University of Pittsburgh
September 25, 2000

UNIVERSITY LIBRARY SYSTEM ACCEPTS DONATION OF RARE RUSSIAN MANUSCRIPTS

Contact: 

Sharon Blake

412-624-4364

Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 20 -- A collection of rare print materials reflecting Russian culture and literature over the first half of the 20th century has been donated to Pitt's University Library System by Mark Altshuller, professor of Slavic language and literature at the University of Pittsburgh. A formal presentation will be made on Friday, September 22, at 9 a.m., in the A. J. Schneider Reading Room, on the third floor of Hillman Library, 3960 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

"This is a valuable and significant contribution to our Slavic collection," said University Library System Director Rush G. Miller. "Many of these items are unique, and we will be able to provide long term preservation for them, as well as access for scholars."

Altshuller, who has taught at Pitt since 1986, began collecting Russian books while in high school and added to his archives over a 50-year period. His aunt gave him her own collection of the books and letters of author Marina Tsvetaeva, who had been a personal friend of hers. Many of the rare books are first editions, with dedicatory autographs and notations by the authors, made before the second printing. Other authors represented include Anna Akhmatova and Vladimir Maiakovskii. "I want the collection to be kept in good professional hands," said Altshuller. "Hopefully, it will be used by scholars and graduate students for many years to come."

According to an appraisal by the head of the Slavic and Baltic Division of the New York Library, the collection is valued at $15,800. It will be housed under Special Collections at Hillman Library.

-30- 9/20/00/mgc