatively few supplemental recommendations will have to be made for other items.

Measures to reduce the rate of duplication between purchase and exchange receipts to the extent possible, and recommendation of non-commercial and institutional publications for receipt from exchange sources were steady preoccupations of the Division's experts. For instance, during the official visit to this country of Mr. Josef Vinárek, Director of the Czechoslovak State Library — one of the first Czech librarians to come to see the Library in many years — the Division staff prepared the ground for, and later took part in, negotiations with the Exchange and Gift Division, which when consummated will engender the following results: (1) access to the substantial duplicate collections of the State Library for supply of retrospective items, which have been hard to find and to secure through normal trade channels; (2) a sizeable increase in the volume of government serials to be supplied through official exchange; and (3) automatic receipt on priced exchange of basic new reference works (as defined beforehand by the Division) to be used as second copies for the Slavic Room collection.

To make sure that no vital contemporary material slips through our acquisitions dragnet, recommending officers continually scan leading scholarly journals in their fields (e.g., Books Abroad, The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, and leading East European periodicals) for reviews of noteworthy new publications and then earmark them for searching. Ambiguities in the definition and interpretation of the properties of a government publication for purposes of official exchange require our specialists to probe into this area. In several countries such as Yugoslavia, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, substantial numbers of periodical titles now on purchase subscription were identified as coming clearly within the range of official exchange. Annual reviews of lists of periodical titles on purchase subscriptions continued to provide a device for eliminating unwanted subscriptions and adding new, important titles.

Recurrent examinations of the weak spots in the Library's older collections by means of systematically conducted collections surveys are now a part and parcel of the professional staff's responsibilities. This type of activity can be exemplified by the work done in the Yugoslav field. The preparation of an article for the Quarterly Journal on the venerable Serbian cultural institution, Matica Srpska, prompted a survey of that organization's publications in the Library's collections. As a byproduct, an extensive list of monographic and serial desiderata was prepared, and there is reason to hope that some the of the gaps may be filled, thanks to the offer of Professor Boško Novaković, an associate of the Matica Srpska, who visited the Library recently. Two other surveys of Yugoslav holdings are currently under way. One seeks to review the collected works of 50 outstanding Yugoslav writers and men of letters from the 16th century to the present and the other focusses on the review of selected important 19th and 20th century Yugoslav journals. In this endeavor, the extended presence in the Library of Mr. Slobodan Komandinić, a distinguished Yugoslav librarian from the Bibliographic Institute in Belgrade, has been of the greatest assistance, not only from the bibliographic viewpoint, but also because of the prospect that he may be able to help in filling some lacunae when he returns to his country. In a similar vein, detailed probing in depth, subject by subject, have been done for the German, Hungarian, and Polish retrospective collections and have already yielded extensive desiderata files, which stand ready for use and energetic exploitation as soon as, hopefully, munificent funds commence to flow in.

In the Finnish domain, a gratifying harvest can be reported. Through Dr. Elemer Bako's efforts, the Library benefitted from a substantial monetary grant from Finlandia Foundation, Inc., which enabled him during a one-week official acquisitions stay in Finland to contact a number of potential publications supply sources and to secure valuable material for the Library. Some 150 volumes have been received so far and another 300 are expected form the Finnish Literary Society in Helsinki. When the remaining orders are filled, and estimated total of 800 volumes, or a 10 per cent augmentation, will have accrued to the Library's present Finnish holdings.

Among the year's more remarkable retrospective publications which have come to the Library are several important source and research materials for the study of German medieval history and some important contributions to the understanding of early Soviet literature; a Polish armorial published in Warsaw from 1899 to 1912, considered to be the most scholarly treatment of Polish genealogy and heraldry; and 22 volumes of an important Finnish cultural almanac (1884–1920), along with 14 hitherto lacking volumes of the Finnish national bibliography.

Through the Chief's membership in the coordinating committee for Slavic and East European Library Resources ( COCOSEERS), he learned of the plan of a government agency to relocate in another repository a collection of 257 Soviet serials for the period 1948 to 1964. He was thus able to initiate negotiations for their transfer to the Library. It was determined that this collection contained many new titles not previously represented here, as well as issues complementing existing runs. The Chief's association with the American Council of Learned Societies channelled to the Library the missing volumes of the jubilee edition of Tolstoi's collected works and of Literaturnoe nasledstvo, an important Soviet literary-historical serial. Other professional contacts accounted for the Library's receipt for microfilming of a rare Soviet journal on military history, thought to be unavailable elsewhere in the West. Likewise, preparatory work done by the Assistant Chief promoted the donation to the Library of the Czech Melantrich Bible of 1556–1557, a distinct enrichment of the Library's collection of rare Czech Renaissance books.

Noteworthy as these single acquisitions are, they reflect but a minute fraction of the Library's actual needs. Given adequate funds, the trickle of retrospective material could easily be turned into a veritable torrent. The measure of the Division's appetite and its concern for the perfecting of the retrospective collections is perhaps tellingly demonstrated by the fact that as of March 31, 1965, the retrospective funds for the current year had already been exhausted.


Limited shelf space in the Slavic Room, increasingly incapable of absorbing the "swarms of new books" by a glut of "newfangled writers" — as Erasmus characterized an apparently age-old problem some 550 years ago — has in recent years forced a slowdown in the building of up-to-date and well-balanced reference collections. Because the extension of the Slavic Room area is a silver lining in the dark cloud, however, over 1,000 new reference books, many of them temporarily stored on Deck 8, were selected in expectation of this event; these additions represent an increase of 150 per cent over FY 1964. Thus, a big step forward was made toward meeting increased demands of readers for well-selected and qualitatively adequate reference materials on the Slavic countries. Books assigned include works in the Slavic languages as well as basic reference tools in the Western languages, since readers request sources of information irrespective of language. Particular attention was devoted to the expansion of the hitherto relatively under-developed reference collection on the Slavic countries outside the Soviet Union, and as a result, the total coverage for these countries by the end of FY 1965 was 20 per cent higher than for the preceding fiscal year.

Slavic Room shelves were checked against shelf list records in order to insure that books are in their proper locations. As a byproduct of this operation, volumes in need of rebinding, relabelling, or correction of call number were identified. Furthermore, Slavic Room records were checked against the books on the shelves and now reflect the reference collections both comprehensively and accurately.

In order to make bound volumes of periodicals available as speedily as possible, a new schedule was introduced whereby the preparation for binding of serials for each calendar year will be completed by the end of June of the following year. This target date is the earliest feasible, since the vast bulk of periodicals are sent to the Library by ordinary mail and thus the sets become complete only by March or April. Such a schedule represents a speedup in the timetable observed heretofore; moreover, the binding of Soviet and East European serials, previously accomplished on the basis of two separate deadlines, is now synchronized. Altogether 52,900 units were prepared for binding in FY 1965, representing a 78 per cent increase over FY 1964.

Because of the complexities of acquisitions procedures and the multiplicity of sources of procurement, a large number of duplicate serials in excess of the required number for each issue come to the Slavic Room. To retain and process these duplicates on Deck 8 would aggravate the existing problem of space and be wasteful of manpower. Therefore, it has been decided to utilize Slavic Room serial files for the identification of duplicates which are not needed on the Deck and which are consequently sent directly to the Exchange and Gift Division. Since the Library receives newspapers through several sources and many transfer duplicate issues reach Deck 8 in bags, the Division is faced with a similar problem in the processing of newspapers. In the interests of conserving manpower and space, the Division has recommended to the Reference Department that newspaper duplicates from various specified areas in the Library no longer be routed to Deck 8, and this matter is currently under consideration.

In March 1965, a valuable collection of Soviet newspapers and periodical runs was sent to the Library (see section on Acquisition of Materials). The Division accommodated this material temporarily on Deck 8, finding upon scrutiny that 228 titles consisted of newspapers and 29 of periodicals. The newspaper collection was subsequently transferred to the Serial Division, while the periodicals were retained by the Division for future processing.

Other contributions made to the Library's processing activities are exemplified by the Division's role in achieving overdue changes in cataloging practices. When Dr. J. Vallinkoski, Chief Liberian of the University Library in Helsinki, visited the Library some time ago, he was perplexed to find Library catalog entries for Finnish corporate bodies and geographic names rendered in the old and antiquated Swedish versions in lieu of the correct Finnish form. The Division pursued this matter, bringing the problem to the attention of the Processing Department, which recently resolved to effect the changeover.


1. Reference Activities

Following a traditional pattern, reference and bibliographic services formed the backbone of the Division's operations. The year's substantially accelerated pace in this domain finds statistical expression in a 12.8 per cent gain in the total of reference services rendered over the figures for the previous year. The aggregate of special studies completed was 33. The diversity of the Division's clientele — individual and institutional, government and business, the scholarly world and news media, authors and diplomats, attorneys and publishers — was matched only by the truly global spread of the cities from which requests originated and the broad gamut of knowledge embraced.

Meeting Congressional needs played a particularly conspicuous role in the Division's services, which focused on fact-finding, providing analysis and interpretation of current and past developments, reviewing materials prepared by Congressional staff, and translating foreign language texts. The staff of a House Committee was assisted in organizing a series of hearings, and special studies completed by the Division's experts dealt with the activities of Richard Sorge, a spy of German nationality, who during World War II passed vital information to the Soviet Union; the participation of scientists in the 22nd Party Congress of the USSR Communist Party; and the history of the Lithuanian theater in the United States. Congressional studies reviewed included a lengthy report documenting the advocacy of force and violence in the light of Communist ideology and a compilation of materials investigating US and USSR relations with developing countries. At times the day's headlines prompted calls from the Hill. For instance, the 1964 Presidential campaign occasioned a request for a survey of Soviet press coverage of that event. When the word of Khrushchev's political demise flashed around the world, the Division staff, in an atmosphere resembling a hectic newspaper office with busily ringing telephones, answered Congressional inquiries for an analysis of this event and for background data which would permit an inference as to the course of action likely to be followed by the new leaders. Later, when the change of rulers had become history, a television network was helped in collecting documentary materials on Brezhnev and Kosygin.

A roster of the major federal agencies serviced by the Division would almost duplicate the listing in the United States Government Organization Manual. A few random examples will illustrate the nature of this assistance. An official of the Department of State was given an extensive briefing on copyright problems and authors' royalties in the USSR in connection with a study of the implications in the Soviet Union's signing of the Universal Copyright Convention; the USIA was aided in a survey of the German press and in preparing for an exhibit of American manufacturing to be held in Moscow; the Department of Justice inquired about biographic data on holders of the Hero of the Soviet Union medal; statistics of human losses suffered in World War II (as reflected in German sources) were the subject of a question from the Department of the Army; and the Department of the Interior sought advice on questions of Alaskan geographic names. Turning to international agencies, substantial assistance was given to the World Bank in the preparation of a world directory of planning agencies.

In a recent survey, some 420 American schools of higher education, as compared with only 81 in 1945, were reported as offering programs and courses of Soviet affairs, and many of them also specialize in the Central and Eastern European area. Consistent with this rapid growth, academic researchers and libraries rely with mounting frequency on the Division as a major center of specialized area documentation and bibliography. College and research libraries all over the land and also overseas have turned to the Division whenever their own collections did not suffice to solve research problems; in particular, they have sought guidance in the building of new collections. Thus, the University of Virginia was supplied with 148 titles in 17 subject categories for a starter collection on Hungary; the library of the San Francisco Theological Seminary was furnished a list of 122 basic titles on Hungarian church history; New College at Sarasota, Florida, was advised on the development of Central European resources; and the director of the Newberry Library in Chicago was counselled on its famous Russian and French collections on revolutionary thought. An appraisal of Library of Congress Bulgarian collections for the period of World War II was supplied to the librarian of St. Antony's College at Oxford University.

Several authors came to the Division to avail themselves of consultative services in support of research. Among them were Kay Boyle, distinguished novelist and short story writer, who needed English-language biographic material on German pacifists; Mr. Ladislas Farago, whose biography on General Patton received much critical acclaim when it appeared later in the year; Colonel Percy Black, who sought help with a book on propaganda; and Professor Thomas P. Hammond, compiler of a since-published bibliography on Soviet foreign relations and world communism. Passing to a different category, frequent inquiries from business firms and manufacturers focussed on information concerning advances in research and problems of trade within the Division's geographic area.

For reference librarians it is a source of perpetual wonder to watch the boundless inquisitiveness of the human mind in action, and it is also a continuing challenge to take a part in satisfying this curiosity. A few vignettes, representing only a microscopic sampling from the reference log, may give an idea of the questions put to the Division: "Do you have bibliographic list on Franz Kafka?" "What resources does the Library of Congress have on the Voguls?" (an almost extinct Finno-Ugrian people who inhabit northwest Siberia) "Can you supply data for the design of a Russian Orthodox Church?" "Where can I locate materials, printed and unpublished, for a biography of the Hungarian-born Major Alexander Asboth (1811–1868), Union army officer and later U.S. Ambassador to Argentina and Uruguay?". In a lighter vein, there was the impatient telephone inquirer searching for a place to buy Polish sausage, the sender of a telegram who wanted the name of Rasputin's horse by return wire, and the correspondent from a Latin American country who concluded his request for Hungarian-Spanish dictionaries and textbooks with the novel phrase "United Nationsly Yours."

Customer satisfaction, as expressed in thank-you letters, is tangible recognition of work well done: "We are deeply grateful and impressed by the superb research done by you and your staff. . . " "Your letter. . . contained exactly the information I needed" "Thanks a great deal for your very prompt and comprehensive reply to my long and complicated question." An official of the Baltimore Museum of Art, for whom the Division identified and translated inscriptions on two 17th century Russian crosses in the museum's Gutman Collection, thanked us with "more overtones of enthusiasm and respect than the phrase ever sounded before."

To support effectively these variegated calls for service, the Division has sharpened the tools of its craft by enlarging the reference files and adding to its area card indexes 3,000 new entries containing invaluable data on Western-language articles on the area.

The discussion of this subject would not be complete without at least a passing mention of the manifold ways in which the Division contributed its expertise intramurally, often on a regular basis, to numerous other Library programs and activities. To single out only a few examples, the African Section of General Reference and Bibliography Division and the Hispanic Foundation were recurrent recipients of bibliography Division and the Hispanic Foundation were recurrent recipients of bibliographic data on their areas; the Science and Technology Division called upon the Division's special language skills for a review of the Finnish and Hungarian sections of a draft list of science and technology periodicals; and, at the request of the Manuscript Division, a thorough review was made of a recently compiled index to vital statistics in the Alaskan Russian Church Archives.

2. Bibliographies and Related Studies

Over the past 12 years, the Division's systematic effort to provide easy access for the scholar, the librarian, and the general public to the massive and multi-faceted body of printed knowledge on Eastern and Central Europe has produced 17 published reference aids and bibliographies. Of these, two went into second editions in response to public demand and another proved so popular that it had to be reprinted only one year after its initial appearance. Seven titles are now out of print and available only on microfilm, and two others were recently characterized as "good sellers." To this over-all program, the Division has made a very productive and fruitful contribution in the year under review. Two finished works appeared in print and four more are in various stages of production.

The USSR and Eastern Europe; Periodicals in Western Languages, released in October, furnishes an inventory of 655 titles in the swiftly changing and expanding field of periodical publication. This unique reference tool represents an updated and substantially revised version of a former listing which, when first published in 1958, made an original contribution to Eastern European area bibliography and has long been out of print. That some 1540 copies were sold in just nine months is an indication of consumer interest in the bibliography. Another publication that came to fruition was Bulgaria. A Bibliographic Guide, compiled by Professor Marin Pundeff of the faculty of San Fernando Valley State College in California during his consultantship with the Division. This bibliography was released in a most attractive format, featuring gay Bulgarian folk art motifs on the cover.

This latter product is the second in a series of guides which the Division is sponsoring in collaboration with academic specialists on Eastern European area documentation. The pioneer study in this sequence, dealing with Rumania and compiled by Professor Stephen A. Fisher-Galati of Wayne State University, has received favorable critical acclaim as exemplified by several comments in the professional press: "The first in a projected series of concise bibliographic surveys, this guide incorporates a number of excellent features" (Slavic Review); "A handy and excellent research tool" (Historical Abstracts); "An extremely good value for the money" (Slavonic and East European Review, London). Spurred by these expressions of favorable reception and by the urging of the scholarly and library community, the Division resolved to extend the guides to additional areas. Professor Rudolf Sturm of the faculty of Skidmore College joined the Division staff for a total of seven weeks to conduct a survey, for possible later publication, of essential works, primarily in the Western languages, on Czechoslovakia. Such bibliographic projects which grant to scholars the opportunity to utilize the Library's massive collections for one specific field of bibliographic inquiry are naturally not a one-man effort, but a team endeavor to which the professional staff contributes a full share of substantive bibliographic and editorial know-how and experience.

Students and researchers investigating both the Latin American area and Soviet foreign policies were sorely in need of a bibliographic tool indicating the extent of Soviet involvement in that part of the world. Taking account of this demand, the Division and the Hispanic Foundation produced in 1959 a bibliographic aid entitled Latin America in Soviet Writings, 1945–1958, which equipped scholars with a new and valuable research source. The relevance of such a work to the analysis of direction, intensity, and intended impact area of the Soviet expansionist thrust suggested the desirability not only of updating the study, but also of providing coverage for an earlier period from 1917 to 1944. The new project was launched in March 1964, again under the joint sponsorship of the two Divisions and with the financial support of the Ford Foundation, the two Divisions and with the financial support of the Ford Foundation, which made it possible to secure the services of a supporting staff of two. As the project advanced, the decision was reached, in the interests of a coherent and all-inclusive coverage, to blanket the entire period from 1917 to 1964 in two volumes, one for 1917 through 1958 and the other for 1959 through 1964 — the former including an expanded and bibliographically adapted version of the previously published volume.

Toward the end of this fiscal year, the Division finished work on Newspapers of East Central and Southeastern Europe in the Library of Congress, which is now in the hands of the printer. This publication is a companion volume to Newspapers of the Soviet Union in the Library of Congress, which the Division prepared for publication by the Library in 1962. The new volume contains a variety of data, including Library holdings, concerning post-World War I newspapers of Albania, the Baltic countries, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, and Yugoslavia.

The pages of recent issues of the Library's Quarterly Journal attest to the literary and research Úlan of the staff members. The wide spectrum of subjects covered comprises a biographical sketch of Louis C. Solyom, a gifted polyglot member of the Library's staff under the administrations of Messrs. Spofford and Putnam; accounts of travel in America by Polish writers of the 18th and 19th centuries; recent German-language publications on Africa; surveys of the Matica Srpska and Serbian cultural development; Baltic encyclopedias and biographical directories; the University of Bucharest on the occasion of its centenary; and recent Soviet literature on sociology and cultural anthropology.


Long-established relationships as well as carefully cultivated new contacts with institutions and individuals both in this country and abroad yield profitable returns in most of the Division's areas of activity. Membership in professional groups and the cultivation of variegated contacts — with cultural and scholarly institutions and their associates, with representatives of private and government research agencies, and with representatives of private and government research agencies, and with frequent visitors from abroad — were of substantial benefit to the Division's programs. Such liaison uncovered new channels for the strengthening of the Library's collections, located new research sources, and, generally, promoted professional cooperation and good will in the pursuit of the Library's objectives. For specific examples as to how such connections proved beneficial to the Library's acquisitions activities, see that section of this report.

Briefing sessions and consultations with visitors from abroad have developed, particularly during the last two or three years, into a regular and very rewarding facet of area operations. The continuous upsurge in the numbers of these visitors can be attributed to two factors: expanding cultural relations with the countries of Eastern and Central Europe resulting from some political relaxation in this area, and the bonds established by the Division's officials during trips abroad, both as private citizens and as representatives of the Library. Putting to good account its accumulated linguistic know-how, the Division conducted sessions and tours orienting non-English speaking visitors on the Library's resources and facilities, helped to arrange for their contacts with other Library officials, and introduced them to Division programs and activities. While we were pleased to hear words of praise about the strength of the collections in various areas — on occasion foreign visitors came upon materials which they had not even encountered in their own countries — we also solicited advice and suggestions on how to extend the width and depth of procurement activities.

Another important area of activity is the briefing both of individuals and groups planning to visit the countries of Eastern Europe and of government officials seeking data on this area. A party of eight researchers form the International Surveys staff of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, who conducted specialized studies on different European areas, were briefed on the Library's and the Division's facilities and services. Dr. Frank Schick of the Office of Education, a member of the U.S. delegation which attended the meeting of the International Organization for Standardization of Statistics Related to Book Production held in Budapest, was given detailed information of publishing and library statistics in Eastern Europe. He was further supplied with a list of reading materials for his own use and for distribution to the rest of the delegation. Also among the Division's patrons was Mr. Lyman H. Butterfield of the Massachusetts Historical Society, who is editing the Adams Papers for publication by Harvard University Press. Mr. Butterfield planned a trip to the USSR to discuss with Soviet officials an exchange of photo-copies of archival materials relating to John Quincy Adams, who served in Russia from 1809 to 1814 as First Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States. The Division assisted Mr. Butterfield in a variety of ways in preparing for his journey and in pursuing his research goals.

Exhibits constituted effective media for bringing the Library's impressive area research resources to the attention of the scholarly world. With this objective in mind, the Division has been informally displaying in the Slavic Room for the benefit of scholars attending conventions in Washington the latest research materials obtained from the area as well as pertinent Library of Congress publications. Such was the case on the occasion of the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, which convened here during the Christmas holidays. A similar group of materials was dispatched for showing at the Far Western Slavic Conference held at the Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California. The Division's experts are also called upon to assist with exhibits sponsored by other government agencies. For example, Dr. Bako rendered considerable aid to the Smithsonian Institution in organizing the exhibit, "One Hundred Books from Finland," which was shown throughout the United States following its Washington opening.

Our specialists were of service to the staffs of foreign embassies, such as those of Czechoslovakia, Finland, the German Federal Republic, the Netherlands, Poland, Rumania, Switzerland, and Yugoslavia. The annual roster of visitors numbers in the hundreds, so that only a random sampling can be given here. Yugoslav guests, aided by U.S. official and foundation support turned out in particular strength. Among them were the Minister of Finance, Mr. Zoran Polić, and Mr. Erih Koš, a prominent contemporary Yugoslav novelist. Other notable visitors comprised Dr. Henrik Schaumann, director of the Parliamentary Library in Helsinki; Matti Kurjensaari, a noted Finnish author; Dr. Lajos Tamás, director of the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Budapest and a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Dr. Michael Rehs, director of the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen in Stuttgart; Mr. Radu Beligan, president of the Rumanian Theater Council; Mr. Gediminas Jokūbonis, a well-known Lithuanian sculptor; a group of Soviet writers including Mr. Iurii Bondarev, a novelist and short story writer; Mr. Tadeusz Kurlus, editor of the Polish magazine Panorama; and Mr. Polykarp Lebedev, art historian and director of the State Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow. The Division's staff also conferred with a delegation of German librarians on matters of mutual interest, including Eastern European collections in West German libraries, and with representatives of four German publishing houses, who were visiting Washington as delegates to the meeting of the International Publishers' Association.


In anticipation of a contemplated reallocation of space to the Division, detailed studies and plans were prepared directed toward the most purposeful utilization of the new area, which, it is expected, will become available when the Science Reading Room moves to new quarters.

As in previous years, a certain volume of employee turnover occurred. Following a now familiar pattern, recruitment by more affluent area-oriented organizations, both in and outside the Library, accounted for most of the losses of trained personnel during the year. The promise of potentially more responsible (and surely more lucrative) pursuits made it difficult for the Division to compete and resulted in the departure of several staff members. Regret over empty spaces in the Division's ranks, however, was offset by the knowledge that the valuable experience of staff members leads so consistently to career betterment. To insure continuity and efficiency of activities during switchover periods, the Division expanded its training program for new employees, seeking to acquaint them systematically and effectively with the practical and theoretical aspects of their duties and thus to equip them for performance at optimum capacity.

In our relatively small-sized Division, with closely contiguous office quarters for the most part, contact among staff members and supervisors has always been informal, close, and frequent — sometimes diurnal — in nature. To provide for additional and regularized channels of communication and exchange of views and also in the interests of strengthening the effectiveness of over-all performance, the Assistant Chief introduced a system of weekly sessions, held each Friday afternoon with each member of the staff under his supervision, in order to review the week's work and the progress of individual assignments.

The new Curator of the Slavic Room, Mr. George E. Perry, was selected to attend a supervision and group performance training program conducted by the Office of Career Development, U.S. Civil Service Commission and designed to introduce new supervisors to modern concepts of effective supervision. Mr. Perry also received a Meritorious Service Award for his suggestion that the titles of Slavic serials in the Cyrillic alphabet appear in the transliterated Latin alphabet on bound volumes. This innovation will result in more economical binding procedures and an easier identification of titles by deck attendants. It was certainly gratifying both to Mr. Perry and to the Division, that an award should go to such a comparative newcomer to the Division's staff.


Assigned duties at the Library are not, of course, a stopping point for the pursuits of the Division's active professional staff. In past years, they have used their expertise to good advantage extramurally in working with scholarly groups, in writing, in teaching, and in research and this year was no exception.

1. Relations with Scholarly Groups

Attendance of the staff at professional meetings provided opportunities for keeping abreast of developments in the field, strengthening of professional contacts, and exchanging information. Dr. Robert V. Allen participated in the Midwest Slavic Conference, one of the regional meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS), which was held at the University of Kansas. Dr. Bako attended the Fifth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences held in Münster, Germany. Dr. Paul L. Horecky attended the Second Congress of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in America, which convened at Columbia University. Mr. Perry went to Chicago for the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Political Association. Mr. Robert F. Price participated in an international seminar on "The University Today," held last summer in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, and also served as administrator for the group of American delegates attending the seminar. Six staff members attended the 79th annual meeting of the American Historical Association held this year in Washington, and a number of professional staff are also active in the deliberations of the Washington chapter of AAASS. All find their memberships in these groups to be an excellent platform for spreading the good word about the Library's Slavic and Central European facilities.

The Chief participated in the organization meeting of a new group of scholars who have banded together to focus their energies upon the promotion of research on East Central and Southeastern Europe through a new subcommittee of the Joint Committee on Slavic Studies (JCSS) of the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council. He not only continues to serve on the Joint Committee, but participates in the deliberations of the Coordinating Committee for Slavic and East European Library Resources (COCOSEERS), composed of members of the JCSS and the Association of Research Libraries. In addition to his activities in these channels of liaison between the library world and the scholarly community, he serves on the Committee for Linguistic Information, is chairman of the local chapter of AAASS, and attends the seminars held by the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, of which he is a member. This year he also attended a series of seminars presented by the Program of Policy Studies at George Washington University on Soviet space activities.

Under the sponsorship of COCOSEERS and under the administrative aegis of the American Council of Learned Societies, the Assistant Chief directed a team of U.S. and European scholars in a project which, under his general editorship, led to the publication of the book Russia and the Soviet Union; a Bibliographic Guide to Western Language Publications (Chicago University Press, 1965). In collaboration with Dr. Allen, he also contributed its section on General Reference Aids and Bibliographies. Mr. Robert G. Carlton was the assistant editor of the book, and Dr. John P. Balys compiled the section of Baltica. Dr. Horecky was also elected secretary of the Executive Committee of the Slavic and East European Sub-Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries.

2. Other Activities

As practicing scholars, teachers, authors, translators, and lecturers, the staff made a variety of individual contributions to the world of learning. Dr. Allen teaches at American University's summer school a course on Russian History from 1917 to the present and covered bibliographic listings on Russian history in the American Historical Review. Dr. Bako lectured on Hungarian dialects at the meeting of the Societas Uralo-Altaica held at Hamburg University and was active in bibliographic and tape-recording projects concerned with Finno-Ugrian studies.

Dr. Balys contributed articles to the Lithuanian Encyclopedia and Catholic Encyclopedia besides serving as editor of the first volume of Lithuanian Studies and as a speaker before various Lithuanian audiences. Mr. Carlton specializes in translating work in a variety of languages. Mr. Andrew Fessenko is the co-author of an article which appeared in Osteuropa on peculiarities in the Russian language which have appeared during the past 10 years. Dr. Horecky's article on "The Slavic and East European Resources and Facilities of the Library of Congress" appeared in the Slavic Review. Dr. Janina W. Hoskins reviewed a Polish publication for the American Historical Review. Dr. Arnold H. Price presented a paper dealing with East German historiography at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, continued as a section editor of the American Historical Review, and teaches a class in economic history at American University. Dr. Yakbson spoke on "Conflict and Change in Soviet Historical Scholarship" at the Conference on East European History held during the American Historical Association's annual meeting.


A. Reference Services 1. In Person: Estimated number of readers 27,190 31,492 +15.8
No. of readers given reference assistance 16,733* 17,865* +06.7
2. By Telephone: a. Congressional calls 317 260 –18.0
b. Government calls 3,077 3,498 +13.6
c. Library of Congress calls 10,048 11,413 +13.5
d. Other calls1 3,897 5,545 +42.2
e. Total 17,339* 20,716* +19.4
3. By Correspondence a. Letters and memos prepared 584 543 –07.1
b. Form letters, prepared material, etc. 232 262 +12.9
c. Total 816* 805* –01.4
4. Total Direct Reference Services
(add figures marked with asterisk)
34,888 39.386 +12.8
B. Circulation and Service 1. Volumes and Other Units in LC 27,006 26,392 –02.3
2. Volumes and Other Units on Loan2 1,351 1,743 +29.0
3. Items or Containers Shelved 356,309 285,435 –19.9
C. Bibliographic and Other Publishing Operations: 1. Number of Bibliographies Completed3 41 25 –39.1
2. Number of Bibliographies in Progress 30 30
3. Number of Bibliographic Entries Completed4 a. Annotated entries 4,997 2,246 –55.1
b. Unannotated entries 5 9,309 14,117 +51.6
c. Total 14,306 16,363 +14.3
4. Number of Other Reference Aids Completed a. Pages of reference aids prepared
b. Number of cards and entries prepared 50
D. Number of Special Studies or Projects Completed 30 33 +10.0
1. Number of Pages6 223 439 +96.8
E. Total Number of Hours Devoted to Reference Activities7 17.091 23,215 +35.8

A. Lists and Offers Scanned 15,534 14,699 –05.4
B. Items Searched 60,476 62,444 +03.2
C. Items Recommended for Acquisition 48,882 42,393 –13.3
D. Letters of Solicitation Prepared
E. Items Accessioned
F. Items Disposed of: 1. From Collections
2. Other Items8 135,932 240,256 +76.7
G. Total Hours Devoted to Acquisitions 4,703 4,738 +0.7

A. Items Sorted or Arranged 397,692 463,865 +16.6
B. Items Cataloged or Recataloged
C. Entries Prepared for Other Finding Aids9 1,545 3,999 +158.8
D. Authorities Established
E. Items or Containers Labeled, Titled, Captioned, or Lettered
F. Volumes, Items, or Issues Prepared for:10 1. Binding 29,711 52,892 +78.0
2. Microfilming
G. Volumes, Items, or Issues Selected for: 1. Rebinding
2. Lamination
3. Microfilming
4. Repair 53
H. Cards Arranged and Filed11 231,252 73,132 –68.4
I. Total Hours Devoted to Processing Activities 6,135 6,295 +.02

A. Total Hours Devoted to External Relations 154 192 +2.6
B. Total Hours Devoted to Cultural and Exhibit Activities 10
C. Total Hours Devoted to Other Activities 5,088 4,823 –5.3


1 The increase in telephone calls from outside the Library reflects growing demnd from extramural sources for the Division's specialized reference activities.

2 The increase in volumes made available on loan is accounted for largely by rises in requests for unbound materials from government agencies.

3 Decrease in number of bibliographies is offset by the fact that many of these bibliographies were fare more extensive than in FY1964 (see, e.g., p. 12 of the Annual Report for FY 1965).

4 and 5 The decrease in annotated entries is counterbalanced by an increase in unannotated entries. The over-all increase in bibliographic entries reflects largely the Latin American project within the Division.

6 This increase indicates that the average length of special studies completed in FY 1965 was about twice that of FY 1964 projects.

7 Increase in hours devoted to reference activities is due to the fact that in FY 1965 the staff numbered three more than did the staf during most of FY 1964. Of these three staff members, two are employed on a temporary project and one is the incumbent of a position that had been vacant for most of FY 1964.

8 The increase in items disposed of was due chiefly to a special project for ridding Deck 8 of accumulated duplicate periodicals.

9 The increase in entries preoared for finding aids stemmed primarily from a Slavic Room project to bring card files up to date.

10 Increase in binding acticity reflects advancement of binding deadlines. See text for full report, p. 8.

11 Decrease in cards arranged and filed was caused largely by improved internal working procedures, resulting in simplified handling of preliminary and printed cards received.


Completed and in Print

  • The USSR and Eastern Europe; Periodicals in Western Languages

In Process

  • Newspapers of East Central and Southeastern Europe in the Library of Congress (Now being printed by the Government Printing Office)
  • Latin America in Soviet Writings, 1959–1964. A Bibliography
  • Latin America in Soviet Writings, 1917–1958. A Bibliography


  • 22 Bibliographic card files by area for reference purposes
  • Statistical handbooks published in the USSR
  • Master list of Soviet serials
  • East and East Central European Periodicals in Western Languages


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


Library of Congress Publications

  • Bulgaria. A Bibliographic Guide, by Professor Marin Pundeff, 1965. 98 p.
  • Czechoslovakia. A Bibliographic Guide, by Professor Rudolf Sturm, (Now being prepared for publication).

Quarterly Journal Articles

  • "Recent Soviet Literature in Sociology and Cultural Anthropology," by Dr. Robert V. Allen.
  • "Louis C. Solyom," by Dr. Elemer Bako.
  • "Baltic Encyclopedias and Biographical Directories," by Dr. John P. Balys.
  • "Centenary of the University of Bucharest," by Mr. Robert G. Carlton.
  • "The Image of America in Accounts of Polish Travelers of the 18th and 19th Centuries," by Dr. Janina W. Hoskins.
  • "Recent German Language Publications on Africa," by Dr. Arnold H. Price.
  • "The Matica Srpska and Serbian Cultural Developments," by Mr. Robert F. Price

Studies for Congress

  • Comparison and Commentary upon Translation of American Article Appearing in Za Rubezhom, by Dr. Sergius Yakobson and Dr. Robert V. Allen.
  • Information Concerning Scientific Participants in the 22nd Party Congress, by Dr. Robert V. Allen.
  • Origin and History of the Lithuanian Theater in the U.S., by Dr. John P. Balys.
  • Review of Draft Study on "Communist Doctrine on the Use of Force and Violence," By Dr. Sergius Yakobson and Dr. Robert V. Allen.
  • Review of Materials on US-USSR Relations with Under-Developed Countries, by Dr. Sergius Yakobson and Dr. Robert V. Allen
  • Sources on Russian Parliamentary Practice, by Dr. Robert V. Allen
  • Statements in Leading Russian Newspapers Concerning President Johnson and the Democratic Party, by Dr. Robert V. Allen and Mr. Robert G. Carlton
  • Summary of Articles in the Soviet Press on Richard Sorge, a German Spy, by Dr. Robert V. Allen.

Miscellaneous Special Studies

  • Inventory of International Activities of the Slavic and Central European Division, by Dr. Paul L. Horecky
  • Soviet Archives and John Quincy Adams, by Dr. Sergius Yakobson and Dr. Robert V. Allen.
  • Summary of "Libraries of the U.S.A; from Trip Notes" By I. Iu. Bagrova, L.I. Vladmirov, and N. Gavrilov in
  • Biblotekovedanie i bibliografiia za rubezhom, by Dr. Robert V. Allen
  • Survey (Partial) of Czech Retrospective Materials in the Library of Congress, by Dr. Paul L. Horecky
  • Survey of German and Austrian Materials on History in the Library of Congress, by Dr. Arnold H. Price
  • Survey of Hungarian Materials on History and Historiography in the Library of Congress, by Dr. Elemer Bako
  • Survey of Hungarian Materials on Religious and Church Affairs in the Library of Congress, by Dr. Elemer Bako
  • Survey of Polish Materials on Linguistics in the Library of Congress, by Dr. Janina W. Hoskins.
  • Survey of Polish Materials on Literature in the Library of Congress, by Dr. Janina W. Hoskins.
  • Survey of Official Yugoslav Publications in the Library of Congress, by Mr. Robert F. Price
  • Survey of Publications of the Matica Srpska, Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, in the Library of Congress, by Mr. Robert F. Price
  • Survey of Selected Yugoslav Periodicals in the Library of Congress, by Mr. Robert F. Price
  • Survey (Partial) of the works of Selected Yugoslav Authors in the Library of Congress by Mr. Robert F. Price


Babine Fund

(Submitted Pursuant to General Order No. 1771)

a. Name of Project: Babine Fund. Appropriation and allotment symbol: 03X8267.01.

b. Purpose: For acquisition of materials in the Russian language.

c. Estimated duration: Not known.

d. Dates covered by the report: July 1, 1964 to June 30,1965

e. Funds obligated to date as related to work performed:

Unobligated balance from fiscal year 1964: $1360.36
Received during fiscal year 1965: $267.40
Total available for obligation: $1627.76
Total obligated during fiscal year 1965: $229.30 (Preliminary figures)
Unobligated balance, June 30,1965: $1398.46

f. Work performed during reporting period: About 30 man hours by Library of Congress staff

g. Evaluation of progress: Although the expenditures from the Babine Fund in fiscal year 1965 increased by approximately $150.00 over those in fiscal year 1964, purchases were purposely kept limited in order to permit some growth in the total amount available, as well as to retain this fund as a reserve for possible unique opportunities to acquire material of significance.

Items purchased included a directory of Western Siberia, published in the 1880s, which was acquired in order to supplement the extensive holdings of material on Siberia contained in the Yudin collection, a collection of articles on the position of the intelligentsia in Russia issued in 1910 as part of the era of self-evaluation and reconsideration of goals which preceded the First World War, and an essay on the problems of literary translated edited by Nikolai Gumilev, a major Russian poet who was executed by the Soviet government in 1921.

  Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> About Division >> Reports >> 1965
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  February 21, 2017
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian