ABDOS Conference

Call for Papers

The 47th International ABDOS Conference entitled

“Freely available, networked but nevertheless hard to find –
Information retrieval and academic communication on
East, East Central and South Eastern Europe“

will take place in Leipzig from 7th to 9th May 2018.

The conference will be jointly organized by ABDOS (Working Group of Libraries and Documentation Units for Research on East, East Central and South Eastern Europe), the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO), Leipzig University Library and the Southeast Europe Association (Munich).

Conference venues will be the Leipzig University Library (7th May 2018) and the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (8th and 9th May 2018).
https://www.ub.uni-leipzig.de/ and http://research.uni-leipzig.de/gwzo/

In the framework of the conference the General Assembly of ABDOS will take place. As part of the conference a workshop, library visits, presentations by vendors as well as an evening excursion are planned.

The organizers request proposals for academic papers, presentations as well as short contributions on the following topics:

– Back strengthening exercises for your library  – lobbying for libraries and information units
– Forms of intensified cooperation between libraries and academia
– Research data management in libraries
– Map collections with a focus on East, East Central and South Eastern Europe
– Leipzig as a centre of printing and a junction between East and West
– Networking: locally – nationally – internationally
– Free topics

The conference languages will be German, English and Russian. In recognition of our international participants presentations in English are particularly welcome.

The conference fees are 40 Euros for ABDOS members, 60 Euros for non-members and 300 Euros for commercial participants.

Please send proposals for papers/presentations (20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion) or shorter contributions (10 minutes plus 5 minutes for discussion) until 23 February 2018 to

Dr. Jürgen Warmbrunn
Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe
Research library
Gisonenweg 5-7, D- 35037 Marburg

We plan to publish printed conference proceedings in cooperation with the East European Department of the Berlin State Library – Prussian Cultural Heritage.

Further information on ABDOS and the preparations for the conference can be found at http://www.abdos.de

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Registration now open for COSEELIS 2018

(c) Fitzwilliam College

Registration for the 2018 COSEELIS conference is now open!  The conference will take place in Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 July.

The deadline for registration is Monday 2 April 2018 and payment must be made by Monday 30 April.  Please note that accommodation at Fitzwilliam is limited to 20 places.  All 20 rooms have en-suite facilities.

For queries about payment, please contact the COSEELIS treasurer, Ildi Wollner, at Ildiko.Wollner@bl.uk   For other queries, please contact the COSEELIS secretary, Mel Bach, at slavonic@lib.cam.ac.uk

Please find below an A4 version of the registration form and also a letter-size version.

COSEELIS 2018_Registration form

COSEELIS 2018_Registration form_Letter size

A draft programme will be put online in the next couple of weeks.

We look forward to welcoming you to Cambridge!

Mel Bach

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COSEELIS-2018, annual conference in Cambridge – call for papers

COSEELIS annual conference -2018 is scheduled to take place on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 July 2018 at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

This year we would like to bring into focus our rich and diverse non-Russian collections and mark the centenary of the end of WWI. We would like to discuss the consequences of the War and its long lasting impact on Central and East European nations and states.

We invite you to come up with your suggestioCall for papersns for papers, presentations or round tables. We will be pleased and interested to hear from you more about collections and projects related to the theme of our conference. As usual,  we would also like to talk about important every-day activities or any other special projects that you might have and find the themes that are of most interest to our participants. We invite suggestions from all of you on the topics and themes of your interest.


Please note that due to strict cancellation policy of Fitzwilliam College we ask all delegates to returned registration forms by 1 April 2018. By returning the form, you are making a firm booking and committing to payment.  Cancelled bookings will incur cancellation fees in keeping with the cancellation policy (see the registration from).  Payment must be received by 30 April 2018. The registration form and a draft programme will follow soon – we hope to get many interesting proposals.

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Tito in Africa – the photographs one can see in Oxford



The exhibition presents a selection of photographs showing Marshal Josip Broz Tito taken during official visits to various African countries in the post-war period.  The Yugoslav leader visited the continent regularly from the 1950s to further diplomatic relations and establish bilateral trade deals and to foster support for Yugoslavia’s regime during a time of political entrenchment in Europe but considerable change in Africa.  Recording a perspective on the Cold War little known or acknowledged in the West , the photographs highlight Tito’s meetings with African leaders and his interaction with the people and cultures of these countries as well as showing moments of leisure, especially during major tours of 1961 and 1970.

This paragraph is taken from the leaflet — Philip Grover (Assistant curator, Film and Manuscript Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum) was working closely with colleagues at the Museum of Yugoslavia, Belgrade, to develop the exhibition.  The two videos here  and here  are quite interesting and really bring the material vividly to life; both can be accessed from the main Tito in Africa: Picturing Solidarity exhibition web page .

Nick Hearn (French and Slavonic  Subject Specialist), Taylor Institution Library, Oxford


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UCL SSEES Library will participate in History Day at Senate House in October 2017

UCL SSEES Library is very happy to participate in History Day 2017. We will be contributing to the Day alongside number of libraries which hold collections that are particularly strong in the field of History. The History Day will take place on the 31st of October at Senate House, University of London. As the date coincides with Halloween, the organisers of the Day propose to use this opportunity and to “celebrate all that is scary, eerie and magical in libraries and archives”.


[Trans-sylvania.Hondius,Jodocus, 1563-1612. Probably from an English ed. of Hondius’ Atlas minor (1635, 1637 or 1639). Map 189. From the collections of UCL SSEES Library. Copyright UCL Library Services, 2010, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England and Wales Licence. For further information on this Licence please refer to: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/%5D

At UCL SSSES Library we decided to take this opportunity to focus on vampires! Although it may sound a bit unusual, we actually do have quite strong collection on vampires. In fact UCL SSEES runs a course for our students entitled: Vampires, society and culture: Transylvania and beyond. If you would like to tuck into the subject, you can find the complete reading list here.

But what actually are vampires? According to Encyclopedia of Russian and Slavic myth and legend by Mike Dixon-Kennedy (the book is kept at SSEES: Gen.Slav.REF 3-e DIX) “the name itself is borrowed from the Serbian vampir, which is in turn related to the Turkish word ubir, “undead”, though some sources assert an association with the Slavic upir. In certain cases, the vampire had the ability to shift shape at will, its favourite animal manifestation being the wolf, although bats were also common. These vampires were known as vukodlak, which literally translates as “wolf’s hair”, a word that is still in common usage. Common superstition still holds that when a werewolf dies it becomes a vampire”[1].

The most well-known vampire character is of course Bram Stoker’s Dracula, whose archetype was Prince Vlad Tepes, better known as Dracula or Vlad the Impaler. In SSEES Library we have everything you may want to know about Dracula starting with Bram Stoker’s book Dracula (Misc.XXIV.7 STO). If you would like to know more about the origins of the book, please check The origins of Dracula : the background to Bram Stoker’s Gothic masterpiece, edited by Clive Leatherdale (Misc.XXIV.7 STO ORI). Want to know more about Vlad Tapes the historical figure? Check Vlad the Impaler : in search of the real Dracula by M.J. Trow (Rou.IX.c TRO), or perhaps you are looking for a straight forward answer? Then maybe Dracula : sense & nonsense by Elizabeth Miller (Misc.XXIV.7 STO MIL) can help.

Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Báthory (born in 1560) may be a lesser known vampiric figure. However it is enough to say that she has been described as “the most vicious female serial killer in all recorded history”[2] . If you would like to know more please check for example the following books: The bloody countess by Valentine Penrose (H.IX.c PEN) or Dracula was a woman: in search of the blood countess of Transylvania by Raymond T. McNally (Rou.IX.c MAC).

Of course there is much more in Eastern European folklore and mythology than vampires. If you are interested, please check for example A bibliography of Slavic mythology by Mark Kulikowski (Gen.Slav.II KUL), Russian myths by Elizabeth Warner (R.VIII WAR), The gods of the ancient Slavs : Tatishchev and The beginnings of Slavic mythology by Myroslava T. Znayenk (Gen.Slav.XVII ZNA), Mother Russia: the feminine myth in Russian culture by Joanna Hubbsand (R.XVIII HUB) and many others.

Finally if you would like to read about the Eastern Europe as seen by various travellers in XVI – XIX centuries, why not check out our digital collection of travel books? It contains a selection of printed accounts, dating from 1557 to 1860, focusing on journeys in Central Europe, South Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia. You can find more than three hundreds books here.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the History Day on 31st October!


[1] Mike Dixon-Kennedy, Encyclopedia of Russian and Slavic Myth and Legend / Mike Dixon-Kennedy. (Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 1998), 298.

[2] Richard Cavendish: A vicious killer died on August 21st, 1614. In: History Today. Volume 64. Issue 8 August 2014 (http://www.historytoday.com/richard-cavendish/death-countess-elizabeth-bathory accessed on 02/09/2017)

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