Newsletter No 4 (July 1993)

ISSN 0966 999X No. 4 July 1993




Below is the latest working version of panels and speakers, which emerged from the Meeting of the Program Committee for Library and Archival Studies, held in Warsaw on 14th May. I have tried as best I can to incorporate Wojciech Zalewski’s updated version (relayed on the Slavs Network on 15th June) into Horst v Chmielewski’s original list. I would be grateful to hear of any omissions, errors, further developments.

Chairs are required for a number of panels. Further offers of papers are still requested. Each panel should ideally consist of three speakers, chairperson and discussant; panels must be international, one paper per participant.

It is also planned to hold a Pre-Conference in Torun. There are no rules and limitations for the Pre Conference panels; chairpersons will decide how to structure their panels. The Pre Conference will consist of two full days of sessions.

Anyone who wishes to contribute a paper or participate in any other way in the Congress or the Pre Conference should contact either Dr Horst von Chmielewski, Bibliothek des Johann Gottfried Herder Instituts, Gisonenweg 5-7, D-3550 Marburg/Lahn, Germany (Fax 06421 184 139) or Wojciech Zalewski at Stanford, preferably as indicated below under each panel as persons responsible for finding a chair (R). In all cases please send a copy to Tania Konn at Glasgow University Library. Any further suggestions for panels, or for round table discussions at the Congress or the Pre-Conference should also be sent to Tania.

Proposed panels for the Warsaw Congress:

1. Archives: collections and access. Chair: Auerbach (Marburg). Papers: H Krajewska, or other representative from Archiwum Glówne Akt Dawnych) R: v. Chmielewski.
2. Archives: international cooperation. Chair (USA?). Papers: Grimsted (asked). R: v. Chmielewski.
3. Cultural heritage of the Slavic and East European book. Papers: Rohling (Bochum), Pozdeeva (Moscow) Ranneslavianskaia kniga fakt i faktor kul’tury, C. Thomas (BL, London), possible contributor from Poland?, another contributor from western Europe? R: v. Chmielewski.
4. Fate of library collections: displaced libraries. Chair: M Afanasev (Moscow). Papers: B. Bienkowksa (Poland), Hetzer (Bremen), R: Zalewski.
5. Censorship in publishing, bibliographies, libraries. Chair: R Scrivens (Cambridge). Papers: M T Choldin (Urbana), J Zmroczek (BL, London). R. Zalewski.
6. Profile of a Slavic librarian: education, tools and collections, mission. Chair: G Walker (Oxford). Papers: Ershova (Moscow), Kocojowa (Krakow), Pachuta (Chicago). R: v. Chmielewski.
7. Books outside their native lands. Chair: Slawinski (Vienna). Papers: Sonnevend (Budapest), Genieva (Moscow), contributors from Germany and France. Discussant: Hollender (Warsaw). R: v. Chmielewski.
8. Structures of general bibliographies under changing socio-political and economic conditions. Chair: Leich (LC, Washington)? Papers: Mikheeva (St Petersburg). R: Zalewski.
9. Computerized bibliographic and data systems for Slavic and East European materials. Chair: Representative from western Europe? Papers: W Zalewski? R: Zalewski.
10. Book market. Papers: Cybulski (Warsaw), Rondestwedt (Pittsburgh), Bockholt (Marburg)? R: Zalewski.

The following round-tables have also been suggested:

1. Archives. Chair: R. Davies (Leeds).
2. Preservation of collections. Chair: Pasztalaniec-Jarzynska (Warsaw).

Suggested panels for Pre-Conference on Torun:

1. Cooperation in collection development, exchanges.
2. Problems with current information about publishing in eastern Europe.
3. Computerization of libraries in eastern Europe: status, standards, standards for old books.
4. Information about historical collection in libraries (Fabian project, histories of libraries, collections, descriptions).
5. Bibliographies about eastern Europe: European bibliography, American bibliography, WEBNET, subject bibliographies from eastern Europe (literary, historical, economic, INION projects, etc).
6. Government documents: publication and sale.
7. Unofficial publications: bibliographic registration and access.
8. Open session: to be scheduled or free.


The future of Solanus is assured. Its publisher is now the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London. Apologies to subscribers for the lateness of the 1993 issue. A change in software at the Oxford Computing Centre (where camera ready copy is produced) has caused problems with the printing of Cyrillic. I hope that it will come out in July. The issue will contain the following articles: Censorship and the Polish opposition press in London 1940-44; Vladimir Stasov and the professionalization of librarianship in Russia; Izdatel’stvo Ogni (1909-1923); Latvian bibliography; Books and book printing in Ukraine in the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth centuries; Venetsianskii Kirillovskii Molitvennik Sbornik 1597 g.

Contributions for the next issue are now being sought.
Chris Thomas.


The British Library was responsible for setting up a major exhibition of English books at the National Library in Sofia, 10th-30th June 1993. The three thousand books were donated by British publishers. The exhibition was the initiative of Sava Peic, Head of the British Library’s South East European Collections.

After the twenty-day exhibition the books will be distributed to the National Library of Bulgaria, the Academy of Sciences Library, Sofia University Library and other institutions where books are desperately needed. Books are a scarce and highly valued commodity in Bulgaria, especially books in English on science and technology, business, history, English language and literature. Children’s books are especially in demand; many of those collected will be donated to libraries in Veliko Trnovo and to other centres and schools where English is taught.

The display, organized with the help of Hatchards bookshop and The British Council, follows a similarly successful event last year in Albania.


The British Library South East European Collections holds materials relating to the latest developments in the former Jugoslavia and covering all areas: Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia Hercegovina, Kosova. The following publications are regularly acquired:

1. Media Action: Yugoslavia
2. Information about Yugoslavia (Embassy of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia)
3. Hrvatski Glasnik
4. Kosova Communication (Bulletin of the Ministry of Information of the Republic of Kosova)
5. Jugo-fax
6. Serbia (Republic of Serbia, Ministry of Information)
7. The Slovenian Newsletter
8. Croatian Newsletter

All documents are catalogued as follows:

a. Miscellaneous publications on the Yugoslav ethnic war on Croatian territory, 1991 1992, from the Serbian point of view
b. Miscellaneous publications on the Yugoslav ethnic war on Croatian territory, 1991 1992, from the Croation point of view
c. Miscellaneous publications on the abuse of human rights in Yugoslavia, 1990 1992
d. Miscellaneous publications on the Yugoslavia ethnic war 1991-1992 (Bosnia)

For further information please contact Sava Peic. Tel: 071 323 7585.

ABDOS ANNUAL CONFERENCE (Attended by Chris Thomas of the British Library)

I attended the 22nd Annual Conference of ABDOS (the German equivalent of COSEELIS) held in The Hague, 7-10 June 1993. The themes of the conference were: European libraries and archives as sources for East European law; European cooperative cataloguing; Exploitation and transmission of information; Problems of publishing and the book trade in Eastern Europe.

Most impressive was the international nature of the conference – it was attended by 110 participants from 16 countries, including 30 from eastern Europe, from countries ranging from Lithuania to Albania. Sadly, most Russian invitees did not turn up, having failed to get their visa applications in on time. Apart from the Dutch and Germans, Alex Kershteyn (of the New York booksellers MIPP) and myself were the only representatives from the west.

Papers were given mainly in German, but there were a number in English or Russian. The first day focused on cataloguing cooperative (notably the Dutch system PICA) and databases, some of which already exist (for example a social sciences database maintained by the Information Centre for Social Sciences in Berlin), and some which are as yet only a vision, for example WEBNET (World East European Bibliographic Network); when/if WEBNET gets off the ground, it will be a very important venture. On the second day a variety of visits were offered – I went to the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, housed in a superb converted warehouse overlooking a canal. The afternoon programme – on the legal holdings of various libraries – was decimated because of the non-arrival of the Russian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian speakers at the conference.

The last day was, I thought, the most varied and interesting. The first part of the morning presented a difficult choice between a Slavic session and a Baltic session, both of which had fairly ‘academic’ papers on subjects ranging from Russian village prose to 17th- and 18th-century legal manuscripts held in Tallinn archives. A speaker from Lübeck also reported on a project called Bibliotheca Baltica involving libraries in the ‘Hansestädte’, it has organised seminars and exchanges of librarians. Most informative was the session on publishing and the book trade, with speakers from Estonia, Latvia and Hungary. A representative from the National Library of Estonia outlined some of the problems they have both in obtaining books for themselves (for example, they received no books from Russia last year) and for exchange partners (high prices, dramatic fall in number of books published). Latvia was represented by a speaker from the former Latvian Academy of Sciences Library, which is now renamed the Latvian Academic Library, since Academy institutes and faculties of universities are beginning to merge, so the library now serves a wider readership. Their situation sounded more optimistic. Some kind of legal deposit still seems to function in Latvia and, having seen deposit copies, library staff then attempt to obtain extra copies for exchange partners either through direct contact with publishers or by scouring bookshops. there is no national bibliography and little printed information on what is being published, so they tend to guess the needs of exchange partners whose collecting profiles they know and send material on spec. For their own collections they have received large donations from Latvians abroad, help from the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Germany, and some funding from the British Embassy in Riga. They are automating their own library processes (using LIBER), are building a database of Latvian literature published all over the world, and have joined INTERNET (and therefore are on email – number: They have some new legal publications – Herald of the Supreme Soviet and Bulletin of the Supreme Court (both with text in Latvian and Russian) – whilst the newspaper Diena has a supplement including the latest laws. A speaker from the Hungarian National Library gave a paper that included some extremely detailed statistics on breakdown of publishing in Hungary over the last few years, giving information collected by the National Library on numbers and types of material published.

The final afternoon session (entitled Mixed Papers) had some fascinating presentations: the contents of the State Archive of Abhazia before it was burned down by Georgian troops in August 1992; the problems of minority rights in South-East Europe; serials as a source of information on Russian Germans (this speaker spoke very fast in German so I didn’t get much, but she is going to send a copy of her paper in Russian; she has compiled a bibliography of Russian German serials, which is available from Kubon and Sagner); the Freemasonry Library in The Hague and its sources on freemasonry in Eastern Europe.

There followed brief reports from the Albanian and Ukrainian delegates about the situation in libraries in their countries. Finally, there were: discussion on the next ABDOS Conference, to be held in Tallinn, 9-12 May 1994; ABDOS elections (Herr Görner was prevailed upon to stand again as President); brief discussion about Warsaw 1995 (see above).

Papers will be published in the next ABDOS Mitteilungen. I can give a copy of the programme and list of participants to anyone who is interested.

The conference was extremely interesting, enjoyable and useful, both in its papers and for the opportunity to meet people. The fact that we had sent a representative was appreciated, and Dr Görner encouraged us to send one every year.

Chris Thomas


1. The Bodleian Library wishes to dispose of a copy of the following:
Za svobodu. Obrázková kronika eskoslovenského revolucního hnutí na Rusi 1914 1929. Vydává obraz. cást ridí Otakar Vanek. Díl 1-4 Praha, 1926-29.

Volumes are 800-plus pages each, heavily illustrated.
Enquiries should be sent to John Wall, Slavonic Section, Bodleian Library, Oxford OX1 3BG. Tel: 0865 277055.

2. SSEES Library wishes to dispose of the following duplicate:

Katalog der Finnisch-Ugrischen Bestände, vol. 3. Ergänzungsband. Zsgt von Tibor Kesztyüs, Göttingen, 1992.

Please contact Erika Panagakis, Head of Acquisitions, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. Tel: 071 637 4934 Extension 4021.

VISIT TO UKRAINE. A short account of my visit to Ukraine will appear in the next issue of the Newsletter. Ed.

Any other contributions would be most welcome.

Special reminder

Any queries about membership or any cheques should be sent to the COSEELIS Treasurer Janet Zmroczek at The British Library, Great Russell Street, and not to the School of Slavonic and East European Studies.

Editor U Phillips, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. Tel. 071-637-4934 ext. 4094. Fax: 071 436 8916.

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