Rare Book & Manuscript Library Premieres St. Petersburg through American Eyes Exhibition


NEW YORK, November 7, 2003 Columbia’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library will open an exhibition, St. Petersburg through American Eyes, on November 11, 2003, from 5 to 7 P.M. on the 6th floor of Butler Library. The exhibition will be open to the Columbia community through December 5, 2003, and is part of a larger program of events, Celebrating St. Petersburg at 300, organized by the Harriman Institute of Columbia University.

The exhibition, St. Petersburg through American Eyes, showcases materials drawn from the Bakhmeteff Archive of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Materials featured in the exhibition include one of the first maps of the city (1744), documents signed by Peter the Great (1722), and early photographs of the city (pre-1917).

The Bakhmeteff Archive, curated by Tanya Chebotarev, is the second largest depository of Russian émigré materials outside of Russia. The archive was named in honor of Boris Bakhmeteff, a Russian émigré and Columbia professor, in 1975. Established in 1951, the archive contains at least 1,680,000 items in more than 1,500 collections. The oldest item dates from the 15th century, though the main focus of the collection is 20th-century Russia and the Soviet Union, and Russian emigration after the 1917 revolution.

The Harriman Institute of Columbia University, founded in 1946, is the oldest academic center in the United States devoted to the interdisciplinary study of Russia and other successor states of the former Soviet Union, East Central Europe, and the Balkans.

Columbia’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library owns over 600,000 rare books in some 20 book collections and almost 26 million manuscripts in nearly 2,600 separate manuscript collections. Individual collections are as eclectic as they are extensive. The Library’s web site at
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/rbml/ is a gateway to its print and electronic collections and to its services. For additional information about the Bakhmeteff Archive at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, contact Tanya Chebotarev at 212-854-3986.

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11/07/03 JD