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Slavic & East European Collections: Welcome!

Overview of the Slavic & East European Collections at the UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries

Collection Overview

Welcome to the Slavic and East European Collections at University Libraries!

I am delighted that you have chosen to explore our collections and I am thrilled that you are interested in Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies! Whether you are a deep into your research project, or just getting started; whether you are a student of one of our languages, or a native speaker; whether you are a Tar Heel, or a visitor to Carolina, I am certain that you will find information and inspiration among our vast holdings

Our Slavic and East European Collections are vital to the research, teaching and learning of UNC faculty, students, staff and all residents of North Carolina who seek to understand this complex region. We support scholars from all disciplines, with an emphasis on resources for Bosnian, Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovak and Ukrainian studies. Likewise, our collections enable research on former states (the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czechoslovakia, the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia), as well as comparative and cross-disciplinary inquiry into the entire region (Central Europe, Southeast Europe, the Caucasus, the Baltic States, Central Asia) and its relations with the rest of the world. Our unique holdings serve scholars throughout the United States and worldwide. 

Please do not hesitate to get in touch for research consultations, reading suggestions, help with Russian grammar, or just to say hello. I look forward to hearing from you!


Kirill Tolpygo | Толпыго Кирилл Сергеевич | Толпиго Кирило Сергійович
Librarian for Slavic & East European Studies, Global Studies and Linguistics
Lecturer of Russian, Department of Germanic & Slavic Languages & Literatures

Featured Collection: 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.

The André Savine Collection

The André Savine Collection consists of books, periodicals, and archival materials documenting the three waves of Russian emigration of the 20th century and the lives of Russian exiles abroad. In addition to materials produced by émigrés, the collection includes scarce early Soviet publications and pre-revolutionary editions.

The Library has digitized over 900 items from the Savine Collection that can be accessed freely via the Internet Archive at The André Savine Digital Collection.

With over 30,000 items in its holdings, the Savine Collection is still being processed. New titles are added to the catalog weekly -- check out the latest additions!

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Image: 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].

Featured Collection: The Czechoslovak Legion Collection

Czechoslovak Legion train drawing

The Czechoslovak Legion Collection

The Czechoslovak Legion Collection consists primarily of books and periodicals produced by the Legion during its entanglement in the Russian Civil War, 1918-1920. The materials were printed on trains, in towns along the Trans-Siberian railroad, and aboard Allied ships following the Legion's evacuation from Vladivostok. Materials include official newspapers and journals, published Legion documents, political pamphlets, handbooks, works on history, literature, and culture, humor and satire publications, autobiographical materials, reprints of classic literature and original poetry and prose.

Related collection: The Russian Civil War and American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia, 1918-20.

Image source: Švec, Václav. Schema historických momentů československ. vojenských operací na Sibiři 1918-1919. Irkutsk, 1919.

Cooperative Collections

Our library enjoys a decades-long partnership with Duke University Library for building Slavic and East European collections within the Triangle Research Libraries Network, the nation's oldest library consortium. The division of collection responsibilities between the two campuses enables UNC and Duke to combine their budgets and extend the coverage of the region in ways that would not be sustainable for either library to undertake alone. Below is a summary of major collection responsibilities and their distribution.

Shared Responsibility

  • Russian Federation*

* UNC additionally collects Russian language materials from the Baltic States, Transcaucasia, Ukraine, and Moldova, and diaspora materials from Western Europe, Israel and the Americas.


  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia

UNC small collection programs, legacy collections, and exchanges: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia.


  • Belarus*
  • Kazakhstan*
  • Kyrgyzstan*
  • Poland
  • Tajikistan*
  • Ukraine**
  • Uzbekistan*

*Primarily Russian and English language materials.

**UNC collects Russian language materials from Ukraine.

Acquisition Highlights

Socialism on Film

Socialism on Film

Socialism on Film documents the communist world from the Russian Revolution through to the late 1980s. The films cover all aspects of the socialist experience from everyday life and society to culture, the Cold War, memory and current affairs. Footage includes documentaries, newsreels and feature films. Geographically the films deal with the Soviet Union alongside significant groupings of material on Vietnam, China, Korea, the German Democratic Republic and Eastern Europe, Britain, Spain, Latin America and Cuba. Sourced from the archives of the British Film Institute (BFI), this resource makes available the ETV-Plato Films collection amassed by British communist Stanley Forman in the years following the Second World War. The collection consists of films produced almost exclusively in the communist world and later dubbed into English for distribution in the West. All the films included in this resource have been digitized from the original 16mm and 35mm film reels.

V boj!

Cover of V boj! 25(1939)

University Libraries acquired three original issues and a complete reprint set of V boj! [Into battle!], the scarce and hugely important journal of the Czech underground resistance during Nazi occupation of Bohemia and Moravia. V boj! was produced and clandestinely distributed 1939-1941 until its publishers were apprehended by the Gestapo. The journal’s creators included legionnaire Josef Škalda, journalist, writer, and translator Milena Jesenská (famous in the West as Franz Kafka’s lover), and artist Vojtěch Preissig. At its height, the journal reached print runs of 10,000 copies.

Ogonek Digital Archive

Cover of Ogonek November 1990

University Libraries acquired the Ogonek Digital Archive (1923-present), published by East View Information Services. Ogonek (Огонёк) was a weekly illustrated magazine of Soviet culture, reaching its widest readership during the late 1980s as an important mouthpiece for perestroika and glasnost. During these years, Ogonek tackled many "difficult" topics, which were previously not covered by Soviet press, from the war in Afghanistan and Chernobyl, to crime, drugs and prostitution, to cultural figures from Russian history that were previously forgotten or downplayed for ideological reasons. Also of note are the issues from the 1920s and early 1930s, reflecting the formation and development of Soviet society. These issues are also rich in fascinating advertising, something that completely disappears by the late 1930s. The magazine struggled to find a stable audience in the post-Soviet period, changing owners, formats, focus, and scope several times. Ogonek is currently owned by Kommersant (Коммерсантъ).

Slavic & East European Resources for the Community

Library Borrower's CardUNC is a public institution and welcomes all visitors to our library collections. North Carolina residents may obtain a Borrower's Card in order to check out materials, including non-English publications. We have thousands of books in the languages of Eastern Europe, most notably in Russian, Czech, Polish, Serbian, Croatian, Slovak and Hungarian, from scholarly publications in all subjects, to popular fiction and comic books. Visiting or resident unaffiliated scholars interested in full access to library collections, including electronic resources, may wish to apply for the CSEEES Fellows Program.

Librarian for Slavic & East European Studies, Global Studies and Linguistics

Profile Photo
Kirill Tolpygo
My pronouns are: he/him.
118 Davis Library, CB#3918
(919) 962-8044

Our student assistant Kristyna featured on UNC's "A Day in the Life"

Recent Faculty Publications

Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies


Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures

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