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Matthew Young, Reference Librarian, Latin American, Caribbean & European Division
Created: March 23, 2020
Last Updated: March 11, 2022
Gennadii Vasil'evich Yudin (1840-1912) was a merchant who spent most of his life in the Siberian city of Krasnoiarsk. In addition to his professional activity of manufacturing and selling liquor, Yudin nurtured his love of learning by avidly collecting books throughout his lifetime. This collecting effort culminated in the creation of the one of the largest private libraries in Russia, consisting of approximately 80,000 volumes. This impressive collection not only included books, but also materials of various formats and genres, including periodicals, newspapers, illustrations, maps and manuscripts. Yudin's library was a stunning representation of the best which 18th- and 19th-century Russian publishing had to offer, featuring the essential and most popular Russian publications from those two centuries. Yudin also acquired many bibliographic rarities, such as a first edition of the 1790 novel Puteshestvie iz Peterburga v Moskvu by the Russian author and intellectual, Aleksandr Radishev. Only twelve other copies of this first edition have been identified. In addition, Yudin's library boasted books and other materials from outside of Russia, including France, Italy and China.
Seeking to preserve his life's work for future generations, Yudin eventually agreed to transfer his collection to the Library of Congress. Making its way from Siberia to Washington, DC, Yudin's collection finally arrived at the the Library of Congress in 1907. As a result of this acquisition, the Library of Congress became a leading center of Slavic-related materials in the United States, a distinction the institution holds to this day. Although the Yudin collection is no longer stored together as one unit, items from the collection can be found throughout the various custodial units of the Library of Congress, such as the Rare Books & Special Collections Reading Room.
This guide provides information on resources related to the Yudin collection at the Library of Congress, including tips on how to find items from the collection at the Library. The guide also highlights a selection of Yudin collection items which are held in various reading rooms throughout the Library of Congress.