The Library’s Russian collection is one of the strongest among its European collections with some 700,000 physical volumes (books, sets, continuations, and bound periodicals) in Russian, and approximately the same number of volumes in other languages of the former USSR and volumes in Western languages about Russia and the former Soviet Union. In 1906, the Library purchased the Yudin Collection, almost 100,000 volumes collected by Gennadii Vasil'evich Yudin of Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, which formed the core of its Russian holdings. An overview of the Russian collections offers insight into the holdings spread among the Library’s various divisions.
Visually appealing is the Library’s Prokudin-Gorskii Photographic Collection, which features color photographic surveys of the vast Russian Empire made between 1905 and 1915 by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. What sets these images apart from traditional photographs is Prokudin-Gorskii’s technique of creating negatives by using a camera that exposed one oblong glass plate three times in rapid succession through three different color filters: blue, green, and red. He then presented these images in color in slide lectures using a light-projection system involving the same three filters to superimpose the three exposures to form a full color image on a screen. In 2000 and 2004, the Library contracted with outside vendors to reproduce Prokdin-Gorskii’s images using modern technology to allow viewing of the images as the Russian photographer intended. In addition to the full collection, a selection of these rendered images is offered as part of the online exhibition “The Empire That Was Russia.”
A. Alles um des Menschen willen! (Everything for the welfare of mankind.) 1973. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Call No.: POS 6 - U.S.S.R., no. 122 (C size) <P&P>[P&P]
B. Raduga (rainbow). 1912. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction Nos.: LC-DIG-prokc-20829 (digital color composite from digital file from glass neg.), LC-DIG-prok-10829 (detail of digital file showing single frame from glass neg.), LC-DIG-prok-00829 (digital file from glass neg.), LC-USZ62-124072 (b&w film copy neg. of photographic print); Call No.: LC-P87- 4580[P&P]