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Hidden on Google Books

January 30, 2021

A Google Books search for a single common Russian word led me to something that claimed to be the Illinois Journal of the Senate, but wasn’t, though it did have an American connection:

This translation is attributed to “O. M——va,” who is apparently Ol’ga Nikolaevna Chiumina (1858–1909). (The M——va must be her married surname Mikhailova.) That five-line stanza is just four lines in the original, apparently because “The cloud-like rocks, the rock-like clouds” was too much to fit in one line.

But the point is that this is the December 1889 issue of The Herald of Europe (Вестник Европы). So if you’re ever looking for a scanned copy of an old Russian journal and can’t find it by its title, don’t despair: it may just be miscatalogued. The trick is to search for snippets of actual text on one of the pages, including prerevolutionary hard signs in your search terms, and avoiding anything with the letter “ѣ,” which in my experience seems to confuse the searches whether you enter it as “ѣ” or modern “е.”

Google has a procedure for reporting this kind of error, and I filled out the form, so by the time you click on the link maybe it will have been fixed, but I imagine there are plenty of other journal issues that the same thing happened to.

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