Development of Slavic Literacy

This is a guide to the development of language and literacy in the Slavic region. General resources for the development of Slavic languages are presented after which resources are broken down according to South Slavic, West Slavic and East Slavic regions. Visual Resources and Miscellaneous Resources sections are included at bottom.

Development of Slavic Languages: Online Resources and Print Resources

Encyclopedia Britannica - Slavic Languages : General overview of the development of Slavic languages. General reference for Slavic languages.

Encyclopedia Britannica - Old Church Slavonic: First Slavic liturgical langauge.

The Slavic Languages by Sussex, Roland. Cambridge University Press, 2006.

The Palgrave Handbook of Slavic Languages, Identities and Borders. By Kamusella, Tomasz. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Development of Slavic Writing

Encyclopedia Britannica - Glagolitic: Earliest known form of Slavic writing.

Wikipedia - Glagolitic: General info on Glagolitic.

Omniglot - Glagolitic: The Glagolitic alphabet.


Encyclopedia Britannica - Cyrillic: East and South Slavs use the Cyrillic alphabet.

Wikipedia - Cyrillic Alphabets: Distribution of the Cyrillic script.

Wikipedia - Cyrillic Scripts: Examples of Cyrillic script.


See West Slavic Literacy Resources

Video Resources:

Glagolitic pronunciation

Old Cyrillic alphabet (Old Slavic pronunciation).

Evidence of Earlier Writing System: Online and Print Resources

Omniglot - Vinča Script: Your text annotation

Danube Script Conference: Some evidence exists of pre Glagolitic/Cyrillic writing in the region.

Introduction to the study of the Danube Script: Journal of Archaeomythology, Winter 2008.

University of Chicago - берестяные грамоты: Birch Bark Manuscripts.

Pre-Writing in Southeastern Europe: The Sign System of the Vinc̆a Culture, ca. 4000 B.C. By Winn, Shan M. M. Western Publishers, 1981.

South Slavic Literacy Resources

Guide to the South Slavic Languages. By De Bray, R.G.A. Slavica Publishers, 1980.

South Slavic and Balkan Linguistics. By Barentsen, A.A. Rodopi, 1982.

East Slavic Literacy Resources: Print Resources

A New Historical Grammar of the East Slavic Languages. By Pugh, Stefan. Lincom Europa, 2007.

Eastern European Languages and Literatures Clio Press, 1978-

A Reader in the History of the Eastern Slavic Languages: Russian, Belorussian, Ukranian. By Sherekh, Urii. Columbia University Press, 1958.

Russian Language and Literacy

How Russian Came to Be the Way It Is: A Student’s Guide to the History of the Russian Language. by Nesset, Tore. Slavica Publishers, 2015.

A History of the Russian Language and Its Speakers. by Press, Ian. Lincom, 2007.

Topics in the History of Russian. by Press, Ian. Lincom Europa, 2008.

When Russia Learned to Read: Literacy and Popular Literature, Brooks, Jeffrey. Princeton University Press, 1985.

The Russian Reading Revolution: Print Culture in the Soviet and Post-Soviet Eras. by Lovell, Stephen. MacMillan ; St. Martin’s Press, 2000.

The Russians & Their Favorite Books. by Mehnert, Klaus. Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University, 1983.

Russian books before 1701

Imperiia: Mapping the Russian Empire

West Slavic Literacy: Online and Print Resources

Omniglot - Polish: Polish uses the Latin alphabet.

Encyclopedia Britannica - Polish

Omniglot - Czech: Czech uses the Latin alphabet.

Encyclopedia Britannica - Czech

Guide to West Slavonic Languages By De Bray, R.G.A. Slavica Publishers, 1980.

Visual Resources

Prokudin-Gorski Collection: The Empire that was Russia

Obshchii Gerbovnik Dvorianskikh Rodov Vserossiskiia Imperi: Illustrational content from 19th century Russia.

Khudozhestvennyia Sokrovishcha Rossii: Art Treasures of Russia.

Miscellaneous Slavic Resources

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

Slavic Humanities Index

Church Slavonic and Russian hagiographies.

The Slavonic manuscripts of Saint Panteleimon Monastery (Rossikon) on Mount Athos.

The modern encyclopedia of East Slavic, Baltic, and Eurasian literatures.