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The Rare Books department of the Library holds early material (pre-1900 books and pre-1850 journals) and specific named collections. There is a large amount of Slavonic, predominantly Russian, material among its various collections. In the 1960s, E.P. Tyrrell and J.S.G. Simmons, the Slavonic experts in the University Library and Oxford's Taylor Institution respectively, wrote two articles on Cambridge's early Slavonic books for the journal Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society (available electronically). "Slavonic books before 1700 in Cambridge libraries" is in vol. III, part V (1963) and "Slavonic books of the eighteenth century in Cambridge libraries" in vol. IV, part III (1966). While the collections have grown further since their publication, the articles provide extremely valuable descriptions for the Slavonic researcher.

Detail from 'Skol'ko millionov golodnykh? Desiat'!' by Vladimir Maiakovskii in 'Russkii revoliutsionnyi plakat' (Polonskii, 1925) in the Cooke collection..

Brief descriptions of the main named collections for the Slavonic languages and Slavonic area studies are provided on this page, linking to more detailed data where appropriate.

Catherine Cooke collection

The most significant special collection of Slavonic material is the Catherine Cooke collection. Comprising thousands of items including books, journals, posters, postcards, and ephemera, the collection is an extraordinary resource for research on Russian and Soviet design and architecture. Please click here to read more about the collection, including advice about how to find material in it.

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Peter Yakimiuk collection

In 2011, the Library gratefully received the library of the late Peter Yakimiuk from his family. Mr Yakimiuk's family roots and academic interests were in Ukraine, and the hundreds of English and Ukrainian books he gathered significantly expand our collections on Ukrainian history, politics, and literature. The cataloguing of the collection is now nearing completion. All paperbacks and fragile hardbacks in the collection will be housed in Rare Books at the dedicated classmark sequence CCB.62 to CCD.62. Sturdier hardbacks are being placed in borrowable classmarks; these can be ordered through the Reading Room and borrowed from the Library.

Regardless of location and classmark, however, the records of each book in the collection features a provenance note and an entry for Mr Yakimiuk as the item's previous owner. A search for "Peter Yakimiuk" in the catalogue will bring up all books.

From 15 September to 11 October 2014, an exhibition of material from the Yakimiuk collection was held in the Library's Entrance Hall, open to the public and readers alike. Please click here to read more about the exhibition.

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Waddleton collection

This collection is made up of books with colour–printed illustrations. You can find out more about it here. While the main focus of the collection is not Slavonic books, it does include a generous number of Russian children's books. To find these, perform an advanced search with “Waddleton” as the keyword search term and with the appropriate language selected.

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