Click here to skip to content

Arts and Humanities electronic databases - subject index: S-W

The electronic resources listed here are available in the Humanities and Rare Books and Music Reading Rooms and, in most cases, also in other Reading Rooms of the British Library. Staff at the Humanities or Rare Books & Music Reference Enquiry desks are best placed to help with these resources.

For licensing reasons, the links to most of the electronic databases listed below will only work from within British Library Reading Rooms.

If you do not find the resource you are looking for, see the Library's complete listing of electronic resources in the British Library London Reading Rooms.

Online resource Online resources
CD-ROM resource CD-ROMs

American studies History
Anthropology and ethnography Islamic studies
Architecture Italian studies
Archives Jewish studies
Art and Design Language and linguistics
Audiovisual resources Librarianship and information science
Australian studies
Music and recorded sound
Belgian studies National bibliographies / Books in print
Biography New Zealand studies
Catalogues and general bibliographies Performing arts
Church history and theology Periodical indexes
Classical studies Philosophy
Dictionaries Psychology
Dissertations and research Rare books
Dutch studies Religious studies
Encyclopaedias Scandinavian studies
English literature Short title catalogues
Film Slavonic and East European studies
French studies Social sciences
Full text databases Women's studies
German studies Other electronic resources
Hispanic studies  

Slavonic and East European Studies

Brief description
American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies (ABSEES) The online version of The American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies covering the period 1990 to the present. Scope of coverage: articles, books, dissertations etc on East-Central Europe and the former Soviet Union published in the United States and Canada.
Argumenty i fakty (digital archive) This weekly newspaper based in Moscow once had the largest circulation of any periodical in the world. In 1990 AiF (its common abbreviation) was entered in the Guinness book of records for its print run of 33.5 million. During the Gorbachev era Argumenty i Fakty became one of the most important newspapers in the Soviet Union - a major tool in publicizing Gorbachev's policy of glasnost.
Baltic, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine The Universal Database of newspapers from the Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus (UDB-BUMB) includes important periodicals published in these newly independent states which used to be part of the Soviet Union. The sources are in mostly in Russian, they cover various issues of domestic and international importance.
Central Asia and Caucasus The Universal Database of Central Asia and Caucasus (UDB-CAC) includes a number of authoritative periodicals published in the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union. The sources are mostly in Russian and English and cover various issues of domestic and international importance. AP-Blitz, an information agency, offers its daily newsline, Tajikistan News in Brief. Another important publication from the same region is The Times of Central Asia, a business weekly published in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). A notable feature of the database are the journals published by the Center for Economic Research in Tashkent (Uzbekistan). Their content covers critical analytical and statistical data on the economic dynamics of Uzbekistan society, changes in social and economic development of Uzbekistan. The present database is a great reference tool for scholars, businessmen, investors, field experts and students. It contains news, data on state structure, political, legislative, judicial system, indicators on all sectors of economy and more. Many titles have a rich archive going back to 2000.
Central and Eastern European Online Library Online database which provides access to full text articles from humanities and social sciences journals, electronic books and re-digitized documents pertaining to Central, South-Eastern, Baltic and Eastern European topics.
Children's Leisure Activities in Russia Online The material gathered here offers a unique insight into one of the most important and characteristic areas of socializing the young in early Soviet Russia, and a window into the mentality of the `first Soviet generations’ as well. It gives a representative overview of the different trends in children leisure activities and games and runs chronologically from 1917 to the late 1930s.
Comintern Archive An index to the archive and microform collections held at the Russian Centre for the Conservation and Study of Records of Modern History. The Comintern Archive contains original documents from over 35 communist and left-socialist parties, together with other international organisations from 21 different countries. It covers the entire period of the Comintern's existence, from 1919 to 1943.
Cult of Body Online This collection comprises unique material on sports and physical culture in Russia, 1891-1919 and is particularly significant because sports provided opportunities for transitions from tradition to modernity: athletic competition broke down class barriers, brought women into public spaces, and encouraged new modes of behavior and self-presentation.
The Current Digest of the Russian Press Digital Archive 1949 to the present. In English CDRP is a comprehensive retrospective digest of the news presented to the Soviet and Russian public for more than a half century, from the beginnings of the Cold War through the emergence of Russia in the new balance of power. Articles translated for the Current Digest include important news and information from the leading dailies and government reports of the day. During the Soviet era, hundreds of other special interest journals and authoritative sources were also scoured for relevant articles to include. Published with this care weekly since 1949, the CDRP paints a broad picture of Soviet and post-Soviet times, including coverage of domestic affairs and social issues. Online resource
Early Russian Cinema Online This unique collection of Russian film periodicals from the last tsarist decade includes both sophisticated and more popular periodicals released by the major Russian film studios. Containing interviews with movie stars and now irretrievably lost screenplays, these journals will prove an invaluable source about the silent movie era and Russia's entertainment industry at the eve of the Revolution.
Foreign Broadcast Information Service. Daily Reports 1974-1996 US government operation which translates the text of daily broadcasts, government statements, and select news stories from non-English sources. Covers: Middle East & [North] Africa, 1974-1987; Near East & South Asia, 1987-1996; South Asia, 1980-1987; Sub-Saharan Africa, 1974-1996; China, 1974-1996; Asia & the Pacific, 1974-1987; Eastern Europe, 1974-1996; Soviet Union, 1974-1996.
This resource is available in British Library Reading Rooms.
Remote access is available for registered Reader Pass holders.
Integrum World Wide An integrated database that includes CIS and Russian central and regional newspapers, journals and magazines, Russian and foreign Information agencies, Internet media, TV and radio, statistics, directories, legislation, official publications, business information, production catalogues, Who is Who, etc. The database also includes a full text collection of literary texts (Russian and world literature in translation).
International Affairs International Affairs is the English-language edition of Mezhdunarodnaia zhizn’, the official journal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Contributors to International Affairs include high-ranking diplomats as well as prominent Russian political analysts from government, academic and policy institutes. Full digital archive from 1955 and current subscription.
Isskustvo kino Founded in the 1930s and devoted to art in Russian film, the journal Iskusstvo kino is renowned as one of Russia's premier journals of cinema. Iskusstvo kino offers movie reviews, articles on filmmaking and cinema culture, criticism, and essays and traces Russian arts and culture from the 'socialist realism' era - when film became the prime propaganda tool ("agitki") for instilling Communist fervour in the masses - all the way through contemporary filmmaking. With more movie screens than any nation at any time, the Soviet Union's cinematic legacy helped shape the artistic and social agenda of the socialist world for most of the Twentieth Century. Online resource
Izvestiia Digital Archive (DA-IZV) A full archive of the newspaper Izvestiia. Among the longest-running Russian newspapers, Izvestiia was founded in March 1917 and during the Soviet period was the official organ of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Remarkable for its serious and balanced treatment of subject matter, Izvestiia has traditionally been a popular news source within intellectual and academic circles.
Jewish Theater under Stalinism Online This collection contains sources on the history of Soviet culture and theater, Jewish avant-garde art and the Kremlin’s policy toward Jewish society and culture from 1919 until 1949. The collection contains correspondence with ministries, state organizations, and authors; administrative-managerial documents; plays performed by or submitted to the theater, and more fascinating material.
Kodeks database A major source for Russian legislation comprising documents going back to 1991. It includes legislative acts issued by approximately 200 executive, legislative and judiciary bodies in Russia.
Literaturnaia gazeta Established on April 22, 1929, Literaturnaia gazeta focused on literary and intellectual life. It Soviet Russia's pre-eminent authors, poets, and cultural figures a particular podium for commentary, affording perhaps fewer restrictions than might be possible in other publications. Literaturnaia gazeta was considered the most open among newspapers of the Soviet era, and it remains popular among the intelligentsia in today's Russia.
Publication of Literaturnaia gazeta was completely suspended in 1942 and 1943, and no issues were produced. In 1944, only 8 issues were published. The lack of database content for this period is not a gap, but reflects the publication schedule during these challenging years.
Online resource
Mass Culture and Entertainment in Russia This series comprises collections of rare, and often unique, materials that offer an insight into the dynamics of cultural and daily life in imperial and Soviet Russia. The series is organized along six thematic lines that together cover the full spectrum of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian culture, ranging from the penny press and high-brow art journals in pre-Revolutionary Russia, to children's magazines and publications on constructivist design in the early Soviet Union.

The British Library subscribes to twelve collections from this series.

Mass Media in Russia, 1908-1918 This unique collection contains complete runs of kopeck (penny) newspapers, the most widely circulated Russian newspapers in the beginning of the 20th century. They document political and social developments in Russia from 1908 to 1918 and are a mirror of the colorful social and cultural life of the Russian capitals. This collection gives access to a rare source practically unavailable in Western libraries.
Pravda Digital Archive (DA-PRA) A full archive of the newspaper Pravda. Official organ of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Pravda was founded in 1912 and is an important source on history of communism, Russia and the Soviet Union.
Russian Academy of Sciences Bibliographies Covers more than 12,500 periodicals published primarily in Russia, the republics of the former Soviet Union, and countries in Eastern Europe. Created by the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences (INION) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, it cites and abstracts books, manuscripts, dissertations, and articles. Coverage is from 1986 to the present.
Russian Avant-garde Online This collection represents works of all Russian literary avant-garde schools. It comprises almost 800 books, periodicals and almanacs most of them published between 1910-1940, and thus offers an exceptionally varied and well-balanced overview of one of the most versatile movements in Russian literature. This collection will appeal to literary historians and Slavists, as well as to book and art historians.
Russian Central Newspapers The Universal Database of Russian Newspapers (UDB-COM) provides comprehensive coverage of national news, current events, economic developments and cultural events in Russia. Official sources (Rossiiskaia gazeta, Krasnaia zvezda, ITAR-TASS), independent media and partisan publications are all represented on this database, thus offering a wide array of opinions and perspectives. Several English-language newspapers including the notable Moscow Times, widely read by the international community in the Russian capital, constitute an important part of the database.
Russian/NIS Newswires This database includes several outstanding sources to follow the day-to-day developments in Russia and CIS. The Moscow bureau of Federal News Service (Washington, D.C.) produces the daily Kremlin package consisting of the full-text transcripts of top speeches, statements, press conferences, newspaper articles and television reports of the day, from presidential addresses to remarks by Duma opposition leaders, from Foreign Ministry briefings to commentaries by leading economists and other experts. ITAR-TASS, one of the major world information agencies, delivers a detailed account about the events in Russia and worldwide. The Moscow information agency Oreanda specializes in economic news and its services are used by the largest Russian banks and corporations as well as by government agencies. The daily newswire AP-Blitz is produced by the Tajikistan-based information powerhouse Asia-Plus, covering the developments in the volatile region of Central Asia.
Russian / NIS Statistical Databases (including All-Russia Census 2002) Online Russian and CIS Statistical Databases (Eastview).
Russia/NIS Statistical Publications Online Russian and CIS Statistical Publications (Eastview).
Russian / NIS Universal Databases Online databases of Russian/FSU Publications (East View).
Files: Central Newspapers, Regional Newspapers, CIS & Baltic Periodicals, Social Sciences & Humanities, Parliamentary Publications, Military & Security Periodicals, 2010 Presidential Election in Belarus, Izvestiia Digital Archive, Pravda Digital Archive.
Russian National Bibliography (Eastview) This online database includes bibliographic data for printed books, maps, music, art albums, periodical (journal and newspaper) articles, reviews and dissertation abstracts. 1995 onwards.
Russian Regional Newspapers The Universal Database of Regional Russian Newspapers (UDB-REG) provides close-up coverage of developments throughout Russia's regions. This database currently presents newspapers from all seven Federal Districts of the Russian Federation and includes coverage of local issues of Moscow and St. Petersburg. The database represents such noteworthy regions as the troubled Northern Caucasus (Groznenskii rabochii from Chechnya, Severnaia Osetiia from Northern Osetiia-Alania, etc.), oil & gas rich Western Siberia (Tiumenskie izvestiia, etc.), the investment-friendly Volga region (Nizhegorodskie novosti from Nizhnii Novgorod or Samarskie izvestiia from Samara), and many others. The selected newspapers have the largest circulation in their regions and are considered as most authoritative. The list of titles will continue to be expanded.
Russian Social Sciences and Humanities Periodicals The goal of this database is to provide researchers with a unique opportunity to cross-search the contents of major Russian periodicals on social sciences and humanities. It is comprised of all 31 journals of the Russian Academy of Sciences ranging from archeology to linguistics, as well as popular literary editions, and independent scholarly publications. New titles are added on a regular basis. This Universal Database grows retroactively. Full-text and full-image content of print editions is reproduced with original pagination.
Russian Theater in the Early 20th Century Online The collection of theater periodicals provides a detailed picture of metropolitan and provincial Russian theater, and reflects the cultural life in Russia at the turn of the 20th century. It is a unique source for a wide range of scholars in history, cultural studies, theater history and sociology, and provides a unique opportunity to savour the distinctive atmosphere of Russia’s Silver Age. Online resource
Screen and Stage Online This unique collection of Russian theater and film periodicals, which also includes material on other forms of entertainment (cabaret theater, circus) and mass culture in pre-revolutionary Russia consists of various types of material ranging from sophisticated journals to cheaply produced magazines published in the last three decades of the Tsarist regime.
Social Movements, Elections, Ephemera (Includes election campaigns in Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union from 2010) - The Election Ephemera Collections series offers the most comprehensive collection of election related material to date from the countries of the former Soviet Union. Representing a vast repository of primary source material from both presidential and parliamentary elections the databases are a one of a kind first stop for policy analysts and observers of electoral politics in the countries of the CIS. The central component of these databases is the unique election ephemera that include party programs, propaganda material, collection of special editions of newspapers and literature produced by political parties or candidates with the aim of shaping the election narrative in a low-information setting. The latest addition to this resource is 'Euromaidan Protests in Ukraine, 2013-2014 collection.
Sovetskaia Kul’tura Digital Archive Kul’tura (Culture) is an important Russian current weekly newspaper, best known under its previous title  Sovetskaia kul’tura (1953-1991). It started in 1929 and was published under the titles Rabochii i iskusstvo (1929-1930), Sovetskoe iskusstvo (1931-1941), Literatura i iskusstvo (1942-1944), Sovetskoe iskusstvo (1944-1952).
Soviet Cinema Online. Archival Documents from RGALI, 1923-1935 The documents in this collection cover the period when state monopoly control over the Soviet cinema industry - production, distribution and exhibition - was being established and this is why they cover a number of different organizations and institutions.
Soviet Cinema Online: Periodicals and Newspapers, 1918-1942 The collection includes Soviet film magazines and newspapers from the 1920s and 1930s, reflecting the most interesting and fertile period in the history of Russian Film.
Stalin Digital Archive The SDA is an electronic database of finding aids, digitised documents and images from the recently declassified Stalin archive in the holdings of Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI). Digital versions of Yale’s Annals of Communism series supplement the RGASPI collection with additional scholarly commentary on selected documents concerning the history of Soviet and international communism from Russian state archives spanning the 75-year history of the USSR. Online resource
TOL A valuable tool for researchers interested in the political, social, cultural and economic realities of the post-communist transition in 29 countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the former Soviet Union. TOL was established in April 1999 to supersede Transitions magazine.
Ukrainian Publications The world's first database of newspapers and magazines of Ukraine (UDB-UKR) includes publications in Russian, Ukrainian, and English. They cover a broad range of political, economic, and cultural affairs of Ukraine. Topics include Ukraine's progress along the reform path, the view and positions of various political forces, changes in legislation, ethnic relations, and organizational trends in development of the armed forces. The database also includes news wire reports and other products of Ukrainian news agencies. An integral and unique part of this database is the Ukrainian Book Chamber's editions, which list everything published in Ukraine with detailed bibliographic description.
Vestnik Evropy One of the first Russian literary and political journal. Together with literature and arts the journal enlightened its readers on problems of internal and foreign policy of Russia, history and political life of foreign countries. It became conservative since 1815.
Voprosy istorii: Complete Collection The oldest Soviet and Russian academic history journal, Voprosy istorii (“Issues of History”) has offered scholarly perspectives on events in Russia and the world since 1926. Published by the Russian Academy of Sciences, this legendary journal covering Russian and world history was first published under the title Istorik-Marksist (Marxist Historian, 1926-1941), then Istoricheskii zhurnal (History Journal, 1937-1945) and finally under the present title (since 1945).
Voprosy literatury: Complete Collection Authoritative journal of literary criticism offering articles and roundtable transcripts dealing with problems of Russian and world literature, history and theory of literature.
World of Children - Artek Pioneer Camp Archives, 1944-1967 Online Artek's Archive reflects the recreation camp's history between 1944 and 1967, containing government documents on Soviet social and health policies, administrative, medical and financial records, transcripts of meetings, materials on educational and ideological work carried out in the camp statistical reports, food rations and provision standards, letters from Soviet and foreign children, diaries etc.
The Yearbook of the Imperial Theaters Online This impressive annual periodical, published during the period 1890-1915, offers an incredible wealth of exciting material concerning the late imperial stage in Russia. Its pages include repertoires, critical essays and reviews of theatrical performances, chronicles of metropolitan theater life, articles discussing a wide range of topics as well as information about the actors.

Social sciences

Brief description
Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA) An indexing and abstracting tool covering health, social services, economics, politics, race relations and education.
Humanities & Social Sciences Index Retrospective A bibliographic database that cites articles from humanities and social sciences journals and covers a wide range of interdisciplinary fields. Dates covered: 1907 - 1984.
International bibliography of the social sciences Indexes information contained in more than 2,600 social science journals and 6,000 books each year covering the core disciplines of anthropology, economics, political science, and sociology.
Oxford Reference Online (Premium Collection) Over 100 specialist and general reference dictionaries covering a wide range of subjects from social sciences, business, sciences, language, the arts, and history.
Social Policy and Practice

Database Guide (PDF)
This database covers public and social policy, public health, social care, community development, mental & community health, homelessness, housing, crime, law & order, families, children and older people. Content is from the UK with some material from the USA and Europe.
Social Sciences Citation Index (Web of Science) A multidisciplinary database, with searchable author abstracts, covering the journal literature of the social sciences. It indexes more than 1,725 journals spanning 50 disciplines, as well as covering individually selected, relevant items from over 3,300 of the world's leading scientific and technical journals.
Social Sciences Full Text A cover-to-cover index to a broad range of international English-language periodicals from 1983 onwards on all aspects of the social sciences but especially strong on politics, economics and current affairs. Includes selective full text of articles from 1994.
Sociological abstracts Contains information from approximately 2500 journals in 30 different languages from about 55 countries. It covers sociology and related disciplines by including bibliographic citations and abstracts and enhanced dissertation citations from Dissertation Abstracts International.

Women's studies

Brief description
British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries Includes more than 100,000 pages of primary materials spanning more than 300 years, from the 16th century onwards; also includes biographical information and a bibliography of sources.
Defining Gender, 1450-1910 Defining Gender, 1450-1910 has brought together over 120,000 pages of original documents relating to Gender Studies. The images are sourced from British and European libraries and archives, including a strong core of document images from the Bodleian Library, Oxford and the British Library. There is a good balance between manuscript and printed material and a broad range of document types; written by men and women.
Online resource
The Gerritsen Collection - Women's History Online A collection of more than 4,700 publications from continental Europe, the U.S., the United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand, dating from 1543-1945. Gerritsen Online allows scholars to trace the evolution of feminism within a single country, as well as the impact of one country's movement on those of the others. It consists of two segments: the Periodical Series and the Monograph Language Series.
International Who's Who of Women Details from this publication, which outlines the lives and achievements of the most eminent and distinguished women in the world today, are included in World Who's Who.
North American Women's Letters and Diaries Includes more than 150,000 pages of primary materials spanning more than 300 years, from Colonial times to 1950; also includes biographies and a bibliography of sources.
Orlando : Women's Writing in the British isles from the Beginnings to the Present Electronic textbase on the history of women's writing, primarily focused upon the British Isles, with biographical entries, from 8th century AD to the present.
Past Masters A full text electronic database which includes Eighteenth century women playwrights and letters and/or works by Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Frances Burney, George Eliot, Mary Shelley and others.
Perdita Manuscripts: Women Writers, 1500-1700 This resource is produced in association with the Perdita Project based at the University of Warwick and Nottingham Trent University. “Perdita” means “lost woman” and the quest of the Perdita Project has been to find early modern women authors who were “lost” because their writing exists only in manuscript form. The manuscripts in this site were written or compiled by women in the British Isles during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and they have been sourced from archives and libraries across the United Kingdom and the USA.
Scottish Women Poets of the Romantic Period Includes some 60 volumes from 47 poets, together with critical and biographical essays.
Women Writers Online The Women Writers Project textbase, containing texts by women writers from the period 1400 to 1850.

Other electronic resources

Brief description
Buildings of England (Pevsner) Provides information on buildings and artefacts in England, such as location, period, architect etc. Also serves as a comprehensive index to the printed volumes of Pevsner's Buildings of England, from which all of the information on the database is drawn.
Columbia Gazetteer of the world A database of names, descriptions, and characteristics of over 165,000 places in the world. Includes both modern and historical place names.
Geobase Multidisciplinary database containing bibliographic information and abstracts in the fields of development studies, the earth sciences, ecology, geomechanics, human geography, and oceanography. The database provides current coverage of over 1,800 journals and archive coverage of several thousand additional titles.
Index Translationum
A bibliographic database of translated books published in about 100 countries in all fields since 1979. Subject coverage is mostly humanities, social sciences.
Keesing's online Digest of political, social and economic events for all countries of the world from 1931.
Publishers' International ISBN Directory The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a 10-digit or 13-digit code that provides each published book with a unique identification number. The ISBN also identifies publishers. This directory gives full names and addresses for the publishers listed.
Statesman's Yearbook Online This site contains the full text of the current edition of The Statesman's Yearbook, regularly updated to reflect recent world events, with search and browse facilities. It provides current political, social and economic information about all the nation states of the world.