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Russian Studies

Welcome! Dobro pozhalovat'!

Welcome to Russian Studies at Vassar! Our 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 Departmentstudents in other departments may also find these resources helpful, particularly students with a Russian or Soviet focus in history, political science, or international studies.

Please be aware that this guide is still a work in progress. In the coming months, look for additional pages on folklore, and Russian culture and history.

The library can also create course specific research guides upon request. Simply contact Heidy for more information.

Image gallery

St. Petersburg

Photo by Mariano Mantel, shared under an Attribution-NonCommerical 2.0 license.

Russian State Library, Moscow

Heidy and Adrienne

Archives and Special Collections Library

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. 

Resources for faculty

The library is here to help, whether it's creating research guides for courses, assisting with library research skills instruction, or simply getting materials on course reserve. Please don't hesitate to contact us with questions.

Request a resource

If you need a resource not held in the library, there are several ways we can help.

  • If the resource is a book, try requesting the title using the ConnectNY catalog
  • If the book is unavailable through ConnectNY, OR if you are requesting a non-book format (like articles or microform), fill out an ILL request

The Interlibrary Loan Guide can help walk you through the ILL process, and you can always schedule an appointment with Heidy if you need more assistance.

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!

Russian language tips

Know your transliteration!

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. 

Need language help?

The base subject heading to use to find language help is russian language. However, there are a number of more precise headings you could use, including, but not limited to:

  • russian language case
  • russian language dictionaries english
  • russian language grammar
  • russian language style
  • russian language syntax

JYA in St. Petersburg

Interested in studying in Russia? Check out the Vassar program in St. Petersburg


In some instances, the library may be able to accept donations of books and other materials. If you are interested in making a donation, please read our Gift Policy for more information.