Periodicals of Russian and Ukrainian Émigrés in the Collections of the Slavonic Library
The collections of periodicals of Russian and Ukrainian émigrés issued in three dozen countries on all continents in the interwar period which are deposited in the Slavonic Library are unique in the world. As a whole, they reflect the manifold social-demographic structure of the emigration, its thoughts, opinions, controversies and illusions. A characteristic feature of émigré journalism was political-party multiplicity: in this respect, the Russian press ranges from Monarchist and Fascist to periodicals issued by the Bolshevik (Trotskyist) opposition while the Ukrainian press includes both Nationalist periodicals on the one hand and left-wing and pro-Communist papers on the other. The newspapers and magazines issued by the émigrés had a stormy development: they constantly ceased to be published and new ones emerged – they mostly had short lifespans. Only a relatively small number of newspapers lasted for five, ten or more years.
The external appearance of the magazine is also exceptionally varied – from handwritten, copied on hectographs or typewriters to richly illustrated, with a high polygraphic level. The first group includes e.g. magazines issued by members of the Ukrainian Galician Army in internment camps in Poland and Czechoslovakia after the First World War; on the other hand, the Berlin arts magazine Zhar-ptitsa and the Harbin Rubezh measured up to the best European magazines with their polygraphic level. The Slavonic Library owns also all important press organs of the emigration including diaries in a complete or nearly complete state.
The newspaper collection contains countless titles, with the press of the Far East being particularly richly represented; the sets of newspapers from France, Germany, Yugoslavia, Latvia, Estonia and the USA are large as well. The thematic composition of the magazine collection is quite varied, including besides all the basic literary, artistic and social journals and numerous less significant, purely literary monthlies, biweeklies and weeklies, also military and Cossack magazines, magazines of sport and military-sport organisations, religious magazines, theatre, film and fine arts magazines, educational, school and student magazines, magazines for children and youth, specialised professional journals, humoristic and satirical magazines as well as diverse newsletters and bulletins of political parties and movements, military associations, compatriotic, professional and interest organisations.
One should further mention ephemera and special editions of newspapers, most often issued by émigrés in various countries on occasions of memorable events in history as well public and cultural life.
The most important literary and cultural-political journals issued after the Second World War include the New York magazine Novyi zhurnal and the Frankfurt journals Grani and Posev. The library further contains the Parisian weekly Russkaia myslʼ and Vestnik russkogo khristianskogo dvizheniia. From Ukrainian magazines issued after the Second World War, it is possible to find e.g. Suchasnisť (Munich), Ukraïnsʼkyi samostiinyk (Munich) and Nashe zhyttia (New York) in the collection.
The collection of émigré periodicals in the Slavonic Library comprises approximately 2,000 titles of magazines and more than 2,500 titles of newspapers. Apart from this collection, the Slavonic Library has in its holdings an extensive and extremely valuable collection of books issued all over the world by Russian and Ukrainian émigrés.
In 2007, UNESCO included the Slavonic Library’s collection of periodicals issued by Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian émigrés in 1918–1945 in its Memory of the World register of written cultural heritage.