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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2021 Virtual Summer Research Laboratory

A guide for virtual Summer Research Laboratory participants at the University of Illinois Library. It contains information on virtual services, events, access to digital resources, and research technologies.


Welcome to the 2021 virtual Summer Research Laboratory (SRL)! The Slavic Reference Service (SRS), the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC), and the Center for Global Studies (CGS) are committed to providing high quality research support for the duration of the traditional SRL period, June 14 - August 8, 2021, and beyond.

The history of the SRL dates back to the founding of REEEC in 1958. Dr. Ralph Fisher spearheaded the initiative to build the center into a world-renowned area studies program. In the following year, he hired Larry Miller to take charge of the Slavic collection at the University of Illinois Library, and by 1964, in less than six years, it was already the largest Slavic library collection in the Midwest. The year 1970 greeted another milestone for REEE studies on campus when the Slavic Division at the Library moved to its own separate reading room, where all the library staff and scholars from various departments could come together. The first session of the SRL took place in 1973, not only marking a turning point for area studies on campus, but also setting a nationwide precedent for research pertaining to this region. Within the next two years, the SRS was officially established, thereby enabling SRS librarians to assist scholars worldwide throughout the year.


Nowadays, thanks to the visionary work of Ralph Fisher, Larry Miller, and many other Slavic librarians and scholars, the collection on campus is ranked in the top five of REEE collections in the country. Furthermore, the strong ties between the Slavic Reference Service and the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center has served as a model for how other area centers interact with and draw from research services in the library. Both the institutional strength of the center and the vastness of the library collection have drawn some of the best scholars in a myriad of fields such as literature, cinema, political science, education, history, musicology, and anthropology to call the University of Illinois their home, marking it as an intellectual landmark for REEE studies in many disciplines. For more information on the history of REEEC and the Library's Slavic collection, check out this blog post.

During these unprecedented times, the SRS is able to provide essential services to virtual SRL scholars. These include personalized bibliographic sessions through Zoom, access to digital resources at the library, as well as support from the SRS for limited duplication requests (restricted to 20 pages). 

This guide will serve to orient virtual SRL scholars on the multitude of resources available at the University of Illinois Library. 

The Slavic Reference Service staff will be available to assist you with any queries. Do not hesitate to contact us at

For more information about our library, please visit the Insider's guide to the library.
The Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center can be reached at

Slavic Reference Service



In August of 2011, the Slavic, Asian, Africana, and the Latin American and Caribbean departmental libraries were consolidated into the International and Area Studies (IAS) Library. But aside from that, the Slavic Reference Service, Acquisitions, and Cataloging staff continue to work, collaborate, and communicate with each other to create an ideal research space for SRL participants. All of the services associated with the Summer Research Laboratory for the last forty years are still in place. Throughout your stay, the Slavic Reference Staff are ready to assist you with research inquiries, to verify citations, to locate materials and holding institutions, to use research technologies, library access and policies, and with bibliographic sources.  

Contact Information


Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Twitter: @SRSUIUC