Russian Delegation

On December 18, 2009, the four member Russian delegation led by Aleksandr Pavlovich Vershinin, General Director of the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library, has visited the Columbia University libraries. This visit was initiated by the Russian side of the team representing the Joint Project between the Library of Congress and the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library, the first Presidential Library in Russia.

Russian delegation represents one of five Joint Project Implementation Teams created within the framework of the Russian-American Working Group on Library Cooperation. The focus of these five groups is 1)Technology and Best Practices; 2) Content and Exchange of Materials; 3)Audio-Visual Collections; 4) Copyright and Related Rights; and 5)Specific Joint Digital Projects.

The Russian delegation met with Jim Neal, who introduced them with Columbia Libraries system in general. Then they were hosted by Columbia University Slavic bibliographer, Rob Davies, who made a Powerpoint presentation on the historical background of Columbia’s library, in a national context, 1903-1946.

Tanya Chebotarev, Bakhmeteff Curator, set up a small exhibit of Russian and East European materials which emphasized the vast variety of the Bakhmeteff Archive collecting activities. She also talked about the history and collection development policies of the second largest repository of Russian émigré materials in the United States. See photos.

Patricia Renfro and representatives from RBML, LDPD, Columbia’s Center for New Media Teaching & Research, and the Center for Digital Research & Scholarship gave an overview of Columbia’s digitization program, special online teaching and learning projects, Courseworks, and other digital initiatives.

The group then had lunch at Faculty House with Jim Neal, Patricia Renfro, and former chair of the Baltic and Slavic Division at the NYPL, Edward Kasinec, who is now a fellow at the Harriman Institute.