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Slavic and East European Collections: General Information

Vitebskaia meshchanka. 1844 g.

Zhitomirskii meshchanin v burke ili kobeniake. 1845.


General Information

The NYPL boasts an extensive collection of Slavic and East European materials, spanning from 14th-century illuminated manuscripts to the latest imprints. The primary focus of our collection lies in the realms of history, belles-lettres, literary criticism, and the cultural and artistic expressions of diverse Slavic and East European peoples.

Our holdings encompass a robust selection of reference materials, scholarly works, printed historical sources, and genealogical resources. Notably, the Library takes pride in its remarkable collection of visual materials, avant-garde publications, prints, photographs, and maps. A significant representation of East European governmental publications adds depth to our holdings.

One of our distinctive strengths lies in the extensive collection of emigrant and immigrant publications, reflecting the diasporic experiences of various communities. In response to evolving literary landscapes, the Library has also added representative titles of popular literature, including both fiction and non-fiction, in recent years. This ensures a well-rounded and up-to-date resource for our patrons.

In addition to materials in the vernacular languages of Slavic and East European peoples, the Library houses a sizable collection of works written in or translated into English, addressing the subjects mentioned earlier. Additionally, we offer access to relevant materials in Hebrew and Yiddish, as well as Turkic and other languages spoken in Russia and Central Asian states.

Our commitment to accessibility extends to various formats, including traditional books and serials in print and on microfilm, as well as contemporary resources such as ebooks, eserials, and electronic databases. This diverse array ensures that our patrons have versatile options for exploring the rich cultural and historical landscape of Slavic and East European regions.

Furthermore, our branch libraries maintain circulating volumes of both fiction and non-fiction books, including those in electronic format, in a variety of Slavic and East European languages. This approach ensures that literature and knowledge are accessible to a broad audience, contributing to a dynamic and inclusive learning environment.

Curator for Slavic and East European Collections


Most of the Slavic and East European collections are held by the General Research Division but they are also held by other divisions of the NYPL.

Through the cooperative collection development with Columbia, Harvard, and Princeton universities, the NYPL's readers have access to materials acquired by the partner institutions. These materials have records in the NYPL's Research Catalog. Since most of these materials are held at a storage facility out of town (ReCAP) they need to be requested two days before your arrival to do research. You can request them using the NYPL library card.