Available Russian books from the 1940s and earlier

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Available Russian books from the 1940s and earlier

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1steveHankin
Dez 15, 2012, 1:16am

Our Dad, a retired Russian professor, recently passed away. He left behind a huge collection (a thousand or so) of books in Russian that he purchased in Moscow while there 1946-48. Fiction, non-fiction, Russian classics. We'd like to find homes for the books. It seems wrong to throw them away.

The books are located in Durham North Carolina. Not being a Russian reader ourselves the best we could offer to communicate the book titles would be to take pictures of the book spines.

If interested please contact us.

- Steven and Martha

2LolaWalser
Dez 16, 2012, 12:22pm

I regret deeply that it's not practical for me to take advantage of this opportunity, but, I would urge you passionately to try to find someone who could assess the books in person--perhaps contacting someone at a university, in Slavic languages or Russian departments?

Even if there aren't any spectacular antiquarian finds in your trove, books of that vintage are rare (destruction of war, censorship, small market, many readers etc.) and could still be quite valuable both for collectors and for researchers.

If you don't mind taking a few photos, I'd love to see at least a few examples of the earliest publications you have (if you could identify publications dates in the colophons?) It might also give some idea of what type of books they are--literature, or non-fiction?

But, please, please don't destroy them without figuring out what you have!

I'll see whether I can find any contact in the US who might have some idea of how to proceed best (also not easy because I'm not a literary scholar! Others, help!)

3steveHankin
Dez 16, 2012, 12:52pm

Thank you for this considerate message, Lola.

My sister has just informed me that she has had good successes recently contacting people locally. Most of the books are finding good homes after all -- librarians and Slavic language experts from Duke University and University of North Carolina.

I know of no way to cancel this message thread, but please don't take the trouble to inquire further with other potentially interested folks. I believe the situation is well in hand after all.

4LolaWalser
Dez 16, 2012, 12:54pm

I'm very happy to hear that, and only wish I could take a look at them myself!

5languagehat
Dez 16, 2012, 6:22pm

I too wish I could take advantage of this, but I'm glad the books are finding homes. If you need any more potential takers, I'd suggest the Amherst Center for Russian Culture (https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/russian/acrc ), which has a fine collection and might well be interested.

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