Summer Research Laboratory


June 14 – August 8, 2021


The Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC) and the Slavic Reference Service (SRS) at the University of Illinois are excited to host the 48th annual  Summer Research Laboratory (SRL) program. Traditionally, the SRL is an in-person event, with scholars receiving support to travel to Champaign-Urbana.  Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, this year’s SRL will be held as a Virtual SRL(VSRL), with REEEC and SRS working to support scholars through remote, virtual programming, research assistance, professional development opportunities, and collections and database access. For a calendar of VSRL events, please see here.

This year’s VSRL is made possible by generous support from the US Department of State, through its Program for Research and Training on Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (Title VIII).


  • Designation as a REEEC Virtual Summer Research Laboratory Associate.
  • Virtual research support for general and specialized queries throughout the Summer and beyond. Associates may also request a personalized bibliographic session with the Slavic Reference Service through Zoom.
  • Access to digital and database collections of our Library for an extended period.
  • A free of charge duplication service for University of Illinois Library materials. Restricted to 15 pages per request and subject to copyright restrictions.
  • Thematic and skill-building workshop events as well as opportunities to present and discuss work in progress. For a list of topics, organizers, and dates, see below. A fuller abstract of these workshops may be found on our website.


  1. Should public health and travel conditions permit, may in-person research visits to the University of Illinois be possible, as in years past?
    At this point in time, due to the global pandemic, there is no in-person access to our Library’s collections and all public programming is happening remotely. Because of this uncertainty, our full focus right now is on assuring remote research support and virtual programming.  We are not reserving, as in years past, dormitory housing for in-person visits. That said, we will update participants about conditions on campus and possibilities for in-person research as they emerge.
  2. When can I participate in the program?
    Participation in the Virtual Summer Research Lab is flexible. You may participate at any time between June 14 and August 8, 2021.
  3. Can I access any of the resources after my time at the VSRL?
    Yes! The Slavic Reference Service librarians are very adept at loaning circulating items through Inter-Library Loan (ILL) and assisting you with any follow-up research requests. The SRS is committed to supporting REEES scholars year-round. 
  4. Why should I participate in the VSRL, if SRS is willing to loan so much material via ILL?
    VSRL is a great opportunity to develop good relationships with SRS librarians. They are ready to work with you one-on-one and use their specialized knowledge to assist with complex queries associated with dissertation research or long-term projects. SRS librarians have a long history of collaborating with VSRL Associates long after they leave the VSRL. Additionally, a virtual visit gives scholars the opportunity to access and utilize one of the largest research collections in North America. Scholars who utilize the VSRL also receive electronic access to an extensive collection of databases and digital collections (including free of charge scans of materials through the SRS duplication service).
  5. Am I allowed to make digital copies of materials that I receive from the VSRL?
    Absolutely! You can create your own digital library of the resources acquired during the VSRL.
  6. Is the VSRL only for preliminary research, or does the VSRL have more in-depth resources that would cater to more specialized research?
    The VSRL can assist both preliminary and advanced stages of research. The VSRL also facilitates access to hard-to-find materials that are not located anywhere else in the US. This can be especially helpful to scholars who have done their preliminary work using more available resources.
  7. What are the library hours for the Slavic Reference Service?
    The Slavic Reference Service is ready to assist scholars Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm (Central Time). Applicants with questions regarding library collections and services can contact the SRS at 



Frozen Conflicts in Eurasia: Origin, Status and Outlook - June 16-18

  • Organized by: Ralph Clem (Florida International University), Erik Herron (West Virginia University), and Cynthia Buckley (University of Illinois)

Climate and Society in Eurasia: Past, Present, and Future - June 28 - June 30

  • Organized by: Andy Bruno (Northern Illinois University) and Pey-Yi Chu (Pomona College)

A Woman’s Work is Never Done: Female Life and Labor across the Imperial, Soviet, and Post-Soviet Eras - July 10-11

  • Organized by: Colleen Lucey (University of Arizona) and Alexis Peri (Boston University)

Media Culture in Balkan and Eurasian Muslim Communities - July 15-16

  • Organized by: Laura Olson Osterman (University of Colorado Boulder) and Wendell Schwab (Pennsylvania State University)


If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC) at 

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