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Text Box:  Harbin Russian Imprints:

      Bibliography as History, 1898-1961


Materials for a Definitive Bibliography

Edited and introduced by Olga Bakich




Harbin, a city in northeastern China (formerly Manchuria), was the center of a Russian colony from 1898 to 1917 and host to the primary Russian presence in the region.  Russians originally came to the area to build and operate the Chinese Eastern Railway (CER); after the Russian Revolution, Harbin became one of many enclaves for the first wave of Russian emigration.  


From 1898 to the early 1960s, four generations of Russians lived in Harbin, which after the October Revolution, remained one of the last outposts of Tsarist Russia.  Harbin Russians were caught in the ongoing political struggle first between Tsarist Russia and China and later between the USSR, China, and Japan.  All three powers—the Chinese Government in the 1920s, the Japanese Manchukuo government (1932-1945), the Soviet government (1920s to the late 1950s), and the communist Chinese government (1949-onwards)—did all they could to reduce and eventually eliminate the presence of Harbin Russians, who devotedly preserved the Russian language, culture, religion and lifestyle. 


Russian publishing in Harbin began in 1898 and continued until the early 1960s.  The great volume and diversity of Russian publications (books, serials, calendars, and maps) in Harbin have not previously been adequately recorded and studied.  This bibliography catalogs 4,261 imprints: 3,447 books, 182 newspapers, 338 journals, 201 single-issue [однодневные] publications, 51 maps, 42 calendars, as well as numerous leaflets, posters, and postcards.  All titles included in this bibliography were published in Harbin and are primarily in the Russian language. 


The Bibliography is the result of the author’s extensive research, conducted in university and community libraries and archives in several countries, documenting an estimated 85% of the total number of Harbin Russian publications.  The remainder is comprised of imprints that were either destroyed or lost and others that may still exist but have yet to be located and cataloged.  For this reason, this book is intended to serve as the foundation for a definitive bibliography of Harbin imprints. 


The unusual history of this close-knit Russian community produced a remarkable and varied literature, which will be of interest to all Slavic scholars and researchers.  The publication of Harbin Russian Imprints, Bibliography as History, 1898-1961: Materials for a Definitive Bibliography makes this unique body of publications accessible for the first time to the academic community.

From Solanus, New Series, Vol. 17, 2003: "Olga Bakich's Harbin Russian Imprints represents a life's work by the leading specialist on Russian Harbin.... Imprints begins with a lengthy and most useful Introduction, based on a rich array of primary sources, and tracing both the history and the publishing activity of Russian Harbin from 1898 to 1961.... The 4261 individual entries afford a maximum of information.... The sections on newspapers and journals, in particular, are awe-inspiring bibliographic work.... [E]legantly produced..., no student of the Russian emigration will be able to do without [it]."


This volume should prove to be a valuable research tool for scholars interested in the history and culture of Russia, the Russian presence in Harbin and northern China, and the region as a whole.

ISBN: 0-88354-386-9, 606 pages, library binding, acid-free paper.....................................$150