Background

Since the 19th century, major libraries in the United States and in Russia exchanged books and other documents to help grow their respective collections. Before the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, much of the Russian population was illiterate and libraries were only accessible to the upper classes and scholars (Sikorsky et al. 1979, 196). After the establishment of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (U.S.S.R.) in 1917, this all began to change. As part of the growing interest in literacy and education, the new nation wasted no time in reestablishing its international book exchanges.

Next — Soviet and U.S. Library Relations, 1917-1945

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