Webinar: COVID-19: European Librarians Speak!

COVID-19: European Librarians Speak!


August 6, 2020, 08:00 AM Pacific Standard Time [11 am EST, 16:00 (BST) 17:00 (CEST)]

Register in advance for this meeting:


Note: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Zoom accessibility features are here: https://zoom.us/accessibility 



The COVID-19 pandemic remains an ongoing threat that has led to the uprooting of local and global social, economic, and health conditions and the disruption of the cultural production sector. Europe has not been immune to the challenges that have been ushered in by the pandemic. Many European libraries, being at the forefront of knowledge creation and preservation, have stepped up their support of researchers and scholars in unprecedented ways. Notwithstanding, the shifts in the landscape of collection development will profoundly impact the services that libraries can provide.  

This virtual panel is the inaugural event in a planned six-part bi-monthly webinar series, “Collecting Conversations: Academic Libraries and Research in Flux,” dedicated to various aspects of librarianship. These activities will include both national and international librarians, archivists, scholars, administrators, and vendors from all parts of the world.

 In this panel, European librarians, specialists in Central, Eastern, and Southeast European Studies, and Slavic/Slavonic Studies will share experiences and perspectives about their individual and institutional challenges and opportunities in research areas instruction, and collection development. 


·       Ms. Mel Bach is the Slavonic Specialist and also Head of Collections and Academic Liaison at Cambridge University Library, UK.

·       Mr. Olaf Hamann is the Head of the Eastern-European Branch of the Berlin State Library, Germany.

·       Dr. Katya Rogatchevskaia is the Lead Curator of East European Collections at the British Library, UK, and the Chair of the Council for Slavonic and East European Library and Information Services.

·       Dr. Gudrun Wirtz is the Head of the Department of Eastern Europe at the Bavarian State Library, Germany.

Organizer/ ModeratorDr. Liladhar R. Pendse is Librarian for the Eastern European and Eurasian Studies Collection and the Caribbean and Latin American Studies Collections at UC Berkeley Library, USA, and the Institute for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies.

Co-ModeratorMs. Anna Rakityanskaya is Curator for Russian and Belarusian Collections at the Widener Library at Harvard University.

 The panel presentation will be recorded, but the question and answer session will not be recorded.


This panel is sponsored by the Institute of East European and Eurasian Studies, UC Berkeley.

Primary Sources: Russian-German project to digitize German documents in the archives of the Russian Federation

The Russian Historical Society, the Ministry of Defense and the Federal archival agency, with support from the German Historical Institute in Moscow, are digitizing the large collection of Nazi Germany documents located in various Russian Federation government archives. The site is in Russian and German.

According to the project website description, the collections digitized so far include:

Collection of documents of German secret services 1912-1945. Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History (RGASPI, Fond 458, Series 9)

The collection includes dispersed folders originally formed in institutional archives of Germany, Austria, France and Poland. The documents were moved from Germany to USSR after the Second World War. During 1940’s-1960’s, the collection was transferred to the Central Party Archive of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (currently the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History) from the Central State Special Archive of the Main Archival Administration of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, General department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR.
Main part of the collection consists of secret services’ surveillance reports of Komintern activities as well as other communist, social-democratic, labor, trade union, youth and other opposition organizations, movements and individuals in various countries.

German documents of the First World War. Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (TsAMO RF, Fond 500, Series 12519)

Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (TsAMO RF) received the collection of “German documents of the First World War” (Fond 500, Series 12519) from the Military Scientific Directorate and the General Staff of the Military Forces of the USSR during the period of 1953-1961. The collection includes 36,000 pages of institutional documents of German Great General Staff, staffs and chiefs of troops, military units, the Prussian War Ministry, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and others.
The bulk of the collection includes war operations record books (84 folders), maps and schemas (146 folders), personnel files (85 folders), financial records and other documents. Also included are lists of military units and overview of their formation and deployment, records of weapons supply, chemical weapons use, information about damaged and sunken battleships, military propaganda materials and surveillance briefs.
The collection also includes materials about Germany’s foreign and internal affairs, the 1907 Second Hague Peace Conference, The Russo-Japanese War of 1904, peace treaty and economic negotiations with Romania.