Forms of modernism and samizdat : bibliographical notes on recent CamCREES seminars

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.

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The live bibliographical notes.

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Trial access to Russian and Ukrainian e-resources : ‘Niva’, ‘Vestnik Evropy’, ‘Za vozvrashchenie na Rodinu’, and the Donetsk/Luhansk newspaper collection

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Niva, Jan. 1900

The University Library has arranged trial access to four new electronic resources on offer from East View.  Please send feedback to slavonic@lib.cam.ac.uk 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

Three Soviet anthologies : the July 2016 Slavonic item(s) of the month

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From cover of Shkol’nyi teatr

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 As a result, we are taking close to 100% of the books they have withdrawn which are not already in the UL, and it is a pleasure to be able to add these books to our collections.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

Connections with the past : provenance and the August Slavonic items of the month

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Dedication to Michel Fokine.

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

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‘Krokodil’ and ‘Literaturnaia gazeta’ electronic backfiles

Front cover of the 1/1946 issue of 'Krokodil', showing the eponymous crocodile.

Front cover of the 1/1946 issue of ‘Krokodil’, showing the eponymous crocodile.

Thanks to vocal support from researchers across the University following trial access earlier this year, the Library has now purchased permanent access to the electronic backfiles of Krokodil and Literaturnaia gazeta.  These purchases provide our readers with full accessibility to these very important titles for the first time. Continue reading