"Lost" Publications Found During Microfilm Survey

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Cover from the Persian publications microfilm survey

Cover from the Persian publications microfilm survey
Pamphlet cover from the Persian publications microfilm survey

The Hoover Institution Library & Archives has one of the most extensive microfilm collections in the United States and many of our holdings are of material that has disappeared elsewhere. For example, our collection of Japan Kōshikan records of the Japanese Legation in Korea from the early twentieth-century are available only at Hoover because the originals were lost during World War II and the Korean War. As a result, copies of the microfilm were given as a gift to the South Korean government in 2010.

While conducting a detailed inventory of our holdings, we discovered thirteen mysterious reels of uncataloged Armenian and Persian publications. With the help of area experts Nora Avetyan, librarian for Armenian and Persian at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA); Janet Afary, Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Professor of Religious Studies, Feminist Studies and History at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB); and Kavous Barghi, library specialist at Green Library, Stanford University, these publications have since been cataloged.

Some unique highlights from these "lost" microfilm reels include:

  • Zang, an Armenian newspaper produced by the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party, the first socialist party in the Ottoman Empire. Hunchakian was founded by seven young Armenian students from the Caucasus in Geneva, Switzerland in 1887 with the aim of promoting and establishing an independent Armenia. The issues on the microfilm span the years from 1919 through 1922, the period when the short-lived First Republic of Armenia was established in the wake of the Russian Revolution before being incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922. So far, these issues of Zang can not be found in any other library.
  • Leftist publications published inside and outside Iran. According to Nora Avetyan, these publications were illegal during Shah Reza Pahlavi’s time and during the   time of  the Islamic Republic. Asked about the importance of the publication, Nora Avetyan replied that they are "valuable for researchers" because they were published in limited numbers and underground; therefore, once discovered they were hidden.
    • Iraninform. A Marxist-Leninist review published by the Revolutionary Organization of the Tudeh Party of Iran Abroad. The Tudeh Party, backed by the Soviet Union, was a leftist organization.
    • Himmat Shumarahi. We also have Tabdil-: Iran bin nimah-I Musta Marah/M. Ivanuf (Iran in the Eyes of Musta Marah) Asia Books and Periodicals, 1973/74. No other holdings appear to be available outside Hoover.
    • Susyal Ampiryalism (Milano, Italy). Sazman-I Marksisti  LininistI-I Tufan (1971) (The Marxist-Leninist Hurricane organization)
    • Junbish-i Danishjuyi-i Iran: Yak bar’rasi- i mukhtasar Ittihadiyah-I Kumunistha-yi Iran, 1355 (1976) (Activities of Iranian Students: One Brief Discussion on Iranian Communist Collective)
    • Yak guftigu-yi istisna’i  ba yak darmandor-i Istisna’i ya hukfmat-i Ittiradiyah –i kumunistha-yi, Iran 1355 (1976) (Interview with a member of Communist Collective [literal translation])
    • Dar barahyi Mas’alah-yi zan (2):  ingilab-i azadibakhsh tanha rah rahai-i zanan  Miran-i Mast: Bi munasabat–i hashtum-i Mars ruz i bayn al milali-i Zanan-Rorna, Italy; Sazmar–ingilabi-i Hizb-I Tudah-I, Iran 1977 [Concerning women’s issues]. No other holdings appear to be available.
    • Sitarah-i Surkh Sal-i 1 Shumarah–i 1 urdibihisht, 1349 (May 1970) (The red star of the year) 
    • Half Sal-i Sitaran-i Surkh (134956), Rome, Italy; Sazman-i Ingilab-i Hizb-i Tudah-I, Iran, 1977. No other holdings appear to be available.
    • Sazman-i Ingilabi (Documents) (Revolutionary Organization) No other holdings appear to be available.
    • Yahya, Dowlatabad Tarikh-i-Asr-i Hazir: Hayat-i Yahya, 1331 (1951) (History of This Century, the Life of Yahya)
    • Jangal Journal1956. Several libraries have these holdings including UCLA, UCSB, and Texas A&M at San Antonio.
    • Shaid. Ayandah Azerbayjan (Witness. Future Azerbaijan) This lists single issues of six periodical titles from 1950 to 1951: Ayandah-i Azerabayjan, Shaid, Ahang-I Sharq, Namayishgah, Maryam, Kishavarzan. No other library seems to hold Ayandah-i AzerbayjanMariam, Kishavarzan, and Namayishgah

    During the survey, we also discovered 255 microfilm reels of Bohemia, covering the years 1917 to 1987. Founded by Miguel Angel Quevedo Pérez in Havana in 1908, Bohemia is one of Latin America's oldest magazines. In 1926 the son of its founder, Miguel Ángel Quevedo y de la Lastra, became the editor of Bohemia, increasig circulation. The paper became the main voice of the opposition to both the Carlos Prio Socarras and the Fulgencio Batista administrations. Initially, Miguel Angel Quevedo y de la Lastra supported the revolution led by Castro but later left Cuba in 1960 and established a parallel publication, Bohemia Libre, in Caracas, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico, which became Bohemia libre internacional in 1962. So far, we have been unable to find other holdings for this long, continuous run of Bohemia at other libraries.