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Art and Architecture


The art reference collection covers fine and applied art from Russia and the former Soviet Union. It is of interest to art historians, theatre designers and publishers.

The range is wide - from general histories of Russian and Soviet art to specific aspects of painting, sculpture, print-making and the graphic arts, theatre design, icons, folk art, textiles and ceramics. The Russian period is well represented with a substantial section on icons, the 19th-century schools and monographs on individual Russian artists. The Soviet period covers the avant-garde, socialist realism and individual Soviet artists. In particular, there is a strong section on the constructivists, some rare books by and about designers, and excellent coverage of the Cold War years.

Titles are in Russian and English, predominantly from Soviet publishers. The collection is supplemented by back issues of a number of Soviet art and cultural magazines.


The architecture reference collection covers all aspects of architecture, building and town planning in Russia from medieval times to the 20th century. It is an invaluable resource on the Russian and Soviet period for architecture historians and researchers.

The collection holds over 500 reference titles, many illustrated with extensive plans and architectural details, as well as photographs and illustrations. The Russian period includes monographs on Russian and Western architects to the Tsarist court, such as Bazhenov, Cameron and Rastrelli. The Soviet period includes monographs on figures such as the avant-garde designers Leonidov and Melnikov; Alexei Shchusev, designer of the Lenin Mausoleum; and the 20th-century theatre designers and architects Leonid, Victor and Alexander Vesnin. There are also titles on the Soviet avant-garde period donated by the late Dr Catherine Cooke.

The majority of titles in the main architecture collection are Soviet publications in Russian or English. It is supplemented by back issues of a number of Soviet architecture magazines. The Huntly Carter Collection within the photo library also provides an important visual resource on avant-garde architecture in the 1920s-30s.

Two special archives enhance the collection - the Arthur Ling Bequest and the SCR Architecture and Planning Group Archive.

Arthur Ling Bequest

The Arthur Ling Bequest was received in 1995. Professor Arthur Ling (1913-95) was a notable progressive architect and town planner who founded the Society's Architecture and Planning Group in 1945 (see below). From 1985-91 he also chaired the revival of this group during the Gorbachev period. His collection covers architecture and town planning in both the Soviet Union and post-war Eastern Europe. It includes many photographs taken on his travels in the region.

SCR Architecture and Planning Group Archive

The Society holds the archive of the influential SCR Architecture and Planning Group (1945-56), founded by Arthur Ling and whose members included such alumni as Sir Patrick Abercrombie, Wells Coates, Erno Goldfinger, Bertold Lubetkin and Sir Charles Reilly. The group was revived in 1985 during the Gorbachev period as 'SCR Architects and Planners', under Arthur Ling's chairmanship, and continued until 1994.


Pioneer camp poster (Cicely Osmond Collection, SCRSS Library)


Related Links

SCRSS Online Catalogue

SCRSS Archive

Huntly Carter Collection


Design by Melnikov for USSR Pavilion at Paris Exposition of Decorative and Industrial Arts 1925 (SCRSS Library)