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Estelle and Melvin Gelman LibraryEckles Library at the Mount Vernon CampusVirginia Science and Technology Campus Library

Selected Specialized Collections in the GRC

MENA Collections

Cambridge Archive Editions

The collection consists of titles published by the Cambridge Achive Editions (CAE). These volumes explore the colonial period in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and draw upon key government documents and political reports, researched from files available in the public domain including, but not exclusively, the National Archives of the United Kingdom. These titles are rare, and the CAE works primarily to make available historical reference materials that would otherwise be difficult to find. This collection offers striking insights into the workings of the British colonial administration and explores the prevalent political, social, cultural, and demographic trends in MENA during the colonial era.

East Asia Collections

Father Edward Kelly Taiwan Opposition Journals

This collection consists of over 800 issues of Taiwanese magazines and journals from 1975 to 1989 provided by Dr. Gerrit van der Wees, Senior Political Advisor to the Formosan Association for Public Affairs. Similar in nature to the Soviet Samizdat materials described above, the majority of the collection is associated with the dangwai ("outside the party" or opposition) movement, which succeeded in ushering in a true multi-party system in Taiwan. These materials provide a unique resource for anyone studying the development of democracy in Taiwan. The library continues to collect in this area, recently acquiring the complete run of Freedom China, another dangwai publication.

Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People’s Republic of China (CSCPRC)

This archive contains records of the CSCPRC. Established in 1984, the mission of the CSCPRC was to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and China by providing China-based liaison and coordination for cross-cultural academic programs. These records help to shed light on the developing US-China relationship at a critical juncture, and the influence each had on the other. [download pdf]

Chinese Humanities: Arts/Literature

Rare Chinese first-edition woodblock printed books from the 17th-19th centuries. These are museum-quality examples of fine traditional Chinese printing, but are also invaluable research resources for students of Chinese linguistics, literature and history. Approximately 30-50 volumes.

Chinese Military Newspapers

The newspapers are a collection of rare, highly sensitive Chinese regional military newspapers originally collected by US Defense Intelligence Unit. GRC holdings: 2002-2012. In China these are restricted publications to which only high-level Communist Party and Military Academy officials have access. In the Online Catalog of the Library of Congress (OCLC), only the Harvard Fairbank collection owns a subset of the materials. No one has a complete run (perhaps intelligence agencies, but their holdings are not shared). 

Japanese pre-1940 publications:

Nihon rekishi seizu (Atlas). 1929. 1 volume. No holdings in the US.
Kaiseikan mohan sekai chizu (Atlas). 1921 1 volume. 1 US holding.
Ichio-ryu shiki no tomo (Ikebana) 1862?. 2 volumes. The Library of Congress owns one volume.
Kokubun Rikkokushi: Sandai jitsuroku (History: Heian Period). 1935 3 volumes. 1 US holding.
Dai Nihon chimei jisho (Geographical names). 1938 (2nd ed.) 6 vols. 3 US holdings.
Yakuchu dai Nihonshi (Japanese history). 1938 (2nd ed.) 5 of 73 vols. 5 US holdings.

YC Wang collection on Chinese intellectual history

The collection consists of approximately 200 rare Chinese-language monographs focusing on Chinese intellectual history published throughout the early 20th century (a handful are pre-1911, most are 1911-1949). Five or fewer copies of each title are held by other libraries, according to OCLC.  Most titles are in brittle condition, some have water stains or other damage.  

Russia/Soviet Union & Eastern and Central European Collections

Russian, Soviet—Archives

Peter Reddaway Samizdat Collection

This collection is unique in its depth, size, and variety. Donated by Peter Reddaway, a prominent Soviet historian of the time and a central figure in the Russian samizdat distribution network, the collection holds the vast majority of samizdat produced in the Soviet Union that is available today. Few collections in the world match the variety and concentration of samizdat found in the Reddaway collection. This collection also provides scholars with key supporting documentation systematically collected and strategically interspersed throughout the samizdat files. The juxtaposition of documents (including transcripts of dissident trials and bills of indictment, among other rich resources) provides researchers with invaluable insights into the inner workings of the Soviet Union and dissident communication. The archive consists of approximately 50 linear feet, or 75,000 sheets of materials.

Vera Dunham Archive

The collection is comprised of 33 archival boxes of manuscripts, correspondence, research materials and other ephemera from the archives of Vera Dunman, Soviet literary scholar. Vera Dunham left the Soviet Union circa 1930 to study abroad, eventually earning a doctorate in Slavic philology from the University of Erlangen in Germany in 1935. Dunham joined the faculty of Wayne State University in 1945 and remained until her retirement in 1976. Dunham, a prolific writer and translator of Russian prose and poetry, also taught at Queens College and Columbia University.

Russian, Soviet--Émigré Press

TAMIZDAT: Russian Émigré Press (Independent Russian publications published in the West during the Cold War period) 

Third Wave Emigration publications (1970-1991), including periodicals by American (Ardis, Hermitage, Russica publishers), European, Israeli publishers. 1970s and 1980s was a dramatic period in the cultural life of Russian emigration. Émigré publishing houses re-published many banned and lost works of pre-Soviet literature, independent underground writers, émigré writers and poets. American publishers such as Ardis, and European ones such as Posev, as well as several smaller Israeli ones produced many publications of high historical importance. Gelman is fortunate to have a very representative collection of such, including large number of works published by Ardis Press. There are very few unified collections of this type in the world and none of them are digitized. Approximately 600+ items

Early post-Perestroika Russian Independent Periodicals Collection (rare)

After the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of Perestroika Russia’s journal and magazine market exploded with great variety of literary and artistic publications produced by newly independent publishers. We have a representative collection of these historically important publications : approximately 100 items

Post-Perestroika Russian Nationalism, Extremism, Radicalism

After the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of Perestroika, Russia’s book and magazine market exploded with a large number of radical and extremist publications coming from both the left and the right of the political spectrum. Gelman has a representative collection of these historically and culturally important publications, showing the new dynamism of Russian social life. Approximately 100 items.

Russian rock/Youth Counterculture “zine” Collection

This is an extremely unique collection acquired through direct fieldwork in Russia.  It contains mostly originals (and some copies) of rare underground, officially published Russian magazines from the pre-Perestroika and Perestroika periods (1977-1998) that mostly deal with youth counterculture and rock music. Some were produced by people who later became leading cultural and political figures in modern Russia. There is no such collection anywhere in the West, and even in Russia such collections are extremely rare. No such collection is digitized. Approximately 200 items.

Russian emigre press monographs

Gelman has a strong collection of books published by the so-called "third wave" of Russian/Soviet emigration, the one that took place between 1970-1991. These publication were made in Europe (UK, France, Germany), Israel, and the US. They are both political/social and literary in their nature and reflect political, social and aesthetic tendencies  within emigration. A small but strong collection of samples of such publications can be made.  Approximately 25-30 items. 

Historical Russian and Soviet Monograph Collections

Aside from large stacks collections of mostly Soviet period and post-Soviet monographs acquired through the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s. 90s and the first decade of the 21st century, several large gift collections contribute to the richness of our Russian-language holdings, including the Vera Dunham, Raymond Garthoff, and Raymond Arent donations. The Dunham collection contains a representative sample of Soviet published history, literature and poetry. The Garthoff donations consist of approximately 3,000 titles on Russian and Soviet diplomatic history, Russian and Soviet historiography, Marxist-Leninist history, Russian-American relations, Soviet propaganda, Marxism-Leninism, cold war ideology, and Soviet perspectives on world history. The Arent collection consists of approximately 7,200 volumes. A large number (approximately 2,200 items) are 19th and early 20th century publications dealing with Russian history, religion, regional history, and social issues. This part of the collection is made up of items from the original Yudin collection that became a seed collection at the base of the Library of Congress European Division. The books are rare but in fragile condition. The collection also contains about 5,000 Soviet-published items on Russian and Soviet history, Marxism-Leninism, Soviet propaganda and ideology, and the Cold War. Russian and Soviet monographic publications are richly represented in the Gelman Library. Looking across the collections, the following thematic sets emerge:

Soviet ideology and Propaganda: consisting of Gelman stacks items, Dunham, Arendt, and Garthoff collections items: This slice of historically important publications contains significant examples of Soviet anti-Western and anti-bourgeois propaganda, as well as agit-prop designed to instill in the Soviet population a sense of pride in the achievements of socialism and pride in the motherland. Approximately 300+ items.

Marxist-Leninist History: a collection showing the Marxist-Leninist approach to the interpretation of ancient and modern history, often focusing on the criticism of Western historical approaches. The collection consists of Gelman items and items from the Arendt and Gartoff collections. Approximately. 200+ items.

Soviet Literary and Intellectual History: a collection of rare and unusual Soviet publications of prose, poetry, philosophy, and literary scholarship, as well as books that Soviet censors missed or published despite ideological restrictions. The collection is comprised of Gelman stacks items, items from the Vera Dunham collection, and purchases from a collector, Michael Peltsman. Approximately 300+ items.


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