The Slavic Division collects in great depth materials from Russia, Eastern and Central Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus in all Slavic, Baltic, and Western languages, and from various émigré communities from these areas scattered throughout the world. In addition to books, serials, and microforms, the collection includes audio-visual materials in various formats, posters and ephemera, as well as e-books and electronic databases with Slavic content.
The main collection of over 850,000 volumes in the areas of the humanities and social sciences is held by the Widener Library. Significant holdings can also be found in other libraries of the Harvard College Library, such as the Fine Arts Library, Houghton Library (rare books), Loeb Music Library, and Tozzer Library (anthropology), libraries of Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, as well as in libraries of other faculties, such as the Harvard Law School Library.
The highlights of the collection include Psaltir s Posledovanjem (Cetinje, 1495) – the only copy recorded outside Eastern Europe and Russia and the earliest Old Church Slavonic printed book at Harvard and 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.
Among Harvard's many special collections in this area are:
- The Kilgour collection of Russian literature (1750–1920) – Houghton Library
- The complete set of Pushkin's first editions – Houghton Library
- The archive of Leon Trotsky (1904-1941), including Soviet and Exile papers. – Houghton Library
- The Milman Parry Collection, oral literature of the former Yugoslavia
- The collection of early Russian law books (Pre-Soviet Russian Law Collection)– Harvard Law School Library
- The Solidarity Bibliographic Center collection of independent, underground, and uncensored Polish publications (1970s–1990) – Houghton Library
- The Czech and Slovak "samizdat" collection (1970-1989) – Widener Library
- The independent/unofficial press of the Soviet Union (1987–1991) – Widener Library
- The collection of Soviet military topographic maps of the European areas of the Soviet Union – Harvard Map Collection
- Andrei Sakharov Archives – Houghton Library
- Russian political ephemera (late 1980s-1990s) – Widener Library
- Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System/Harvard Interview Project (1949-1953)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Dana Collection on Russian Theater (1917-1941) - Houghton Library
- Ballets Russes Designs - Houghton Library
- Ukrainian Archives and Manuscript Collections (1870s-present) - Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute
- Bohdan and Neonila Krawciw Ucrainica Map Collection – Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute
Questions and comments, including requests for new materials and inquiries about using the Slavic collection, should be directed to Anna Rakityanskaya, Slavic Division, via e-mail.
- Requesting Materials