This morning, I had the satisfaction of solving the problem of a missing Ukrainian book. It hadn’t been missing in the normal library sense of not being on the shelf. Instead it was entirely missing from the catalogue.
A little while ago, a colleague sent me a few photos of covers of Ukrainian literature and history books in the University Library, and among them was this:
I looked up in the catalogue what I saw on the cover – Tvory [Works] by Leonyd Hlibiv. Nothing came up, so I tried to think about what mistakes previous cataloguers might have made, eg Tvori by Leonid Glibivif they had applied Russian Cyrillic transliteration rules to the Ukrainian Cyrillic here. Again, no results, so then I tried Hlibov (a common version of his name, still in Ukrainian) and then Glibov to cover that version if misidentified as Russian. Nothing. So then I tried the publisher – Si︠a︡ĭvo (a lovely word meaning shining or glittering). Again, no luck. Continue reading →
Much of the time, we are able to use catalogue records put together in other major libraries for books that are new to Cambridge, but sometimes we need to do the full cataloguing work ourselves, as has been the case with two recent Ukrainian arrivals.
Both books are 2022 publications from the L’viv Ivan Franko National University, an excellent publisher whose books we frequently buy. Both books are about language – but on very different subjects.
The Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov’s Diary of an Invasion was published last autumn. It gathers together his writings and broadcasts about the events of 2022; the publisher describes it as “a remarkable record of a brilliant writer at the forefront of a 21st-century war”. Another collection of reportage, War Diary of the Ukrainian Resistance, was released on 23rd February 2023: it is the work of staff at the Kyiv Independent online newspaper, combining articles which they have published along with personal accounts of their experiences since the start of the invasion.
The voices of ordinary Ukrainians, and how they have been dealing with the conflict, have been captured in another recent anthology, Queer Ukraine : An Anthology of LGBTQI+ Ukrainian Voices During Wartime, and by the Swedish academic Gregg Bucken-Knapp in his graphic novel Messages from Ukraine. In the immediate aftermath of the invasion, Bucken-Knapp contacted Ukrainian migration and information professionals, offering help: “He found himself filling in the visual gaps as he read their text messages–trying to imagine their immediate circumstances as they chose to stay and volunteer or fight, or sought safety elsewhere. In graphic form, Messages from Ukraine explores the varied experiences of the people who sent these messages: those who were forced to flee home and seek safety elsewhere in Ukraine or abroad, those who remained to take part in war efforts, those who were abroad at the time and witnessed the unfolding of events from afar, and those who found themselves trapped in Ukrainian cities under siege.” This last title has been published as an Open Access ebook, and can therefore be read freely around the world.
As the University slows to a pause for the Easter weekend, I thought it might be nice to bring back to our readers’ attention the Klassiki database’s Ukrainian films, a “collection of classic and contemporary titles from Ukraine: from the avant-garde landmarks of Oleksandr Dovzhenko and Dziga Vertov, to the national revival of sixties “poetic cinema” and 21st-century visions of a brutal present – and a hopeful future.” (from their site) Continue reading →
Among a good number of new Ukrainian books that arrived in March are of course many about the Russian war against Ukraine taking place since 2014 which then intensified appallingly with the full-scale invasion launched in February 2022. Continue reading →