The Bakhmeteff Archive consists primarily of letters, diaries, memoirs, tapes, photographs, and other documentary materials, currently containing at least 1,680,000, items in more than 1,500 collections. These include 73,000 items in the three collections on deposit from the Free Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in New York (UVAN), and 43,000 items in other deposits. As of September 2002, qualified researchers have access to 991 collections.
The oldest material in the Bakhmeteff Archive dates from the fifteenth century. The main focus of the collection, however, has been on twentieth century Russia and the Soviet Union, and on Russian emigration after the 1917 revolution and World War II.
The Archive's holdings have four main focal areas, each consisting of materials of both personal and institutional origin.