Librarian Highlight: Robert Davis

 RD Karnak

Librarian: Robert Davis

Title: Librarian for Russian, Eurasian & East European Studies

Subject specialties: Humanistic and social science materials in the vernacular languages of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Contact info: rhd2106@columbia.edi, 212 854 4701

Library: Area Studies

@ Columbia Libraries since: 2008

Education Info: Masters of Library Science, CUNY; MA in History, Columbia University; Harriman Certificate; BA in Political Science, Columbia College

About me“Over the past quarter-century, I’ve had the privilege to serve as librarian at two of North America’s greatest Slavic, Eurasian and East European research collections–NYPL and Columbia.  The fact that NYC is home to many resource-rich ethnic organizations and museums, from MoMA to the Roerich—well, for someone like me it doesn’t get any better than this!”

What’s new at my library: Where to begin?  We have acquired a number of new e-resources—for example, Russian Military Intelligence on Asia, 1651-1917, consisting of almost 2,000 archival files on historical-geographical, statistical, topographical and ethnographical descriptions of countries and their individual regions. 

Both Avery and Fine Arts have received hundreds of volumes of the latest architectural, archaeological, and fine art volumes from eastern Europe—ranging from monographs on wooden architecture of the Romanian countryside, to Polish research on the pharaonic monuments at Saqqara.  We have also added many rare Ukrainian imprints from the early 20th century, and more recent (but also rare) Georgian publications, all via donation.

Personal favorite:   Foreign Broadcast Information Service backfile (1941-76) online!   (I have many not-so-fond memories of plastic cuts from using the old, unwieldy FBIS microfiche set during my grad student days.)

Recommended resources:

  •  ISI Emerging Markets is a great resource for students and faculty looking for current information on Eurasian countries.  It also offers searchable current issues and retrospective files of major newspapers in many Eastern European languages.