Last week, two 19th-century Russian books were brought to me by a Rare Books colleague who had found by chance that they had no record in the online catalogue. An invisible title is a librarian’s (and reader’s) nightmare – without catalogue records, we may as well be without books. Now that these two volumes, lost to readers (except those still dipping into the old physical guard book catalogues) for decades, have been found, I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate them in a blog 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 University Library has arranged trial access to four new electronic resources on offer from East View. Please send feedback to email@example.com by the end of Tuesday 7 February to meet Accessions Committee deadlines. Resources with clear academic and student support will then be recommended to the Committee for purchase.
Access (available through Raven or within the cam domain) will last until 21 February. Details about each backfile/database follow, with individual links. All resources on trial can also be accessed through the general East View entry on this page. Continue reading
This month, we look at three old and new books. Old to the Cambridge system but new to the University Library, the three anthologies offer interesting glimpses into the publishing world of the post-WW2 Stalinist period.
Hundreds of Slavonic books have recently started to be transferred to the University Library from the Modern and Medieval Languages Faculty Library (MML) as the MML makes space for new books coming in to support courses taught by the Department of Slavonic Studies. The history of the MML and UL’s Slavonic collections – a subject for a separate blog post – means that the former holds many early and Soviet literary editions which the latter lacks. As a result, we are taking close to 100% of the books they have withdrawn which are not already in the UL, and it is a pleasure to be able to add these books to our collections. Listed below are three examples from the Soviet period. In all three, the parental guiding hand of the state is very clearly seen, and a paternalistic Stalin features in many of the anthologised works. Continue reading
Three recent acquisitions – The Russian theatre (New York, 1922), Bonfire : stories out of Soviet Russia (London, 1932), and A history of Russian literature (1927) – bear marks of provenance that make their addition to the Library’s collections particularly valuable. The first, for example, contains a lengthy dedication to the Ballets Russes choreographer Michel Fokine from theatre producer Morris Gest.
Oliver M. Sayler’s The Russian theatre is a much-expanded version of an earlier work, The Russian theatre under the Revolution, and covers theatrical work in late Imperial and early Soviet Russia as well as Russian theatre in other countries. On the flyleaf in our copy (at Syn.5.92.110) is the following text:
To Michel Fokine, To whom America and in fact the whole world is indebted for his great artistry and for his genius which spoke the first word for Russia to America through his great creations of the Ballet Russe. For myself I shall always cherish the moments of our association and always be proud of knowing you! Affectionately, Morris Gest