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Slavic, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies

About this guide

This guide is intended to help graduate students and other researchers find ways to access source materials held in Ukrainian and Russian archives while travel and archival access may be proscribed. Included sections are:

  1. Print Document Collections & Facsimiles
  2. Microform/microfilm copies of original documents
  3. Free open digital libraries from Ukraine and Russia
  4. Purchased digital collections in the library
  5. Requesting digitized copies through archives or research services

Finding Print Document Collections

While trying some of these terms as general keywords in your larger search may work, it can help to use the Advanced Search tool in the library catalog or WorldCat as a way to dig up document source collections more specifically. Start with the subject heading or title fields.

Vary searches to use English, Cyrillic, and transliteration. You can use an asterisk (*) to stand in for endings (some examples are provided), While some search systems will search all cases and plurals of a term, some struggle and may not recognize transliteration. Some suggested terms:

  • Sources (use this term in English in the subject field for items tagged as having primary source materials)
  • Documents, dokument*, документ* (документ, документы, документів)
  • Correspondence, letters, pis'm*, письм*, листы, листи, lysty
  • Diary, щоденник, shchodennyk, дневник, dnevnik, zapysky, zapiski, записки
  • Interview, разговор, интервью, interv'iu, besed*, бесед*, besid*, бесід*, розмови, rozmovy
  • Speeches, promovy, промови, речи, rechi
  • Facsimile, faksimile, факсимиле, факсиміле

Try names in the author field for original materials by the author; you can combine this with "collected works" (полное собрание/polnoe sobranie, зібрання творів/zibrannia tvoriv) to see if a collection has been published.

Using the term "archive" (архив/arkhiv, архів/arkhiv) in the author field or publisher field will sometimes bring up document collections published by archival institutions.

Microform of Archival Collections

Filter by format type to microform

Under "Limit To" go to the Format limiter and pick "microform."

Library-owned digital collections

All the resources in this section will require a University of Chicago CNet ID and Password.

Contacting Archives

Many archives in both Ukraine and Russia will copy and e-mail you digitized documents, usually for a fee. You will want to use lists of collections and materials to make specific requests using information from their finding aids. Every library or archive has its own policies, which should be clear on their website.

Archival Copy Services

Some archives will not make copies for researchers or you may have requests that go beyond what these archives will do. There are paid services in Ukraine and Russia which will go to archives and make copies of documents to send. Many of these exist for genealogical researchers, but most do not have restrictions on the types of documents they will work with.

General Guides & Links