The Archive’s greatest collecting strength is in the manuscript and visual materials of prominent figures in politics, literature, art, and religion from the “first wave” of Russian emigration (1880-1940).
The Bakhmeteff holdings also include many collections from the “second wave” (1945-1970) of Russian emigration. It includes papers of prominent figures in politics and culture, as well as memoirs and personal papers of “ordinary witnesses of the epoch”.
Materials from the “third and fourth waves” of Russian emigration (1970-until now) are also collected. Besides original materials, the Archive collects relevant newspapers, journals, leaflets, and posters (legal and illegal), brochures of a political character, photographs, drawings (including caricatures and cartoons), and many other materials of historical significance.
The collapse of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1990s and the rejection of the socialist model of economic development in Eastern Europe have changed the international scene. Participants in the current rewriting of history are drawing heavily on the unknown legacy of their predecessors. To satisfy this growing demand for information, more Eastern European collections were acquired for the Bakhmeteff Archive.
In recent years, a special effort has been made to acquire more materials related to subject areas, where the Archive is already strong:
- Russian and East European émigré literature, philosophy, art, and science;
- Émigré benevolent and professional organizations;
- Americans in Russia;
- American views of Russia and Eastern Europe;
- American-Russian diplomatic relations.
The Bakhmeteff Archive has specialized in these areas of Slavic scholarship for more than five decades and will continue to do so in the future. All collected materials should be processed and made available to enhance the Bakhmeteff’s Archive mission to serve the scholarly disciplines of political science, literature, history, and art, related to twentieth century Russia and Eastern Europe.
To learn more about the collections go to the Bahkmeteff Archive Collections page.
The Bakhmeteff Archive operates as a part of Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Requests for permission to publish the materials from the Archive should be sent to the Bakhmeteff Administrative Committee, now chaired by Professor Richard Wortman.