Skip to Main Content

Research Guides

Finding Slavic and East European Resources at UTL

Tips on searching for books, journals, articles, and e-resources from the Petro Jacyk Resource Centre


Transliteration is a rendering from one system of writing to another. When doing research in Slavic and East European studies, transliteration is very important because it allows a user to type on an English computer keyboard to search for resources in languages that use the Cyrillic alphabet.

Transliteration from some Slavic languages to English means Cyrillic characters are represented by Roman characters. The Library of Congress (LC) romanization schemes have been adopted as a standard for transliteration from Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Serbian, and Macedonian languages, as well as Church Slavic and non-Slavic languages that may use the Cyrillic script, such as Azerbaijani, Tajik, Tatar, etc.. The system works on a letter-to-letter basis, which means each letter has a corresponding letter, or letters, in Roman characters.

When searching for publications in the library catalogue in Cyrillic, use only these characters. The ALA-LC Romanization Tables for Slavic languages provided by the Library of Congress are available for the following languages:

Belarusian Bulgarian
Church Slavic Macedonian
Russian Rusyn, Carpatho-Rusyn
Serbian Ukrainian

*A number of non-Slavic languages use, or used, the Cyrillic script .

Russian - Александр Пушкин is transliterated as Aleksandr Pushkin
Serbian - Никола Тесла becomes Nikola Tesla
Ukrainian - Марко Кропивницький is transliterated as Marko Kropyvnyts’kyi

Catalogue Records

A number of new catalogue entries allow for parallel Cyrillic fields for author, title, and imprint information (Image 2). However, searching items using the transliteration from Cyrillic characters will yield the fullest results - refer to the ALA-LC Romanization Tables on the left.

1. Example of catalogue record using transliteration:

2. Example of catalogue record with parallel Cyrillic fields: