Columbia University Libraries' Rare Book and Manuscript Library presents: In Search of Empire: The 400th Anniversary of the House of Romanov
NEW YORK, February 12, 2013 –

Columbia University Libraries’ Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML) will hold a conference February 14th – 16th, 2013 devoted to the 400th anniversary of the House of Romanov. The three-day conference is co-sponsored by Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian and East European History and Culture of the RBLM, the Harriman Institute, the Department of Slavic Languages at Columbia University and The Institute of Modern Russia.


Richard Wortman, Bryce Professor of European Legal History and author of “Scenarios of Power: Myth and Ceremony in Russian Monarchy from Peter the Great to the Abdication of Nicholas II,” will open the conference with a keynote address on Thursday, February 14th. Full conference agenda information is available on the Bakhmeteff Archive news page.

The accompanying exhibition, Quatercentenary of the House of Romanov features objects drawn from various collections held at the Bakhmeteff Archive and RBML.  It consists of books, correspondence, original charters, maps, photographs, posters, personal documents, and ephemera that belonged to the Russian Imperial Family. The exhibition will be available February 14th – June 30th, 2013.

“We are particularly pleased to host this scholarly conference and open the exhibition in 2013, the year of the 400th anniversary,” said Tanya Chebotarev, Curator of the Bakhmeteff Archive and conference coordinator. “The conference panels and exhibition will emphasize the rich plethora and significance of the Bakhmeteff Archive holdings on the House of Romanov.”

The exhibition includes a 17th century manuscript entitled Charter of Tsar Mikhail, which granted land and other privileges and rights to Onufrii, Archbishop of Astrakhan and Terek.  The charter, largely unknown and unpublished, is a rare and significant artifact of the reign of the first Romanov tsar. Also in the exhibition is a recently opened collection of nearly 500 letters sent by Dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna, mother of the last Russian Emperor, and her two daughters, Grand Duchess Ksenia and Ol’ga, to their close friend and companion, Princess Aleksandra Obolensky.  The letters, written in French and Russian, reflect the daily life and expectations of the Imperial family in exile.

For more information about visiting the exhibition, please visit the Rare Book and Manuscript Library Website.

The Bakhmeteff Archive acquires, preserves, and makes available for research materials relating to the history and culture of Russia, the USSR, and the countries of Eastern Europe; communities of émigrés from these countries, especially in Western Europe and the United States; American relations with and views of Russia, the USSR, and the countries of Eastern Europe; and American and European scholarship relating to Russia, the USSR, and the countries of Eastern Europe. To learn more, please visit the Bakhmeteff Archives website.

The Harriman Institute is a leading center for the advancement of knowledge in the field of Russian and Eurasian studies through the research conducted by its faculty, students, fellows and visiting scholars and the training of scholars and professionals. To learn more, please visit the Harriman Institute website.

The Institute of Modern Russia is a nonprofit organization based in New York that aims to support democratic values and institutions in the Russian Federation by engaging with civil society, bolstering the rule of law, and strengthening political freedoms. To learn more, please visit the Institute of Modern Russia website.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 500 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.

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