November 20th, 2017

Early Russian cinema online

Early Russian cinema online

[Leiden] : IDC Publishers : Brill

HOLLIS # 15042874

We are happy to announce the arrival of the Early Russian cinema online, an electronic archive of 57 Russian film periodicals from 1907-1918.

The collection includes both “serious” and more popular titles produced by the major Russian film studios, film distributors and theater owners. In addition to a wealth of information related to the early years of Russian cinema (including interviews and screenplays), researchers will find information on various genres of live entertainment of that era, such as cabaret, circus and music halls. 

Among the titles included in the collection are Ėkran i st͡sena : zhurnal sinematografīi i fotografīi, Ėlektro-teatr “Palas” : [libretto kartin], Kino-bi͡ulletenʹ : ukazatelʹ prosmotrennykh kartin, Pegas : zhurnal iskusstv, Teatralʹnai͡a gazeta : ezhenedi͡elʹnoe izdanīe, posvi͡ashchennoe iskusstvu i bytu teatra, Vi͡estnik kinematografov v S.-Peterburgīe : ezhenedi͡elʹnyĭ zhurnal and many others.

The database can be accessed by users with a valid Harvard ID via this link. In addition, each periodical title can be accessed directly from the library’s HOLLIS catalog list.

September 8th, 2017

The Russian Revolution: Actors and Witnesses in Harvard Library Collections


Author unknown. Vozmezdie / Retribution ‘For violence and plundering”; “For sophistry and lying”; “For blasphemy and desecration of the Church”; “For murder and humiliation of the dead”; “For base treason against Holy Rus” ca. 1918-1920 [No publication info given] PF Cabinet Typ 958.17.758 [no provenance info] Photographer unknown Crowd at a revolutionary demonstration, ca. 1917-1918 bMS Am 1091 (1405); Gift of Corliss Lamont for the Harvard Alumni John Reed Committee, 1936 Lenin (1870-1924) Note praising Ten Days That Shook the World January 20, 1920 bMS Am 1091 (556);Gift of Corliss Lamont for the Harvard Alumni John Reed Committee, 1936


September 6 – December 21, Amy Lowell Room, Houghton Library

To mark the centennial of the Russian Revolution, Houghton Library in collaboration with the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Slavic Division at Widener Library presents an exhibition showcasing original documents from the period, assembled from its own holdings as well as those of other Harvard Library collections.

This exhibition takes a closer look at the human dimension of the Russian Revolution as reflected in its leaders, their opponents, the thousands of ordinary people of Russia and the American expatriates who witnessed these events first-hand.

The documents from the John Reed Papers, 1903-1967, Leon Trotsky Soviet papers, 1904-1959,  Russian revolutionary literature and other special collections are on display at Amy Lowell Room of Houghton Library until December 21, 2017. Highlights include handwritten notes by Lenin, Trotsky, photographs and manuscripts of journalist John Reed, documents concerning the investigation into the death of Nicolas II and his family and a diary of Hellen Tisdel de Wollant, an American expat caught up in the Russian Revolution and Civil War.

To learn more about The Russian Revolution: Actors and Witnesses in Harvard Library Collections, read the Davis Center interview with the exhibition curators.

The exhibition forms part of a number of commemorative events taking place across Harvard in the fall of 2017. For further details, visit the Davis Center’s website.


September 1st, 2017

Russian Old Believer books online


 Torzhestvennik”. Vʺ Moskvi͡e : Vʺ Khristīęnskoĭ tipografīi pri Preobrazhenskomʺ bogadi͡elennomʺ domi͡e, 7419 [1911]. HOLLIS # 13359993  Torzhestvennik”. Vʺ Moskvi͡e : Vʺ Khristīęnskoĭ tipografīi pri Preobrazhenskomʺ bogadi͡elennomʺ domi͡e, 7419 [1911]. HOLLIS # 13359993 Miesiats mart, imia angela. [Russia : publisher not identified, between 1800 and 1899?]. HOLLIS # 13359997
Sbornik” sobrannyi iz knig” sviashchennago i sviatootecheskago pisanii, tvorenii sviatykh ottsev I uchitelei tserkvi I vnieshnikh pisatelei. Vtorymʺ tisnenīemʺ. Vʺ Moskvi͡e : Vʺ Khristīęnskoĭ tipografīi pri Preobrazhenskomʺ bogadi͡elennomʺ domi͡e, 7424 [1915/1916]. HOLLIS # 13359983 Miesiats mart, imia angela. [Russia : publisher not identified, between 1800 and 1899?]. HOLLIS # 13359997 Skazanīe o volʹnom stradanīi gospoda nashego Iisusa Khrista. Spine title: Khristovy strasty [place of publication not identified : publisher not identified, between 1800 and 1899]. HOLLIS # 13359989


[Russia : publisher not identified], 7159 [i.e. 1651].

HOLLIS # 13359988

Skazanīe o volʹnom stradanīi gospoda nashego Iisusa Khrista.

[place of publication not identified : publisher not identified, between 1800 and 1899]

HOLLIS # 13359989

Miesiats mart, imia angela.

[Russia : publisher not identified, between 1800 and 1899?]

464 pages ; 37 cm

HOLLIS # 13359997


Vʺ Moskvi͡e : Vʺ Khristīęnskoĭ tipografīi pri Preobrazhenskomʺ bogadi͡elennomʺ domi͡e, 7419 [1911]

HOLLIS # 13359993

Bol’shoi kanonnik”.

Vʺ Moskvi͡e : V Khristīęnskoĭ tipografīi pri Preobrazhenskomʺ bogadi͡elennomʺ domi͡e, 7420 [1911/1912]

HOLLIS # 13359992

Sbornik” sobrannyi iz knig” sviashchennago i sviatootecheskago pisanii, tvorenii sviatykh ottsev I uchitelei tserkvi I vnieshnikh pisatelei.

Vʺ Moskvi͡e : Vʺ Khristīęnskoĭ tipografīi pri Preobrazhenskomʺ bogadi͡elennomʺ domi͡e, 7424 [1915/1916]

HOLLIS # 13359983

Harvard College Library has recently acquired a collection of 6 rare Old Believer books. The value of this acquisition is determined not only by its great physical condition but also by the fact that it illustrates different chronological periods and publishing methods pertaining to the history of Old Believer literature.

The set includes one item published in 1651 (i. e. prior to the Patriarch Nikon’s church reform that led to the break between the official Russian Orthodox Church and the Old Believers, who remained faithful to the pre-Nikonean rite.). This book (Kanonnik”) serves as an example of a title that while not created by the Old Believers, was nevertheless considered by them as part of their religious and literary heritage.

Another gem of the collection is the 19th century handwritten Skazanīe o volʹnom stradanīi gospoda nashego Iisusa Khrista (a retelling of the passion of Christ based on the later chapters of the New Testament). The book is written in in black and red ink and decorated with ornamental headpieces.

Another 19th century item is a later copy of Trefologion, tretʹi͡a chetvertʹ (mart–maĭ) [Trefologion for March-May], mentioned by A.S. Zernova in her Knigi kirillovskoi pechati, izdannye v Moskve v XVI-XVII vekakh, under number 139.

The collection also includes 3 books in popular Old Believer genres of Torzhestvennik, Kanonnik and Sbornik, published in 1911-1916 by the Old Believer Preobrazhenskii monastery in Moscow.

The complete collection has been digitized within the framework of the Harvard College Library preservation digitization program. In an effort to provide the most complete visual information on these items we created scans of complete books, including the covers, spines and lining papers, as well as any owner’s ephemera found inside.

I would like to thank Michael E. Biggins (University of Washington) and Olga Strakhov (Harvard University) for their assistance with research for this project.

July 5th, 2017

Krasnyi arkhiv digital archive


Krasnyi arkhiv, v.4, 1923 Krasnyi arkhiv, v.4, 1923, page view


Krasnyi Arkhiv digital archive

Minneapolis, MN : East View Information Services

HOLLIS # 6918745

Harvard ID-holders now have access to another online primary source archive: Krasnyi arkhiv digital archiveKrasnyi arkhiv was a scholarly historical journal published in Moscow in 1922-1941 by the Central Archive and later by the Central Archival Administration of the USSR and Russian Federation.  Krasnyi arkhiv published important archival materials on the history of Tsarist Russia and the early years of the Soviet Union.

The journal published archival documents related to the Soviet history as well as pre-Revolutionary period, members of the royal family and top officials of the Tsarist Russia, World War I, the Revolution and civil war, the Bolshevik / Communist party and its dignitaries, Russian politics in Siberia, Central Asia and Kazakhstan, etc. In addition to that, it published archival documents and literary materials on prominent Russian classical authors and literary critics (e. g. Alexander Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Leo Tolstoy and others.

The present database, Krasnyi Arkhiv. Digital Archive contains the entire collection (106 volumes, 1,010 articles, more than 23,000 pages), completely digitized with full-image browsing and full-text article-level search and browse functions.


May 3rd, 2017

Zavod Diafoto glass slides


diafoto-418675660 diafoto-418675645 diafoto-418675789
diafoto-418675624 diafoto-418675576 diafoto-418675648


ZavodDiafoto :

The Davis Center Collection at Fung Library is pleased to announce the digitization of two rare glass slide collections dating from the Stalin era. Series 98. Agriculture of the U.S.S.R. (1940) consists of 43 sequentially numbered images showing agricultural practices across the Soviet Union. Series 585. Rivers and Lakes of the U.S.S.R., also from the 1940’s, contains 55 images depicting various bodies of water and the uses to which they are put by Soviet citizens. Some of the images are black-and-white; others are tinted or hand-colored. The Diafoto factory, in Moscow, was famous for the captioned educational slides which it manufactured from the 1930’s through the 1950’s — but few of these “diapositives,” as they were called, have survived to this day. This is believed to be the only collection of Diafoto slides owned by a library in the United States.

The digital images are now publicly accessible via HOLLIS+ and HOLLIS Images. The original slides are held by the Davis Center Collection and have undergone preservation at the Weissman Center.

(Information for this post was contributed by Svetlana Rukhelman, Davis Center Collection)

November 3rd, 2016

Slavic Poster Collection

 Ukraine. Cultural events. RI 8001162964 Bulgarian politics posters. HOLLIS # 8927680. RI 8001162390. Croatian posters : Election and party material ; Yugoslav war (Croatia). HOLLIS # 09341517. RI 8001163051.
Russia : political posters, 1986- . RI 8001162238 Solidarity posters : Solidarność. Ri 8001162588  Czech political posters : November-December 1989 : The Velvet Revolution, Občanské fórum, Václav Havel. RI 8001162482-hollis-8927700

The Widener library has a unique collection of over 1500 posters from different Slavic countries (specifically Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Soviet Union and Ukraine). The collection dates from the beginning of the last quarter of the 20th century until the present.

Despite the regional, cultural and stylistic differences, there is a common experience that all of these countries shared during this truly unprecedented period: in the 1970s all of them still remained confined within the socialist camp in the so-called era of “stagnation”, then in the 1980s protest movements like the Solidarity movement in Poland began to shake the foundations of the political system, and by the end of that decade and in the early 1990s all of these countries underwent a complete change of political regime (and in some cases even borders), with some (such as Ukraine, Croatia and others) gaining full independence. The years that followed brought new political and social realities to all Slavic countries, as well as previously unthinkable political, cultural and personal choices.

All of this is reflected in the posters, and not just in those that are overtly political, but also in those that deal with cultural and social issues, as their very content and approach reflect the times when they were created. From the Soviet propaganda posters promoting the only existing party and its leaders to the Perestroika years with its reflection on the Soviet past and shift of focus to the individual, Polish Solidarity posters produced in France, the Velvet Revolution posters demonstrating the trademark Czech sense of humor, portraits of Bulgarian authors, Polish opera posters, posters commemorating the Ukrainian Famine of the 1930s and those celebrating Russian artists, the collection of Slavic posters presents a vibrant and diverse image of the region during one of the most turbulent periods in its history.

As part of the Harvard Library’s Open Your Hidden Collections initiative the Slavic Division was able to digitize most of its poster collection. The posters are in open access image galleries available for viewing via the HOLLIS catalog or VIA (Visual Information Access system).

The most convenient way to access the collection is via the Slavic Poster Collection LibGuide.

September 19th, 2016

Collection highlight: Slavic Humanities Index



Slavic Humanities Index
[Toronto, Ontario] : Slavus, [2013?]-

We would like to bring to your attention the Slavic Humanities Index, a fairly new bibliographic database in the field of Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern European Studies. It provides access to important scholarly periodicals published in the region that until recently had remained largely unindexed. It includes publications from Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. Presently, the Slavic Humanities Index includes 233,006 records from 11,263 periodicals.

The index offers access to bibliographic citations of articles, book reviews and other materials across different disciplines including: history, literature, philosophy, language, linguistics, ethnology, theater and film studies, cultural studies, borderland studies, and regional studies. In addition to indexing,  the database will soon include full text articles from periodicals published in countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia and possibly others.

The database offers basic and advanced search functionality. One can search by keyword, author, title, periodical title, and publication subject (Library of Congress Subject Headings). Every record is available in a vernacular language and transliterated using the Library of Congress and ISO-9 transliteration systems, as there are three sets of data. The database can be also searched by subject headings and personal name authority headings.


July 15th, 2016

25 Years of Soviet Latvia : the photograph collection


Cement-slate combine, Broceni. Fung Library SLPE_06
New school, Skulte. Fung Library SLPE_35
Padomju Latvijas 25. Gadadienai : Foto izstāde veltita. Tematika fotovystavki. Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Collection, Fung Library, Harvard University. (seq. 7)
Electron microscope. Fung Library SLPE_19
Female science students. Fung Library SLPE_31 Chemical industry. Fung Library SLPE_23
Exporting harbor, Riga seaport. Fung Library SLPE_16 Padomju Latvijas 25. Gadadienai : Foto izstāde veltita. Tematika fotovystavki. Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Collection, Fung Library, Harvard University. (seq. 1)

Padomju Latvijas 25. Gadadienai / 25 Years of Soviet Latvia

HOLLIS # 010022937

In 1965 the USSR celebrated the 25th anniversary of the restoration of Soviet power in Latvia. The date was marked by festivals, a commemorative stamp, a special meeting of the Latvian Communist Party’s central committee, the opening of the now-famous restaurant Jūras pērle in Jūrmala, and numerous other events and publications.

One such publication was a photo exhibit prepared in Riga by the Latvian Society for Friendship and Cultural Ties with Foreign Countries. Intended “to tell our friends abroad about Soviet Latvia” and issued by the Riga publisher Respublikanskii dom znanii, the exhibit consisted of 60 photographs depicting various facets of economic development and everyday life in the republic. Its focus was on eight categories: manufacturing, agriculture, fishing industry, science, child care and education, new construction, culture, and public health/sport. Captions in the accompanying booklet described each image, seeking to emphasize the progress the republic had made in these spheres since being annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940. Now the photographs and booklet are available online. The images are accompanied by their respective captions in the original Russian and in English translation, making the collection accessible to non-Russian-speakers. All text is fully searchable in HOLLIS Images.

The original photographs underwent preservation at the Weissman Preservation Center and are held by the Davis Center Collection at Fung Library.

(The contents for this post were contributed by Svetlana Rukhelman, Davis Center Collection)

June 9th, 2016

The Poliksena N. Shishkina-Iavein digital image collection


Wedding portrait of Poliksena Nesterovna Shishkina-Iavein and Georgii Iul’evich Iavein. Fung Library sidc1050_0001 Poliksena Nesterovna Shishkina-Iavein. Fung Library sidc2020_0001  Poster advertising a public debate organized by the Russian League for Women’s Rights, Feb. 8, 1914 in St. Petersburg. Fung Library sidc3050_0001
Free literacy course for adult women, organized by the Russian League for Women’s Equal Rights. Fung Library sidc1390_0001  Poliksena Nesterovna Shishkina-Iavein at a meeting in the office of the Russian League for Women's Equal Rights. Fung Library sidc1200_0001


The Poliksena N. Shishkina-Iavein digital image collection

HOLLIS # 013606912

This new digital collection of over 140 images documents the life of Poliksena N. Shishkina-Iavein (1875-1947). A physician and leading member of the pre-revolutionary Russian feminist movement, she is best known for her pivotal role in securing the vote for Russia’s women in 1917. The collection contains photographs of events and philanthropic enterprises organized by the St. Petersburg-based Russian League for Women’s Equal Rights, which Shishkina-Iavein chaired from 1910 through 1917. These include meetings at the League’s headquarters, the opening of the First All-Russian Congress on Women’s Education in 1912, literacy courses for women, an infirmary for wounded soldiers, and a dormitory for female refugees. Also included are photographs of Shishkina-Iavein and her collaborators, among them League co-founder Ol’ga Ianovskaia and the politician Count Ivan Tolstoi, who represented the League’s interests in the State Duma. Found in the collection as well are newspaper clippings, posters for speeches and public debates at which Shishkina-Iavein presided, and a series of postcards issued by the League in 1914, honoring prominent female artists, scientists, writers, and politicians. In addition, the collection contains photographs of Shishkina-Iavein’s husband, children, and other family members.

All text and annotations that appear in the photographs have been transcribed and translated into English, making them fully searchable in HOLLIS Images and the images suitable for research by users who do not read Russian. A digital finding aid contains links to all the images, as well as further biographic and historical details.

The hard-copy originals remain in St. Petersburg with Shishkina-Iavein’s granddaughter, Nonna Igorevna Iavein, who generously permitted the Davis Center Collection at Fung Library to create digital copies and make them available to a wider audience. Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild was instrumental in bringing about this digitization project.

(This post was contributed by Svetlana Rukhelman, Davis Center Collection)

May 20th, 2016

Stalin Digital Archive


Stalin Digital Archive: front page
СТАЛИН И.В. Перечень (на грузинском языке) статей для № 12 газеты «Пролетариатис Брдзола» («Борьба Пролетариата»).(1905 г., ранее 15 октября). F.558, op.1, d.10
Шифротелеграмма Сталина И.В. из Сочи Кагановичу Л.М. _Page_1. F.558, op.11, d.78, doc.24

Stalin Digital Archive

[New Haven] Yale University Press, 2011-

HOLLIS # 13752638

Harvard ID-holders now have access to Stalin Digital Archive, a web-based archive of primary and secondary research documents that have previously only been available at the RGASPI archive in Russia. Specifically, The Stalin Digital Archive contains a selection of documents from Fond 558, which covers Stalin’s personal biography, his work in government, and his conduct of foreign affairs:

  • Opis 1: documents written by Stalin from 1889-1952.
  • Opis 2: documents written by Stalin from 1911-1944.
  • Opis 3: over 300 books from Stalin’s personal library with his marginal notes.
  • Opis 4: Stalin’s biographical materials.
  • Opis 11: Stalin’s correspondence and documents. This Opis covers a period from 1917 to 1952.

The Stalin Digital Archive is a result of collaboration between the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI) and Yale University Press (YUP) to create an electronic database of finding aids, to digitize documents and images, and to publish in different forms and media materials from the recently declassified Stalin archive in the holdings of RGASPI. Digital versions of Yale’s Annals of Communism series supplement the RGASPI collection with additional scholarly commentary on selected documents concerning the history of Soviet and international communism from Russian state archives spanning the 75-year history of the USSR.

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