On September 2, 2008, the Slavic and Baltic Division of the New York Public Library was closed. Although the division and reading room have closed, the Library still holds one of the greatest Slavic collections in the world. In September 2009, the Committee in Support of Slavic and Baltic Scholarship was formed in New York to ensure the accessibility of the Slavic collection of the NYPL. Those interested in learning more about the committee may email the committee at SlavicCommittee@yahoo.com.
During the 1930s and after, the Library acquired an amazing treasure trove of Imperial photograph albums and association copies, rare volumes, and much more. The collection continues to grow through the acquisition of newly published material, particularly in Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Polish and Czech and is still highly used. For continued access to these materials, requests can be made through the Rose Main Reading Room or, for “Slav Reserve” books, through the Rare Books reading room.
Call numbers and location information for materials can generally be found through the library’s online catalog http://catalog.nypl.org/ but some older Slavic and Baltic items are not yet listed there. To find them, readers must consult the red catalog: a 44- volume printed Dictionary Catalog of the Slavic and Baltic Division available in the second-floor corridor and Room 315.
Materials stored at ReCAP, the Library’s offsite storage facility, are delivered in two business days and can be requested in advance at email@example.com.
For detailed information about how to request materials in the Main Reading Room from the General Research Division stacks, please see the Library’s website at http://www.nypl.org/locations/tid/36/node/4946
Be aware that any books marked as Slav Reserve are in Rare Books. Requests for Slavic materials housed in the Rare Books Division should be made at least three days in advance by filling out the “Register as Reader” form located on the Division’s homepage. http://www.nypl.org/locations/schwarzman/brooke-russell-astor-reading-room/rare-books-division
Usually within a day or so you will be notified by email that the books are available.
General reference assistance is available onsite in Room 315 or online via ASK NYPL http://www.nypl.org/help. Mr. Hee-Gwone Yoo, reference librarian and selector for Slavic language materials, is available to assist with specialized research questions and to advise on how to gain access to specific materials, including those that have been digitized (firstname.lastname@example.org). Any problems with retrieval of Slavic and Baltic materials can be addressed to Mr. Yoo.
NYPL welcomes scholars and researchers to continue making use of these materials. It is important that scholars make use of these materials in order to keep their profile high within the library and to justify the continued allocation of resources to Slavic and Baltic materials. For a small sampling of the riches of the collection, see the digital images in:
Icons and Images of Cultures: Plate Books from the Russian Empire, Early Soviet Russia, and Eastern Europe, 1730-1935
Posters of the Russian Civil War, 1918-1922
Russia and Eastern Europe in Rare Photographs, 1860- 1945
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