Slavic and Eurasian Studies: A Research Guide

6. Special Collections

Visual Collections

VIA (Visual Information Access)
A union catalog of visual resources and images at Harvard and Radcliffe. It includes information about slides, photographs, objects and artifacts in the university's libraries, museums and archives. To date only portions of each repository's holdings are described in the online catalog.

Photograph Collection
A directory to over 7.5 million photographs held in the libraries, museums, archives, and research institutes at Harvard University, organized by repository.


Map Collection
The oldest map collection in America includes ca. 400,000 maps, over 6,000 atlases, and several thousand reference books. Topographic maps, nautical charts and thematic maps provide an excellent research collection representing all chronological periods and notable map makers. The Map Collection also has a strong commitment to digital resources, including historical images and the Harvard Geospatial Library.

HGL (Harvard Geospatial Library)
Provides access to geospatial materials held by Harvard's libraries. Offers search tools for finding geographic data, GIS data for download and on-line geographic data exploration tools.

GIS Resources at Harvard
A centralized site that provides extensive detail concerning all the GIS resources at Harvard.

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OASIS (Online Archival Search Information System)
A union catalog that provides electronic access to information about manuscript and archival collections at Harvard. OASIS allows users to search a small percentage of the finding aids for archival and manuscript materials found at Harvard University and Radcliffe Institute. There are over forty archival and manuscript repositories at Harvard/Radcliffe, all specializing in differing, though sometimes overlapping, subject areas.

Index to Harvard's Archives and Manuscript Depositories
Slavic-related materials can be found in many of Harvard's archives and manuscript depositories, including the Manuscript Department of Houghton Library and the Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Photograph & Fieldwork Archives, among others.

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Highlights of Harvard’s Slavic Collections

  • Psaltir s Posledovanium (Cetinje, 1495) – only copy recorded outside Eastern Europe and Russia and the earliest Old Church Slavonic printed book at Harvard.
  • Ivan Fedorov’s Primer (L’viv, 1574) – first book to be published on the territory of Ukraine and one of only two known copies outside Eastern Europe and Russia.
  • The Kilgour collection of Russian belles-lettres (1750-1920) – one of the finest collection of first editions of Russian literature, from Lomonosov to Blok, including the complete set of Pushkin's first editions.
  • The archives of Leon Trotsky (1904-1941) and Andrei Sakharov.
  • The Millman Parry Collection of South Slavic Oral Literature.
  • Laura Boulton Collection of Byzantine Eastern Orthodox Chant (Armenian, Russian, Coptic, Ethiopian, and related repertoires).
  • Pre-Soviet Russian Law Collection at the Harvard Law Library.
  • The Solidarity Bibliographic Center collection of independent, underground, and uncensored Polish publications (1970s-1990) – contains documents, interviews, oral histories, proclamations, correspondence, leaflets, posters, calendars, stamps, photographs, buttons, and other memorabilia (records are in printed form, typescript, microfilm, tapes, and cassettes).
  • The Czech and Slovak "samizdat" collection (1970-1989).
  • The independent/unofficial press of the Soviet Union (1987-1991).
  • Political and cultural ephemera from Russia, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia (1990s-present).
  • The collection of Soviet military topographic maps of the European areas of the Soviet Union.
  • Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System/Harvard Interview Project (1949-1953).
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Dana Collection on Russian Theater (1917-1941) and Ballet Russe Designs.
  • Ukrainian Archives and Manuscript Collections (1870s-present). Besides printed books and serials, the Ukrainian Research Institute Reference Library houses manuscript collections of various Ukrainian civic and political leaders, composers, educators, journalists, musicologists, and writers; archives of several Ukrainian-American cultural institutions; photographs; and audiotapes of the Institute's Seminar in Ukrainian Studies.

For more information about these collections and how to find these materials at Harvard, contact Hugh Truslow, Davis Center Collection , Fung Library’ Liaison for Slavic Languages & Literatures.

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Page Last Reviewed: September 16, 2010