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Slavic and East European Archival Collections: About


Archival Collections

Slavic and East European archival and manuscript materials, though not extensive, are noteworthy. They are held across various divisions within the library. The majority of the Library's Slavic and East European manuscripts comprise private and organizational archives, as well as autograph letters. The Library also holds business, diplomatic, and literary manuscripts. The Library for Performing Arts houses archival collections dealing with music (both composers and performers), dance, film, and theatre, including stage/set design.

Additionally, the library possesses non-East European vernacular-language treasures with an East European provenance. Notably, the Spencer Collection features Ab urbe condita, a manuscript copy of an excerpt from Livy’s History of Rome which covers the Second Punic War (218 to 201 BC). The manuscript was produced ca. 1470-80 by an Italian scribe Gianfrancesco Marzi for Mathias Corvinus, King of Hungary (1458-90), and it prominently displays his arms on the first page.

Please refer to "Getting Started with Archives."


  • Allen, Walter. ‘‘The Four Corvinius Manuscripts in the United States,’’ Bulletin of The New York Public Library 42 (1938): 315–23]. 
  • Davis, Robert. H. "Cyrillic Old Slavonic, Imperial Russian, and post-Revolutionary manuscripts and printed books in the Spencer Collection, the New York Public Library: a brief chronological overview", INSPEL 26:4 (1992): 254-270. 
  • Kasinec, Edward. “Slavic and East European Archival and Manuscript Materials in the New York Public Library,” Newsletter of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies 24:3 (1984): 8.

Curator for Slavic and East European Collections