Recent Preservation Projects: From the Slavic and East European Materials Project

Originally published in the March 2019 NewsNet

Recent Preservation Projects from the Slavic and East European Materials Project


Since its founding in 1995, the Slavic and East European Materials Project (SEEMP) has acquired, preserved, and maintained microform and digital collections of unique, rare, and voluminous research materials pertaining to the field of Slavic and East European studies for its members. SEEMP is administered by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), an international consortium of university, college, and independent research libraries. Founded in 1949, CRL supports original research and inspired teaching in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences by preserving and making available to scholars a wealth of rare and uncommon primary source materials from all world regions. CRL is based in Chicago.

SEEMP emphasizes preservation, either through microfilming or digitization, of newspapers, journals, books, archives, pamphlets, and other relevant materials from the region. Geographic areas of interest include the countries of Eastern and Central Europe (Albania, Belarus’, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine), Russia, Transcaucasia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia), and the Central Asian nations that were formerly part of the Soviet Union (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan).

Each year, members of SEEMP meet to evaluate new proposals and receive updates about projects previously approved for funding support. SEEMP regularly preserves and acquires content one title at a time. During the past five years, SEEMP has approved funding to add each of the following titles to its collection:

  • Krokodil (published in Moscow). SEEMP acquired issues from 1923- 1944 on 22 reels of microfilm. Krokodil is an important Russian satirical journal published from 1922 to 2000. It began as a supplement to the Workers’ Gazette before it became a separate publication. Krokodil was one of several satirical publications during the Soviet period.

  • Kurjer warszawski (published in Warsaw) SEEMP acquired issues from 1821-1839 on 32 reels of microfilm. Kurjer warszawski was a daily newspaper published in Warsaw, Poland from 1821-1939.

  • Zapoli︠ a ︡rʹe (published in Vorkuta). SEEMP acquired issues from August 1952-Dec 1990 on 70 reels of microfilm. Zapoli︠ a ︡rʹe was the official organ of Vorkuta’s Communist Party and the only newspaper that has been published in Vorkuta since its founding in 1943. Its importance is related to the city itself, which is of historical significance as: (1) Vorkuta was one of the largest centers of Gulag camps in European Russia; (2) it is one of a few major cities in the world built above the Arctic Circle; and (3) during the Soviet period it was one of the largest coal mining centers in Europe.

SEEMP also takes on strategic multititle projects, when such proposals are brought forward for consideration by SEEMP members.

In 2013, a set of Central Asian newspaper holdings was approved for microfilming by SEEMP. These materials had been collected by Dr. William Fierman, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University. In 2015 and 2016, additional sets of Fierman’s newspapers were approved for microfilming. So far, about half of the newspapers in this project have been completed and are available to researchers. The newspapers microfilmed so far include:


  • Ana tīlī (1990-2010): Progovernment weekly newspaper published by the Kazakh Tili Society.

  • Aq bosagha (1993-1997): Monthly newspaper from the League of Muslim Women

  • Industrial’naia Karaganda (1997- 1998): Newspaper of the Karaganda Oblast in central Kazakhstan

  • Nauka Kazakhstana (1994-2000): Biweekly publication of the Ministry of Science – Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan

  • Ortalyq Qazaqstan (1997- 1998): Newspaper from central Kazakhstan, published three times a week

  • Qazaq eli   (1995-2010): Weekly newspaper produced by the Kazakh government

  • Qazaqstan mughalimi (1988-2010): Published by the Ministry of Education

  • Qazaqstan sarbazy (1994-2007): Issued by the Defense Ministry of Kazakhstan

  • Uchitel’Kazakhstana (1993-2007): Published by the Ministry of Science and Education of Kazakhstan

  • Zan︠ g ︡ gazeti (1996-2011): Semiweekly law gazette from Kazakhstan



  • Adolat (1995-2007): Organ of the Adolat Social Democratic Party

  • Ësh leninchi (1981-1991): Organ of the Union of Youth in Tashkent

  • Fidokor / FMD Partiyasi (1999-2007): Organ of the Fikodor National Democratic Party

  • Golos Uzbekistana (1995-1996): Russian-language weekly issued by the People’s Democratic Party

  • Ma’rifat (2000-2009): A principal newspaper of Tashkent, issued twice a week

  • Oila va zhamiiat (1992-2009): Newspaper of the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan; focuses on social and women’s issues

  • Turkiston (1992-2009): Formerly Esh Leninchi, renamed in 1992.  Organ of the Kamolot Association of Young People of Uzbekistan

  • Ŭzbekiston adabiëti va sanʺati (1981-2009): Weekly organ of the Union of Writers of Uzbekistan

  • Vatanparvar (1992-2009): Uzbek military newspaper, published by the Ministry of Defense

Judy Alspach is the Area Studies Program Manager at the Center for Research Libraries