The "Rossica Europeana" collection documents Russia as portrayed in European publications, maps and illustrations from modern times (16th through 19th centuries).
It mainly comprises reports of diplomatic and other trips as well as historical, regional, cultural and ethnographic descriptions of Russia which were printed in western Europe. In addition, the collection also includes several hundred rare geographic maps of Russia from the same period as well as illustrations, pictures and a few autographs, including that of Peter the Great. These are always original prints from the sixteenth to nineteenth century.
The "Rossica Europeana" collection is the result of decades of collecting by Dr. Peter Sager, the founder of the Swiss Eastern Institute and the Swiss Library of Eastern Europe.
Thanks to financial support, namely from the Swiss Ministry of Culture, the lottery fund of the canton of Bern, the Cultural Foundation of the City of Bern and the Sophie and Karl Binding Foundation, it was absorbed into the Swiss Library of Eastern Europe at the end of 2005.
Because of its cultural/historical content and due to its bibliophilic values, the "Rossica Europeana" is one of the world's most significant collections of its kind. It has great potential for academic research into both the present and past of Europe and Russia. It focuses on how Russia has been perceived by western Europe since Early Modern Times and examines how European and Russian identities came to evolve in the interplay of self-perception and the perception of others. It also makes it clear that our knowledge about Russia is, for historical reasons, still colored by prejudices even today.
The publications in the collection have been compiled and are listed in the catalog; the illustrations and maps are still being cataloged. Some, however, can be consulted for scientific purposes on advanced notice (contact: Eva Maurer, Head of the Swiss Library of Eastern Europe).