Book Treasures for Tractors: The Dispersal of Libraries in Soviet Russia

2012/2013 Book History Colloquium at Columbia University
Edward Kasinec
Book Treasures for Tractors: The Dispersal of Libraries in Soviet Russia

523 Butler Library, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m

The destruction and displacement of cultural treasures has often followed in the wake of political and social revolution. Kasinec’s presentation treats the Soviet government-sponsored sales of art, books, and manuscripts to Western collections during the late 1920s and early l930s, addressing what was sold and why, the agencies and agents of sale, and the Western institutions and private collectors who were the principal buyers of books and manuscripts from Soviet Russia. This illustrated presentation will deal especially with the sales of Western language books and manuscripts, for example the Codex Sinaiaticus, French illuminated manuscripts, and the works of Gutenberg, from Russian Soviet collections as well as holdings from Imperial and Grand Ducal libraries.

Edward Kasinec has served as a Curator of Slavic collections at several of America’s premier university and research libraries. He holds graduate degrees from Columbia University and Simmons College.

The Book History Colloquium at Columbia University, open to any discipline, aims to provide a broad outlet for the scholarly discussion of book history, print culture, the book arts, and bibliographical research, and (ideally) the promotion of research and publication in these fields. Our presenters include Columbia faculty members and advanced graduate students, and scholars of national prominence from a range of institutions.