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Playing Soviet: The Visual Language of Early Soviet Children's Books, 1917-1953

The Cotsen Collection at Princeton's Firestone Library, a children's literature special collection, has created Playing Soviet, which is an interactive database of rarely-seen Soviet-era children's book illustrations. The illustrations were gifted to the Firestone Library by Lloyd E. Cotsen, class of 1950 of Princeton University. The original gift totaled approximately 1,500 illustrations and has now grown to 2,500. Visitors are invited to browse this collection via tabs at the top of the site: The Books, Browse Illustrations, Artists, and Data Mapping. This fascinating collection highlights both different artistic trends of early Soviet Russia (including socialist realism and avant-garde), as well as the ways in which Soviet leaders attempted to influence young readers via these books. As the team behind this site notes, the "arbiters of Soviet culture" believed that these illustrations played an important role in the state's mission: "Directives for a new kind of children's literature were founded on the assumption that the 'language of images' was immediately comprehensible to the mass reader, far more so than the typed word."
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Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication
September 22nd, 2017
Date Of Record Creation
September 19th, 2017 at 10:39am
Date Of Record Release
September 21st, 2017 at 2:12pm
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