Visitors to Cambridge University Library can enjoy a display of Russian literary publications featuring handwritten dedications for one more week. Out of the shadows : post-1917 Russian emigration rediscovered was curated by Vera Tsareva-Brauner of the Cambridge’s Slavonic Studies Section. Vera found the first of the dedications while researching Nobel laureate Ivan Bunin, an unearthing which led to the five other inscriptions being brought to light again. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate these re-discovered treasures.
The exhibition marks the centenary of the start of the Russian Exodus. Following the revolutions of 1917, as many as three million people fled their native land, among them many of the best representatives of early 20th-century Russian culture. Most of the émigrés, including the writers Ivan Bunin, Aleksei Tolstoi and Nadezhda Teffi fled to Western Europe, where their determination to preserve their cultural heritage saw the effective creation of a Russia Abroad. The books which feature in the physical and online exhibition and which have never been shown before have original autographs by Bunin, Teffi, and Tolstoi.
The exhibition follows the year-long Revolution : the First Bolshevik Year exhibition, to which Cambridge students and library staff contributed captions. COSEELIS 2018 attendees who came to the University Library to look at some of that exhibition’s items will remember the book signed by Wrangel/Vrangel’ (another extraordinary find on the Library’s open shelves). A blog post about that item can be found here.
The physical Out of the Shadows exhibition will be on display in the Library’s entrance hall until 30 November 2018. The permanent online exhibition can be accessed here: https://exhibitions.lib.cam.ac.uk/outoftheshadows/