From the DttP Vault:Librarians and the Moscow Coup—August 16 to 23, 1991

Bernadine E. Abbott Hoduski


Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in vol. 20, no. 2, June 1992, which is available online at This is the final historic article from DttP celebrating 50 years, which I thought appropriate with the ongoing war in Ukraine. The author was Chair of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Section on Official Publications from 1985 to 1989.

As we waited in line for a flight out of Moscow on Friday, August 23, E. J. Josey said it for all of us—“It was an emotional week, tiring because of the emotions.” We librarians had been part of the revolution against the Moscow coup, the revolution for freedom. One of the Soviet librarians, who has risked her life at the barricades, explained that because we stayed in Moscow during the coup and continued the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) meeting, that it helped protect those librarians fighting the coup. She and the other Soviet librarians thanked us with hugs and kisses.

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