Newsletter No 37 (November 2009)

ISSN 0966-999X
No. 37, November 2009
Pages 1-

Council for Slavonic and East European
Library and Information Services


Clare College, Cambridge, 6-7 April 2009

Draft Programme
Monday 6th April

11.30-13.00 Registration (coffee / tea available from 11.30-12.30)
11:00 Committee meeting
13:00-14.00 Lunch
14:00-14.45 Tragic heroes or tiresome troublemakers?: the representation on
Poles in mid-19th century Britain / Janet Zmroczek, Head of
European Collections, British Library.
14.45-15.45 Virtuelle Fachbibliothek Osteuropa / Jürgen Warmbrunn, Herder-
Institut Bibliothek, Marburg. Slavistiks portal of the Berlin State
Library in Germany, Ivo Ulrich, Berlin State Library.
15.45-16.15 Tea
16:15-17:15 Aspects of the history of the Russian Language in Britain / James
17:15-18.00 Vendor presentations: Chair: Janet Zmroczek, Head of European
Collections, British Library
19.00 Dinner

Tuesday 7th April

8:00-9.00 Breakfast
9:00-10:30 COSEELIS AGM
10:30-11:00 Coffee / tea
11:00-12.00 Investigating digital repositories for Slavic newspapers/ Miranda
Remnek, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
12.00-13.00 ‘Proty techii / Against the current: the Ukrainian cultural renaissance
of the 1920s/ Rory Finnin, Lecturer in Ukrainian Studies, University
of Cambridge.
13:00 Lunch

14:00 Exhibition of the Catherine Cooke material (Keynes Room,
University Library) or visit to the Scott Polar Research Institute.

Treasurer’s report for the COSEELIS Committee Meeting of 6th April 2009 and AGM of 7th April 2009

• Financial health. Our financial position is steady – we normally have about £3,500 in our account when all conference monies have come in and gone out.
• The 2008 conference. The conference made a profit of £41.33.
• Erroneous direct debits. In May, June and August we had direct debit payments taken out of our account by companies such as Essex and Suffolk Water and Tesco Insurance. The bank immediately refunded the amounts when I complained, but it kept happening so we’ve now set it so that no direct debits are allowed from this account. That should mean we’ll avoid the problem for now, and we can change it to allow direct debits again if we want to in future. I have no idea why this happened, and the bank could not provide an explanation.

• 2008 membership. In 2008 we had 24 institutional members (including reciprocal membership with ABDOS and the Herder Institute, which does not involve a membership fee). The House of Commons Library notified us of their decision to leave COSEELIS. We had 8 personal members, as Ron Hogg and Tom Roper did not renew.
• 2009 membership. So far in 2009 18 institutional members and 5 personal members have renewed, but it is too early to say what the final numbers will be. However, Bristol has notified us that it will not be renewing for financial reasons, and Malcolm Walker has decided not to renew as he is now teaching in Moscow. I did track down Tom Roper, but he is now working in FE and has decided not to renew. I had an approach from a librarian in Azerbaijan who was interested in becoming a member, but I have not heard back since I sent joining instructions.
• Membership lists and data protection issues. I keep a membership list in an Excel spreadsheet and send a copy to the Chair, Secretary and Newsletter Editor every time I update it. I also keep a paper file of members’ completed membership forms.
• Register of members’ interests. I launched an appeal for updates to the Register in December, and finally sent out the new register to all members on 24th March. A reduced ‘public’ version was sent to Tania Konn-Roberts to go on the COSEELIS website.

Maureen Pinder,

A Visit to Dorich House, Kingston-upon-Thames
Andrew & Zara Frenkiel (Natural History Museum, London)

It took a Heritage weekend form Kingston to reveal one of its best kept secrets. On considering what to visit our attention was drawn to Dorich House, which, although located in Kingston, is quite far from the centre and it is perfectly possible to live there for many years without being aware of it.

The House was described as the studio of a deceased sculptor and that in addition it contained a collection of Russian artifacts spanning several centuries. Situated on Kingston Hill within a deer’s leap of Richmond Park, it was screened from the road by trees and it was not until we drove in that we saw the building for the first time.

The brick built house looks fairly plain, but it emerged that it was purpose built in 1936 as a studio and living quarters for Dora Gordine, a Russian sculptress. She lived there with her second husband, Richard Hare( the second son of the 4th Earl of Listowel) who had started his career in the Foreign Office, pursued Dora and ended his career as a professor of Russian literature at SSEES, London University. He was in his own right a collector of Russian art and unusual antiques, which form a major part of the attraction of Dorich House. For instance, hanging over the staircase is a large wooden gingerbread mould with mirror-image Cyrillic lettering and on the first floor is an wooden “coachman’s” chair with carved gloves and a harness. Additionally, we admired several volumes of Russian illustrated periodicals, akin to our London Illustrated News. Richard died of a heart attack in 1966, leaving Dora living in the house until her death in 1991.

On the first floor there is a large display of Dora’s sculptures. Dora Gordine left her homeland after the Russian Revolution, settling at first in Paris, hence the spelling of her surname, and became a successful sculptress in the 1920s. One of her exhibitions secured her a prestigious commission from the British Government of the Straits Settlements in Singapore to provide 6 bronze heads depicting the various races in Malaya for the new Town Hall.
Her Far Eastern experience exerted a permanent influence on her work.

Dora and Richard named the house after their first names. It was designed from the inside out, is spectacularly spacious and lit from all sides by tall, slender windows: it was specially designed for Dora’s work and to show the sculptures at their best. The house and furnishings were renovated and repaired by Kingston University after Dora’s death, keeping as far as possible to the original 1930s designs. Particularly impressive is the “Chinese moon” door, a round doorway with sliding wooden doors which vanish into the walls between the dining room and drawing room.

There is a wonderful view from the roof terrace over the surrounding trees, creating the impression of complete isolation in spite of the busy road below. Here Dora and Richard took tea using a Russian samovar.

Dorich House is open to visitors once a month and on special open days and is well worth a visit. For more details concerning this fascinating house consult the website: /Dorich or e-mail the Curator, Brenda Martin at and read: Dorich House guidebook / B. Martin. Kingston: Kingston University Press, 2004. ISBN 1 89999 06 X
It contains extensive notes, cross-references and bibliographies about the couple.

A message from Ray Scrivens

Dear COSEELIS members:

As the new editor of “Solanus”, I would be happy to receive articles for consideration for inclusion in the next issue. The range of subjects covered in “Solanus” includes the history, organization and present state of the printed word in Russia and East/Central Europe, including publishing, the book trade, readership studies, censorship, the book arts, bibliography and libraries.

Articles should be up to 7,000 words in length, preferably in English, though material in French, German or Russian will also be considered for publication.

Full details regarding scope, conditions for submission of material, style guidelines, etc., can be found in the “Solanus” section of the UCL SSEES website (

Articles can be emailed to me at or posted to my home address: 247 Wimpole Road, Barton, Cambridge, CB23 7AE.

Yours in anticipation!

Ray Scrivens
Slavonic & East European Specialist (rtd)
Cambridge University Library

Remembering John Chillag

Jenny Brine wrote on 13/05/2009: I remember John Chillag from COSEELIS (SCONUL/SEEG) meetings in London in the 1970s, where he represented BLDSC. I knew nothing of his background then. However, I noticed his obituary in the Guardian last week, and thought I would send it on.

Dr Jenny Brine, Lancaster University

Library news round-up

Ray Scrivens retired from the post of Slavonic and East European Specialist at Cambridge University Library in mid-August 2009. The Library applied for permission to fill the post on a part-time basis, and the last news was that Slavonic and East European matters at the UL were being looked after by its German Specialist, Christian Staufenbiel. Christian can be contacted at

Oxford University started a subscription to EastView’s UDB-MIL (Military and Security Publications) from 1 January 2009 and Tom Stableford retired in September 2009.

Glynis Platt at Manchester University has taken over as Faculty Team Librarian for Russian and East Asian Studies from Charlotte Sing who has taken on a much larger role in the university and no longer has time for liaison work. Glynis has worked in the university library for 12 years but her original degree was in Language and Linguistics (Russian) at the University of Essex. She graduated in 1973 so it is a very long time since she used her Russian. She hopes to become more involved in COSEELIS than Charlotte was able to and hope to meet members of the group over the next year or so.
The Library of the Natural History Museum has experienced several months of reevaluation exercises and is currently due to undergo an extensive reorganisation of posts and reallocation of staff within offices. A Visiting Group to the Library inspected in November 2009 and will report in January 2010.
Please continue to send articles and any short pieces of news about developments in your library to me at It need only be a couple of lines.

Mrs Zara Frenkiel
Exchange Section – Library & Information Services
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 5BD

Zara Frenkiel, Editor
© COSEELIS. Views expressed in this Newsletter are not necessarily those of COSEELIS.

Editor: Zara Frenkiel, Exchange Section , Library & Information Services, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, LONDON SW7 5BD, UK. Tel: (020) 7942-5248 Fax: (020) 7942-5559 Email: