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Annual Report of the Slavic Room for 1949

[This report is extracted from the 1949 Annual Report of the General Reference and Bibliography Division, the division with administrative control over the Slavic Room. The selections on the Slavic Room appear on pages 1–2, 4–7. Ed.]

Because of additional staff in the Slavic Room, Mr. John T. Dorosh, the Curator, was able to engage more actively than in the past in recommending acquisitions of materials in the Slavic languages. He has given particular attention to completing broken sets through the procurement of volumes wanting or through the acquisition of microfilm copy of unprocurable volumes. He has undertaken a daily examination of duplicates in the Exchange and Gift Division to designate extra copies for addition to the Library's permanent collections of Slavic materials, and has scrutinized book lists in current publications and recommended the purchase of new books thus identified. The Curator's contacts with scholars who have visited the Slavic Room have resulted in gifts to the Library, of which the most striking example is the gift of several hundred publications of or associated with the activities of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. A founder of that society had learned, upon visiting the Slavic Room, that the Library was entirely wanting in the publications of the Academy. . . .

The custodial responsibility for the Slavic collection on deck 8 of the Annex falls to the staff of the Slavic Room. A large portion of the Yudin collection housed there is only partially processed, having been given temporary author entries and preliminary classification. Another group of publications numbering some 20,000 volumes which have been given temporary cataloging but no classification is shelved by date of cataloging, a device which, in some instances, brings together as many as one hundred titles under one date. The Slavic pamphlet collection contains for than 15,000 items which have escaped any form of processing treatment and are shelved according to no plan. Bound volumes of official and non-official periodicals which have not been fully cataloged are organized in title alphabets under major language groups. Unbound government serial publications are grouped by country of issue and alphabetically by title within each. Non-official serials, other than periodicals and newspapers, are grouped alphabetically by city of publication and under each city alphabetically by the issuing corporate body. Some 300 current official and non-official periodicals and 60 current newspapers are shelved in title alphabets under major languages in the Slavic Room for ready access by readers. . . .

During fiscal year 1947–48 the CIA project for microfilming current Russian periodicals brought to the Slavic Room more than 125 reels of film with copy of over 1,600 periodical issues. These are housed in cabinets in the Room where they may be used in a reading machine.

. . . The Curator of the Slavic Room prepared nearly fifty pages of translations from Slavic languages for Members of Congress and constituents.

Last year's report recorded service to 3,255 readers in the Slavic Room and the transfer thereto of one professional librarian to relieve the Curator of a share of his tasks. During the year under review, two additional assistants were provided: one by transfer of a position and its incumbent, Mr. George Novossiltzeff, from the Government Publications Reading Room, together with the collection of Slavic language documents and the responsibility for servicing it, and the second a deck attendant, in a position from savings, to aid in the custodial duties. Reader attendance advanced to 6,651, and statistics of materials served record 7,444 bound volumes (incomplete count), 28,189 unbound units, and 11,615 withdrawn for loan, chiefly to branches of the Government. The added function of servicing official government publications and the first full year of night service in the Room accounted for much of the increase in reader use. An integral part of this unit's work is the development of special subject indexes and bibliographies of references identified in the course of service to readers and correspondents and in the examination of incoming materials. The responsibilities embrace problems not present in the collections of fully cataloged books and demand these additional controls over the unclassified Russian collection. Some lists thus developed will be expanded for presentation to the Bibliography and Publication Committee which has already approved preliminary projects for lists on the natural resources of the U.S.S.R., Slavic reference books, and Russian language dictionaries in the Library of Congress. These are mentioned at this point as examples of special aids available to the public in the Slavic Room. . . .

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  February 22, 2017
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