The history collection covers all periods of Russian and Soviet
history, including all the republics of the former Soviet Union,
with a range of political and social viewpoints. The majority
of titles are available in the loan collection. They are of interest
to general readers, as well as researchers.
The key phases of Russian and Soviet history are covered - from
Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and the Decembrists, to the
Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917, the Civil War, Stalinism,
the Great Patriotic War (World War II), the Thaw, the Cold War,
perestroika and the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The collection holds over 1,000 volumes on the Great Patriotic
War. These include contemporary accounts by British writers (such
as Alexander Werth) and Soviet wartime memoirs from partisans,
military leaders (Marshals Zhukov, Chuikov and Rokossovsky) and
war writers (such as Konstantin Simonov). There is also full coverage
of the Siege of Leningrad, the Battle of Stalingrad, the fall
of Berlin and other key events.
The social history of the Soviet period includes sections on
culture, ethnicity, women and feminism, housing and welfare, trade,
economics and peaceful co-existence.
Titles are predominantly in English from both Soviet and Western
publishers. For researchers, the collection is supplemented by
materials in the photo library and research collections. The art
collection includes some rare titles on art of the Great Patriotic
War (sculpture, drawings and posters), while there is a large
selection of war photographs in the photo
library. The Periodicals Collection holds bound volumes of Soviet War News
and Soviet War News Weekly, published in London by Sovinformburo
during the war. Detailed material on Soviet social projects is
also available in the architecture
Two special archives enhance the collection: the Andrew Rothstein
Bequest and the Bill Pomeroy Bequest.
Andrew Rothstein Bequest
The Andrew Rothstein Bequest was received in 1997. Andrew Rothstein
was one of the major historians of the early Soviet Union. Born
of Russian émigré parents in London, he was a journalist,
translator and historian, also acting as an economic go-between
for Bolshevik Russia and Great Britain before the British Government's
recognition of the Soviet Union in 1924.The archive covers Anglo-Soviet
relations from 1917 to the 1970s and includes pamphlets, books
and personal notes belonging to Andrew Rothstein.
Bill Pomeroy Bequest
The Bill Pomeroy Bequest covers Soviet journalism and Soviet
society. Bill Pomeroy was a US-born journalist and author of several
books on his life in the Philippines. He had served in the Philippines
while in the US forces and later returned to study at the University
of the Philippines, before eventually settling in London with
his wife Celia. He was awarded a doctorate in history by the USSR
Academy of Sciences for his book American Neo-Colonialism:
Its Emergence in the Philippines and Asia, published in 1970.
His extensive travels in the Soviet Union were the source for
two books on life in the USSR.
The politics collection includes Russian and Western views of
Russian diplomacy and foreign relations, particularly during the
Soviet period. It also covers the history of the Communist Party
of the Soviet Union (CPSU), Marxism-Leninism and political biography.
The CPSU section includes documents of meetings, congresses and
policy decisions, covering the period up to the 27th Congress
and perestroika. Titles are mainly in Russian and are of interest
The Marxism-Leninism section includes the collected works of
Lenin and Stalin in Russian and English, pamphlets, biographies
and memoirs of key Russian Marxists.
There are also biographies, memoirs and collected works of leading
Soviet political figures, including Lenin, Stalin, Molotov, Khrushchev,
Gromyko, Andropov, Brezhnev, Chernenko, Gorbachev, Yeltsin and
Dennis Ogden Bequest
Dennis Ogden was a journalist, lecturer on Soviet history and
trade relations, and former head of the Russian Department in
the Faculty of Modern Languages at the University of Westminster.
He worked in the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s as a translator
and correspondent on the Daily Worker. The Dennis Ogden
Bequest includes Dennis's journalistic publications - from his
Moscow work to book reviews on Soviet history and society. A large
part of the bequest covers his study of Soviet Georgia and the
'national question' in the early 1920s. There are notes, correspondence,
drafts and a final copy of his work National Communism in
Georgia: 1921-1923, published in 1978. In addition, the archive
includes background research, letters and information relating
to the article 'Britain and Soviet Georgia, 1921-22', published
in the Journal of Contemporary History (April 1988 Vol
23, No 2). The collection also includes newspaper and journal
articles collected by Dennis, mainly from the 1980s, and his University
of Westminster course notes.
The education collection includes writings on Soviet education
in English, as well as theoretical texts by leading Soviet pedagogues
(Makarenko, Ushinsky and Krupskaya). There is also a representative
range of Soviet educational textbooks from the 1920s-70s.
The Cicely Osmond Collection in
the photo library also provides a rich visual resource on Soviet
education in the 1920s-70s.
Jack Gaster Bequest
The Jack Gaster Bequest holds pamphlets and journals from the
1930s-90s. It also contains documents and bulletins of a number
of organisations, including the SCR Legal Section, International
Jurists, the World Peace Council and the British-Soviet Friendship
Society. Jack Gaster was a leading international lawyer who also
acted for the British trade unions and labour movement. He was
a former president of the SCRSS and its legal adviser for many
The science collection covers all aspects of Soviet science.
Titles are in English and Russian.
The loan collection includes titles on general science, ecology
and the environment, mathematics, physics, optics, chemistry,
medicine and health (the majority bequeathed by Brian Kirman),
and a comprehensive section on the Soviet space programme. The
research collections hold books by Michurin and other eminent
scientists, as well as a section on military science.