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Slavic and East European Visual Materials: About

Visual Materials

The NYPL has assembled a great collection of illustrated books as well as prints, photographs, and posters. They depict virtually all aspects of Russian/Soviet and East European culture. The bulk of these materials are held by the Art and Architecture Division. However, almost every curatorial division of the Research Libraries holds relevant visual materials. For example, in the General Research Division, one finds spectacular folio volumes of colored engravings, such as the collection A Picture of St. Petersburgh, Represented in A Collection of Twenty Interesting Views of the City, the Sledges, and the People (London, 1815) as well as Istoricheskoe opisanie drevniago Rossiiskago Muzeia (Moscow, 1807) containing thirty plates engraved by N. I. Sokolov, and with a signed dedication from Aleksei Fedorovich Malinovskii (1762-1840) to Petr Stepanovich Valuev (1743-1814). This copy was formerly part of the Romanov Imperial Library at Tsarskoe Selo. The General Research Division also holds more than a hundred books with covers designed by Jacques Hnizdovsky (1915-1985), a renowned Ukrainian-American painter and graphic artist. Spencer Collection holds works of historical as well as iconographic value, from illuminated manuscripts to old printed books, avant-garde publications, and more recent examples of fine book design. Among them, there is Letem českým světem (1898) which contains over 500 full-page photographs of Bohemia. Moravia, Silesia, and Slovakia as well as the cover based on an image by Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939). The Billy Rose Theatre Collection contains cinema posters from the Soviet Union going back to the 1930s, and a significant collection of pictures, programs, and scrapbooks (known collectively as the Oliver Sayler Collection) on the Russian stage in the twentieth century, with particular emphasis on the Moscow Art Theatre during the 1920s. Art and Architecture Division holds hundreds of albums with images of Slavic and East European art. It also holds a Russian Imperial and Soviet Art and Architecture pamphlets collection that includes more than 300 pamphlets, published between 2000 and 2007 and dealing with Imperial decorative arts, museum collections, imperial palaces, easel art and artists, cities, etc. acquired principally from the Margarita Rudomino All-Russian State Library For Foreign Literature. Rare Books Division also holds Slavic and East European visual materials, including a collection of 21 Soviet War posters (1942-44). See also:

See the following LibGuides

The following checklists help locate particular Slavic and East European visual resources held by the Library

See also

  • Davis, Robert H.."Russian/Soviet Illustrated Book and Photographic Collections at NYPL: Some Recent Publications." Public Service News 1, no. 3 (Fall 1989): 10.
  • ----------. "Russian and Soviet Illustrated Books at the New York Public Library", Solanus n.s. 4 (1990): 87-99. 
  • ---------- and Edward Kasinec. "The Russian Illustrated Book, and Photographic Collections of the Slavic and Baltic Division, The New York Public Library: A Preservation Project Funded by the Department of Education." Visual Resources 7, (1990): 31-41.
  • Horbal, Bogdan. "Aleksandr Vasilevich Viskovatov and his Istoricheskoe opisanie odezhdy i vooruzheniia rossiiskikh voisk," Slavic & East European Information Resources 21:3-4 (2020): 211-226.
  • ----------. "The 19th Century Hand Colored Photographs of Moscow by J. Daziaro."
  • Kasinec, Edward and Robert Davis, “A Note on Konstantin Somov’s Erotic Book Illustration,” in: Eros and Pornography in Russian Culture = Eros i pornografiia v russkoi kul’ture (Moscow: Ladomir, 1999): 338-[395]. [Deals with Le livre de la marquise : recueil de poésie & de prose (1918) of which the NYPL has both censored and uncensored versions].
  • Yoo, Hee-Gwone, and Kristen A. Regina. Visual Resources from Russia and Eastern Europe in The New York Public Library: A Checklist. New York: Ross Publishing LLC, 2008. (New York Public Library Slavic, Baltic, and Eurasian Resource Series).
  • Yoo, Hee-Gwone, “The Visual Collections of the Slavic and Baltic Division of The New York Public Library: Development, Cataloging, and Imaging of the Visual Materials.” Slav Yongu 21, no. 1 (Seoul, 2005): 451-463.
  • Yoo, Hee-Gwone, “Vizualnye kollektsii Slavianskogo otdela: kak sdelat skrytye sokrovishcha dostupnymi.” Gosudarstvennaia publichnaia nauchno-tekhnicheskaia biblioteka no. 11 (2004): 61-66.
  • Yoo, Hee-Gwone. "'Vizualnye sokrovishcha': proekt Niu-Iorkskoi biblioteki: otsifrovka russkikh vizualnykh resursov.” Nauchnye i tekhnicheskie biblioteki no. 8 (2001): 50-55.

Curator for Slavic and East European Collections

Zlata Praha