This post has a rare domestic focus, on the watershed moment in the history of Northern Ireland when the Good Friday Agreement was signed, 25 years ago today. Most libraries are closed today, so this post looks at a small sample of ebooks about the Agreement and how to find others in the catalogue.
CAIRN is a Francophone online platform originally founded by four French and Belgian publishers: Belin, De Boeck, La Découverte and Erès, focusing on social sciences and humanities periodicals. More recent partners include the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the University of Liège and the Centre National du Livre. In the past few years, especially since COVID (when the platform offered the library free access to all their ebooks for the month of May 2020), we started acquiring CAIRN ebooks, as well as receiving statistics about our readers’ attempts to access ebook titles on the platform.
Based on these information, and in order to continue diversifying the range of French and Francophone material available to our readers, while also taking into account the pricing of the ebooks, we recently made a bulk purchase of more than 200 titles selected from the Cairn catalogue, including both new and older publications that we did not already have in print. Members of Cambridge University Library now have access to about 450 CAIRN ebooks titles, available through Raven, either on iDiscover, or directly on the CAIRN platform and other websites, if you use the Lean library plugin. We are now in the process of upgrading online catalogue records for the newly acquired ebooks, which includes adding subject headings. Continue reading →
The portraits from v. 1 and 26 of the newly acquired set
This month, we look at a recent political addition to the collections – the works of Mikhail Gorbachev – and examine the publications of his Soviet leader predecessors.
The University Library already holds dozens of titles by Gorbachev, chiefly from his 1985-1991 time in office. The earliest is the 383-page ‘Izbrannye rechi i stat’i’ (Selected speeches and articles; 231.c.98.626) which is followed by a mixture of very short printings of speeches and much longer books. The majority of our Gorbachev material is in English. Russian comes a fairly distant second, and Chinese, German, and Belarusian account for the remainder. Among our stock are biographies (Russian at 586:95.c.95.297-298; English at 586:95.c.95.315) as well as Soviet and post-Soviet political writings.
By the time Gorbachev’s works started to be published as a collected corpus, Politizdat (short for Izdatel’stvo politicheskoi literatury) – the official Soviet political publishing house – had long ceased to exist. The set is instead being published by the private Ves’ Mir publishers in Moscow in conjunction with the Gorbachev Foundation. Between 2008 and 2015, 26 volumes were published, covering the period of November 1961 (starting with a speech by the 22-year-old Gorbachev to the Stavropol’ Komsomol committee) to July 1991, with the Foundation’s preface to volume 1 stating clearly the intention for the set to cover the post-1991 period too. The Library has managed to pick up 24 of the 26 volumes this summer, with volumes 22 and 25 lacking at the time of writing. We intend to fill these gaps and order future volumes as and when they are published. The volumes we have already can be ordered through the Reading Room from C211.c.5890- .