Catalogs of the Yudin Collection
The Library received Yudin's own handwritten card catalog of his collection along with the books. There were two separate sections of this catalog: an alphabetical author/title section, and one that reflected the way the books had been arranged on the shelves in Yudin's own library (this arrangement itself reflecting a combination of broad subject categories, language categories, and the order in which Yudin had received the books from his suppliers). During the years when the Yudin Collection was maintained as a separate collection housed in the Slavic Section in the east attic, this catalog, especially the author/title part, was presumably the only access to the contents of the collection, other than physically browsing items on the shelves.
The status of the catalog today is somewhat confusing. Like the collection itself, the catalog has been split up. The alphabetical, author/title part of the catalog is currently housed in the European Division. Based on statistical samples I did in early 2007, there are approximately 38,000-40,000 cards in the 64 drawers of this catalog.13
The original cards in the author/title section, each 3.5" x 4.5" and written in an elegant "library hand," were glued onto 4" x 6" index cards, provided with headings in the Roman alphabet (personal or corporate author, or the first few words of the title in the case of title main entry), arranged in A-Z Roman alphabetical order, and subsequently microfilmed.14 The original of this part of the catalog remains in the custody of the European Division, is housed on its deck in the Jefferson Building stacks, and is available upon request to readers interested in the collection. The 38,000-40,000 title figure, incidentally, is probably a good indication of the number of bibliographic titles or discrete units (as opposed to volumes, which numbered around 80,000) in the Yudin Collection as sold to LC.
The Rare Book and Special Collections Division currently holds another section of the catalog, still stored in its original boxes.15 It is unclear whether the copy in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division is complete.16 The cards in this section of the catalog are the 3.5" x 4.5" size used by Yudin and his scribes and represent what the Russians would call a "topograficheskii katalog"--a shelflist reflecting how the volumes themselves were arranged, in fixed locations, on the shelves of Yudin's own library. Each card indicates a case number (shkaf), a shelf number (polka), and an item number (No., usually left blank).
Cataloging the Yudin Collection
As noted above, Yudin's own original handwritten card catalog, particularly the author/title (main entry) section, served as the only access to the collection for several decades, other than browsing the items themselves on the shelves. The Library gradually began providing standard LC cataloging for items as they were integrated into the special collections divisions and the Library's General Collections, a process that was not complete (except for a number of pamphlets, not ordinarily given full cataloging at the Library) until the 1990s.
The catalog records that LC ultimately produced for Yudin titles, over the course of several decades, were never explicitly flagged as being from the Yudin collection. As a result, there is no way, in either the old card catalogs or the newer computer catalog, to retrieve listings of cataloged Yudin books. In LC's first generation online catalog, MUMS/SCORPIO, used until December 1999, that subset of Yudin books in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division was flagged with a "Yudin" provenance note as the result of a special project to upgrade those catalog records. However, in the late 1999 changeover to the current Voyager online catalog, most of these notes were stripped out of the bibliographic records and are no longer present.17 As a result, it is unfortunately not possible today to do provenance searches in LC's online catalog to retrieve the majority of books in the original Yudin Collection.18
Several large-scale efforts to catalog the collection were made beginning in the 1960s and continued into the early 1990s. European Division files contain many internal memos detailing proposals to catalog the Yudin "remnant."19 The Yudin Collection contained thousands of pamphlets (defined at LC as publications under fifty pages in length) and offprints of periodical articles. This large subset of Yudin materials has been divided into two sections, those published pre-1865 and those published after 1864. The latter category has had a finding aid produced, and many of the pamphlets themselves have been microfilmed.20 The pre-1865 pamphlets, however, currently in the custody of the European Division, are unprocessed and comprise the only subset of Yudin materials to remain uncataloged.21
Disposal of Yudin Duplicates
Yudin's collection often had two or more copies of the same book. In the midst of a large initiative at LC beginning in the mid-1960s to finish cataloging the bulk of the collection, a number of these extra copies were designated as "surplus duplicates," deaccessioned from the LC collection, and subsequently offered to LC's exchange partner libraries or for sale to antiquarian book dealers (LC's standard practice is to retain only one copy of foreign items, except in the case of important reference materials). Obviously, in retrospect, this never should have been done--exceptions to the "one copy" policy are routinely made whereby second (third, etc.) copies of books in special collections are kept. The total number of volumes deaccessioned is probably in the range of 3,500-4,500, but cannot be documented precisely.
The disposal of Yudin duplicates became a controversial issue almost as soon as it began. People at other libraries--including libraries in the Soviet Union--began to wonder why they had received, ultimately from LC, books from the original Yudin Collection. This ultimately fueled speculation that LC was getting rid of the collection. Because of the controversy, LC tightened up procedures for treatment of Yudin duplicates in 1971, and the practice was in effect halted as of the early 1970s.22
The largest single block of "duplicate" Yudin books known to this author, possibly as many as two to three thousand volumes, is owned by a private collector in Maryland, who in early 2007 donated a number of them to the Slavic Library at the University of Illinois/Urbana. The collector, Raymond Arent, acquired the Yudin duplicates from the University of Miami Library (Florida) between 1975 and 1979 after that library, having received many Yudin duplicates through the Library of Congress' gift and exchange program, decided to divest itself of some of its existing Russian holdings due to space limitations.23
The claim that LC had deliberately destroyed part or even all of the Yudin Collection came to a head in the early 1990s. The only real proponent of this claim was Emmanuel Sztein, who in 1991 published an article detailing his accusations in the Moscow literary journal Znamia.24 A year later the journal published responses to Sztein's claims by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and by Yudin relative Inna Alekseevna Polovnikova. Among other criticisms of LC, Sztein claimed that during the Cold War American hostility to Russia and the USSR was so high that Russian collections at LC, chief among them the Yudin Collection, were deliberately and systematically destroyed, and the Soviet Union consciously ignored. In fact, of course, just the opposite was true: concern and even paranoia about the USSR, particularly after the October 1957 launch of Sputnik, fueled unprecedented growth of Russian, Slavic, and East European studies and development of corresponding library collections not only at LC, but at a number of large academic libraries throughout the U.S.25
Why did Sztein's claims, that LC had destroyed some or even all of the collection, seem at least partially credible? First of all, some volumes, particularly imprints from the late 19th century with deteriorating paper, had been microfilmed as part of LC's ongoing, systematic preservation program. The originals were, as is standard practice, in fact discarded once they had been filmed, since most were severely damaged by the microfilming process itself. Too, as mentioned above, catalog records (whether in card or electronic form) for the vast majority of titles in the Yudin Collection did not indicate Yudin provenance. A provenance search in LC's current online catalog, Voyager, yields fewer than two thousand records. This means, not that the rest of the collection isn't at LC any more, but rather that most catalog records for Yudin bibliographic entities are not properly flagged as to their provenance.
In addition, the fact that LC's bookstacks are closed to the public means that staff cannot take visitors into the stacks to see, particularly in sections such as the DKs (Russian history) or the AP50s (general Russian periodicals), how many Yudin volumes are present in these call number ranges and in fact throughout the Library's General Collections. Finally, some books with the Yudin bookplate did end up in other collections and even back in Russia, because of the "surplus duplicate" disposal discussed above.26
Renewed Contacts with Yudin Family Members
In the glasnost' and perestroika years of the late 1980s, LC was contacted for the first time in decades by descendants and relatives of Yudin. The first contact was in late 1988, from Irina Konstantinovna Iudina.27 This author met with her in St. Petersburg in September 1989 to discuss the status of the Yudin Collection at LC. She showed me several photographs that had been in her branch of the family for almost a century. In addition, we were contacted by letter in September 1989 by Inna Alekseevna Polovnikova, a great-grand niece of Gennadii Vasil'evich Yudin.28 Mrs. Polovnikova, a retired geologist and spectroscopist now living in St. Petersburg, has published two books on Yudin based on original archival research and access to family records.29 I met with her at the Library of Congress' Moscow Office in September 1993. After several unsuccessful attempts to fund a trip for her to Washington, she visited LC for two weeks in November 2006, her trip funded by the "Bank Moskva." During her stay in Washington she researched Yudin and his collection, utilizing primarily Yudin materials in the LC archives (Manuscript Division) and a large collection of Yudin materials in the European Division.
For various reasons, known and unknown, the Library did not honor Yudin's wish that the collection be kept together in its own room, or that a book catalog of the entire collection be published. Given current Library priorities, it is unlikely that the collection will ever be regrouped together as a physical collection, although a virtual reconstruction would certainly be possible, using Yudin's catalog of his collection.
The Yudin collection, nonetheless, remains the critical, essential core of LC's large Russian holdings, estimated now to number at least 800,000 volumes, and is heavily used to this day.30 Of the original collection, around 76,000 volumes remain at the Library and represent approximately 38,000-40,000 bibliographic titles. Researchers using LC holdings particularly appreciate the long, usually complete, runs of pre-revolutionary bound periodicals and "thick" literary journals that LC has in the original hard-copy editions from the Yudin Collection; most American libraries own these incompletely or only in microform. It goes without saying that volumes from the Yudin Collection will continue to support scholarly research on Russia for generations to come.
2For an overall view of Yudin's life and of his collecting and other activities before the sale of his library to LC, and for basic bibliography about the collection, see Miranda Beaven Remnek, "Yudin, Gennadii Vasilevich" in Joseph L. Wieczynski, ed., Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History, 45 (Gulf Breeze, FL: Academic International Press, 1987), 50-53. For a relatively complete bibliography of Russian and Soviet literature on Yudin and his collection, see N. M. Sokolova, Gennadii Vasil'evich Iudin, bibliograficheskii ukazatel' (Gennadii Vasil'evich Iudin, a Bibliography) (Krasnoiarsk: Krasnoiarskaia gos. kraevaia universal'naia nauchnaia biblioteka, 1990). Back to text
3See, for example, Inna A. Polovnikova, Molodye gody Iudina (Yudin's Youth) (Moskva: Ekskliuziv, 1996), her Sibirskii bibliofil i zavodchik Iudin (The Siberian Bibliophile and Merchant Yudin) (S. Peterburg: Biblioteka Rossiiskoi akademii nauk, 2002), and her "Podvig bibliofila" (A Bibliophile's Feats), Bibliografiia, 2000 no.1 (January-February), 72-84. Also the following: Tat'iana Fesenko, 'Russkie sokrovishcha Biblioteki Kongressa' (Russian Treasures at the Library of Congress), in: Vsevolod Sechkarev, ed., Otkliki, sbornik statei pamiati Nikolaia Ivanovicha Ul'ianova, 1904-1985 (New Haven: [s.n.], 1986), 186-211; Boris Zabolotskikh, 'Znamenitaia biblioteka v Tarakanove' (A Remarkable Library in Tarakanovo), Sibirskie ogni, 1990 no.12 (December), 153-165; "Iudin Gennadii Vasil'evich" in N. M. Polunina, Kto est' kto v kollektsionirovanii staroi Rossii (Moskva: Ripol Klassik, 2003). Back to text
4For a short report of the panel and summaries of the five presentations, see I. A. Polovnikova, "Sto let iudinskim knigam v SShA" (One Hundred Years of Yudin Books in the U.S.), Bibliografiia, 2007 no.2 (March/April), 154-157. Papers by Barbara Dash, Edward Kasinec, Harold Leich, and Inna Polovnikova are published in Slavic & East European Information Resources, 9, no. 2 (2008), 92-152. Back to text
5For books cataloged in the twentieth century, the first two digits of the card number (LCCN or control number) indicate the year the number was assigned and most likely cataloged (an exception is that books cataloged 1970-1979 used a different system of LCCN assignment, one not based on the year the number was assigned). In addition, catalogers indicated the exact date of cataloging in pencil in the left gutter of the first page of text of most volumes. Back to text
6Herbert Small, Illiustrirovannoe opisanie novoi Biblioteki Kongressa v Vashingtonie (An Illustrated Description of the New Library of Congress in Washington) (Moskva: Sinodal'naia tip., 1910). Two photographs of the Slavic Section, with Yudin books on the shelves, appear immediately after page . Back to text
9At LC there are currently only two named special collections housed separately in their own named rooms: The Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection, acquired 1943-1975; and the personal library of President Woodrow Wilson; cf. Annette Melville, Special Collections in the Library of Congress, a Selective Guide (Washington: LC, 1980), 309-310 (Rosenwald), 381 (Wilson). Thomas Jefferson's personal library, as much as survived the 1851 fire, will be permanently exhibited in the southwest pavilion, second floor, Jefferson Building, beginning in 2008; and the Jay Kislak Collection of Pre-Columbian Americana will be permanently displayed in the northwest curtain starting in 2008. Back to text
11Some law books were apparently sent to the Law Library of Congress as early as 1914, cf. Law Library of Congress, Library of Congress Law Library, an Illustrated Guide (Washington: Library of Congress, 2005), 110. Back to text
12The General Collections are housed in the Jefferson Building (LC classes B-F, N, P), the Adams Building (LC classes A, G-H, L, Q-V, Z), and the Library's new remote storage facility at Ft. Meade, Maryland (lesser-used materials and extra copies). The Law Library (Madison Building) holds LC class K, and the Music Division (Madison Building) LC class M. Back to text
13Each of the 64 drawers has 10-12 inches' worth of cards; there are 50-60 cards per inch. Averaging out the differences in cards per inch and inches per drawer, there appear to be just under 40,000 cards in the alphabetical part of the Yudin catalog. Back to text
15The eighteen boxes, each 17.5" x 5.5" x 4", bear the title, Podvizhnoi katalog domashnei biblioteki G. V. Iudina. S nazvanii knig v alfavitnom poriadke (Portable Catalog of the Personal Library of G. V. Yudin. From the Titles of Books in Alphabetical Order). There are separate sections for Russian books and books in foreign languages. Back to text
16There are only eighteen boxes, numbered 1-10, 41-43, and 57-61, leading one to wonder where boxes 11-40, 44-56, and 62+ are, if indeed LC received them at the time of the sale. Perhaps the absent boxes contained the author/title cards now housed in the European Division. Back to text
17A printout was made in the mid-1990s from the MUMS/SCORPIO database of that subset of Yudin books housed in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. It contains two parts (author/title, 324 pages; shelflist, 368 pages) and is available for consultation in the European Division of the Library of Congress. There are approximately 2,400 bibliographic records represented. Back to text
18Using the LC online catalog, http://catalog.loc.gov, and searching in "Expert Search" mode on the word "Yudin" in notes fields (5XX) yields 1,518 hits (September 2007). Searching the catalog for added entries (710) for "Yudin Collection" yields 717 hits. Combining these two sets with the OR operator yields 1,904 titles. Back to text
20For items from the post-1865 collection of pamphlets that have been microfilmed and included in LC's "Meeting of Frontiers" digital library, see: http://frontiers.loc.gov/intldl/mtfhtml/mfdigcol/mfdcbs.html#e_eng Back to text
21The older pamphlets are housed in 14 boxes and have been first-lettered by LC class number. Although uncataloged, these boxes are available for browsing to researchers upon request in the European Reading Room. Back to text
22Glen A. Zimmerman, "Yudin Collection--Treatment of Duplicates," internal memorandum to John C. Finzi (Assistant Director for Library Resources), August 25, 1971. European Division Yudin files, The Library of Congress. The memorandum recommends halting the practice of sending Yudin duplicates outside LC. Back to text
24E. Shtein, "Knigi G. V. Iudina v Biblioteke Kongressa" (G. V. Yudin's Books at the Library of Congress), Znamia, 1991 no.3 (March), 237-240. Responses to Sztein's claims from Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and Yudin descendant Inna A. Polovnikova were published the following year, cf. "Eshche raz o biblioteke G. V. Iudina" (On the G. V. Yudin Library, Again), Znamia, 1992 no.7 (July), 234-240. On Sztein (1934-2002), see the short biographical article in Evrei v kul'ture russkogo zarubezh'ia, 3 (Ierusalim: M. Parkhomovskii, 1994), 537. Until his death, Sztein operated an antiquarian bookstore in Orange, Connecticut and occasionally sold Yudin duplicates deaccessioned by the Library of Congress, cf. His Tematicheskii katalog, 21 ([1992?]), which offers a volume of the rare literary almanach Novosel'e for $3,500. The volume had been de-accessioned by LC at some point in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Back to text
25For details on the rapid build-up of Soviet language and area study programs in the U.S. in the immediate post-Sputnik period, see Donald N. Bigelow and Lyman H. Letgers, NDEA Language and Area Centers, a Report on the First 5 Years (Washington: U.S. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare, 1964) (Office of Education Bulletin, 1964, no.41). Back to text
26A. E. Shindina, Iudinskoe sobranie Krasnoiarskoi kraevoi nauchnoi biblioteki: katalog. Vypusk 3, Religiia (The Yudin Collection at the Krasnoiarsk Regional Research Library: a Catalog. Volume 3, Religion) (Krasnoiarsk: Krasnoiarskaia gos. kraevaia universal'naia nauchnaia biblioteka, 1995), 18-20. Back to text
29See Inna A. Polovnikova, Molodye gody Iudina (Yudin's Youth) (Moskva: Ekskliuziv, 1996) and her Sibirskii bibliofil i zavodchik Iudin (The Siberian Bibliophile and Merchant Yudin) (S. Peterburg: Biblioteka Rossiiskoi akademii nauk, 2002). Back to text
30Since LC does not keep any usage statistics for individual items in its collections, this claim represents the author's impression based on twenty years of public service at the Library's European Reading Room. Back to text