6. Scholarship and Shelfmarks

A. L. Volynskii (1863–1926)
Dostoevskii / Dostoevsky
St Petersburg: Tipografiia “Energiia”, 1906

Among early Dostoevsky scholars, Akim L. Volynskii was a major if controversial figure. Here on display is the title page of his 1906 book on Dostoevsky, a collection of previously published material on various novels including Crime and Punishment. Volynskii’s interest in Dostoevsky focused chiefly on the religious and philosophical aspects of his work.

The page gives a remarkable sense of the volume’s history since its publication. The five provenance stamps preserve a portion of higher education history in St Petersburg (Leningrad in the Soviet era). The book was originally housed in the Tsarist-era St Petersburg University’s Historical Seminary Library, as item 51 in cupboard ‘Ts’, shelf 2. With the introduction of anti-religious education legislation in 1931, the volume found its way to the LIFLI (Leningrad Institute of History, Philosophy, and Linguistics), which was established the same year. LIFLI was then amalgamated with Leningrad State University in 1937, and two further stamps show the book’s transfer to the libraries of the History and Philological Faculties.

The most recent stamp, at the bottom of the page, shows that the book finally came to Cambridge in 1975. It is one of many hundreds of books on Dostoevsky now held in the University Library.

Mel Bach

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