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: http://guides.library.harvard.edu/russianephemera.

April 11th, 2016

Slavic and East European Film Collection at Harvard : a research guide

Slavic Film at Harvard LibGuide front page

The Slavic division has published a research guide Slavic and East European film collection at Harvard. It describes and provides access to Harvard’s Slavic and East European film collection, which includes over 3000 Slavic and Baltic-language films of various genres on DVD, videocassette, and film print. The guide is available on the Harvard Library LibGuides platform and offers the following:

  • A list of strategies for searching/browsing for Slavic/East European films in Harvard’s online library catalog HOLLIS as well as gaining access to these films outside Harvard
  • A note on the libraries where Slavic films at Harvard are physically held
  • A list of salient reference sources pertaining to each geographical/language area as well as general resources on the cinema of Eastern Europe
  • A complete inventory (current as of July 2015) of Slavic films currently held at Harvard presented as a downloadable Excel document.

The research for the guide was completed primarily by Svetlana Rukhelman [http://scholar.harvard.edu/srukhelman/home]. Additional information and editing provided by Anna Rakityanskaya.

April 8th, 2016

Bogema: a rare 1915 magazine now available in print and online:

Богема. N.1. 1913. Page: (seq. 7)

Petrograd : Izdatelʹ: V.M. Silin, 1915.
HOLLIS # 004962239-0

I would like to bring to your attention the following title recently acquired by the Slavic division. Bogema was a short-lived literary magazine. Its total of 6 issues were published in Petrograd in 1915 by Larisa Reisner and Vladimir Zlobin. Harvard is now the only owner of this title in North America. Recently we have digitized our complete run of Bogema and made it available in HOLLIS: http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/52943546

April 8th, 2016

Houghton’s Kilgour collection catalogs digitized

Three catalogs of the Houghton Library’s Kilgour collection of early editions of Russian literature, one of them, the seminal 1959 catalog, and the other two published in connection with exhibitions in 1977 and 1987, are now digitized and available directly from HOLLIS:

Kilgour 1959

Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard College Library : Distributed by the Harvard University Press, 1959.
HOLLIS # 001219054-3
The digital copy:


Cambridge, Mass. : Houghton Library, Harvard University, 1977.
HOLLIS # 001942167-2
The digital copy:

Pushkin Kilgour

Pushkin and his friends : the making of a literature and a myth : an exhibition of the Kilgour Collection / selection and commentaries by John E. Malmstad with introductory prefaces by William Mills Todd III ; [edited by Hugh Amory].
Cambridge [Mass.] : Houghton Library , 1987.
HOLLIS # 001448823-X
The digital copy:

April 8th, 2016

Niva Digital Archive

December 28, 1870

[S. Peterburg : Izdavaemyi A.F. Marksom], 1870-
HOLLIS # 006946794-3

Niva was the most popular magazine in late 19th-early 20th century Russia. Niva described itself as “an illustrated weekly journal of literature, politics and modern life.” It was founded in 1870 and remained in publication until September 1918, when it was closed by the Soviet authorities. Among its authors were L.N. Tolstoy, A.P. Chekhov, M. Gorki, A. Akhmatova and many others. Illustrations and other artwork were supplied by the likes of N.N. Karazin, I.E. Grabar, L.O. Pasternak et al.

Harvard Libraries own incomplete sets of Niva (HOLLIS # 006946794) in paper (Houghton Library) and on microfiche. The newly acquired digital archive (available for Harvard ID holders) contains the complete set of 49 years of Niva with more than 2,500 issues and 26,318 articles in total.

The archive offers the following features:

  • A special keyboard with non-standard (pre-1918 reform) Russian orthography is added.
  • Optical Character Recognition
  • Keyword search

April 8th, 2016


Welcome to the Harvard Library’s Slavic collection blog maintained by the Slavic division of Widener Library. In this blog we will be publishing the latest news about the collection. The topics will cover new acquisitions, gifts, special collections as well as our efforts in improving access to the materials through cataloging and digitization.

To learn more about one of the world’s largest Slavic collections outside the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe, please visit our LibGuide Slavic and Eurasian Studies at Harvard.

For questions related to the content or functionality of this blog please feel free to leave comments on the blog or to e-mail Anna Rakityanskaya at the Slavic division of Widener Library : rakityan@fas.harvard.edu.

« Previous Page