Russia Beyond Russia: The André Savine Digital Library

Russia Beyond Russia: The André Savine Digital Library brings together André Savine’s research on the Russian diaspora, the holdings of the André Savine Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and full texts from the ongoing digitization of Savine Collection materials.

In 2002, UNC-Chapel Hill acquired the André Savine Collection, which comprises the stock of Savine’s antiquarian bookstore, Le Bibliophile Russe, and his private collection dealing with Russian emigration.

Throughout his career as bookseller and collector, André Savine produced bibliographic descriptions of each title that passed through his hands. These descriptions often included extensive abstracts as well as biographical information about the authors, editors, illustrators, translators, and people who were the subjects of the publications. Savine pieced this information together from a variety of sources: published bibliographies, newspaper and journal articles, obituaries, and personal communication with Russian émigrés. Many of Savine's sources were rare, making his bibliographic descriptions and citations particularly valuable. Savine thought that his records, which he kept on thousands of index cards and notebook pages, would serve as a foundation for the encyclopedia of Russian emigration he hoped to publish someday.

Savine’s records form the basis of Russia Beyond Russia. The original project, called the Core Module of the Russia Beyond Russia Digital Library, was completed in 2008 with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional information about this and other early projects can be found in the Related Projects section of this site. The current version of Russia Beyond Russia was redesigned and updated in 2012, thanks to a gift from donors Kay and Van Weatherspoon. Savine’s encyclopedic entries on the publications and personalities of the Russian diaspora have been indexed and are fully searchable. Links to the online catalog provide researchers with access to Savine Collection materials at the Rare Books Collection in the Louis Round Wilson Library.

The bulk of the monographs and serials in the collection was processed between 2008 and 2011. Cataloging of serials was financed by a second grant from the Mellon Foundation, while cataloging of monographs was sponsored by a gift from the Weatherspoons. Some materials in the Savine Collection do not have corresponding entries in Russia Beyond Russia. Likewise, Russia Beyond Russia contains information about some publications that are not held by UNC. The online catalog is the most accurate indicator of UNC’s current holdings.

Digitization of Savine Collection materials began in 2009 through a partnership with the Internet Archive. Full texts from the growing selection of digitized materials are added to Russia Beyond Russia as they become available. Cataloging and digitization of the Savine Collection continue with support from the UNC University Library.

Banner image from the Savine Collection: A picture of the Kremlin painted on the wall of the Alekseevskoe Military Academy in the White Army refugee camp in Gallipoli, Turkey.