Slavic and Russian Books and Libraries:

Occasional Essays and Notes

By Edward Kasinec and Robert H. Davis, Jr.

With an introduction by Cynthia Hyla Whitaker

20 Essays for Slavicists, Students of Russian Culture and Bibliophiles

      Edward Kasinec has served as Curator of the Slavic and Baltic Division of The New York Public Library for nearly a quarter of a century, the second longest tenure (after Avrahm Yarmolinsky) in the history of the Division. Over most of these years Robert H. Davis, Jr. has served as Assistant Curator. They have overseen an enormous expansion of the collection, while creating a body of professional literature in the Slavic field. The present volume is a selection of the texts (not including the original illustrations) of 20 of their contributions to Slavic book culture originally published over a period of nearly 25 years in diverse journals and formats. This volume introduces the reader to little-known but important chapters in Russian cultural history and it presents a narration of how the New York Public Library came to possess one of the world's greatest collections of Russian and eastern European materials.

"The NYPL has played a key role in the advancement of Slavic bibliography in the US during the last century. Specifically, this volume draws attention to the lesser-known aspects of Russian intellectual life and contributes to the broader field of cultural studies. In fact, this convenient compilation of essays draws from disparate and not always widely-available sources, saving the reader's time." ---Prof. John V. Richardson Jr., PhD, UCLA

The book is divided into three sections, which are preceded by a Preface and followed by an Afterword, a Bibliography and an Index. Articles are divided into three broad sections:
• Books and Libraries for example, "The Grand Duke Vladimir Aleksandrovich and His Library";
• Bookmen and Women, "L.B. Khavkina (1871-1949), American Library Ideas in Russia and the Development of Soviet Librarianship"; and
• The Illustrated Book,, "A Note on Konstantin Somov's Erotic Book Illustration."

Library binding, acid-free paper, 214 p., 2007,

From Slavic & East European Information Resources:
“After a gap of some years, Norman Ross has returned to publishing valuable materials in the world of Slavic area studies. Kasinec and Davis’s compilation of previously published essays is an excellent reentry into the field.... Each of the essays, while not long, is an intricate work of detailed research on a precise topic.... Just a quick look at the first few names in the D column [of the name index] gives a glimpse of the depth of the work involved: D’Alembert, Jean Le Rond; Dal’, Vladimir Ivanovich; Dashkova, Ekaterina Romanovna, Princess.... These essays through the years have been part of [the authors’] effort to draw attention to the New York Public Library collections. Publishing them together will bring a new audience and, one can hope, new users to the New York Public Library.” --Sandra Levy, Associate Slavic Librarian, Regenstein Library, U. of Chicago

From The Russian Review:
“Having these essays collected in one volume eliminates the difficulty one would surely have in tracking them down individually, as well as allowing the reater to experience them as a cohesive whole. In some cases this is the first time a topic has been addressed in English.... The essays are erudite and precise, with very careful wording in order to clarify both obvious and subtle distinctions (Russian vs. Soviet, Ukrainian vs. Soviet, etc.), especially important for the non-Slavic audience many were originally written for. Though sometimes quite brief, each essay is meticulously documented, with the full scholarly apparatus of footnotes and bibliography applied. There is also a name index to the entire volume, especially useful because of the hundreds of persons mentioned in the book’s two hundred pages of densely packed information.... Through these essays [the authors] have striven to provide the intellectual “seed money” for many future endeavors." --June Pachuta Farris, Slavic Librarian, Regenstein Library, U. of Chicago