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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Translations and Translation Studies in the Russian, Eastern European & Eurasian Context: Open-Web Resources

A Brief Overview of the Field, and A Guide to Resources for Identifying Translated Works

"Eastern" Literature in translation: Arabic to Russian, Mongolian to Russian, etc


The explosion of academic portals in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia is a research boon to scholars everywhere.  Vostochnaia Literatura: biblioteka tekstov srednevekov'ia is a portal for Medieval Studies and one of the most reliable depositories for translations of historical documents (letters, reports, and financial records) from Arabic (and other Semitic languages), Farsi, languages of the Caucasus, and European languages, and East /South Asia.  Moreover, forty three countries and Afrika are listed in the historical documents section.  In additon to the documents, this portal is a gold mine for Russian journal indexes and bibliographies of journal indexes.  As of June 9, 2013, there are twenty five journal indexes (full-text) for some of the most important publication from the pre-revolution Russia and Soviet Union.  For example, with just one click, researchers can download indexes for the following serial publicaitons: Vestnik Evropy (index for 1802-1830), Vostochnyi sbornik, izdavaemyi bibliotekoi im. Saltykova-Shchedrina (Vyp. 1-6), Russkii vestnik (index for 1856-1864), Russkii arkhiv (index for 1863-1908), etc.  With a journal index next to you, researchers can browse decades of published materials in hours or minutes.  This portol is a reliable destination for Medieval and Translation Studies. 


The Slavic Reference Service staff have included ФЭБ [Feb-Web] aka Fundamental'naia elektronnaia biblioteka in most of the guides to Russian literature and folklore.  If researchers are seeking an authoritative source on Russian literature, ФЭБ's massive collection - of bibliographic guides, encyclopedias, dictionaries, in-depth individual guides to Russian literary figures, and bibliographies of journals and indexes -  then, ФЭБ is your gateway to discovering vernacular language sources.

IATE - The EU's multilingual term base


The InterActive Terminology for Europe is a searchable database for technical and official terms in well over 24 languages in the European Union. One of the consistent roadblocks to searching research databases is official terminology.  Translation Studies scholars can look up subject terms before conducting any researches for their research inquiries. a journal depository

Subscribers to enjoy full-text access to over 6.5 million scholarly articles and nearly 10 million abstracts, primarily in the sciences, technology, medicine and education.  Over 2,500 Russian journals are available in full text, but only slightly over half of these are accessible to non-subscribers.  The entire database is searchable by keyword, author, title and subject.  The subject organization of the database is available here.  Foreign (i.e., Western) journals are also included in the search results.

Золотая коллекция Евразии ака Golden Collection of Eurasia


The “Golden Collection of Eurasia” is a project initiated by the Library Assembly of Eurasia aka Zolotaia kollektsiia Evrazii. The assembly is a non-profit partnership of CIS libraries (national and regional libraries) This assembly is a Russian led effort (Russian State Library manages this assembly) to “... coordinate ongoing projects and programs in the social and humanitarian sphere.” The main goal of this project is to create digital collection that reflects the cultures of the peoples of the CIS countries. Since this involves contributions from various national and regional libraries, the materials in this digital collection represent the vernacular languages of CIS countries. Take a tour of the Golden Collection of Eurasia for your next Translation Studies project.

Всероссийкая государственная библиотека иностранной литературы им. М. И. Рудомино = All Russia State Library for Foreign Literature named after M. I. Rudomino


In operation since April 1922, the All Russia State Library for Foreign Literature’s print and online collections [named after M. I.Rudomino, before 1924, Neofilologicheskaia Library]of journals (more than 2.5 million periodicals and periodicals of foreign newspapers currently received is  ~1, 500 titles.  The digital portal attached to this library allows researchers to search for topics associated with the social sciences and other fields of study.  Translations Studies scholars can also browse any of the ten subject categories listed in the left navigation bar or search for electronic titles via the main search interface.  Moreover, the top navigation bar for this electronic library includes tabs for, “works,” “terminology,” and “personalities,” which will bring up hundreds of titles and terms listed under these headings.  In terms of historical importance and academic collections in foreign languages, this library is truly exceptional resource for Translation Studies. 

Online Polish Databases


This collection of online Polish research databases is available to all users.  Researchers interested in translations of Polish literature should consult the following database: Przekłady literatury polskiejNote: Researchers can conduct integrated searches on all of the listed databases.

Russian Federation: Finno-Urgic Cultural Center


Finno-Ugorskiĭ kulturnyĭ tsentr Rossiĭskoĭ Federatsii (Ministerstva Kul'tury Rossiiskoi Federatsii i Gosudarstvennogo Rossiiskogo Doma Narodnogo Tvorchestva) is an online depository for publications and cultural information in Russian and Finno-Ugric Languages.



Gallica  is the digital library of Bibliothèque nationale de France and well over 46 participating French libraries, thus it is also known as the collective digital library.  Researchers will be stunned to discover the extent of Gallica digital holdings and it can be summed up in one line: "Two million documents at your fingertips." These documents can be: books, manuscripts, maps, images, periodicals, sound recordings, and scores.  The digital library administrators have included a number of useful access points.  For example, researchers can search this digital library by: yearl of publication, language (Italian, German, French, Greek, Latin, Spanish, and English), document type, theme, and by library.  Furthermore, researchers can follow the directory of recent additons, blog posts, and the list of most popular documents. All we can say is: Vive la Gallica!

Hungarian Online resources

The Digital Library of Hungarian Studies, the Hungarian Electronic Library, the Electronic Periodicals Archive, and MATARKA (Hungarian Periodicals Table of Contents Database) are the gold standard when it comes to online resources.  In these four online platforms, researchers can explore several hundred years of Hungarian and European scholarship.  Before the discussion of "portals" and "digital libraries," the Hungarian libraries were already developing online depositories for digitized texts and journals.  Researchers can access national bibliographic publications and the entire collection of reference materials (encyclopedias, multilingual dictionaries, etc) at the Hungarian Electronic Library.  A lighthouse for Translation Studies. 

Kazakh Gold


Among the collection of online resources listed at the Kazakh National Library, two digital collections are of importance to Translation Studies: the electronic library of contemporary Kazakh literature(Russian and Kazakh titles) and the electronic library for classic Kazakh literature (Russian and Kazakh).  Researchers can browse and download e-books in both collections.  A must see for scholars in researching Kazakh literature and Translation Studies.  These collection can directly be accessed at:

Электронная библиотека Современная литература Казахстана

Электронная библиотека «Казахская классическая литература