President's Message

CRL collections document the turbulent history of the region in the 20th century. More than a half century of collecting at CRL, guided by specialists and bibliographers at major North American universities, has built a wealth of primary source materials for historical research. These materials range from the first complete census of the Russian empire to the coverage by the Sarajevo newspaper Oslobodenje of the war in the Balkans during the 1990s.

These regions were closely watched by the West during the first half of the century. This is indicated by the extensive reports and diplomatic correspondence produced by the U.S. Department of State “relating to internal affairs of” Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Poland, and Czechoslovakia from those years. CRL has extensive holdings of these, as well as State Department papers relating to “political relations of Turkey, Greece, and the Balkan states.”

CRL also holds many English-language transcripts of radio and short-wave radio broadcasts from the region, produced by the BBC Monitoring Service, the U.S. Foreign Broadcast Information Service, and the Federal Communications Commission. (The original audio in most cases is long lost). Summaries of press reports from Cold War Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Yugoslavia compiled by the British and American embassies are also available, along with the full texts of many newspapers from the region.

A CRL topic guide to Eastern Europe provides a detailed summary of these holdings and more, and CRL’s foreign newspaper database provides a country-by-country listing of the newspapers held.

In this issue James Simon describes the work of the Slavic and Eastern European Microform Project, whose members continue to identify and acquire source materials that are essential for historical and social science research in the region. Because of the region’s modern history of conflict, SEEMP’s role has been of vital importance to North American scholars.