The Indiana University Digital Library Program has put online Letopis’ Zhurnal’nykh Statei, “a digitized serial publication that indexes Soviet-era periodicals from 1956 to 1975”:

The paper version, in publication since 1926, covers more than 1,700 journals, series, and continuing publications of academies, universities, and research institutes in the fields of humanities, natural sciences, and the social sciences, and it also covers the popular periodical literature.
Letopis’ Zhurnal’nykh Statei provides access to the periodical literature of an essential time in modern Russian history, beginning with the period of the Khrushchev “Thaw” following the 20th CPSU Congress and continuing through the first half of the so-called Brezhnev “Period of Stagnation”. Virtually any student or scholar studying Russian political science, literature, or history between 1956-1975 will find Letopis’ Zhurnal’nykh Statei to be an invaluable resource.

Thanks for the link, peacay! And I will take this occasion to mention again the indispensable Национальный корпус русского языка, where you can search the entire range of Russian literature from the eighteenth century on to see how a given word has been used.


  1. For those translating from Russian, there’s no resource more useful than the National Corpus. I look forward to investigating the new journals database.

  2. the mention of Letopis here made me feel so nostalgic – it was one of the resources we ‘studied’ as part of bibliography and research course at the university. Pity it only goes up to ’75, I found a lot by my father, but none by myself.
    I think it should be mentioned that Летопись itself is compiled and published by the Russian Book Chamber (Российская книжная палата). Their website is not that great, which, I suspect, is not just because they are technologically not clued-in, but reflects the prevailing reticence about putting data on the internet. Bibiliography, obviously, is one field where there is a lot of meticulous, time-consuming work. This page on the Book Chamber site shows other ‘letopisi’ they publish, an impressive effort.

  3. reflects the prevailing reticence about putting data on the internet
    Prevailing among whom? Russians in general seem to be putting stuff on the internet with great enthusiasm.

  4. it’s just an impression from several recent conversations with academics in Russia. I even offered one journal to build a web-site for them. The reply was: ‘oh, they’ll just steal our texts and data’.
    It’s one thing to fire away with an opinionated piece, but you’d feel differently when you’ve spent years collecting scientific/academic data, publish it on the internet and see it copied without royalty or even attribution – and have no means for recourse.

  5. Alan Shaw says:

    I do get the impression that the internet in Russia is something of a wild West these days; if there’s some fear there of having the fruits of one’s labors stolen it would hardly surprise me. Even here, there’s a sense that copying anything freely posted on the web is not really stealing. Except for big companies owning lots of rights, most here are a bit lenient about such things, in the interest of the easy access to content that the web provides.
    I recently found some nice images online of Pushkin manuscript pages with some of his wonderful doodles on them. The originals, like all the Pushkin mss, are in Pushkinsky Dom. With financial aid from Prince Charles and others, they published multiple volumes of facsimiles of Pushkin’s working notebooks in the late nineties. The images I saw were part of a more recent joint publication project with a Russian publishing house.
    I don’t know, but I would imagine that Pushkinksy Dom and other scholarly institutions are resigned to the fact that such things will quickly proliferate online, and that, especially given that they are a “public” institution, no one is going to think much about compensating them for their part in facilitating their availability. Institutions here (in the US) face similar dilemmas, but I would guess it’s much worse there.
    The Letopis arouses some nostalgia in me as well; I consulted it daily when working for Mathematical Reviews in the seventies and eighties.

  6. John Cowan says:

    Such is the problem with theruleoflaw as an ideal: it often means the rule of bad and stupid laws with which not one person agrees. In a (blessedly brief) debate over illegal immigration, someone wrote “You can’t just spit on the law”. I pointed out that Rosa Parks and friends spat on the law that segregated people in buses, and that was a Good Thing. Indeed, in the U.S. breaking the law is a major way to change it, because courts will (as a matter of self-imposed discipline) not decide the fate of any law unless there is an “actual case or controversy”, even if somewhat trumped up. (Is this expression skunked or confirmed? We’ll see.) And yet this does not lead to chaos.

  7. Per the liberal case for civil disobedience, you can very well spit on a law you find individually unjust, just not on “the law” (as a metonymy for the entire system). Going about the latter is, however, easier said than done…

  8. Stu Clayton says:

    Jacques Vergès, the French lawyer who defended various Algerians during the Algerian wars, and later Klaus Barbie among others, wrote in 1968 a thought-provoking book De La Stratégie Judiciaire with historical examples. He describes two kinds of defense: procès de connivence and procès de rupture. The second one is the Rosa Parks kind, and the one he pursued for his Algerian clients.

    To appreciate his views in more detail, see the book of interviews with him: Le Salaud Lumineux.

  9. John Cowan says:

    Illegal immigrants are not civilly disobedient in the classic sense: they don’t cross a border and demand to be arrested and deported in order to create a cause celebre. Rather they are like people who smoke marijuana in states where it is illegal; they scorn the law rather than defying it.

    However, to admit as an American that you have no problem with open borders (of the kind we had until 1885) is pretty much like admitting you are a card-carrying Stalinist. This is despite the fact that Puerto Rican immigration to the U.S. (where there is no legal barrier at all) constitutes about 3% of the Puerto Rican population per year, despite the very obvious economic benefits of doing so (something like $250,000 additional in average lifetime earnings).

  10. David Marjanović says:

    two kinds of defense

    Not included: the very effective Chewbacca Defense.

  11. January First-of-May says:

    something like $250,000 additional in average lifetime earnings

    Does this account for the difference in cost of living? I suspect that prices in Puerto Rico are lower than in the mainland USA…

  12. in the U.S. breaking the law is a major way to change it

    For example by confiscating tea and tipping it into the harbour; declaring independence from a colonial power.

    Strange how short are the memories of those wanting to uphold theruleoflaw as an ideal.

  13. John Cowan says:

    A Big Mac Meal is $7 in P.R. as opposed to $8 in the U.S. as a whole, so I think the cost of living is aligned.

  14. JC, are you Economist?

  15. @AntC: That sense of tipping is actually from the nineteenth century, and we Americans, having already won our independence, never assimilated it.

  16. John Cowan says:

    Well, we certainly have cow tipping, if not cow tipping.

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