Slavic and Eurasian Studies: A Research Guide

3. Books and Dissertations

Books at Harvard

There are millions of books in Widener Library's collection. You will find something on every topic in the HOLLIS catalog.

HOLLIS and most library databases cannot represent the Cyrillic alphabet. Most Slavic titles, therefore, are represented in Roman characters. In order to find information in Cyrillic, users must search in Roman characters using the same transliteration system. Most library resources in the United States use a scheme developed by the Library of Congress. To search most effectively, use the standard ALA-LC Romanization Tables: Transliteration Schemes for Non-Roman Scripts; also available in a useful one-page summary.

Do a BROWSE search if:

  • You know the exact title or the beginning of the title
    For example: dostoyevski, tolstoy and revolution
  • You know at least the author's last name and first initial
    For example: nabokov, d

Do a KEYWORD search if:

  • You are looking for a topic but don't know an exact subject heading
    For example: postmodernism russian literature
  • You are looking for a specific work and know the topic but not the exact title
    For example: ukraine state institution building
  • You are looking for a specific work and know the author's last name and what it is about
    For example: bokhanov nicholas II
  • You know the last names of two or more authors or editors of a work
    For example: aslund de menil


  • Use ? to truncate search words: postmodern?
  • Put “” around words to search them as a phrase: “russian nationalism”.
  • Click on "Expanded Search" and use the drop down "Keywords from" box to seach for words in certain fields: choose the subject field and then type "Criticism".
  • Click on Save/Mail when you are looking at a record to e-mail search results to yourself.
  • When you find a relevant book in HOLLIS click on any SUBJECTS listed on the screen to find more books on that topic.

For more tips on searching the HOLLIS catalog, consult one of the following guides::

Searching the HOLLIS Online Catalog

Using the HOLLIS Catalog for Literary Research by Mary Beth Clack, et. al., Widener Library.

Books Beyond Harvard

It is also useful to search "union" catalogs (i.e. large catalog databases that include multiple libraries' materials).

WorldCat (FirstSearch)
WorldCat is a union catalog of records of any type of material (books, periodicals, scores, films, recordings, etc.) cataloged by tens of thousands of member libraries, primarily but not exclusively, from libraries in the United States.

Karlsruhe Virtual Katalog (KVK)
The Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog allows you to search simultaneously the holdings of many major libraries in Europe, including the state libraries of the Czech Republic, Russia, and Poland. Individual library catalogs may also be searched singly; their availability and coverage of older materials varies. In addition, KVK provides access to the German Union Catalog of Serials and to German book trade catalogs, including German Books in Print.

Books and materials that you find in WorldCat or the Karlsruhe or that you cannot find in the HOLLIS catalog can be requested by Harvard FAS borrowers through Widener's Interlibrary Loan. You may also make a purchase request to ask the Slavic Division to purchase a copy for the collection.

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Dissertation Abstracts/Digital Dissertations (UMI)
Dissertation Abstracts/Digital Dissertations indexes dissertations and masters' theses from most North American graduate schools as well as some European universities. Includes full text of dissertations from 1997 - the present.

Foreign Doctoral Dissertations (Center for Research Libraries Catalog)
Thousands of dissertation titles recently received or recently circulated by CRL, a consortium of North American universities, colleges, and independent research libraries. Members of the Harvard community may borrow items from CRL through Interlibrary Loan and have full access to CRL's Digital Collections.


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Page Last Reviewed: September 16, 2010