This month, I wanted to draw attention to a growing open access resource called Prozhito which provides diaries written by the great and the good and the ordinary. At the time of writing, Prozhito (“Lived”, the passive past participle) contains diaries in Russian by 5755 authors, in Ukrainian by 104, and in Belarusian by 58.
A volunteer-led initiative which started in 2014, Prozhito has since 2019 been a joint project with the European University in St Petersburg. The latter’s English-language summary of the project is here. The Russian-language Prozhito “About” page is here.
The introduction to the 1945 ‘Select classes classification’
The University Library’s classification schemes can sometimes seem designed to hinder rather than aid the reader. This post looks at some recent and lovely East European additions to the S3-figure class and briefly explains its history and current use.
In the past, the Library produced publications about specific classification schemes, chiefly for staff but apparently also for sale (many have prices printed on them!). From my predecessor as head of department, David Lowe, I inherited a third edition of Select books classification, published in 1945 in a print run of 100 copies following a first edition in 1925 and a second very shortly thereafter in 1926.
The S3-figure class was designed for ‘select books’ which didn’t already fall into one of the other ‘select classes’ covered by the pamphlet. Most commonly, a ‘select book’ was, and still is, something extensively illustrated or very heavy (archaeology books and art catalogues often tick both boxes) which the Library would want to provide access to only in a supervised reading room. The class traditionally held only hardbacks but we now add sturdy paperbacks to the sequence too. The S3-figure class was originally applied in combination with a simplified version of the open-shelf 3-figure scheme, so a book about Russian history which would count as ‘select’ would have been given a classmark starting with S586 (since 586 is the main Russian history class). About 15 years ago, the decision was made to stop the subject classification of S3-figure books, and now the classmark is standardly S950 and otherwise reflects only size and date of publications with a running number (eg S950.c.201.1). As is the case with many classes in the UL, then, readers need to use the subject headings in catalogue records to trace subjects for titles added to the S3-figure class since that time. This post looks at three new additions to the class which relate to East European art. Continue reading →
Each August for the last couple of years, we’ve drawn attention to recently received Ukrainian books. Amongst this year’s titles is a wonderfully and mind-bogglingly detailed list of biographical details gleaned, chiefly from obituaries, from a newspaper printed in the city of Lemberg/Lwów/Lʹviv from 1880 to 1939. Four sizeable volumes in, we have only reached 1904.
Last August’s Slavonic blog post looked at new literature from Ukraine. A year on, particularly with the centenary this month of the foundation of the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine, it feels appropriate to look at some of this summer’s most recent Ukrainian-language arrivals.
In the past few years, the University Library has been very fortunate in receiving the private libraries of two late British Ukrainians – Peter Yakimiuk and Teodor Kolassa. Together, these donations have added hundreds of chiefly diaspora publications to the Library’s 20th-century Ukrainian collection. This blog post celebrates a few of the many eye-catching book covers to be found amongst them. All but the last of the six items detailed here were produced in Europe within a few years of the end of World War 2. Please click on each image to see a larger version.