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CEUS R320 R520 Central Asia in Soviet Times


What makes it possible to know about Soviet Central Asia? Information and data would be, if not the be-all and end-all, certainly one of the most important elements. But how do we decide upon the kind of information and data that would serve our pursuit of knowledge about it the best, and, no less important, how do we go about finding them? Are there any tools that will facilitate their discovery? If yes, what are they? How easy or difficult is it to find such tools? And, last but not least, what is the library's relevance to all these questions?

First and foremost, the IUL's (Indiana University Libraries) collection pertaining to Soviet Central Asia is extensive. To the extent that it was part of the history of the former Soviet Union, the Slavic and East European Studies collection has been and still is endeavoring to cover it thoroughly as possible, in both vernacular and English language, and secondary and primary sources.

Broadly speaking, consider that the library's collection is a systematized body of information and data. In it subject--called "subject headings" in the library profession--plays a key role. For topic-driven research (as opposed to bibliographic identification) its role becomes even more crucial. So we, while engaging in seeking information and data pertinent to a research topic, may do well to approach the library collection in terms of "subject headings" or "LC (Library of Congress) call numbers." Let's try to build up our own inventory of subject headings and be able to identify the call number ranges pertinent to various aspects of Soviet Central Asia.

Consider that not everything has been digitized; if we can say that much has been digitized we should emphatically remind ourselves that much less is actually available online and that print collection matters. 

Last but not least, try to get familiar with useful finding tools such as bibliographies or indices, to the extent that they will enable us to expand our command of sources.

The Library

Resources A-Z: Comprehensive list of the library's electronic resources.
Subject Collections:
Recommend books and films for purchase
Borrowing books for you from other libraries
Delivering electronically to you print journal articles and book chapters
Librarian for Slavic and East European Studies
 Wookjin Cheun (Wells E560,, 812-855-9413) 

How to Find Books in the Library?

 Use IUCAT or OneSearch@IU

 Transliteration Tables

Use "Advanced Search" mode.

Use "Subject Headings" when searching. Useful "Subject Headings" are:
Personal names 
Historical events ("Collectivization of agriculture"; Sedentarization; Famines)
Country names (Kazakhstan; Uzbekistan; "Asia, Central")
Disciplines (Anthropology; "Political science")
Time periods ("20th century"; 1939-1945; 1989- )
Types of materials (Sources; Encyclopedias; Dictionaries)
Refine search results applying different criteria such as language, subject, publication year, format, etc.

Prominent Journals

Reference Sources


Sibirskaia sovetskaia entsiklopediia (1929-1932?) [an extensive article on Kazakh ASSR]
Bolʹshaia sovetskaia entsiklopediia (1926-1947; 1949-1958; 1970-1981) 

Sovetskaia istoricheskaia entsiklopediia (1961-1976) [16 vols.]
Rossiiskaia istoricheskaia entsiklopediia (2015- )


Historical dictionary of Kazakhstan (2012)
Historical dictionary of Tajikistan (2018)

Aggregators (or Reference Suites)

Oxford Reference Online
Gale Virtual Reference Online


Europa World Plus

Citation Styles

For more information on citation styles visit "Help With Writing Sources" on the library website.