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Library and Archive Assessment Project : Western Russia

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Tanja Lorkovic
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Project Summary / North Caucasus and the Volga Basin / Kaliningrad / Ural region / Western Russia

An IREX Special Project in Library and Information Science with Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia

Tatjana Lorkovic
Project Organizer
Curator, Slavic and
East European Collections
Sterling Memorial Library
Yale University

Table of Contents

A stained glass window from the Slavic Reading Room

Project Summary

Mission Statment

"A project to increase awareness of and disseminate information about libraries and archives in Western Russia among the American library and academic community"

General Information

  • The main objective of this Project is to increase awareness of and disseminate information about oblast-level libraries in Western Russia among the American library and academic community.
  • This objective was made possible by conducting two acquisitions workshops, one in Petrozavodsk (Russian North-West) and one in Novgorod (Russian South-West), assessing the state of exchange relations with libraries in the area as well as conducting a survey of regional publishing.
  • The results are published on this web site. This is based on summaries of responses to questionnaires from the regional libraries.

This workshop approach to library assessment survey travel was used successfully in Khabarovsk (Russian Far East), Irkutsk (Eastern Siberia) (1994), Samara (Volga Basin), and Rostov-na-Donu (North Caucasus) (1995) under previous IREX sponsorship. This time, representatives from the twenty-three most important libraries in the Western Russia region were invited to two three-day seminars. Each included sessions on:

  • establishing exchange relations with American research libraries
  • use of "public relations" techniques by libraries
  • the role of the Internet in libraries
  • the use of email to improve communications
  • completion of detailed questionnaires by representatives of each library on everything from publishing trends in their city to the research strengths of their collections

IREX funding of this Project will lead to improved communication and cooperation between American research libraries and those in Western Russia. Without these ties it will be almost impossible to build and maintain strong collections from this region in American academic libraries.

The Seminars Held in Novgorod and Petrozavodsk

The project funded two sets of seminars in two Russian cities, Novgorod and Petrozavodsk. In addition to Russian participants, there were three American librarians, Tatjana Lorkovic (Yale University), Eric Johnson (Library of Congress), and Michael Neubert (Library of Congress). Tatjana Lorkovic was the overall organizer who applied for funding from IREX. Eric Johnson and Michael Neubert assisted with logistics and presentations.

The Novgorod seminars: took place May 19-21 and were hosted by the Novgorod Oblast Library. As host library, the Novgorod oblast library staff provided invaluable help in organizing and coordinating the seminars--without their help they would not have been possible. In Novgorod the seminars were called "On the Development of Ties between Libraries of Western Russia and Libraries of the USA.". Nine regional Russians libraries sent representatives. Significant assistance and cooperation was also received from the Novgorod State University Library.

The seminar program in Novgorod included sessions on regional library cooperation, grantsmanship and other sources of non-budget financing, Internet resources, new methods for library "publishing" (including the Internet), book exchanges, library management, library "public relations," interlibrary loan and document delivery, and international cooperation.

The Petozavodsk seminars: took place May 27-29 and were hosted by the National Library of the Republic of Kareliia. As in Novgorod, the National Library's staff provided extensive assistance in organizing and coordinating the seminars which would not have otherwise been possible. In Petrozavodsk the seminars were called "Library Cooperation : Theory and Practice." Ten regional Russian libraries sent representatives as well as libraries from Finland and Estonia (fellow Finno-Ugric countries). Significant assistance and cooperation was also received from the Petrozavodsk State University Library.

The seminar program in Petrozavodsk included sessions on cooperation between Finno-Ugric libraries, book exchanges, sources of funding and grantsmanship as well as opportunities for work experiences in the US, Internet resources, interlibrary loan and document delivery, library management, new methods for library "publishing" (including the Internet), modern libraries and society, and international cooperation.

In both Novgorod and Petrozavodsk, the seminars were run with each session including short presentations by both the American and Russian participants; a full sharing of information. Russian participants learned from the experiences of their Russian colleagues and had the experiences of the American librarians to compare to their own.

In both Novgorod and Petrozavodsk, federal level libraries such as the Russian National Library (St. Petersburg) and the Library of Foreign Literature (Moscow) sent representatives. A number of commercial companies also sent representatives who made presentations to the regional librarians.

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Russian libraries participating in the Western Russia Library Assessment Project

The participating libraries supplied information about their libraries which has been selectively translated and placed on web pages linked to their names, below.

The Novgorod Seminars

Host library Novgorod Oblast Universal Scientific Library

Regional libraries represented in Novgorod

The Petrozavodsk Seminars

Host library National Library of the Republic of Kareliia

Regional libraries represented in Petrozavodsk

  • Arkhangelsk Oblast Scientific Library
  • Iaroslav State Oblast Universal Scientific Library
  • Ivanovo Oblast Scientific Library
  • Kirov State Oblast Universal Scientific Library
  • Kostroma Oblast Universal Scientific Library
  • National Library of the Republic of Komi
  • Leningrad Oblast Universal Scientific Library
  • Tver Oblast Universal Scientific Library
  • Vladimir Oblast Universal Scientific Library
  • Vologda Oblast Universal Scientific Library
  • Scientific Library of the Petrozavodsk State University

Where Russian words are represented on this web site, Latin letters are used. The transliteration scheme is the Library of Congress system.

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(Text compiled by Michael Neubert from information supplied by Russian participants - Michael Neubert is a reference specialist, Library of Congress, European Division, Washington DC 20540-4830. mneu@loc.gov.)