News from the Leeds Russian Archive

The papers of the writers Leonid Andreev (Andreyev) (1871-1919) – perhaps best known outside Russia for his wonderful Autochrome colour photographs – and Ivan Bunin (1870-1953), the first Russian to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (1933) are the two of the Archive’s foundation Russian collections.

Both writers have been the focus of much Leeds-based research and publication activity, including 5 volumes so far of a projected 23-volume critical edition of Andreyev and several volumes of Bunin’s unpublished works, notebooks and correspondence.

Andreyev Bunin in Russian

Both of the writers are also available in recently published English language translations. Hugh Aplin, held a Leverhulme Trust research post in the Leeds Russian Archive in the 1980s, before becoming Head of Russian at Westminster School, and he has translated many Russian authors for Alma Books, whose founders also have longstanding links with the Archive. So it is very gratifying that these Leeds strands have come together in advance of the centenary of Andreyev’s death in 2019 and the celebration of 150 years since Bunin’s and Andreyev’s births in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Andreyev Bunin in English

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The Russian Empire & the Soviet Union: A Guide to Manuscripts and Archival Materials in the United States

Here is wonderful news from the US – the directory has been updated and available online (see: The Russian Empire and Soviet Union. A Guide to Manuscripts and Archival Materials in the United States/ by Steven A. Grant and John H. Brown; Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, the Wilson Center. Boston, MA: G.K. Hall, 1981). We congratulate Erika Weir (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)  and Steve Grant on this achievement.

Janet Hartley’s guides (Guide to documents and manuscripts in the United Kingdom relating to Russia and the Soviet Union and Guide to documents and manuscripts in the Irish Republic relating to Russia and the Soviet Union) were published in 1987 and 1994 respectively.  Is there a need and appetite for updating and digitising? How one can start a project like this? Something to talk about at the COSEELIS conference in Oxford (4-5 July 2019, St Anne’s College)?

Views and comments are welcome.

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Committee elections update

We are very pleased to congratulate Dr Vladimir Alexander Smith-Mesa of  UCL SSEES Library on joining the COSEELIS Committee. We are looking forward to working with Vlad!

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Cambridge – conferences and collections

Tomorrow and Friday, Cambridge will be the venue of the 2018 COSEELIS conference.  The COSEELIS conference always ends with a tour of a local collection, and this year our delegates will visit the University Library (UL) to see some of the pieces being used for the on-going virtual exhibition Revolution: the First Bolshevik Year.  A few recently used exhibits are shown here.  The exhibition makes use of one of the great treasures of the UL’s Slavonic collections – the Catherine Cooke collection of Russian architecture and design.

Earlier this year, we had the privilege of announcing the wonderful news of a forthcoming donation of a collection of staggering proportions that will join the Cooke collection to make the Cambridge “one of the leading centres in the world for the study of late Imperial and early Soviet art and design” (Dr Jessica Gardner, University Librarian).  This is the library of the eminent art historian Professor John Bowlt (shown here in the UL with his wife Professor Nicoletta Misler).  Please read more about this amazing news here:

We look forward to receiving the Bowlt-Misler collection in a few years’ time.  Its contents will doubtless be enjoyed by COSEELIS delegates of the future.

Mel Bach
Slavonic Specialist, Cambridge University Library


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COSEELIS updates: final programme


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