Skip to main content

Slavic, East European and Central Asian Research Guide: Joel Sumner Smith Collection

This is a guide about Russian, East European, and Central Asian research methods and materials at Yale.

Images from the JSS Collection

Joel Sumner Smith Collection

In 1896 Joel Sumner Smith founded one of the premier Slavic collections in North America when he bequeathed his collection of books to the Yale Library. The collection consisted of 908 titles totaling over five thousand volumes, which are described in the Catalogue of Books Smith printed privately in that same year. Both the catalog and the collection have since been digitized.

Strongest in Russian materials, the Joel Sumner Smith Collection also includes an impressive variety of works on various subjects (history, literature, philology, bibliography, ethnography and linguistics, etc.) in two dozen languages (Arabic, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Church Slavic, Croatian, Czech, English, French, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Kashubian, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Moldavian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Swedish, Tatar, Turkish, Ukrainian) and a number of alphabets (Old Cyrillic, Arabic, Chinese, etc.).

More detailed information about the history and contents of the Joel Sumner Smith Collection can be found in the article below: