December 1994 -- Volume 6, No. 1


First Endowment Gift

"As the Sabre Foundation prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary, I am delighted to announce an unusual and inspiring gift that came to us unsolicited. Alfred Strouts of Coos Bay, Oregon, wrote to offer some $41,000 in mutual fund shares that he had set aside for charitable purposes. In explaining his generosity, Mr. Strouts wrote that he felt strongly about the importance of Sabre's work, because he was legally blind and lacked a formal education."

Mr. Strouts asked us to consider using his gift to set up an Endowment Fund that might attract others wishing to see their contributions work over an extended period. (Sabre's previous solicitations have been for operating programs only.) We are pleased to do so. Sabre's Board has placed Mr. Strouts's gift in a 25th Anniversary Endowment Fund, the unrestricted income from which will enable the Foundation to take initiatives not covered by project-oriented grants.

Donors wishing to join him in the Endowment Fund can so indicate on the return envelope that accompanies this update.

We are grateful to Mr. Strouts not only for his generosity and leadership, but also for his moving reminder of the ideals that animate Sabre's work.

Increasing Need for English-language Texts

Mr. Strouts's vote of confidence comes at a critical moment. Requests for English-language materials are accelerating with the pace of development in the former Eastern bloc. Many universities have introduced courses, typically in business and American studies, where English is the language of instruction. For their students, Sabre's donation of textbooks in multiple copies will help make these programs viable. Moreover, there is an increasing demand 'in the pipeline': secondary school students now studying English will swell university courses in the next three years.

Lest we forget, in Central Asia, where Sabre has opened three new country programs, the list price of a single donated book can be double the monthly salary of a doctor or tenured professor. Even in the more prosperous countries of Central Europe, an advanced professional or scientific text from the West can cost a month's rent.

As these pages show, Sabre continues to find new ways to stretch scarce resources and to multiply their impact - in innovative electronic publishing, in partnerships with other non-profit groups, in resourceful reduced-cost purchase services, in in-country translation and publication, in meeting special emergency situations. Our aim, overall, is to help in a tangible way in the difficult transition to market-oriented democracy.

An Information Agency Without Books?

The private contributions that sustain Sabre's work may be all the more crucial if the United States Information Agency holds to its announced intention to end participation in book donation programs worldwide after 1995.

Many in the government itself view the USIA plan with concern. As a budgetary matter, donated books programs cost thousands - not millions or billions - of dollars. Because they attract private sector support, donated books are an exceptionally cost-effective form of foreign aid. Sabre's experience in rounded, audited figures shows that USIA funds are multiplied more than a hundredfold:

From 1986 through 1993, Sabre donated 1.7 million books appraised at $48.9 million. USIA logistic support grants that helped to produce this result were $316,000. USIA's lead agency role enabled Sabre's book donations to attract other government support totaling $136,000 from the Agency for International Development's Ocean Freight Reimbursement Program and from the National Endowment for Democracy. During this same period, private funding was more than double that from all government sources.

Historically, book donation is one of the oldest American charitable activities. That it mobilizes grassroots support for foreign aid is clear from the great help Sabre has received from professional, ethnic, service and religious groups, from schools and colleges, from public and private foundations, from small businesses providing us with reduced-cost services, from more than 125 publishers, from many pro bono advisers and volunteers, and from supporters whom we have never met, like Alfred Strouts of Coos Bay, Oregon.

Anniversary Dinner

On February 14 Sabre will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a dinner in New York, which will honor John C. Whitehead for his services to the non-profit sector, and will include a discussion of the international role of non-profits. Those wishing to receive a formal invitation should drop us a line, using the enclosed return envelope.

Our best wishes for a joyous holiday season!

Anne D. Neal


Responding to specific information requests from clients in the field, Sabre's Internet-based Technical Assistance Project (TAP) has compiled on computer diskettes information from a variety of Internet sources, as well as other public-domain documents scanned into electronic form by Sabre staff. These "InfoDisks" cover such topics as:

  • Basic copyright information
  • College and university information
  • Casic Internet, and Internet by e-mail
  • Military and veterans' codes and related materials
  • Bibliography of library core materials
  • The InfoDisks can be easily copied by recipients and exchanged for use on personal computers, without more advanced CD-ROM technology. In addition, with materials provided by B&R; Samizdat Express, Sabre is distributing diskette versions of classic titles in American and British literature.

    The diskettes are sent to Sabre's clients in the former Soviet Union (FSU) and Eastern European countries free of charge. Those beyond that geographical area are asked to contribute a handling fee for each disk set.

    Documents found on these disks will also soon be available through the Sabre Foundation gopher site ( Path: Non-Profit Organizations/Sabre Foundation Inc.). For further information about this project, including a complete list of InfoDisk subjects, please contact Rebecca Schneider, Sabre's Reference Librarian.

    Funding for TAP is provided by USAID, through the Eurasia Foundation, and by the National Endowment for Democracy.


    Parliamentary Library and Sabre Collaborate Irina Andreeva, Director of the Parliamentary Library of the Russian Federation, pictured with books which were damaged by incendiary bullets fired into the Russian 'White House' during 1993 coup attempt. Over 60,000 volumes from the Library's core collection were destroyed. Sabre and the Parliamentary Library (now housed in new premises) are working together to obtain funding for collection development and library services.


    Sabre will be able to announce at its 25th Anniversary dinner in New York on February 14 that over two million books have been shipped to Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and elsewhere since the book donation project was launched in Poland in 1986.

    Over the past 12 months, substantial book shipments were dispatched to Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Poland, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Smaller shipments were sent to Georgia and Turkmenistan. Preparations are underway for inaugural shipments to Belarus and the Kyrgyz Republic in December, and a first shipment for Kazakhstan is planned for early 1995.

    Despite level funding from the Congress for the past several years for the USAID Ocean Freight Reimbursement Program, Sabre was awarded an increase in its FY '95 grant for book shipments to Eastern Europe and the FSU.

    Uzbekistan National Library in Tashkent, a new recipient of Sabre book donations.

    Sabre's New Domain Name and Gopher/WWW Sites

    The Internet domain name '' has now been registered for exclusive use by Sabre Foundation.

    In early January 1995, Sabre will have a 'Home Page' available on the World Wide Web (WWW), an interconnected system of linked information accessible via 'browsers' such as Mosaic. Sabre's Uniform Resource Locator (URL), the address used to indicate a specific Web site, will be announced shortly.

    Sabre Foundation documents are currently available through the Sabre Foundation gopher site ( Path: Non-Profit Organizations/Sabre Foundation Inc.).


    Co-funding by USIA and USAID (through the Eurasia Foundation) has enabled Sabre's book donation programs to expand eastward, to Central Asia. Sabre welcomes new partner organizations in the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan: the Scientific Technology and Language Institute (STLI) in Bishkek, and the Project on Economic Reform and Development in Central Asia (PERDCA) in Tashkent. Both organizations are working with local advisory committees for title selection and country-wide distribution. A partner-ship with a Kazakh organization is in the planning stages.

    Sabre was awarded two contracts from the U.S. Information Agency for book distribution in Eastern Europe - for the sixth consecutive year - and the FSU - for the second year. However, initial USIA plans for FY '95 were to eliminate book program support for six countries: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovenia. Sabre will be able to continue its Czech, Hungarian and Polish programs under its 1994-95 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

    USIA support for programs in Belarus, Croatia, Lithuania, the Russian Federation, Slovakia and Ukraine will continue for the current fiscal year under existing Congressional authorization, but beginning in FY '96, USIA reorganization plans call for discontinuance worldwide of the Agency's Book Promotion Division. Expressions of concern already registered from U.S. embassies and friends of book donations abroad, however, may persuade USIA to reconsider those plans.


    Sabre has collaborated with other local and national organizations to send much-needed books to Bosnia and Nepal. Working with Guy Mayo of Project Bosnia (Cambridge, MA) and Dr. Paul W. Grunmeier of Project Hope (Millwood, VA), Sabre sent 5,164 medical books and journals to medical facilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    And with a grant from The Tibet Fund and Richard Gere, Sabre worked with Dr. Barbara Ricks of the Mississippi-based Center for Health, Education, and Economic Research (CHEER) to send more than 15,000 elementary school books for Tibetan refugee children attending English-language schools in Nepal. Matthew Lorin, a human rights advocate associated with Sabre, helped to coordinate the donation with the Snow Lion Foundation in Kathmandu.

    Shown here are Chris Walter of Cultural Survival, Ven. Jampe Phuntsok, Principal of Srongtsen School in Boudhanath, Kathmandu, and Sabre Secretary Lee Auspitz meeting in Cambridge. Ven. Phuntsok selected titles and quantities for graded sets of English teaching materials for seven schools serving Tibetan refugee children in Nepal.


    TAP has introduced several sites in Ukraine to new laser disk information technology by providing CD-ROM players and reference and business information disks. In addition, clients from Ukraine have visited Sabre's offices in Cambridge for tutorial sessions in the use of the Internet.

    Work has also begun on a new Internet-based database of documents about Ukraine. Ukraine: FAQ+ (Frequently Asked Questions) will include Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute and Canadian Institute for Ukrainian Studies publications catalogs; course syllabi and bibliographies; and much other material.

    Sabre plans to adapt these pilot initiatives in technical assistance, training and information databases to the needs of other countries it serves.


    Book requests from overseas recipients continue to pour in, and the search continues for fresh sources of materials. More than 125 publishers have donated books to date. Participation has increased among non-profit and university presses, as well as European sources, including the United Nations Publications office in Geneva and Simon & Schuster International in the U.K. A complete listing will appear in Sabre's 1994 annual report.


    To date, over 700 individuals and institutions have received 'hard copies' of the 1994 Directory of North American Studies Centers in Eastern Europe and the FSU. This Sabre publication (produced with funding from the William H. Donner Foundation) is also available in diskette and on-line versions, both of which will be updated periodically as new information is received.

    The Directory has elicited an enthusiastic response, both from the Centers listed in it and from institutions outside the region which may be interested in lending them support. For example, Prof. J. Herron (Director of the American Studies Program at Wayne State University in Detroit) described it as 'an invaluable guide for professionals in my field, who wish to contact programs in a part of the world where addresses and information are especially difficult to come by.'

    Standing next to Sabre's 'Jefferson Shelf' at Moscow State University is Professor Yassen Zassoursky, head of the Russian Association for the Study of American Literature and Culture.


    Following the successful 1993 pilot project managed by the Prague Institute of Advanced Studies in the Czech Republic, the Reduced-Cost Journals Service has been expanded to five more countries. In addition to another round of orders from the Czech Republic, libraries in Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia ordered 461 three-year journal subscriptions from ten for-profit European and American scientific publishers, which do not normally discount or donate subscriptions. The libraries themselves provided purchase funds.

    With discounts averaging 50% negotiated by Sabre, savings to the libraries to date are estimated to total over $140,000, and about $500,000 over the lifetime of the subscriptions. The British subscription agency Blackwell's processed the orders at a reduced fee, thereby adding to the savings for the libraries. The pay-as-you-go feature of the service is part of Sabre's effort to move its clients to market-based acquisitions. The Reduced-Cost Journals Service was developed under an ongoing grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

    After a three-year period of gratis subscriptions to 20 of its journals for over 20 libraries and institutions in Eastern Europe, the Baltic countries and Ukraine, U.K.-based Blackwell Publishers renewed the subscriptions through 1994 and increased the total number of gratis journals to 36. Moreover, the program was expanded on a paid basis to libraries in the Russian Federation and the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan, at a substantially reduced cost per subscription.


    These projects, funded by grants from the William H. Donner Foundation, aim to provide the growing small business and entrepreneurial sectors in Poland and Ukraine with basic books on business management and economics, translated and published in paperback editions. Again, this is in keeping with Sabre's plan of helping its constituents advance from donations to affordable purchases.

    In Poland, Sabre's partners in Krakow, the Dzielski Institute and the publisher Znak, brought out in October the tenth volume, the last in the second series. More than 106,000 copies of these books (originally published in the U.S. and the U.K.) are in print and on sale throughout Poland.

    As part of the project in Ukraine, Charles Getchell, Sabre's Publications Counsel, conducted a workshop for local participants in Lviv in October, sponsored by Sabre-Svitlo, covering intellectual property law and practice, with a focus on the negotiation and carrying out of foreign-language rights contracts. The translation of five business titles should be completed early in 1995.

    Above, Resource Manager Anna Trojanowska-Bitka (center), of Sabre's partner the Free Enterprise Transition Center in Krakow, with assistants Sylwia Chudzik (l.) and Renata Podsiadto (r.) Below, Olia Isaievych, Executive Director (center) with staff members and volunteers at Sabre-Svitlo, during October workshop in Lviv.


    During the year, Sabre has collaborated with several national organizations, providing procurement, shipping and distribution services to:

  • American Bar Association's Central and East European Law Initiative (CEELI), with shipments of law books and reference materials to law schools and CEELI libraries in Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian National Women's League of America (UNWLA), whose board member Lida Bilous coordinates book donations from the Ukrainian Diaspora in the U.S. and Canada with donated materials shipped to Sabre's Ukrainian affiliate, Sabre-Svitlo in Lviv.
  • Harvard Ukrainian Studies Fund, with shipment of Ukrainian-language books published by the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute and Ukrainian-language collections from the Diaspora, as well as computers, printers and related technical equipment for scholarly institutions in Kyiv and Lviv.
  • Solomon R. Baker Library, Bentley College, with economics, business and English books and journals for the Tallinn Technical Institute in Estonia.

    Included among the special collections and private libraries received during 1994 were the National Union Catalog, from Wayne State University; archaeology and history journals from Professor Richard Frye, Harvard University; anthropology and ethnology journals from Professor Eugene Hammel, University of California at Berkeley; literature, language and linguistics texts from the Modern Language Association; and collections of review copies from the Phi Beta Kappa Society and the University of Chicago Press - Journals Division.

    In addition, Sabre worked in conjunction with Professor Hartmut Keil of the German Historical Institute in Washington and Pamela M. Thye to ship the library of the late Frank Friedel (Professor of History at Harvard University) to a new American Studies Center library at the University of Leipzig, in the former East Germany.


    All but about $3,000 of Sabre's Matching Fund, sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has been disbursed, with these grants made so far in 1994:

  • City University (Bellevue, WA) East European Programs: $10,000 for ESL program in Poprad, Slovakia. Matching funds provided by the Whirlpool Foundation.
  • Foundation for a Civil Society, New York: $2,277 for English teaching materials for the Masaryk Fellowship Program Resource Libraries in Prague and Bratislava. Matching funds provided by the Rockefeller Family and Associates.
  • Jewish Educational Center in Warsaw: $1,800 for newspapers and magazines for three lending libraries in Warsaw, Lodz and Wroclaw, and books for a library in a Jewish primary school. Matching funds provided by the Ronald Lauder Foundation.

  • UNA's Teaching English in Ukraine Program (third year in a row): ESL books, funding from the Ukrainian National Association.
  • University of Osijek, Croatia: civil engineering books, funding from AMA-Croatica.
  • Libraries and schools in Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan: TOEFL books and tapes, dictionaries, and Russian/English dictionaries, funding provided by the Eurasia Foundation.

    In October, Project Director Suzanne Deehy left for Rwanda after nearly five years with Sabre. A veteran Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, Suzanne wanted to return to Francophone Africa to work on the logistics of development projects with the International Action Against Hunger. A recent letter reported that she was well and pleased with progress so far: the revitalization of three medical dispensaries and the outfitting of a warehouse for plumbing supplies for water delivery systems. Her capable efficiency and unfailing good humor are sorely missed by her Sabre colleagues and partners in the field. (Her new address is c/o AICF/USA, B.P. 2349, Kigali, Rwanda.)

    Rebecca Schneider has recently joined the Sabre staff as Reference Librarian. Rebecca received her Master of Arts degree in Library Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Using the Internet as well as subscription data-bases, she will help bring pertinent information to specific 'clients' in Eastern Europe and the FSU.

    Joanna Dellaripa has relocated from the insurance industry in Hartford to join Sabre as Project Assistant for the Scientific Assistance Project, with responsibility for a variety of office management tasks. Joanna is a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut, and attended the University of Economic Sciences in Budapest.

    Josiah Lee Auspitz will vacate the post of Secretary of the Foundation in February, in order to devote time to the completion of a book, under a re-awarded Earhart Foundation Fellowship. He will continue as a member of the Board of Directors, though, and will participate fully in shaping Foundation programs. Lee's article on the American philosopher Charles S. Peirce appeared in the autumn issue of The American Scholar. Charles Getchell, a Massachusetts lawyer and book publisher who has been associated with Sabre projects for the past four years, will be nominated to succeed to the Secretary's duties.


    Sabre welcomes a new member of the Scientific Assistance Project Steering Committee, who has joined since publication of our annual report: James Fabiani, President and CEO of Cassidy and Associates, a leading public affairs firm, which has agreed to provide Sabre with advisory services pro bono.

    The law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton has kindly undertaken to act as pro bono legal counsel in New York as well as in Brussels, where George Bustin and Laurent Garzaniti will be advising Sabre Europe A.I. As mentioned in our annual report, James Munsell, a partner in the firm's New York office, has joined the Scientific Assistance Project Steering Committee.

    Sabre is most grateful to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher for the pro bono legal services it has provided in the past in Washington and Brussels, and particularly for the work of Hubertus van der Vaart, who has taken leave of the firm to become Director General of CARESBAC-Polska S.A., a small business development arm of CARE.

    In the Kyrgyz Republic: (from left) Martin Shapiro, Peace Corps Associate Director/Education; Sabre Project Director Tania Vitvitsky; Mira Jangaracheva, Deputy Mayor, Bishkek; her chief of staff, Kubanychbek Jakypbaev; and Peace Corps staffer.


    and to others who can make a year-end gift (individual contributions often help determine levels of corporate and foundation support)

    The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation United States Information Agency Agency for International Development through:

  • Eurasia Foundation
  • Ocean Freight Reimbursement Program
  • William H. Donner Foundation
    National Endowment for Democracy
    The Whitehead Foundation
    Alfred Strouts
    The Tibet Fund
    J. Eugene and Anne Marie Marans
    Pamela M. Thye
    George Sim Johnson III
    Sarita B. Choate
    Michael T. Barry
    Dr. and Mrs. Bohdan M. Mryc
    Stanley Stillman
    Felicia Kolp
    Anna F. Kubik

    Sabre Foundation, Inc. 872 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 2-1, Cambridge, MA 02139 
    tel: 617/868-3510, fax: 617/868-7916