‘Memoirs of Russian, East European, and Eurasian Women’ online collection : the September 2021 Slavonic item of the month

This short (and slightly late) September Slavonic blog celebrates a new open-source collection of women’s memoirs from the last 70-odd years of the Russian Empire.

A screenshot of some of the collection’s contents.

The collection has been put together by the University of Illinois’ extraordinary Slavic Reference Service (SRS).  The SRS provides help to researchers all around the world, and you can read about them and their brilliant work here.

In August 2021, the SRS launched ‘Memoirs of Russian, East European, and Eurasian Women’, a curated digital collection hosted on the Internet Archive.  ‘This is a collection of women’s memoirs,’ their announcement ran, ‘from the second half of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century that were included in I.I. Iukina’s phenomenal work, Istoriia zhenshchin Rossii: Zhenskoe dvizhenie i feminizm v 1850-1920-e gody. Materialy k bibliografii. Our goal is to amplify reference sources in REEES and help improve the overall research experience of scholars. So far, there are 90 titles in the collection and we continue to add and curate this collection.’

The number of resources now stands at 92, which can be seen here.  A great many of them come from newspapers and journals which we hold only patchily in print (if at all) and/or sometimes in not very user-friendly microfilm – such as Russkīĭ arkhiv” – so the SRS’ new collection is a great boon to students and academics looking at subjects such as female education and women’s participation in politics before the Revolution.

The UL has a print copy of Iukina’s book referred to in the SRS announcement, and below are a few example titles held by the UL physically or electronically on the subject of women in Russia.

I am hugely grateful to the Slavic Reference Service for the new online collection specifically and for their tireless and generous work in general.

Mel Bach

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