The Post-Soviet Nationalities Collection


Scholars of the nationalities problems of Eurasia and Central Asia have at their disposal one of the finest specialized research library collections in the country. Columbia is also one of the few institutions of higher education in the Western hemisphere with outstanding--and growing--collections of published materials in the indigenous languages of Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the minority languages of the Russian Federation. This collection, consisting of more than 21,000 monographs as well as extensive periodical literature and numerous newspapers on microfilm, in 60 of the Indo-European, Uralic-Altaic, Transcaucasian, and Pal├Žo-Siberian languages of the former Soviet Union, is a unique and valuable resource for research on the nationalities of this critical region.

The Post-Soviet Nationalities Collection dates from the early 1960's and has grown steadily since then. Currently, the collection consists of the materials in the following languages (with numbers indicating the number of the titles cataloged in CLIO as of 2015):

To identify material in a given language, use CLIO. Select the "Call Number Exact" option from the drop box at right and enter the 3- or 4-letter code from the table below that corresponds to the language of interest. For larger language collections, it is often useful to view records by year of publication. To do this, set a search  limit to the language desired, select the  "Keyword (use AND, OR, NOT)" option from the basic search screen, and type "260c", followed by a space, followed by the year. (i.e., "260c 2000").

Language Name CLIO Prefix Title Count
Abazin ABAZ 42
Abkhaz ABKH 195
Adigey ADIG 167
Altai ALTA 103
Avar AVAR 55
Azerbaijani (Azeri) AZER 3,300
Balkar BALK 154
Bashkir BASH 651
Buriat BURI 110
Chechen CHEC 118
Cherkess CIRC 63
Chukchi CHUK 6
Chuvash CHUV 450
Crimean Tatar CRIM 90
Dargwa DARG 53
Dido DIDO 1
Dungan DUNG 14
Even EVEN 4
Evenki EVNK 7
Gagauz GAGA 17
Georgian GEOR 2,145
Gilyak GILY 2
Ingush INGU 55
Kabardian KABA 250
Kalmyk KALM 158
Kamchadal ITEL 2
Karachai KARC 76
Karaim KARM 2
Karakalpak KARK 154
Kazakh KAZA 3,333
Language Name CLIO Prefix Title Count
Khakass KHAK 43
Khanty KHAN 9
Komi KOMI 207
Kumyk KUMY 63
Kurdish* KURD 1,486
Kyrgyz KIRG 1,738
Lak LAK 36
Lezgian LEZG 69
Mansi MANS 4
Mari (Cheremis) MARI 312
Mongolian* MONG 280
Mordvin MORD 140
Nanai NANA 5
Nenets NENE 1
Nogai NOGA 52
Olcha OLCH 1
Ossetic OSSE 383
Rutul RUTU 1
Shor SHOR 2
Tabasaran TABA 13
Tajik TAJI 1,837
Turkmen TURK 1,338
Tuvan TUVA 160
Udmurt (Votyak) UDMU 136
Uighur UIGH 182
Uzbek UZBE 3,834
Volga Tatar VOLG 1,037
Yakut YAKU 217
Yukaghir YUKA 2

The collection serves many academic purposes. Most important is the research it makes possible into the artistic, cultural, linguistic, social and political affairs and accomplishments of the nationalities well represented in the Libraries holdings. It is essential that such research be conducted using original sources in the indigenous languages. Particularly notable in the Columbia collection are books in Azeri, Central Asian and Tatar languages, as well as unique and valuable holdings in rarer languages such as Tuvan and Uighur.

*An asterisk following the language name indicates that there are substantial holdings in this language at CUL that are separate from the Post-Soviet Nationalities Collection. The non-SNC holdings represent material in the given languages that were published outside the borders of the former Soviet Union.

The Post-Soviet Nationalities Collection is housed in special climate-controlled storage for long-term preservation, at our ReCAP (Research Collections and Preservation Consortium) facility. By clicking on the link within each record in WebCLIO, Columbia-affiliated researchers can have items rapidly retrieved from ReCAP for use. By clicking a language name above, or using a language-search as described above, one may page individual items. There is no limit to the number of items an individual may page.

Non-Columbia affiliates wishing to use the collection need to make special arrangements to have materials retrieved. Please contact the Librarian at the coordinates below.

For more information about the Collection, please contact the Librarian for Russian, Eurasian & East European Studies.

Robert H. Davis, Jr.
Librarian for Russian, Eurasian & East European Studies
308 Lehman Library
International Affairs Building
Columbia University
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027