Samizdat collection — Russian State Library for Young Adults
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Samizdat collection

The RSLYA's fantasy collection of samizdat in periodicals and in the books is the first and the most complete collection of this kind in Russia. A private collection of Yevgeny Kharitonov, the Head of Literature Programs of the library formed its basis. It included more than 200 fanzines produced by the fiction-lovers community (fandom) in the USSR/Russia and abroad, as well as other artefacts of “unofficial» publishing life. As a scientific result of this collection, the RSLYA published the bibliographic reference book “Fantastic Samizdat of 1966-2006» in 2015. The same year, the library organized a large exhibition of “unofficial» press and typewritten books of closed for wide access (or just “closed») literary works and decided to create a special collection of literary printed samizdat within the library.

The collection is regularly updated. Today it has more than 500 items in different formats: magazines, newspapers, books, and newsletters. Along with the fandom publications, the collection also contains non-fiction publications, for example samizdat newspapers and magazines of poetry and prose.

The collection consists of two main sections:

  • Unofficial literary periodicals: samizdat magazines, newspapers, almanacs, bulletins, fanzines of the different types such as literary, artistic, journalistic, bibliographic, and humorous ones. In addition to the content –- after all, many well-known writers began their careers on samizdat pages; these publications are remarkable from the point of view of visual culture due to their original design, layout, and format. The collection contains some unique unofficial periodicals with the circulation, which sometimes did not exceed 2-3 copies, in Russian, English, Bulgarian, Czech, Serbian and Swedish languages.
  • “Self-made” books: typewritten or matrix-printer samizdat of the “closed» and inaccessible literature in the USSR. This collection exists only in the original hard copy form. On the one hand it is interesting as an important cultural fact of the epoch, on the other, as the objects of historical and bibliographic uniqueness due to its circulation.

The collection can be of some interest for lovers of the history of literary and book life in the USSR and abroad, as well as for bibliographers. The library do not circulate the samizdat items, but any of them are available in the Fiction Hall.

In conclusion, we would like to mention that the library accepts samizdat publications as a gift.

From collection

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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