Russian and East European Collection

History of the collection

The materials in the Russian and East European collection form one of the major European collections in the field. From its modest departmental status in 1948 it has grown to its present size of c80,000 titles. As it grew the collection became noted for its strong representation of materials on the Russian and Soviet economy. The post-war period was especially well represented, as were wider aspects of events and developments within the former USSR.

The Library holdings include published collections of historical, statistical, legal, diplomatic and Communist Party documents, as well as documents produced by dissident groups. There is a substantial series of publications on the history and economic history of the republics and regions, and a significant number of publications on the history of individual enterprises. Special collections, such as that on Trotsky, and archival material such as the Schlesinger Papers and the John Hiden Baltic Research Archive, provide additional specialist facilities.

In latter years the Library has concentrated upon enlarging its holdings of microform collections of Russian archives made available for the first time – for example,

  • Archives of the Soviet Communist Party and Soviet State
  • Russian Biographical Archive
  • Russian Revolutionary Literature Collection
  • Papers of the Red Army 1918–1923
  • Papers of the White Army 1917–1921
  • Leaders of the Russian Revolution

Teaching and research interests

Present collection development closely mirrors current teaching and research interests of members of staff in the Departments of Central and Eastern Europe and Slavonic Studies. The following areas are reflected in the Library's current purchasing policy –

  • Russian/Soviet domestic and foreign policy
  • gender, economy, environment, media and censorship, cultural politics and social change in post-Soviet Russia, Russian and Soviet history including cultural history, Russian language and literature
  • the Baltic States (statehood, nationality, identity)
  • Polish politics, history, language, literature, media and censorship, education
  • Czech history and politics, language and literature, media
  • Central and East European politics, history, economic and social history 1918–1989, nationalism, gender, culture, geography and peoples, media, political economy, 19th century literature, politics and society, civil society and the state
  • Communist and post-Communist politics

Books, journals and newspapers

In recent years the rapidly changing situation in Central and Eastern Europe has greatly increased the need and demand for journals and newspapers. Access is now available to a wide range of databases (among them ABSEES and Universal Database of Central and Regional Russian Newspapers) as well as to books and journals -including over 60 newspaper titles and over 1500 Russian and East European journals led by the world-renowned Europe-Asia Studies - either in hard copy or in electronic form.

Location and access

The main collections are on Level 6 of the Main Library, however, microform collections and some journals are held at the Library Research Annexe.

For queries and assistance with the Russian and East European Collections, please contact:

Lynn Irvine