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Annual Report of the Slavic Room for 1947

[This report is extracted from the 1947 Annual Report of the General Reference and Bibliography Division, the division with administrative control over the Slavic Room. The section on the Slavic Room appears on pages 4–6. Ed.]

During the fiscal year the Slavic Room recorded 28,531 books, pamphlets, periodical and newspaper issues issued to 5,144 readers of all classes. Demands for aid came regularly from the Bureau of Mines, the Department of State, the Board of Geographic Names, the Army Map Service, the Geological Survey, Naval Intelligence School, Department of Agriculture, National War College, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Surgeon General's Library, Department of Justice, and the Dumbarton Oaks Library. For several of these extensive research was pursued in the unclassified Slavic materials. Other less constant users of the Slavic Room included members of the staffs [of] the Interior Department, the War Department, the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Standards, Weather Bureau, Bureau of Plant Industry, Atomic Energy Commission, Patent Office, the Department of Labor, the Interstate Commerce Commission, and the Bureau of the Census. The Curator assisted in the selection of materials for the writing of text-books in the Russian language for one of the Federal Agencies and of materials for study curricula. He was called into consultation by the Department of State in checking the text of an agreement between the United States and Bulgaria, and on another occasion to review the examination papers of applicants for the position of Bulgarian translator. In work for the Congress the Curator has served chiefly as translator of documents, letters, and press articles in the Slavic languages. Of all translations prepared seventy per cent were from the Polish, followed in order by Russian, Bulgarian, Czech, Croatian, Slavonian, Slovak, and Ukrainian. A few translations were made into Slavic languages. Students and faculty members of universities and colleges received help in discovering sources for dissertations and for new courses in Slavic studies. Represented in this group were the American University, Harvard University, University of Colorado, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, the University of Southern California, Georgetown University, George Washington University, the University of Nebraska, University of Maryland, Notre Dame University, and the Catholic University of America. Although major emphasis was in the field[s] of Russian economics, science, and technology, there was a marked interest in the history, culture, and economic and social life of the ancient Slavs. The difficult problems of service in the Slavic Room have been lessened in some degree by the transfer to the custody of the Curator of the unbound files of all non-official periodical and serial publications, except those in the Law Library and the Music Division. Their availability to readers has been increased and the Curator is able to complete searches for readers and for the Photoduplication Service with greater facility than before. Progress on the Slavic Cataloging Project is bringing under some control in the author catalog many volumes hitherto unlisted; nevertheless the subject control of this large collection remains a matter of wide knowledge and great resourcefulness on the part of the Curator, and the difficulties of his position are second to none in the Division. He is performing single-handed a far more efficient and extensive service today than could be claimed when the Slavic collection and staff had division status.

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  February 22, 2017
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