Site: Postgraduate online research training
Course: a PORT for Modern Languages
Book: Russian
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Date: Friday, 31 March 2023, 9:50 AM


Russian resources

Russian resources

When you start looking for a source that is not available in your College or University library, you have several other options. You can look for it

The majority of these institutions have an online catalogue, which means you do not need to phone, email or go there. However, before choosing the institution that you think is the most likely to have your source remember that many countries (including the United Kingdom and France) have META-OPACs, that is, online catalogues which collect all the OPACs of a certain area. COPAC, for example, collect major British OPACs; CCFR collects French major onlinecatalogues. And there are even META-OPACs which allow you to do online bibliographical searches of different nationalOPACs at once. This facility gives you the greatest overview of what is available on a trans-national level. We therefore suggest you should start by having a look at the META-OPACs relevant to Russian Studies, included in our

Although META-OPACs permit you to scan a massive amount of books (authors, titles, and subjects), this information will not include any articles. So, if you are looking for secondary literature, especially articles and chapters in books, the best way of resourcing these materials is to consult the

MLA International Bibliography which will be available on CD-ROM or in print at your University Library. The MLA International Bibliography provides a listing and subject index for books and articles published in modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. It indexes over 50000 books and articles each year.

1. Resources in Russia

Institutions holding Russian materials in Russia are classified in the following categories:

1.1 archives

ArcheoBiblioBase offers an online guide to Russia’s major archive facilities with key details including contact information, access, previous names, and a brief introduction to each one. It includes Moscow and St Petersburg archives and regional archives, divided by Republic, krai, oblast and okrug. It holds information on finding aids, genealogical links and links to similar websites containing details of Belarussian and Ukrainian archives.

The Archives of Russia website is the official website of Russia’s archives, created under the sponsorship of the Federal Archive Agency (Rosarkhiv).  It contains contact details for all of Russia ’s archives, both federal and regional, library archives, archival law, archival news, links to online catalogues, archival projects, publishing information and other relevant archival links. It also features the ‘1941-45 Pobeda’ archive for World War II archive material from the former Soviet Union. In Russian only.

The Russian Museums website offers access to collections of most Russian museums.

The Solzhenitsyn House of Russia Abroad contains a large archive of Russian emigration. It includes academic texts, literature, memoirs, letters and also fine art, films and photographs.

Electronic Resources Library of Lomonosov Moscow State University Faculty of History contains a large collection of on-line primary published historical resources mainly of Russian and Slavonic origin.

1.2 cultural institutions

The Russian Government website gives daily information on current situation in the Russian Federation.

Find ticketing information, news and schedules for Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre and St Petersburg's MariinskyTheatre on their websites, which also offer virtual tours.

Founded in 1967, the International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature (MAPRYAL) is dedicated to fostering the successful teaching of Russian language and literature. This website offers news and details of events relevant to the study of the Russian language.

The Kunstkamera, or Peter the Great's Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, in St Petersburg, offers information on its history, exhibitions, collections and current research work on its website.

The Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences brings together the history and contact details of Siberia’s Academies from Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Yakutsk, Ulan-Ude, Kemerevo, Tyumen and Omskto centralise information on physical, mathematical, chemical, biological, Earth, humanities and economic sciences in a searchable database. It provides access to the Siberian Branch’s library in Novosibirsk and Akademgorodok. 

The online home of St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum, home to over 3 million works of art, contains exhibition information, history, children and education sections and a digital collection offering a virtual gallery of much of the museum’s collection. An online shop is also available.

Russian media sites

In Russian:

Argumenty i fakty

BBC World Service – Russia

Eastview Universal Database of Russian Newspapers and Journals

Ezhenedel’nyi Zhurnal






Komsomolskaia Pravda

Literaturnaia Gazeta

Moskovskaia Pravda

Moskovskie Novosti

Moskovskii Komsomolets

Nezavisimaia Gazeta


Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

RIA Novosti

Rossiskaia Gazeta

Russkii Zhurnal


In English: International

Interfax News Agency

The Moscow Times


Russia in Global Affairs

The Russia Journal

Russian Political Weekly/Radio Free Europe

Russia Profile

Russia Today

The St Petersburg Times

1.3 libraries is an online library of modern and classical art offering images and information on Russian art. In Russian only.

The Fundamental'naia elektronnaia biblioteka  is a large online project offering a repository of source, research and reference texts of literature from the eleventh to the twentieth centuries, including a folklore section.It includes a complete alphabetical index of both authors and works featured on the website and contains biographic and bibliographic information where full texts are not provided. In Russian only. - Biblioteka Maksima Moshkova is a comprehensive online collection of literature, offering full texts of Russian literature, both modern and classics, and foreign literature in Russian translation. It includes poetry, prose, history and teaching texts. It is organised by genre and by author. Collections include war, humour and crime. In Russian only.

LibWeb is a portal offering links to major Russian libraries, including The National Library of Russia, Moscow State University and St Petersburg University libraries. is an extensive online musical library of rock, pop, metal, funk, dance, punk, classical, jazz and many other genres. In Russian only.

The online home of the National Library of Russia offers electronic catalogues, access to card catalogues, information on the library’s collections, information on various projects, access to electronic materials and an electronic document delivery service. The library holds over 34 million items.

The Moscow-based State Public Historical Library is Russia's largest library dedicated to history. It is home to around 4 million items in 47 languages of the former Soviet Union and 2.5 million in 65 further foreign languages. The website offers information on collections, projects and online catalogues. In Russian only.

2. Resources in the UK

There are several institutions that hold Russian materials in Britain. They can be classified in the following categories:

2.1 archives

The Leeds Russian Archive consists of around 500 collections of manuscripts, photographs 
and printed books on Russian history, literature, culture and Anglo-Russian relations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The University of Warwick's International Contact Group aims to promote academic research in the former Soviet Union ’s archives, focusing on issues of historical political economy.

The University of Warwick also runs a Russian Research Programme, making available on its website over 800 papers and research reports on a variety of economic subjects, including a downloadable archive, from the University of Warwick ’s Centre for Comparative Labour Studies.

University College London's School of Slavonic and East European Studies holds a collection of archival material, the catalogue for which is available online.

Archives Hub is a portal bringing together descriptions of thousands of the UK's archive collections and representing nearly 300 institutions across the country.

AIM25 is a database of archives and manuscript collections from many of London's higher education institutions, learned societies, cultural organisations and City livery companies.

2.2 cultural institutions

Academia Rossica is a London-based Russian arts foundation dedicated to the support and promotion of Russian culture, including organising the London Russian Film Festival, awarding the Rossica Translation Prize and publishing the Academia Rossica journal.

Founded in 1959, the  British-Russia Centre and the British East-West Centre is committed to sustaining contact and debate with the countries of the former Soviet Union as a non-governmental organization providing training and consultancy to support the social, economic and political development of those countries.

The Great Britain-Russia Society offers an extensive lecture programme on all areas of Russian studies. The site contains programme information, a news archive and a journal archive as well as links to other British Russianorganisations.

The Glas publishing house is one of the UK's leading publishers of contemporary Russian fiction in English translation, offering anthologies and works by individual authors. The website contains a back catalogue and ordering information.

Pushkin House supports Russian culture as a London-based showcase for the Russian arts. It acts as a focus for Anglo-Russian cultural exchange with a varied programme of literature, music and art as well as history and politics. It also provides information and education on the Russian language.  Its Bloomsbury home also houses a well-resourced reference library of Russian culture. 

The London-based Society for Co-Operation in Russian and Soviet Studies is aimed at promoting knowledge of Russia and the former Soviet Union’s language, culture and history. It was founded in 1924 by artists and intellectuals such as E.M. Forster, Maynard Keynes, Virginia Woolf, Alexei Tolstoy and Konstantin Yuon. The library houses a unique collection of books and other materials, with a particular focus on the Soviet period, as well as photo library with over 60,000 photographs and slides.

The Scotland-Russia Forum promotes the culture of Russia and its neighbours in Scotland. It offers lectures, exhibitions and language classes and publishes a review.

The BBC Russian Service radio network and website is a part of The BBC World Service.

2.3 libraries

We cannot list all the libraries in the UK holding Russian resources. Always search the catalogues of your University library first, and those which are in your neighbourhood. University libraries tend to have different specialismsdepending on the research interests of the lecturers and researchers associated with the institution, so collections may vary considerably. Be creative when doing your research and use COPAC to locate your materials.

British Library Russian Collection covers the 17th to 20th centuries.

The Scott Polar Research Institute library contains over 25,000 records, dating from 1671, concerning northern Russia and Siberia.  The collection is searchable online.  The Institute is the oldest international centre for Polar Research within a university, founded as a memorial to Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his four colleagues, who died returning from the South Pole in 1912.

University College London's School of Slavonic and East European Studies library holds 357,000 volumes of books, pamphlets and periodicals, an extensive collection of newspapers from Central and Eastern Europe and Russia and a continually updated audio-visual collection of documentaries, feature films and news.  The Russian collections contains over 100,000 books and over 160 periodicals, of which 25 are current newspapers. Special collections include over 100 early Church Slavonic and Russian books as well as a large travel writing collection. Some access restrictions apply.

3. resources in the rest of the world

This section offers information on Russian resources outside Russia and the UK. Please note that what you will find listed does not of course exhaust everything available.

3.1 archives

Johnson's Russia List is an online archive of contemporary articles concerning Russia harvested from the media. It is organised into smaller archives on topics such as Yeltsin, the Ukraine, Media/Internet, Chechnya, Culture and others.

Political Parties and Organisations (Russian Federation) is a political resource portal with links to Russia’s political parties, Russia’s constitution, election information, government information and the official sites of Russia’s regions and republics. It includes links to information on Chechnya.

The United States Library of Congress offers an online version of the 1996 exhibition Revelations from the Russian Archives which provided one of the first insights into the archives of the Soviet Union.

The Yale Russian Archive Project will serve as a clearinghouse for information in order to facilitate access to the newly available documents in the archives of the former Soviet Union and provides scholars with detailed information about the archives before they travel to Russia or other former Soviet Republics.

Hoover Institution Stanford University contains an archives of the Soviet communist party and Soviet state as well as other former Soviet communist republics including pre-revolutionary parties and movements. It also host a Russian Archives project and Museum of Russian Culture Project.

The KGB documents and the researches in the Baltic states website offers documents from the former headquarters from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

The Russia Votes website contains polling and other monitoring information regarding Russian elections. Launched in 1992 as a joint project of the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for the Study of Public Policy and Moscow’s LevadaCenter, the site contains up-to-date polls on a number of issues facing Russian voters in the area of politics, economics, society, welfare and security.

The Prokudin-Gorskii Photographic Record contains a splendid collection of photographs from the end of the Russian Empire.

Russian Painting covers icons, paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries and painters of the 20th century, including pieces by Marc Chagall, Vasily Kandinsky, Natalia Goncharova, Kasimir Malevich and Michail Larionov.

Archives Portal Europe provides access to information on archival material from different European countries as well as information on archival institutions throughout the continent. 

3.2 cultural institutions

The Amherst Center for Russian Culture website contains general information and articles about the Massachusetts-based Amherst Center for Russian Culture and a listing of its catalogued archives. The Center holds a significant collection of periodicals, almost 15,000 books and 170 boxes of archival material including documents by Andrei Bely, Vasily Kandinsky, Boris Pilnyak, Ivan Bunin, Ilya Ehrenburg, Vladimir Nabokov, Boris Pasternak, AlekseiRemizov, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Marina Tsvetaeva.

The website of the Early Slavic Studies Association (ESSA) contains information on its officers and constitution, an archive of announcements and archives.

The University of Texas's Maps of Russia and Former Soviet Republics is an extensive collection of maps available online in digital format from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection. It includes maps of all areas of the former Soviet Union from the early 1980s to the present, many themed on different issues such as administrative divisions,defence facilities, youth distribution, resources and nationalities.

The Meeting of Frontiers website is a bilingual digital library detailing the history of exploration and settlement by America in its western territories and by Russia in Siberia and the point where their new-found frontiers met. It includes information on books, other printed materials, manuscripts, photographs, maps, music, cinema and exhibitions.

The Ruskiy Mir Foundation is a Russian government initiative which aims to reconnect the Russian diaspora with its homeland. It also supports teaching of the Russian language outside Russia.

3.3 libraries

A selection of libraries with Russian collections outside Russia and the UK include:

Children's Books of the Early Soviet Era is a virtual exhibition of Soviet children’s books, curated by McGill University’s Rare Books and Special Collections division. It holds bibliographical information on over 60 works and features a special section on the collaborative work of Samuel Marshak and Vladimir Lebedev. It includes images of front covers and title pages.

Libdex offers access to 18,000 libraries worldwide.

The national library of the United States, the Library of Congress, offers access to a wide variety of Russian resources.

New York Public Library has one of the largest collection of Russian document in the US. It provides free access to its digital gallery which consists of over 800,000 images of its vast collections including manuscripts, maps, posters, prints and photographs.

The National Library of Finland Russian Collection offers 450,000 Russian volumes from which 110,000 volumes come from the 1828-1917 era and the rest from the Soviet period.

Russian Revolution Publication in Uppsala University Library comprises an exceptional collection of books, pamphlets, magazines, newspapers and posters from the revolutionary time and the first five years of the Soviet regime.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries hold several rare Russian books in digitized form.

4. virtual resources

Besides descriptions and catalogues of real libraries and archives, you can find on the Internet numerous virtual libraries, that is, numerous websites containing the transcriptions of entire texts. We suggest that you should have recourse to them only for the first reading, or in order to search for particular words or phrases. If you need to quote those texts in your thesis or papers, it is preferable for to refer to printed editions, whose philological accuracy is more easily verifiable. On the other hand, the Internet offers you several other research tools, such as:

  • META-OPACs: these are search engines that allow you to scan materials of several library catalogues at once.
  • humanities portals and sites, that is, portals/sites devoted to different aspects and fields of humanities
  • digital works and authors, that is, web-sites devoted to individual authors or works
  • e-journals, that is, periodicals published only, or also, online.

Other essential digital sources of information are the:

  • MLA International Bibliography which is the best resource for secondary literature, especially articles and chapters in books. It will be available on CD-ROM (or in print) in your University Library. The MLA International Bibliography provides a listing and subject index for books and articles published on modern languages, literatures, folklore and linguistics. It indexes over 50000 books and journals each year.
  • Russian Archives Online consists of collections of photographs and films, audio, clips and transcripts from the 15 republics of the former Soviet Union.

4.1 digital works and authors

This page lists useful resources on some of Russia's most celebrated writers. A selection of sites offering a broader range of Russian literature can be found in the Virtual Libraries section.

Bulgakov's Master and Margarita is an online reading guide for Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita covering the novel’s themes and characters and providing chapter annotations, maps, a timeline, illustrations and bibliography.

The Complete Works of Dostoevsky. This site gives access to the Russian-language concordances of the complete works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, as well information on the Petrozavodsk State University’s canonical texts of Dostoevsky.

Dostoevsky Research Station. A Czech-created Dostoevsky reference site with bibliography of critical works, chronology, quotations and over 200 links to other sites. This site offers the complete texts of Dostoevsky’s works online, free of charge, including The Brothers KaramazovCrime and Punishment and Notes from the Underground.

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky. This is a Middlebury College website, created by Thomas Beyer Jr., including reading guides to Dostoevsky’s major works and student papers on Dostoevsky.

The Pushkin Page. This site includes a biography and list of operas based on Pushkin’s works.

Reading Tolstoy. A project to digitize the complete works of Leo Tolstoy.

The Nabokov Online Journal is a peer-reviewed bilingual journal dedicated to Nabokov studies. It aims to achieve a balance between publication of English- and Russian language scholarship.


You can now access many literary works either online (free of charge) or on CD-ROM. The digitization of literature can be a great research tool as it will allow you to do specific searches in the text from the comfort of your own home. For links to online literature, check our section on virtual libraries. There you will find many of the literary works you are studying online, further to the sample authors listed here. If you are interested in CD-ROMs dedicated to particular authors, one major publisher of literature-based CD-ROMs is Chadwyck-Healey. For more information on their products click here: ProQuest and Chadwyck Healey.

Europeana provides access to over 50 million digitised items - books, music, artworks and more.

4.2 e-journals

Online Periodicals and Newspapers (in Russian)

Argumenti i fakti

Interfax (also available in English)

ITAR-TASS (also available in English)



Kommersant (also available in English)

Komsomolskaia pravda

Literaturnaia gazeta

Moskovskaia pravda

Moskovskie novosti

Moskovskii komsomlets

Nezavisimaia gazeta (also available in English)

Novaya gazeta (also available in English)

Pravda (also available in English)

RIA Novosti (also available in English)

Rossiskaia gazeta

Russkii zhurnal Free Europe/Radio Liberty


Online periodicals and Newspapers (in English)

The Moscow Times

The Moscow News Weekly 

Russia in Global Affairs (also available in Russian)

Russia Profile

Russia Today

The St Petersburg Times

4.3 humanities portals/sites

In Russian

The Sovremennaia russkaia literature site offers links to texts and criticism on modern Russian literature. In Russian only. Classic Russian and Soviet Poetry provides an online collection of works by 194 Russian and Soviet poets. It includes over 19,000 poems and almost 900 articles. As well as poems listed by author, there are a number of collections by theme, including war, the seasons, love and the poetry of the Silver Age. In Russian only.

The Russian Posters website offers an extensive searchable database of posters from the Soviet Union. In Russianand German only.

In English

Early Twentieth-Century Russian Drama is a website dedicated to Russian theatre from the era of Russian modernism, including works by Stanislavsky and Meyerhold, Chekhov, Mayakovsky and Bulgakov, Malevich and Tatlin,Stravinsky and Shostakovich.

The British Academy Portal is the British Academy's directory of online resources in the humanities and social sciences. It is designed as an entry point to resources available for those working in higher education and research, including the domain of Modern Languages (Russian) amongst many other subjects.

The European Library is a portal service allowing you to search the content of European National Libraries.

The Intute (Arts and Humanities) site has a Russian Studies section with links to a whole range of sources. This site is one of the most useful for all areas of research in the Humanities. It contains links to sites within all subject areas of the Humanities and you will be offered routes to projects/organizations, primary sources, research-related sites, secondary sources, teaching and learning related sites and also bibliographical sources.

4.4 metaopacs

The International Library Information and Analytical Center (ILIAC) website has links to three free-of-charge databases (Russian Periodicals Subscription Catalogue, Russian Union Catalogue on Sci-Tech Literature and Geopolitics, interethnic and interregional relations in Russia) as well as links to other databases for registered users and demonstration versions of databases.

The Regional University and Science Library Advanced Network in the North-West of Russia (RUSLAN)provides access to catalogues from universities across Russia, Europe and the rest of the world. Follow theZ39.50 Gateway and Russian Library Consortica Resources links from the website to see the list of university librarycatalogues available via this site.

British META-OPACs

COPAC is the most searched British META-OPAC. It contains the online catalogue of 22 of the largest university research libraries in the UK and Ireland, plus the British Library catalogue.

4.5 virtual libraries


Babelot is a search engine that allows you to scour all major virtual libraries. 


The Aldebaran library project offers over 6,500 books and 31,000 books, many of which can be downloaded for free. In Russian only

ArtofWar is a huge online collection of modern literature inspired by war, including in Chechnya, Afghanistan,Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabagh and wars not involving Russia or the Soviet Union.  Genres include poetry, novels, short-stories, fantasy, crime, children’s literature, memoirs, essays, diaries, interviews and histories. Whilst most of these are in Russian, there is a sizeable selection of English translations. There is also a collection of artwork.

Modern Russian Writers is an online reference guide provided by the Slavic Research Center at Hokkaido University. It offers basic biographical and bibliographical details on hundreds of modern Russian writers. This resource is in JapaneseSome information is only available in Russian.

The Opoyaz website is dedicated to the history of Russian Formalism, in particularly the OPOYAZ movement (Society for the Study of Poetic Language). In addition, it publishes documents on history of language studies and linguistics from the Soviet period from the 1920s to the 1950s. It aims to re-publish rare and out-of-print documents and articles. In Russian only.

Russian Literature from the 18th to 20th Century is a project from the ‘Druz’ia i Partneri’ organisation offering one of the largest literature servers in Russia. It contains biographies, over 10000 poetic works, 700 proverbs and 1600 citations as well as a section on children’s literature and a large section on non-Russian literature. In Russianonly.

Russian Poets of the 20th Century is a site containing poems in Russian and biographies of six of the major Silver Age poets: Aleksandr Blok, Anna Akhmatova, Boris Pasternak, Osip Mandelshtam, Marina Tsvetaeva and VladimirMayakovsky.

The SovLit database contains Soviet 20th century literary journals, many of whose texts are available online, including those of journals such as LEF and Krasnaia nov’.  In Russian only.