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 spotlight: 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.

May 3rd, 2016

Soviet ephemera, 1976-1978


Soviet ephemera, 1976-1978. Slavic Division, Harvard College Library. Book censorship Page (seq. 8)
Soviet ephemera, 1976-1978. Slavic Division, Harvard College Library. Leninskai͡a skhodka anniversary Page (seq. 6)
Soviet ephemera, 1976-1978. Slavic Division, Harvard College Library. Leninskai͡a skhodka anniversary Page (seq. 5)

Soviet ephemera, 1976-1978.

HOLLIS # 014148652

Introducing another ephemera collection that has been made available recently in both physical and digitized form. This small collection contains 3 groups of documents:

  1. materials produced in connection with the 89th anniversary of a 1887 students’ political meeting (“Leninskai͡a skhodka”) at the Kazan university (1976),
  2. a book censor’s letter to the Moscow Railroads libraries with censorship instructions (1977, pictured),
  3. a statement for the foreign press from a “free inter-labor” movement Svobodnoe Mezhprofessionalʹnoe Obʺedinenie trudi͡ashchikhsi͡a (SMOT, 1978).

April 25th, 2016

Iskusstvo kino digital archive

Iskusstvo kino

Iskusstvo kino
Moskva, 1931-
HOLLIS # 000170066

The Iskusstvo Kino Digital Archive (by Minneapolis, MN : East View Information Services, available for Harvard ID holders) captures the complete run (1931-2012) of this illustrated analytical journal of film criticism in a complete online archive, in full-image and fully searchable text. Initially published monthly from 1931-1941 (in 1931-1932 under the title Proletarskoe kino, in 1933-1935 as Sovetskoe kino), Iskusstvo kino was temporarily suspended during World War II and then was published irregularly during 1945-1947 and bimonthly during 1947-1951 before resuming monthly publication in 1952.  A text-only archive of Iskusstvo kino from 2013 is also available online via HOLLIS.

April 18th, 2016

Slavic poor paper digitization project


 Memoar ot basarabskiti͡e bŭlgari, grazhdani na bŭlgarskoto t͡sarstvo : mart 1918. godina. Sofii͡a : Dŭrzhavna pechatnit͡sa, 1918. HOLLIS # 002056888  Tėffi, N. A. Kobieta demoniczna. Warszawa : Książki Ciekawe, [ca 1922]. HOLLIS # 002193683  Legkov, K. I. Chuma : lekt͡sii͡a, prochitannai͡a meditsinskomu personalu Berezovskogo voennogo gospitali͡a, 5 fevralia 1921 goda. [Verkhne-Udinsk?] : Izd. V.-Udinskogo raĭonnogo Evakuat͡sionnogo upravlenii͡a, [1921?]. HOLLIS # 002169264
 000468812  Ocherednoe nizhegorodskoe gubernskoe zemskoe sobranīe. XV ocherednoe nizhegorodskoe zemskoe sobranīe10-18 dekabri͡a 1879 goda. Nizhnīi Novgorod : Tip. N. Roĭskago i D. Dushina, 1880. HOLLIS # 002381867 Vpori͡ad. New York : Nakladom Sïchovoï organizat͡syï ukraïnt͡sïv v Zluchenykh Derz͡havakh, 1917. HOLLIS # 002136982

As part of the project to preserve old and fragile books through digitization, 432 such titles published before 1922 have recently been digitized and are accessible directly from HOLLIS. The titles were published in various Slavic countries, and most of them are in various Slavic languages (Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Church Slavic, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian), but there are also a few titles with some content in Chinese, German, French, Korean, English, etc.)

In addition to the images, the library digitization services also provided OCR (optical character recognition), i. e. machine-readable rendition of the text.

In order to see this collection in its entirety in HOLLIS, please enter the search string: Slavic poor paper digitization project and refine your search results by resource type (“Book”) and by format (“show only online”) – you will see the list of all titles in the project. Alternatively, you can follow this link.

April 11th, 2016

Russian ephemera (late 1980s-1990s) digitization project


"Women of Russia" election poster. Russian Parliamentary Election and Moscow Mayoral Election 1999 Ephemera, Slavic Division, Harvard College Library. Box 452, Zhenshchiny Rossii Page: (seq. 754)  Kommunist party election poster. Russian Parliamentary Election 1995 Ephemera, Slavic Division, Harvard College Library. Box 138, Kommunisticheskaia partiia Rossiiskoi Federatsii Page: (seq. 71) Rally flier. Russian political ephemera 1987-1999, Slavic Division, Harvard College Library. Box 135, 1992 : Rallies : "Pokhod na Belyĭ dom", Feb 9 Page: (seq. 1840)
 Election campaign badge. Russian Parliamentary Election 1995 Ephemera, Slavic Division, Harvard College Library. Box 138, Nash dom - Rossii͡a Page: (seq. 102)  Postal envelope. Russian cultural, religious and business ephemera 1987-1999, Slavic Division, Harvard College Library. Cultural ephemera: Literature, publishing and libraries Page: (seq. 149)  Food ration card. Russian political ephemera 1987-1999, Slavic Division, Harvard College Library. Box 135, 1991 : general materials Page: (seq. 824) .


Russian ephemera collection (late 1980s-1990s) is a collection of materials and artifacts related to various political events, movements, parties and personalities that were part of the political life in the former Soviet Union and Russia between 1987 and 1999. This was a vibrant and very important period in the history of the country and the collection of ephemera documents the process of the decline and ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union as it was reflected in unprecedented free, independent and  non-traditional publishing output in Russia. Among the objects in our collection are fliers reproducing official documents or produced by political parties or movements, special issues of periodicals, campaign brochures, event invitations, meeting agendas, posters, photographs, campaign miscellanea (calendars, stickers, envelopes, notebooks with party symbols) and non-paper items (buttons etc.).

Geographically, most of the materials originate from Moscow, but some come from Leningrad/St. Petersburg and other areas of Russia, as well as from the republics and countries of the Former Soviet Union.

The collection was virtually “hidden”, since it has never been adequately processed or described. With special funding and effort the Slavic division provided access to this collection (as well as preserve it) by cataloging and digitizing it. In June 2015 the complete digitized version of the collection (12682 images) became available to users.

The collection has seven parts, each with its own title and its own record in Harvard’s online catalog:

  1. Russian political ephemera, 1987-1999.
  2. Soviet coup d’état attempt ephemera, 1991.
  3. Russian parliamentary election ephemera ; Moscow legislative election ephemera ; Constitutional referendum ephemera, 1993.
  4. Russian parliamentary election ephemera, 1995.
  5. Russian parliamentary election ephemera ; Moscow mayoral election ephemera, 1999.
  6. Soviet republics and countries of the Former Soviet Union ephemera, 1980s-1990s.
  7. Russian cultural, religious and business ephemera, 1987-1999.

For a complete online guide to the collection in the LibGuide format please follow this link:

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