The role of the foreign library in the preservation of the Siberian ethnic culture


Peers Eleanor Katherine

Arctic Information Specialist
University of Cambridge

The indigenous Siberian languages and ways of life are in decline, despite the efforts of the public men of these communities and their colleagues worldwide. A variety of economic pressures and incentives to encourage indigenous Siberians to migrate to urban areas, moving to the dominant Russian way of life. The gradual depletion characteristic of Siberian languages and styles of life deprives the world of much-needed alternative perspectives and practices, at the same time, forcing members of the Siberian community to feel painful dislocation with the loss of their traditional culture. This article considers the contribution that foreign libraries can make in the attempts to preserve and revive local Siberian culture and language, the example of the Library of the Institute of the Study of the Polar Regions to them. Scott at the University of Cambridge, UK. It examines the opportunities offered by these collections, in addition to the limits of the institutional and legal requirements.