The steady development of the University of Toronto Library's considerable Slavic and East European collection began with the establishment of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures in 1949, even though courses on Russia and Eastern Europe were being offered at the University as early as the 1890s. The collection experienced increasingly rapid growth during the 1960s and 1970s after the Centre for Russian and East European Studies (presently the Centre for European, Russia, and Eurasian Studies) was established in 1963. In the late 1970s, the 1980s and 1990s, the establishment of Chairs in Hungarian Studies (1978), Ukrainian Studies (1980), Estonian Studies (1986), and Polish History (1995), provided further impetus to collecting in these respective areas. The Library received many large and small gift collections to support these new and existing programs, as well as a number of generous grants for book purchases. Soon after the establishment in 1965 of the Book Selection Department, as the Collection Development Department was called until 1991, a systematic plan for the development of the Slavic and East European collection was developed with the appointment in 1967 of a Slavic Book Selector. The first of what are today eight approval plans (known at the University of Toronto as Dealer Selection Orders or DSOs) for the acquisition of current publications were established.
Presently the Slavic and East European collection numbers over 600,000 volumes. Through book purchases and continuing gifts from donors the annual rate of acquisition of books in the Slavic and East European vernacular languages is about 12,000 volumes. The distribution of holdings by language is roughly: 50% Russian, 15% Polish, 10% Czech and Slovak, 7% Ukrainian, 5% Hungarian, 5% Croatian and Serbian, and the remainder Bulgarian, Romanian, and other Slavic and East European languages.
The bimonthly displays of selected new Slavic acquisitions in the Petro Jacyk Resource Centre represent just a small percentage of what the Library acquires on a regular basis. For a more complete picture of newly acquired and cataloged titles in the University of Toronto Library—both new publications and new additions of retrospective publications—search the following link: http://search.library.utoronto.ca/index There you can limit searches for new material by library, subject and/or language using the publication year filter for 2010 to the present.