This week has seen the very welcome news that the pilot Polish Studies Programme, launched in 2014, has succeeded in attracting funding which will ensure that Polish will remain in the University academic programme in perpetuity. To celebrate this wonderful development, the July 2017 Slavonic blog post looks at Polish holdings in the University Library.
The UL holds over 25,000 volumes in Polish. The period covered by the Polish-language collections stretches over a span of more than 450 years from the mid-16th century to the current day. Books printed before 1800 are the smallest component, but they include some extremely important and rare items. The earliest book in Polish in the University Library is the first printed translation of the Bible into Polish, which was produced in 1561 in Kraków. The second translation, printed in 1563, is rarer than the first; all but 20 or so copies were destroyed. The University Library is fortunate enough to have two copies each of these first two editions (Young.55 and BSS.232.B61; Young.56 and BSS.232.B63).
Images from the Young.55 copy of the 1561 Polish Bible.
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 Kingdom of Serbia’s involvement in the First World War saw a proportional loss of life which far outstripped that of the other Allies. Ratni album (War album), published in Belgrade in 1926, commemorates the war with both reverence and realism. From photographic portraits of victorious generals to pictures of the combatant and civilian dead, this extraordinary volume captures it all.
The front cover, with a standard ruler along the left to provide scale. Close-ups of some details of the cover are provided at the end of this post.
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.
In the last couple of weeks, we have taken delivery of a wonderful new addition to our collections: the earliest published Russian translation of Goethe’s Faust (1838). This joins two similar relative newcomers – the first full(ish) Russian Faust (1844) and the first Russian translation of another Goethe work, Götz von Berlichingen (1828).
The title page of the 1844 translation of Faust.