Stephen J. and Fan Parker Slavic Library
After many years of planning and fund raising, the Stephen J. and Fan Parker Slavic Library has been completed. The library houses a superb collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature and literary criticism donated by Stephen Parker's mother, Professor Fan Parker. The library has been realized through the generosity of many persons and continues to develop with assistance from alumni, friends, and faculty who have donated funds and materials.
Born in Riga, Latvia, Fan Parker came to the US while still in her teens. She received her BA from New York University and a Master of Arts in Germanic literatures. After earning a doctorate in Slavic Studies from Columbia University in 1945 she went on to found, develop, and chair the Russian Department at Brooklyn College, part of the City University of New York, for nearly four decades. She taught an array of courses in Russian language and 19th and 20th century Russian literature, and published writings, among others, in regard to Dostoevsky, Garshin, Soviet literature, the Russian artist Ilya Repin, childrens' literature, and Alice in Wonderland.
Within the Parker Library is the substantial Joseph L. Conrad Memorial Collection, which contains the bulk of the late Professor Joseph L. Conrad's professional library. The Collection includes substantial and comprehensive works pertaining to the life and writings of the Russian writers Chekhov and Turgenev, as well as many others, as well as a wide-ranging collection of works on Slavic folklore, with an emphasis on Russian and South Slavic folk traditions. The collection was bequeathed to the Slavic Department following Professor Conrad's untimely death in 2003. It was dedicated, upon completion of the Library, on 7 April 2006. Professor Conrad's express wish was for his collection to continue to be used by Slavic Department colleagues and students.