Our library collection dates from the 1970s, when William Mathes, a young Russian historian with a Ph.D. from Columbia, started the Russian and East European Studies Program at Seton Hall. REESP is currently directed by Max Matusevich, an Africanist who received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The program is affiliated with the Department of History. Its chair, Nathaniel Knight, is a Russian historian who received his Ph.D. from Columbia.
In the early 2000s the library began to increase its solid, but modest, holdings in this area. In December 2004 Seton Hall hired Edward Kasinec, who was at that time Curator of the Slavic and Baltic Division, New York Public Library as an external consultant to evaluate our Russian and East European collection. In conjunction with the History Department, the University Libraries developed a plan to enhance the collections of Russian and East European history, political science and East European and Russian literature. These include the 3,000 item collection of Marc Raeff, Boris Bakhmeteff Professor Emeritus of Columbia University, as well as numerous other smaller academic collections. In addition to this retrospective collection, we purchase current materials from U.S. academic presses and new scholarly titles in History, Literature and Religion from our Moscow vendor. Seton Hall also is a recipient of a regional Russian collection donated by the International Library Information and Analytical Center of Russia (ILIAC).
Much of the work that is done in Russian and East European Studies is interdisciplinary, and depending on their topic, students should consult a wide variety of sources, including print and online encyclopedias and dictionaries, monographs, conference proceedings, journals and newspapers and government and legal documents.