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Russian Language and Literature: Home

Russian Dictionaries

The most recent general Russian-English dictionary is behind the Reference Desk (4th floor Wilson Wing, "Ask" sign).

Other Russian dictionaries are shelved in the Reference stacks or Main Stacks in PG. Besides basic dictionaries, specialty dictionaries cover topics like:

  • Idioms
  • Etymology
  • Other Slavic languages

Grammars and older dictionaries are in the Main Stacks in PG2000-2799 (Reynolds 5). 

A few special-topic dictionaries are shelved in other places, for instance, scientific terms in the Science section. To browse the entire collection, search the catalog for

Of special interest:

  • Словарь русского языка в 17-и томах / Slovar' sovremennogo russkogo literaturnogo iazyka. PG2625 A533 17 vols. 
  • Soviet prison camp speech: a survivor's glossary PG2691 G3

The Russian Department website also includes a list of useful links.

Search MLA International Bibliography

Databases for Finding Articles and Books

MLA International Bibliography
Covers journal articles in the fields of literature and folklore more comprehensively than any other source.  Also includes references to individual book chapters, which is an important way of publishing in this field. You might want to limit your search to English and Russian. Go to the Advanced Search screen, and hold down the Ctrl (or Cmd) key while you select those two options.

Literature Resource Center
Has some literature criticism, but its best feature is the overviews of works.

ZSR Homepage Search & Primo
Good place to start when your topic is cross-disciplinary. Try using Russian-language keywords to retrieve Russian-language results.

Film and Television Literature Index
If your topic is film adaptations.

Transliteration and Citations

These two sources can help you search for Russian-language sources in our databases, especially MLA and the Library Catalog.

For citation tips, see the MLA style manual and guide to scholarly publishing behind the Reference Desk. This is not the same thing as the MLA Handbook. (The latter does not include Russian-specific tips.) Specific tips within the style manual include capitalization and proper names.

Search Tips

Watch out for variant spellings (or variant transliterations) of names of works, characters, etc.

Example: In MLA, an article about War and Peace may use the title Voĭna i mir, even if the article is in English.

Use a * to cut off a word at its stem, e.g. Tolsto* will retrieve Tolstoy, Tolstoi.

In the library catalog, personal names have an official transliteration determined by the Library of Congress. Once you find one article about your person, you can use the author and/or subject links to find all the others.
Tolstoy is Tolstoy, Leo, graf, 1828-1910

If you can't use a star to search for spelling variants, use OR
"Smert' Ivana Il'icha" or "Death of Ivan Ilich"

Type the word AND (or use the second row) if you want to enter more than one word that is not an exact phrase.
Example: To find books about Tolstoy's views on religion, in the library catalog Advanced Search screen, you can enter "Tolstoy, Leo, graf, 1828-1910" on the first row and religio* on the second.

Subject Guide

Carol Cramer's picture
Carol Cramer
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