In 2019, Columbia has received a large portion of the personal library and realia collection assembled by Hamilton College Professor Emeritus Franklin A. Sciacca (Columbia BA and PhD). The collection consists of
approximately 162 items, of which the majority are now located in the Bakhmeteff Archive, Rare Books & Manuscripts Library. This includes thirty authentic 18th century imprints from the Lavra’s famous printing house (1734-1794); rare Old Believer imprints; 19th century reprints of 18th century Pochaev titles; eleven late 19th/early 20th century Pochaev imprints; and two 17th century Muscovite printed books, a Mineia sluzhebnaia (1629), and a Psaltyr‘ (1646).
Also included are 19th and early 20th century minor graphics, serial issues (including an issue of USSR in Construction, designed by El Lissitsky), color lithographs, original drawings, and stereopticon slides.
Also included in the Sciacca Gift are examples of pre-Revolutionary and Soviet-era realia, including mid-19th century badges for village and volost’ elders, medals worn by elected officials in provincial cities, and various commemorative medals, coins, and porcelain. This is unquestionably one of the more significant collections of early Slavonic imprints and imperial realia to come to the Columbia Libraries. These materials are now being processed into the collection, where they will be available to present and future generations of researchers.
We are grateful to Professor Sciacca for donating this diverse and important collection to his Alma Mater!