Researching Russian newspapers often requires the use of sources beyond the newspapers themselves. The first step is to identify the newspaper, which library holds the title, and what years or issues are available. That may seem obvious, but if the newspaper has a common title such as Slovo, Izvestiia or Pravda, there could be many such titles which an online catalog or reference book can help distinguish. Below are descriptions of selected resources providing bibliographic information of Russian newspapers. Online catalogs are described first, followed by sections for general printed bibliographies of Russian newspapers, bibliographies of émigré newspapers, and bibliographies specific to the Library of Congress collections. Most of these sources trace information about editors, corporate bodies, changes to publication locations, and dates of issue. Some go further and describe the history and political orientation of the newspapers.
In the body of this guide each entry for a title in the Library of Congress collections may list a bibliographic source used to verify first and last dates of publication. Most of those sources are integrated below along with additional materials on the topic of Russian newspapers. The more general printed bibliographies are indicated with abbreviations in parentheses, such as (LPIPI) for Letopis' periodicheskikh i prodolzhaiushchikhsia izdanii, whereas certain classic bibliographic tools are identified by their well-known compilers, such as Lisovskii for his landmark bibliography of 19th century Russian periodicals. In cases of online catalogs or websites which have been used as bibliographic sources, a link to the source is given within the actual entry, but most are also annotated below with more details.
Although the first source consulted for newspapers in the Library of Congress collection is the Library of Congress Online Catalog, online catalogs from libraries in Russia are extremely helpful because of their thoroughness. Any research library in Russia will have more comprehensive collections of Russian newspapers than what is available in research libraries in the United States. The catalogs most useful in the preparation of this guide are described below.
Below are sources that can be used to verify bibliographic information for Russian newspapers. The sources are arranged chronologically by dates of coverage. Each era has its most comprehensive print bibliography. For pre-1900 it is Lisovskii's Russkaia periodicheskaia pechatʹ. For the period 1900-1916, the most comprehensive source is Beliaeva's Bibliografiia periodicheskikh izdanii Rossii. For the Soviet era, Gazety SSSR 1917-1960 is the most comprehensive, but after 1960 the bibliographies become more fragmented with coverage for only a few years or just one year, requiring the use of many different volumes. Also included here is a bibliography of bibliographies for Russian periodicals, a description of the index to Russian/Soviet newspaper articles, and several older compilations of Russian newspapers held by various U.S. libraries.
After the section on General Periodical Bibliographies is a section devoted to diaspora newspaper bibliographies, followed by descriptions of several printed bibliographies of newspapers in the Library of Congress collections. For all titles, follow the links for fuller bibliographic descriptions in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digitized versions are provided when available.
The most comprehensive source of Russian emigre newspapers and periodicals is Svodnyii katalog periodicheskikh i prodolzhaiushchikhsia izdanii russkogo zarubezh'ia v bibliotekakh Moskvy (1917-1996 gg.), compiled by A.I. Bardeeva. However, overall there is no one bibliography that is truly comprehensive for diaspora serials.
These bibliographies of the Russian and East European newspapers in the Library of Congress are superceded by this guide and by the bibliographic records in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. However, these works contain some editorial information that may not appear in the online records.