Futurizm i revoliutsiia (Futurism and revolution) by N. Gorlov; CCD.54.243
This week saw the launch of Revolution : the First Bolshevik Year, a year-long online exhibition which will grow on a monthly basis and will be co-curated with undergraduates. The first month’s exhibits are also on physical display to readers and the public in the Library’s Entrance Hall for today and tomorrow – Friday 1 and Saturday 2 December 2017.
This exhibition will look at the events of the October Revolution and the year that followed, using a wide range of material from the University Library’s collections to illustrate the dramatic 1917-1918 timeline. In future months, we will see students from various faculties and departments get involved in the project, giving them the chance to curate books and objects from the Library’s fascinating revolution-era collections.
The first month’s worth of exhibits consists of 11 items in 8 online groups, telling the story of the 27 October/7 November start of the revolution, with postcards of Moscow showing buildings altered by the fighting that took place and foreign accounts of the tumultuous events in Petrograd and beyond, before taking an initial look at the impact of the revolution on the arts. Regular readers of this blog will be unsurprised to hear that several of these first exhibits (and more of those to come) are from the Catherine Cooke collection. It is a pleasure to be able to look out items there and further afield in the Library for the exhibition, and I hope that students will feel similarly inspired as they handle this remarkable material. Monthly updates to the online exhibition will be flagged by further blog posts.
Excerpt from Dvenadtsat’ (The twelve) by Aleksandr Blok with illustrations by Iurii Annenkov; S756.a.91.1
This month, we look at a little ephemeral piece from the Catherine Cooke collection – a 1977 page-per-day calendar – soon to go on display online and in the Library’s entrance hall, and its entry for the 60th anniversary of the October Revolution.
1977 calendar; CCD.54.329.
When the Bolsheviks initiated their armed overthrow of the Provisional Government, in power since the February Revolution earlier that year, the date in Russia was 25 October 1917. Elsewhere in Europe, where the Gregorian calendar had long been in force, it was 7 November. The name of the October Revolution, however, as mentioned also in an earlier post, stuck in both East and West, even after the Gregorian calendar was adopted by the Soviets in 1918.
While the 25 October (the “Old Style” date for the revolution) entry in the 1977 calendar does make reference to the events of 1917, the chief entry for the revolution appears here on the page for 7 November (the “New Style” or Gregorian date).
Cyrillic became the chief alphabet of the Mongolian language in Mongolia in the 1940s and has remained so to this day. “Mongolia” here refers to the independent country, an area also known as Outer Mongolia. Inner Mongolia, within Chinese borders, still uses the classic Mongolian alphabet – which, rather mind-bendingly, derives from a Semitic script. The transition to Cyrillic in Soviet Mongolia from the traditional alphabet took in Latin on the way, in the 1930s. In 1932, the famous linguist Nikolai Poppe published a text book on the Mongolian language in which he employed both the classic (here shown horizontally but normally written vertically) and Latin alphabets:
Word list with both alphabets and Russian translation
Among recent arrivals from Russia is a lovely book called Gruzinskii avangard (The Georgian avant-garde; S950.a.201.5351), produced to accompany an exhibition held at the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum in Moscow. This Russian-language catalogue is a valuable addition to our collections, giving insight into 20th-century art from a country not exhaustively represented in the Library.
The book contains articles about the Georgian avant-garde followed by 140 or so pages of beautiful reproductions and then a full catalogue listing of the 200+ items used in the exhibition (accompanied by thumbprint reproductions). An English summary can be found at the end of the book. As the pictures above hopefully show, the volume is punctuated by smaller pages in addition to its main pagination. These provide further illustrative content.
The CamCREES bibliographical notes have lapsed of late, with many of the 2016 seminars missed due to trips away, but it is a pleasure to resurrect them to discuss the three seminars which the Lent Term provided – a talk on early Russian modernism and two on Soviet underground literature.
The live bibliographical notes.