1. What is FEB-web?
2. The objectives of FEB-web
3. FEB-web users
4. Fundamental principles
5. Languages and fonts
6. The structure of FEB-web
7. The format and content of the thematic sections
8. The FEB-web Digital Scholarly Editions (DSE)
9. The structure of the FEB-web DSE
10. Reference sections
11. Supplementary sections
12. What the user can do with FEB-web's interface and databases

1. What is FEB-web?

The Fundamental Digital Library of Russian Literature and Folklore (FEB-web) is a full-text digital resource. FEB-web accumulates information in text, audio, visual, and other forms on 11th-20th-century Russian literature, Russian folklore, and the history of Russian literary scholarship and folklore studies.

FEB-web is, first and foremost, a repository of primary, secondary, and reference texts. It is also an effective instrument for analyzing these texts. Presenting texts in digital form via a state-of-the-art user interface makes it possible for professional scholars and other users to work with texts in a fundamentally new way.

Our Library was given the name "Fundamental" because it is designed to provide an exhaustive and comprehensive body of materials on Russian literature and folklore. Naturally, this cannot be achieved overnight: FEB-web is a dynamic system that develops in concert with the profession it serves.

2. The objectives of FEB-web.

  • To preserve Russian verbal art.
  • To accumulate knowledge about Russian verbal art gained through scholarly research on Russian literature and folklore.
  • To provide the global scholarly community and any interested individuals free and unfettered access to the landmark works of Russian verbal art, as well as Russian scholarship on these works.
  • To create a highly functional digital resource to aid scholars of Russian literature and folklore in their research.
  • To provide a resource for education in the humanities at all levels.
  • To make scholarly research more efficient.
  • To promote Russian verbal and broaden cultural connection between nations.

3. FEB-web users.
The Fundamental Digital Library of Russian Literature and Folklore is designed for a wide range of Russian and foreign organizations and individuals. FEB-web users are, on one hand:

  • research institutions;
  • educational institutions;
  • "traditional" libraries;
  • literary museums;
  • publishing houses;

but also:

  • scholars;
  • teachers;
  • students at all levels;
  • publishers and editors;
  • aficionados of Russian verbal art.

4. Fundamental principles.

  • Meeting the standards of contemporary scholarship. FEB-web materials are selected with the aim of satisfying the practical needs of professional scholarship and the demands of contemporary education in the humanities.
  • Comprehensiveness. FEB-web is designed to provide its users enough quality material on a given topic (e.g. Pushkin) that they need not leave FEB-web to pursue their research.
  • Historical context. The FEB-web collections are built with the historical (literary, scholarly, cultural) context of the constituent materials in mind.
  • Precise representation of materials. All the source materials (texts, paintings, audio recordings) are presented on FEB-web in a form as close as possible to the original. All texts, for example, are presented with the original structure, pagination, orthography, punctuation, and graphics of the source edition. Manuscripts, where possible, are presented as graphic images (jpegs). Every text, image, and recording in FEB-web is equipped with a precise bibliographical annotation.
  • Advanced functional capabilities.
  • Information is presented only in the standard modes that users are accustomed to.
  • A user-friendly interface.
  • The "work" (as defined in contemporary literary theory) is the fundamental unit and base element of the FEB-web informational structure.

5. Languages and fonts.

The Fundamental Digital Library of Russian Literature and Folklore is being built as a bilingual system: users can interface with the FEB-web databases in either Russian or English. The works in FEB-web, however, are presented only in the original language. Descriptions and the interface are in both languages. The bibliography is available in the original language and in Latin transcription.

To view texts in European languages (with and without diacritic marks) in Windows, the user must have the font Times New Roman in a version no older than 2.76.

To view texts with pre-reform Cyrillic characters, the user must install the Palatino Linotype font.

6. The structure of FEB-web.
The Fundamental Digital Library of Russian Literature and Folklore employs a hierarchical structure. The structural elements of FEB-web are:

  • The FEB-web Digital Scholarly Editions.
  • Individual digital documents (web-pages or sets of web-pages).
  • Databases.

At the first level of this hierarchy are the main sections of FEB-web, which are divided into two groups - thematic sections and supplementary sections.

7. The structure and content of the thematic sections.
The principal thematic sections of FEB-web are:

Each thematic section includes:

  • a main page;
  • a description of the section - its contents and structure;
  • Digital Scholarly Editions;
  • a reference section.

In constructing the thematic sections of FEB-web, we confront a range of problematic scholarly and cultural issues. When selecting authors and works for inclusion in the thematic sections, we are guided by primarily objective factors: the citation index of an author (or scholar) and his or her works; the presence of a given literary or scholarly work in the syllabi of university courses on Russian literature or in lists of recommended reading; etc. We also have to take into account the feasibility of publishing an author or work in FEB-web: the existence quality editions and scholarship on the topic; the difficulty of processing materials for electronic publication; etc. Clearly, any selection we make is, by nature, controversial and thus to some degree a compromise. However, we are dealing here with information of a global historical and cultural significance, and the rejection of one or another publication is by no means final or irreversible: FEB-web is not a static mass, but a dynamically evolving system.

8. The FEB-web Digital Scholarly Editions (DSE).

The foundation of FEB-web is formed by Digital Scholarly Editions (DSE). Digital Scholarly Editions are developed by teams of scholars, editors, and programmers as independent units, each with its own database, software, and internal system of hypertext links, and each containing information which has been thoroughly vetted in terms of its scholarly and editorial content. The DSE are designed for long-term use.

The FEB-web DSE are devoted to a single topic:

  • an author
  • a genre
  • an individual literary work.

The FEB-web DSE are primarily an instrument for collecting and reproducing in digital form existing editions of literary and scholarly works. They bring together the most authoritative editions of folklore and the works of Russian writers, memoiristic and critical literature, the most significant works of literary scholarship and biography, exhaustive scholarly bibliographies, as well as reference and visual materials.

9. The structure of the FEB-web DSE.

The DSE consist of works arranged according to a hierarchical system. A work can be either a print publication in its entirety (e.g. a novel or a scholarly monograph) or an individual fragment of a print publication (e.g. a poem or short story from a multi-volume edition of an author's collected works, an article from an anthology, etc.).

The structure of the DSE is expressed by the expanding "tree" in the frame on the left side of the screen: it starts at the broad level (e.g. the section "Pushkin's Works") and goes down to the elemental level of individual works. Each work is equipped with a full bibliographical annotation which may be viewed by clicking on "Citation" at the top of the screen.

10. Reference sections.
You can find additional information for working with FEB-web's thematic sections in the following reference sections:


The "Scholarship" section contains a chronology of important events, personalia on leading literature and folklore scholars (bibliographies and biographical references), and information on scholarly periodicals, serial publications, and research and educational institutions. The "Dictionaries" and "Encyclopedias" sections contain defining dictionaries for Russian as well as dictionaries and encyclopedias for literary studies.

At the foundation of every reference section is a DSE on a dictionary, encyclopedia, or other publication. The section "Scholarship on Literature and Folklore" contains a special DSE containing all issues of the Bulletin of the Academy of Science [Izvestiia Akademii nauk].

The catalog of Internet resources ("Links" section) provides links to informational resources not part of FEB-web.

11. Supplementary sections.
There are six supplementary sections in The Fundamental Digital Library of Russian Literature and Folklore:

12. What the user can do with FEB-web.
The software of FEB-web and its constituent DSE enable:

  • access to information;
  • navigation throughout FEB-web;
  • searches for individual texts or sets of texts by attribute (author, title, publication year);
  • full-text lexical searches;
  • successive, parallel, and selective browsing;
  • the freedom to select any set or subset of databases;
  • quick retrieval of reference and supplementary information;
  • data export;
  • ease of adjustment to system parameters, placing bookmarks, creating work-logs, etc.

For more information on the functional capabilities of the DSE, click on "Help" in any DSE.