Welcome! Vassar's library is home to more than 15,000 volumes related to Russian language, literature, culture, and history. Though this guide was created primarily for the use of students in Vassar's Russian Studies Department, students in other departments may also find these resources helpful, particularly students with a Russian or Soviet focus in history, political science, or international studies.
The Archives and Special Collections Library holds several hundred volumes that were formerly owned by Russian writer Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev. These volumes were received as a gift of the class of 1882. A complete list of titles is available.
Additionally, some of Leo Tolstoy's personal papers are included in a folder belonging to our Autograph manuscript files. The folder contains 18 letters, a journal, a postcard, and a photograph.
If you need a resource not held in the library, there are several ways we can help.
Vassar faculty, staff, and students can also request that the library purchase resources not held in the collection. Simply fill out a request form. Due to budget and collection constraints, we may not be able to fill all requests, but we will certainly try to purchase materials whenever possible. Thesis writers, we encourage you to take advantage of these services!
When searching for Russian language sources in our catalog, you will need to transliterate the Russian text. That is, you will have to transform the Cyrillic alphabet characters into Latin alphabet characters. Though many transliteration schemes exist, the Library of Congress uses standard transliteration tables for all non-Latin alphabets. When searching in our library catalog, as well as in WorldCat and many other databases, make sure you are using the standard Russian transliteration table for all Russian language materials. This will ensure that you are receiving accurate and complete search results.