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Annual Report of the Slavic Room for 1950

[This report appears as part of the annual report of the General Reference and Bibliography Division for 1950, on pages 24-26. Ed.]

During the year under review the Slavic Room staff serviced 8,298 readers (an increase of 25% over the 6,651 readers serviced in 1949/49). In at least 200 instances such services during the year involved extended conferences and research assistance. Books made available to the Loan Division upon request received from outside the Library of Congress amounted to 13,299, marking a 15.7% increase over the 11,490 books handled in the past year. Other data significant in appraising the function of this Section for the fiscal year include 29,235 units (books, periodicals, newspapers) issued to readers, 587 volumes prepared for bindery, the sorting of 79,300 periodicals and newspapers (including about 50,000 which were part of a collection of about 93,000 items in a collection of Russian materials received from the former United States Legation at Riga).

The Slavic Section was compensated for the loss of shelf space to the Manuscript and Orientalia Divisions by the erection of temporary shelving on Deck 8 of the Annex. By virtue of shifting the collections an additional space increment was secured so that at present there is available shelving to provide only for normal growth of the collection in the custody of the Section.

The activities of the Section contributing to the acquisition efforts of the Division have been described above (See Acquisition of Materials). It is well worth indicating that the routine examination of materials achieves significant scope when viewed over the period of a year. Seventy-five book dealers' lists were checked in four months, approximately 300 titles were examined each month in the Serial Record Section of the Order Division, and about 200 books are checked each month for determination regarding advisability of their being added to the collections as second or third copies.

The Slavic Section has continued to maintain four card catalog: 1) catalog of printed cards of finally processed books, 2) catalog of printed cards of partially processed books, 3) catalog of non-official serials, and 4) catalog of official serials. It is viewed as desirable and as the ultimate intention of the Section to combine these catalogs into a functional unit, but the current demands which press upon existing staff facilities permit only a necessary minimum of service to these valuable bibliographic tools.

During the year under review John T. Dorosh, the Curator of the Slavic Room has completed, and the Library of Congress has published the Guide to Soviet Bibliographies. A Selected List of References. (Washington, 1950. 158 p.) This work, indexed by author and subject, designed to serve as a guide to separately published bibliographies issued in Russian or relating to Russia and available in the Library of Congress, demonstrates the value which may be derived from systematic collection and organization of informational references which, in this instance had served as a daily working reference tool and demonstrated their usefulness before the idea of publication as an end product was conceived. Mr. Dorosh also contributed to the series covering Current National Bibliographies in The Library of Congress Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions (v.7, May 1950, p.14-21). In this work, in which he was aided by Elizabeth A. Gardner (now Mrs. Dorosh), he provided coverage of national bibliographies of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and Yugoslavia. "Slavic," an annual report of the most important acquisitions appeared in the same journal in February 1950 (v.7, no.2, p.43-57). Currently in process of preparation by Elizabeth A. Gardner is a bibliography to be entitled, "Fuel and Power Resources of the USSR."

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  July 19, 2013
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