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UCL SSEES Library Special Collections

Highlights from the special collections of the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library.

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Travel Books

A selection of printed accounts dating from 1557 to 1860, focusing on travels in Central Europe, South Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia. 
The collection features works in English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latin, Polish and Russian. Many books are embellished with plates, illustrations, engravings and maps. 
The digitisation of this collection was made possible by the EU’s EuropeanaTravel project and was co-funded by the Community programme eContentPlus.

Arthur Evans Archive

Previously unpublished travel memories, bequeathed to SSEES by the famous British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans.


A collection of historic maps of Central, South Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia, dating from the 19th century back to 1490. 
The digitisation of this collection was made possible by the EU’s EuropeanaTravel project and was co-funded by the Community programme eContentPlus.

Margaret Hasluck Photographs

Over 500 photographs taken during the 1920s and 1930s in the course of Margaret Hasluck's ethnographic research in the Balkans. Chiefly from present day Albania and Greece, they also include photographs from present day Turkey, Macedonia, Kosovo and Croatia. They show views of landscapes, towns and villages as well as portraits of local people and activities.

Countess Brasova

The Countess Brasova collection comprises of a number of photograph albums that depict Natalia Sergeevna Cheremtevskaia and Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich during the early years of their life together 1909-1913. Most of the albums date from before their marriage in 1912 and contain informal photographs of the Grand Duke and Brasova, and their family and friends. Some of the photographs were taken during the couple's European travels. It is evident from the numbering on the covers of the photograph albums that some volumes in the series are missing.

Lieutenant-General Sir James Wolfe Murray

Lieutenant-General Sir James Wolfe Murray's album of memorabilia describes his participation in the visit of the British delegation to Russia, 22 January - 6 February 1912. It includes invitation cards, menus, programmes and an account of the visit by Murray published in the "Morning Post", 8 February 1912. He served as chief of the Imperial General Staff in 1914-1915.

Major General Sir John Hanbury-Williams

A selection of papers from the Major General Sir John Hanbury-Williams collection, from the time when he was the Head of British Military Mission to the Russian Army in the Field during the World War I. After retiring, he researched his family history and the fine arts, and became active in campaigning against Bolshevism.

Prince Paul Ivan Lieven

The memoir of exiled Prince Paul Ivan Lieven describes his life, and that of his family, in the years 1875-1925. Prince Paul Ivan Lieven was born into one of Russia's leading aristocratic families. He worked briefly as an engineer before going to live on his estates in Livland Province. He was a senior Red Cross official during the Russo-Japanese War. In exile after 1917, he lived in Germany, Belgium, and Ireland. He was married to Nathalie, Baroness von Taube (1876-1964).

Miners' Delegation

The Miners' Delegation album depicts a British Miners' Delegation visiting the USSR, hosted by Soviet miners, between August and October 1926. The delegation was led by A. J. Cook, the secretary of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain. The album was originally in the possession of H. C. Stevens, a translator who was part of the British Delegation. The timing of the visit is significant as 1926 was the year of the British General Strike in which miners played an important role.

Professor Francis William Carter Photographs of 1968 Czechoslovakia

The geographer Frank Carter captured the turbulent times in Czechoslovakia during his research trip to Prague and Pilsen. At that time, on the night of 20-21 August, thousands of Warsaw Pact troops and tanks invaded the country to halt pro-liberalisation reforms. To mark the 50th anniversary of the Prague Spring as well as the European Year of Cultural Heritage, Frank Carter's collection has been digitised and made available in the UCL Digital Collections repository. 

Professor Francis (Frank) William Carter 1938-2001 was Head of the Department of Social Sciences at the SSEES at University College London (UCL) and Honorary Fellow of the UCL Geography Department. After attending Wulfrum College of Education in Wolverhampton, he studied at the universities of Sheffield and Cambridge and the London School of Economics. He lectured at King's College London before joining UCL in October 1966, where he researched primarily the historical geography of the Balkans and Eastern Europe, covering themes such as agriculture, migration, city development and the environment.

The locations of many of these remarkable photographs can be viewed on this map.