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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Climate and Society in Eurasia : Past, Present, Future: Digital Libraries

A guide to library and open-Web resources for the 2021 virtual workshop of the UIUC Summer Research Laboratory in Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies

An abundance of riches

While we are still a long way from having every possible print resource available in digital form, the number of digitized periodicals available on the open Web can still be overwhelming.  One of the main problems is the difficulty of knowing when to stop looking.  For Russian periodicals, one of the major efforts to save researchers time (and headaches) is the Russian State Historical Library's amazing list of "Internet-resursy po otechestvennoi periodicheskoi pechati."  This list provides direct links to free digitized copies of older Russian journals and newspapers (and Ukrainian and Armenian ones, in some cases) no matter where they may be found, and tells you which particular years/issues are available there.  The list is divided into many subcategories.  The following subcategories lead to full text from 1991 and before:


Pre-revolutionary newspapers

Soviet-era newspapers

Russian diaspora newspapers

Pre-revolutionary journals

Soviet-era journals

Russian diaspora journals

Journals from the "near abroad" (= Armenia and Ukraine)





Full text everywhere you look...

As of 2021, most Eurasian countries have national-scale open-access digital libraries maintained and supported by the major libraries and academic institutions of each country.  In many cases smaller regional institutions (i.e., oblast'-level libraries in Russia) will also have their own digital libraries focusing on materials pertaining to that region.  These free digital libraries can provide immediate access to materials that would otherwise be very difficult to track down, as can be seen from the following examples from the National Electronic Library of Kazakhstan:


This is the cover of part II of an unpublished bibliography entitled Bibliograficheskii ukazatel' literatury po estestvenno-geograficheskim usloviiam Severnogo Prikaspiia, compiled in Oral/Ural'sk in 1966 and containing over 6,000 entries in toto.  The full text can be viewed here.

Continuing with the Oral/Ural'sk theme, Kazakhstan's National Electronic Library also provides access to numerous issues of the late-1920s serial publication Ural'skii okrug i ego raiony:




no. 1:

no. 2: 

no. 3, pt. 2: 

no. 5:

no. 6:

no. 7: 

no. 8:

(click on "танысу" to view)



Other examples:


(An essay on the climactic conditions of the city of Ural'sk -- Ural'sk, 1906 -- 38 pp.)



Очерк климата Тургайско-Уральского района [Текст] : очерк составлен в 1907 году / - Оренбург : Тип. З. М. Вайсберг, 1910 . - 80 с., [3] л. ил., табл. . - Текст на старорус. языке - [б. т.] . : 50 тг.



Естественно-исторические условия Киргизской степи (бывш. Букеевской губернии) [Текст] : Отд. отт. из Х т. Трудов О-ва Изучения Казахстана. 1929 / Томашевский, И. И., - [Б. м.] : Типо-литография ٲ Узполиграфтреста, [1929] . - 71 c., ил., табл. . -