Rare Book & Manuscript Library


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Photographs General - Kerensky at Front HiRez Digital - Original lost

Current Exhibition

Actors and Perpetrators

October 2 - December 22, 2017
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Kempner Gallery

The Russian Revolution of October 1917 was not, as some people may think, one well-organized event in which Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown and Lenin and the Bolsheviks seized power over one huge country. It was the culmination of a series of events that took place long before 1917, starting in 1848 with the Communist Manifesto, and then climaxing in two separate Russian revolutions.

One hundred years later, historians, academicians, and politicians around the world are marking this occasion with conferences and exhibitions trying to reappraise the global changes related to the events of 1917.

Actors and Perpetrators is intended not only to commemorate the dramatic events of that year, but to show their significance to the present day. Our concept is simple -- to use the two Russian revolutions centennial as a starting point for reflecting on social and political movements of both past and present.  It is especially timely nowadays with Russian-U.S. relations at a stage being called the return of the “cold war.”

Drawing from the vast manuscript and book collections of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, this exhibition presents document and photographic evidence directly connected to the 1917 Russian revolutions and their aftermath.  It brings together people who played key roles in these events as well as letters, photographs, posters, books, and political ephemera, most of which have never been exhibited.