Newsletter No 15 (December 1996)

ISSN 0966-999X No. 15 December 1996




Minutes of the Annual Meeting held at the Department of Information and Library Studies, University of Loughborough, on 11 September 1996.

1) Matters arising- There were no matters arising.

2) Chairman’s report.

3) Treasurer’s report – Ms Zmroczek reported that discrepancies between institutional and personal membership had been resolved, resulting in an overall increase in institutional membership. Income from the sale of EBSEES data would be used to fund the editor’s travel expenses. The Hospitality Fund had helped fund the visit of a Croatian librarian to Oxford.

The basic fund has a clear balance of £448. There is therefore no need to raise the current level of subscriptions. Subscription renewal notices will be sent out by the end of October. The recruitment drive will be continued with details in both the Library Association Record and the ASLIB Newsletter.

With the departure of Mr McLaren-Turner the need had arisen to appoint a new signatory for the COSEELIS account. Ms Zmroczek proposed that Dr Thomas should replace Mr McLaren-Turner as signatory, and that Mr Oliver Hughes should be added as an additional signatory in his capacity as editor of the Newsletter. These proposals were agreed by the Meeting.

4) Election – Two positions on the Committee were due for re-election this year: Mr Camfield as Secretary, and Mr McLaren-Turner. Mr Camfield was duly elected.

After many years service on the Committee, Mr McLaren-Turner has decided to step down. Dr Thomas thanked him for his long and invaluable contribution to COSEELIS.

Ms Deborah Bragan-Turner of Nottingham University Library was nominated and duly elected. Mr Hughes was also co-opted on to the Committee as editor of the Newsletter.

5) Membership list – The Meeting agreed that the list of institutional members should be circulated and that personal members would be canvassed on their wishes.

6) HEFCE Review – The terms of the Review offered matching funding for 30 posts in universities, with £50,000 for archive material. In May COSEELIS was invited to set up a small committee to discuss archives. COSEELIS members of the committee are: Dr C Thomas (Chair), Dr J Screen, Dr G Walker, Ms J Zmroczek, Mr G Dix; and academic members: Dr J Barber, Dr A Kemp-Welch, Dr Y Gorlicki, Professor R Davies.

The first meeting took place on 2 September and considered proposals which had been submitted and established criteria: that there should be a spread over a number of countries; that decisions should be demand-led; that the pattern of demand in recent times should be considered; that there should be an emphasis on archives of the communist period; that the Committee should be responsive to technological developments and new means of transmission. Matched funding was rejected as a condition.

7) Union List of Newspapers – Dr Thomas briefly described the background. The database is at present mounted on BUBLINK, but there have been problems in access. A COSEELIS homepage on the Internet had been suggested as a possible solution. Updates and cancellations should be sent to Magda Szkuta. It was noted that many libraries are now cutting newspapers. The British Library, for example, is to cut around 100 titles.

8) European Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies – Dr Brine reported that the most recent volume to appear is for 1991. The 1992 volume is being processed by the French, and work is in progress on 1993.

It is still hoped to make the database available online, which will facilitate greater use and, therefore, attract more funding. For a trial period of one year it has been mounted alongside ABSEES at Illinois (
html), but simultaneous searching of both databases is not possible. The hope is to mount it in Europe, which will also improve speed of access. Tentative discussions are under way with Birmingham University. There is a possibility of some money from BASEES to cover set-up costs. Once established it may help to get EU funding. The paper version would continue for the foreseeable future.

It was noted also that the Polish Library in London produces a bibliography of Polish books published outside Poland since 1939. There are now four volumes, and the last entries on the database are to 1976. The compilers are willing to cooperate with EBSEES.

9) BACCRA – Dr Thomas reported changes in membership. Bob Davies now Chair. Russian archivists to study in UK. Mike Berry (CREES) is producing a guide to archives in Russia.

10) Aid to Eastern Europe – Dr Thomas reported that Sava Peic of the British Library had visited Sarajevo in August. The National Library remains in great need, but at present has no scope for holding donations of material. The Chief Bibliographer of the National Library is to visit the British Library as a Soros Fellow. Also under the Soros scheme the British Library is hosting three librarians from Romania and Belarus.

11) Union List of Serials on Soviet Education – Ms Hamill-Stewart reported that the draft list is now completed and is being proof read by Ray Scrivens. An outline version could be made available on the Internet, possibly on a COSEELIS homepage. It would not, however, be searchable. Ms Hamill-Stewart is to write to the UK Advisory Group on Soviet Education in Bradford.

12) Register of Slavonic and East European source materials in microform – Mr Dix reported that there had been organisational changes at Birmingham, which had affected work on the Register. New entries were still coming in. The list could also be mounted on Internet, giving up to date information on opening hours, access and charges.

13) Solanus – The last issue was a double issue, containing papers from the Warsaw Conference. A loan from SSEES had assisted with the initial outlay. Lesley Pitman at SSEES is to include the contents on the SSEES homepage, along with notes for contributors.

14) 1997 Conference – Professor Stephen White, President of BASEES, had suggested that COSEELIS might develop closer links with BASEES by linking their conferences. The BASEES Conference will take place on Saturday 12 to Monday 14 April 1997 at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. It was proposed, by way of a trial, that the COSEELIS Conference should take place either immediately before or after BASEES.

The meeting recognised the value in developing closer links, but there were reservations over the cost of attending two conferences and the problems of weekend travel. A vote was taken on the proposal to link the Conferences in 1997. There were 11 votes against and 8 in favour. It was agreed, therefore, to wait another year, in order to give more time for planning and discussion with BASEES. The Committee is to produce a proposal for a joint Conference. One suggestion is to organise a session of mutual interest, for example, on publishing. Dr Thomas will report on developments over the COSEELIS listserv.

15) AOB

i) Material for disposal. Dr Thomas reported that:

The Theatre Museum has around 300 books on offer.

Mr Sava Peic (British Library) has two Yugoslav newspapers (six months at a time) to dispose of in hardcopy.

ii) Events

Mrs Inese Smith (Loughborough) reported on the Baltic Arts Festival, taking place in London during second week in October, which includes a book exhibition.

Dr Thomas announced the forthcoming Pushkin Jubilee in 1999.

iii) Centre for Russian Music at Goldsmiths College

Peter Hellyer reported on the new Centre for Russian Music established at Goldsmiths College. The Library is centred around the Prokofiev Archive.

iv) Orbis Books Prize

Dr Walker reported on the Orbis Books Prize for Czech and Slovak studies published anywhere in the world in 1996. The closing date for nominations is 31 January 1997.

v) Internet

Dr Thomas reported on the suggestion to establish a COSEELIS homepage on the Internet.

Ms Konn is to investigate Glasgow as a base, with responsibility for maintenance rotating.

Oliver Hughes announced that the COSEELIS Listserv is up and running.

vi) Mrs Mary Bone (Royal Institute of International Affairs) reported that:

Transition, published by OMRI is to change size, due to constraints in publishing in the Czech Republic.

The European Institutes Working Group – a network of research institutes in Western and Eastern Europe in the area of international affairs and politics – is still working.

vii) Mr Ron Hogg (BLDSC) announced new edition of East-West Links.

G P Camfield
Secretary of COSEELIS

Summary of Contributions to Acquisitions Forum, COSEELIS Annual Conference, Loughborough, 11 September 1996

Russia: commercial suppliers

• Natasha Kozmenko commended for pricing, but some difficulties reported over obtaining non-Moscow publications. Thorntons said to use her service extensively, offering the books at an increased price.

• Panorama of Russia praised for informative comments on items in their lists; said to be comparable in price with Russian Press Service. RPS mentioned with approval for notification of new Russian journal titles (and for good selection of monographs – ed). Moscow Independent Press Publishing Co (MIPP) can offer a wide range of books from outside the Russian Federation.

• Delivery problems reported with publications from Sibirskii Khronograf.

• Serials: some feeling that competition between suppliers (eg Mezhkniga undercutting East View) is reducing the rate subscription increases. Possibilities for bargaining with suppliers. Major general subscription agencies (eg Swets) seen as less useful than the specialised firms. Supply of back issues regarded as very difficult from any source.

Russia: exchanges

• Biblioteka Akademii Nauk reported to be resuming some exchange traffic after long suspension. BAN are finding Academy institutes’ publications difficult to obtain. Reported that Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU) can supply many Nauka titles on exchange.

• GPNTB in Novosibirsk said to be offering wide variety of material, including much in Science, but sterling valuations for exchange purposes are high.

• Postal charges, especially from the remoter regions, found to be a serious obstacle to exchanges, and the cause of a shortage of regional publications in the exchange stocks of the Russian State Library. Postage rates for export, besides persistent customs problems, also hampering exchanges and giving incentives for less orthodox means of transmission.

• Personally-arranged exchanges reported to be of particular value, especially when set up by visiting specialists with a clear specification of interests.

• The State Public Historical Library (GPIB) is still acquiring Russian ‘unofficial’ publications, including election ephemera, for the British Library.

Eastern Europe

• Exchanges with Poland reported as encouraging, with partners becoming more realistic over mutual expectations and indebtedness.

• Suppliers of Czech titles: Fischer found good for obtaining selections from Nove Knihy; Interpress also mentioned.

• Possibility raised of using exchange agreements to obtain Ukrainian and Polish publications from organisations in Canada.

Gregory Walker

Agents’ Addresses

Interpress (Division of Orbis Books), 206 Blythe Road, London, W14 0HH, Fax/Tel: (0171) 602-5541.

Natasha Kozmenko 119021, Russia, Moscow, Zubovskii bul, 29-45a, Fax/Tel: (095) -245-38-54, Email: (weekly lists of 40 titles, ordering via email, $10 P&P).

MIPP (Moscow Independent Press Publishing Co), 2225 Benson Avenue, #5L, Brooklyn, NY 11214, USA, Tel/Fax: (718) 373-3173.

Panorama of Russia PO Box 44-1658, Somerville, MA 02144-0014, USA

RPS (Russian Press Service Inc), 1805 Crain Street, Evanston, Illinois 60202, USA, Tel: (847) 491-9851, Fax: (847) 491-1440, Email:

Sibirskii Khronograf 630128, Russia, Novosibirsk, a/ia 129, Fax/Tel: (383-2) 35-27-64, Email:

Swets UK Ltd 32 Blacklands Way, Abingdon Business Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 1SX, Tel: +44 1235 530809, Fax: +44 1235 535055, (,

Further details can be found in Ron Hogg and Kath Ladizesky, East-West Links: a directory of information providers in the Former Soviet Union and Central-Eastern Europe, (1996).

In addition, there is a list of links to the larger distributors on the British Library Slavonic web site at:

HEFCE Funding for Archive Material from the FSU and Eastern Europe

The committee has now drawn up a list outlining the allocation of HEFCE funds for the purchase of archive material. Details of this list will be published in the next issue of the Newsletter and can be made available on the Listserv.

Čechoslovák V Zahraničí 1949-1967

The British Library has recently microfilmed a complete run of this weekly periodical in Czech published in London by the Czech exile journalist Josef Josten MBE (1913-1985). The microfilm is based on British Library holdings kept at the Newspaper Library in Colindale and on additional issues loaned for the purpose by the copyright holder. Josef Josten’s years in exile were dedicated to providing, via his Free Czech Information Service, uncensored news and editorial comment from Iron Curtain countries for more than 30 years. Apart from the Čechoslovák v zahraničí he also put out an English language weekly FCI News used by press agencies world-wide. In 1985 Josef Josten’s efforts on behalf of humanitarian causes were recognised in his award of the MBE and ten years later, in 1995, he was awarded in memoriam the Czech presidential medal of the 1st order.

Three sets of the Čechoslovák v zahraničí 1949-1967 on microfilm are available for purchase at the cost of £296.00 per set. Pleas send orders to: Devana Pavlik, Slavonic and East European Collections, The British Library, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG (Fax: 0171 412 7554 or Email:

Devana Pavlik

COSEELIS Membership on the WWW

Permission for the COSEELIS web site to be mounted on Glasgow’s server has been granted and preparations are under way for the design and content of the Home page. As has already been mentioned, such a site would act as a gateway to other relevant institutional pages and would be suitable for items such as Magda Szkuta’s “Union List of Slavonic and East European Newspapers in British Libraries”, Nicola Hamill-Stewart’s “Union List of Serials on Soviet Education” and Graham Dix’s “Register of Slavonic and East European source materials in microform”.

The site could also act as a ‘register’ of information professionals involved in Slavonic-related activities (ie members of COSEELIS). The proposed ‘register’ or directory would consist of a list of members’ names, addresses, emails and brief descriptions of special interests/skills. Obviously, not all members will want their coordinates posed on the Web, particularly those who have private membership. Once mounted on the Web, these details would be publicly available (that is, to anyone with the facility to browse the Internet). With the benefits of an Internet presence (accessibility, profile, awareness, etc) also come the potential dangers (targeted ‘junk’ email campaigns, for example). That said, the editor’s email address has been widely available for some time, primarily to commercial organisations (a by-product of registering the British Library Slavonic web site with search engines, the ‘catalogues’ of the Internet), and through other channels. To date he has had to endure few unsolicited commercial emails (the delete button is even handier than the waste paper basket for conventional junk mail) and no nasty surprises.

With this in mind, you will find at the end of the Newsletter a detachable slip which gives members the option to refuse permission to make available their coordinates/interests. As you will see, email is treated separately (some members may wish to disclose their names and addresses, but not their email address). Please would members return completed slips to the editor (by overland or electronic mail).

HEFCE/ESRC Area Studies – Database of Expertise in the UK

Along similar lines, Dr Christine Thomas has received a request from Laura Turney (Department of Sociology, University of Manchester) for a list of names and addresses of individuals who can be considered ‘Area Studies experts’ in the Slavonic sphere. This would be included in the database currently being compiled by the University of Manchester for HEFCE and the ESRC. The end product, the FSEES database, would be available on the Web and in hardcopy. If members would like their coordinates to be included in/excluded from this database, please indicate on the form at the end of the Newsletter.

Appeal for Help for Former Yugoslav Libraries

At present priority is being given to the collection of foreign science literature, fundamental works and syntheses from different fields of science and artistic disciplines, and literature on current scientific research which supports science in higher education.

1. Literature of special interest includes secondary sources (national bibliographies, library catalogues, encyclopaedias, national and special glossaries, lexicons and other indexes, abstracts, books in print, biographies, dictionaries (bilingual, multilingual, etymological), reference publications, geographical and historical maps, charts and atlases, statistical yearbooks, educational programmes and educational literature. In essence, the basic priority is the collection of reference material to support university science faculties and institutions of higher learning.

2. Publications and works of foreign authors relating to Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia. These also include microforms and other media.

3. Literary, artistic and other works on economic or political emigration from Bosnia, Serbia or Croatia. Especially from national, social, cultural and religious organisations and societies.

4. Musical works including printed music, records, CDs and cassettes.

In order to link libraries and higher education institutions, a complex communication structure has to be restored. Any help to achieve this would be greatly appreciated.

Sava Peic

Protest ’96 – The Student Movement in Serbia

Information about the current protest in Serbia and the text of the ‘Declaration of decency’ issued by the Head Committee of the Student Protest of ’96 can be viewed on the WWW at the following URL:

Sava Peic

The 6th Conference on Historical and Rare Book Collections in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia

For the sixth year, this specialist conference took place in the town of Olomouc in Northern Moravia. The conference was founded and is still organised every year almost singlehandedly by Dr Václav Pumprla, the head of the Early and Rare Books Department of the State Research Library in Olomouc, on behalf of the Association of Libraries of the Czech Republic. Participants are mostly representatives from early and rare books departments in Czech libraries and this year 1 was the only librarian from abroad.

Papers presented were a mixture of reports on current finds, research and projects at various institutions, and there was also a section on security of library collections which is, at present, one of the most urgent problems. A paper on criminal offences, with special reference to cultural objects, was given by Dr Ladislav Polata from the Criminal Police Headquarters. The paper provided some statistics and analysed the present situation which, it transpired, often leaves the police powerless due to inadequate provision by the law. What we heard was sadly demonstrated in practice only about a fortnight later in Olomouc itself. Ongoing building work at the Olomouc State Research Library seems to have facilitated access to some parts of the collections and several valuable early atlases and maps were stolen.

Libuše Šimandlová from the National Library in Prague reported on the activities of the Consortium of European Research Libraries but the liveliest response was to the contribution by Dr Zdenek Bartl, the recently appointed head of Authority Control at the National Library. Whatever its merits for current cataloguing, the idea of setting up an authority control for early materials was rejected en masse by all early books specialists present. The debate practically took over the social evening and lasted well into the early morning hours.

My own contribution was the only one dealing with rare rather than early books. I gave a paper relating to my current project of compiling a catalogue of Czechoslovak publications issued in England during WW2. The British Library’s collection of these imprints, almost unknown amongst Czech and Slovak scholars because of its scarcity and deliberate suppression during the Communist era, is the most complete one in existence thanks to the copyright deposit and later systematic filling of gaps.

As in previous years, papers from the Conference will be published by the Moravská zemská Library in Brno.

Devana Pavlik

British Library Slavonic Duplicate Monograph Sale

Several long lists of duplicate books have been posed to the COSEELIS listserv. Many of the items from these lists are still available. Any COSEELIS members not on the email forum who would like to see updated versions of these lists should contact the editor (address given below). Orders of more than five books are preferable, although smaller orders will be considered. Sale will be on a first-come-first-serve basis. Payment should be made by cheque (payable to the British Library) on receipt of an invoice.

COSEELIS Conference 1997

Nottingham has been democratically selected to host the 1997 COSEELIS Conference. Deborah Bragan-Turner has provisionally booked for 9-10 September.

Cyrillic WWW Fonts

Several people have enquired about Cyrillic fonts for browsing the Internet. Here are some instructions.

Important: Downloading software from the Internet can also import viruses (especially fatal for networks). Check with your IT section before you embark on Russification of your PC.

Some of you may have encountered problems when trying to access sites in Eastern Europe. Many web sites offers users a choice between English and Russian/Ukrainian/Belarusian, etc, but increasing numbers of pages within sites are given only in Cyrillic. According to a report in the OMRI Daily Digest (12 November 1996), around 60% of the information available from Russian servers is in Russian and the rest in English. To display these pages in the correct format, it is necessary to download and install Cyrillic fonts on your PC. There are several of these free fonts available, although two (KOI-8 and CP1251) are the most popular versions and should suffice for the majority of sites.

The basic principles of Russification are: download a compressed file containing four Cyrillic fonts (two of the KOI-8 variety and two CP1251); decompress or ‘unzip’ the file; then install the fonts on your PC.

(NB I am assuming that you have a version of Netscape 2.0 or higher and use MS Windows 3.1 or 3.11.)

• Create a directory on your C drive called “download” (to do this, go into File Manager, click on the “c” directory button under the tool bar, click on “File”, select “Create Directory”, type in name (ie download) and OK.

• Go to the following tried-and-tested site (one of the many sites offering Cyrillic fonts) in Netscape:

• Select the link Encodings: KOI8-R, CP1251 (which leads to pages containing general information on Russification).

• Select the link My russification instructions and check that you have one of the packages specified (ie MS Windows 95, MS Windows 3.11, MS Windows 3.1).

• Scroll down and select the link (number 1 in the list).

• You will now be prompted with a Netscape dialogue box. Select “Save to Disk” (or “Save File” if you are using Netscape 3.0). In the “File Name” box you will see the file Save this to the directory you created earlier (ie c:\download) and OK. You have now downloaded a compressed file containing the Cyrillic fonts.

• To ‘decompress’ the file, you need a file called pkunzip.exe. This can be found on the same web page (number 2 in the list). Select the link pkunzip.exe. (There may be a copy of pkunzip on one of your Network drives courtesy of your IT department. If so, it would be preferable to use this. There is other decompression software, eg wizunzip.exe, which will also perform this operation).

• Again, you will be prompted to select “Save to Disk”. In the “File Name” box you will see the file pkunzip.exe. Save this to the directory you created earlier (ie c:\download\) and OK.

• Go into DOS (by clicking on the DOS icon normally found in the ‘Main Group’ of icons) and type the following commands:

cd .. [Enter]
cd download [Enter]
pkunzip [Enter]
exit [Enter]

• Having ‘decompressed’ your file, the final step is to install the fonts. Click on the Control Panel icon (in the ‘Main Group’); select ‘Fonts’ click on “Add” in the “directories” box, set to c:\download, click on “Select All”. This will now install the necessary fonts.

Now to view Cyrillic in Netscape: Select “Options”, “Preferences” (or “General Preferences” if you are using Netscape 3.0); set preferences on… “Fonts and Colours” (or just “Fonts” if you are using Netscape 3.0); click on the “Choose Font” button; select font (ER Bukinist KOI-8, ER Bukinist 1251, etc) and OK. To test this, the GPNTB site ( requires CP1251 and the VGBIL site ( requires KOI-8.

Further information regarding Cyrillic fonts will be made available on the Listserv.

© COSEELIS. Views expressed in this Newsletter are not necessarily those of COSEELIS.

Editor: Oliver Hughes, Slavonic and East European Collections, The British Library, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG, Tel: (0171) 412 7589, fax: (0171) 412 7554, email:;


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