A ‘Curious’ Case Study: Creating Intercultural Dialogue through Objects
The Russian collections of the British Library are one of the richest in the European Union and are well-known in Russia. For a legal deposit library, encouraging foreign donations becomes important at times of financial constraints when lack of acquisition funds forces curators to look for alternatives. The British Museum Library was founded in 1753 and was based on private foundation collections previously owned by Sir Robert Cotton, Sir Hans Sloane, and Robert Harley. Revolutionary literature that was banned or heavily censored in Russia was freely published in London and other parts of Europe. From the archival reports, it can be concluded that most of the propaganda literature in question was in English and behind this donation were both the British Communist Party and the Soviet government. The British Library is still considered a prestigious place to deposit works and the vast majority of these gifts are examples of self-publishing and self-promotion.