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The André Savine Collection: About the André Savine Collection

About the André Savine Collection

A picture of the Kremlin painted on the wall of the Alekseevskoe Military Academy in the White Army refugee camp in Gallipoli, Turkey. A group of soldiers (and a couple bulls) look on. Image Source: 1-й Армейский корпус в фотографиях. [Gallipoli, ca. 1921].

The André Savine Collection

The Savine Collection is composed of materials assembled by André Savine (1946-1999), a rare book dealer, collector, and owner of Le Bibliophile Russe ("Русский Библиофил"), an antiquarian bookstore in Paris, France that he had operated with his wife Svetlana Savine between 1979 and 1999. The Collection is focused on the Russian diaspora and includes publications by and about Russian émigrés in Europe, the Americas, East Asia, North Africa and Southwest Asia, and Australia. The Collection also has a sizeable portion of pre-revolutionary Russian editions as well as Soviet publications, most notably from the early Soviet period.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries acquired the collection in 2002. Processing and cataloging of the Savine Collection materials is ongoing. As of 2023, over 1,600 periodical titles and over 8,400 monographic titles have been made available to researchers and can be discovered via the Library Catalog. Of these, over 1,000 items have been digitized as part of The André Savine Digital Collection, hosted on the Internet Archive. The processing of the archival portion of the Collection is also underway.

Russia Beyond Russia: The André Savine Digital Library

Russia Beyond Russia: The André Savine Digital Library

Between 2008 and 2023, University Libraries maintained a digital project called Russia Beyond Russia, which connected bibliographic descriptions from Savine's card catalog with the Savine Collection holdings at UNC and digitized copies of materials from the Collection.

Russian Beyond Russia served many scholars of Russian diaspora at a time when information about certain émigré publications, creators, and organizations was rather scarce. However, since 2008, much new research on the Russian diaspora has been produced, including some excellent reference works that have at times superseded the information from Savine's card catalog. The catalog itself has always been somewhat frustrating for both researchers and library staff, as it was neither an accurate representation of UNC holdings (many items were evidently sold by Savine before the Collection made it to North Carolina), nor an accurate representation of Savine's private collection or bookstore stock (many items are held at UNC for which no Savine catalog cards have been digitized).

By 2023, Russia Beyond Russia, built on an outdated platform, was losing much of its functionality. Moreover, its migration and continued preservation became unsustainable, and the Library made the difficult decision to sunset the project at the end of 2023. All bibliographic data from Savine's card catalog has been exported to the Carolina Digital Repository, and can be downloaded there in csv or db format by anyone interested in exploring Savine's annotations. Snapshots of the project website, including information pages, indexes, and even some of the individual entries have been preserved on the Wayback Machine of the Internet Archive. All of the digitized materials from the Savine Collection holdings at UNC can be found in the The André Savine Digital Collection, hosted on the Internet Archive.




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Kirill Tolpygo
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