Belarus and Belarusian in the University Library : the September 2015 Slavonic item(s) of the month

Belarus has a small but steady presence in the University Library, with over 1800 items published in Belarus held here already and a dozen or so more added every year.  The primary language is Russian, with Belarusian a sizeable minority.  This post looks at the language divide in our holdings and at some recent acquisitions.

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Covers of books in the library of P.F. Hlebka contained in the recently acquired bibliography of his collection (C210.c.2092)

Of the books produced in Belarus held by the University Library, fewer are in Belarusian (750) than in Russian (950).  To a certain extent, this is a reflection of the Library’s collection development policy which focuses on material in languages taught in the University.  Russian is the main Slavonic language to be taught in Cambridge, and Belarusian is not taught, although Belarus and its culture and history do feature postgraduate and post-doctoral research.  The division of languages in our Belarusian holdings is also, however, to a degree representative of language use in Belarus itself.

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