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Michael Z. Vinokouroff Papers, 1764-1984

Identifier: MS 81

Content Description

The Michael Z. Vinokouroff Collection spans the years 1764 to 1983, with the bulk of the material falling into the period from 1911 (his first published poetry) through 1940 (his trip to Alaska). Although many files are fragmentary, the wide range of material in the Collection may be useful to researchers interested in the Russian Orthodox Church, native languages of Siberia and Alaska, the Russian emigre community, or the life and scholarly pursuits of one Russian emigre with special ties to Alaska. Types of material in the Collection include correspondence, handwritten and typed drafts, notes, lists, Russian Orthodox Church forms, loose notes, soft- and hardbound notebooks, albums, scrapbooks, unbound and bound handcopied texts, ephemera, fliers, broadsides, leaflets, brochures, serials, periodicals, books, and articles and chapters excerpted from journals and books. The materials are in several languages, primarily Russian and English. There are some rare items in Alaskan native languages and in Yakut. A few publications of non-Russian Slavic emigre communities in the U.S. and Canada are also present in their respective first languages. Series in the Collection range from Michael Z. Vinokouroff's personal papers, with extensive files of rough notes, to documents and publications collected by him. The personal papers include correspondence, diaries, family documents, and Michael Z. Vinokouroff's writings and drafts. Among the correspondents are M.P. Antsyferov, Nikolai N. Gribanovskii, Leonid G. Iudin, John and Alice Ivanson (Dziomenko), Mikhail M. Karpovich, Henry R. Krasnow, Edward K. Piekarski, Stepan Perchuk, N. Roubakine, and Petr V. Shchusev. More extensive exchanges of letters with Waldemar Jochelson and his family, K.N. Rosen, and Irina L. Tsolle are represented individually. Letters received from Petr Chernykh are with the rest of the Chernykh papers. Letters can also be found in the "Russian Emigres and Writers" series, where they may be part of a file containing notes or other materials. The researcher interested in Russian emigre culture can also consult two later series, "Russian Emigres: Organizations and Culture" and "Russian Emigres and Writers," as well as the collected Russian calendars and publications. Vinokouroff's correspondence with members of the clergy is located in the "Russian Orthodox Church" series. Significant or major correspondence is with the Valaam Monastery in Finland, Fr. Gerasim Schmaltz, Bishop Aleksei (Aleksandr Panteleev), Archbishop Amvrossy (Merezhko), Archpriest Feofan Buketov, Rev. Andrew P. Kashevarov, Metropolitan Leontii (Leonid Turkevich), and Archimandrite Ioann (Zlobin). This finding aid includes alphabetical lists of correspondents, clergy correspondents, and individuals appearing in the "Emigres and Writers" file. Vinokouroff's diaries include a prison diary (1918) with pencil sketches by fellow political detainees. Many of the diaries include handcopied excerpts from publications such as those in the notebook series. One diary has pencil copies of East Siberian decrees (1917-1921). The researcher interested in political events in Eastern Siberia around the time of the Russian Revolution can also consult the collected papers, which include many proclamations and broadsides; the Siberian serials could also be useful. One notebook on Okhotsk and Kamchatka contains handcopied texts of revolutionary decrees. Family documents include Vinokouroff's files containing typed copies of records as well as some original documents from Siberia and the United States. Among his writings are drafts of his published poetry and of his article IT MUST BE DONE!, together with unpublished poetry and nonfiction drafts, some of them in English. The collected papers fall into three groups. Poems and papers of Petr Chernykh, the Yakutsk poet and personal friend of Vinokouroff, are separate. There is also an assortment of letters and documents of varied authorship, including over 120 scarce or unique political fliers and pamphlets from the Yakutsk, Siberia, area during the Russian Revolution. Russian Orthodox Church papers collected by Vinokouroff are located in the "Russian Orthodox Church" series. Michael Z. Vinokouroff's Library of Congress files contain work correspondence drafts, memoranda, and other papers; there is a separate box of his files dealing with Alaska projects. An album contains materials related to the transfer of the Russian Orthodox Church Alaska records in 1927. There is also a scrapbook about the Library of Congress, with photos of personnel. The Russian Orthodox Church materials in the Collection provide information on the role of the Church in the Russian emigre community, the spread of Orthodoxy in the Americas, the struggle of Soviet-controlled state Church bodies to gain control of the American Church, the spread of evangelical sects, and Russian Orthodox history and theology. There are many references to persons active in the Russian Orthodox Church in North America, particularly Alaska. Materials comprise administrative records, clergy correspondence and writings, and diocesan, parish, and other types of publications; also present are handcopied religious texts in Russian and in Yakut and a photostat of the Russian manuscript of VOYAGE AROUND THE WORLD BY HIEROMONK GIDEON IN 1803-1807. The administrative records are from Eastern Siberia and North America, with an emphasis on Yakutia and Alaska. They include instructions, records, inventories, registers, clergy service reports, individual service records, and clergy writings, including correspondence between members of the clergy. Published statements, fliers, and brochures are interfiled with unique documents; listing is by administrative unit or by individual. Russian Orthodox Church periodicals are located separately, and publications about the Russian Orthodox Church may be found among the collected publications, which include rare works on Orthodox music. The Russian Orthodox Church materials are accompanied by Dr. Lydia Black's detailed English-language notes. Together with excerpts from those notes, this finding aid includes Dr. Black's outline of changes in Church structure (1794 to the present) affecting the Alaska records. Correspondence between clergymen and Michael Z. Vinokouroff fall into the category of clergy correspondence as described earlier. The correspondence with Fr. Gerasim Schmaltz includes a pamphlet about Fr. Gerasim by Fr. Seraphim Rose and extensive English-language notes (general overview, summary of each letter) prepared by Abbot Herman of the New Valaam Monastery (Ouzinkie) in collaboration with R. Monk Gerasim E. This finding aid includes excerpts from that commentary. In addition to religious texts among the Russian Orthodox Church materials, Yakut-language materials in the Vinokouroff Collection include a few revolutionary fliers among the collected papers, notebooks of handcopied texts, and brochures among the collected publications. The research notes on Siberia and on the Yakut language also include relevant files. One notebook has a text in Tungus. A large segment of the Vinokouroff Collection is devoted to Michael Z. Vinokouroff's notes and notebooks. These tend to be fragmentary excerpts (primarily in Russian and usually copied in hand) of published works. often they are individual bibliographic citations on slips of paper, or a list of such citations on a larger sheet; many are in pencil. Some include photostats or photocopies of published articles or excerpts. The range of subjects represented in greater or lesser accumulations of these small items is broad. The notes are divided among subject categories, with the inevitable overlaps and omissions; among the largest files are those pertaining to Alaska/Russian America, Russian voyages, Russian Orthodox Church, Siberia, and librarianship. Most of the notebooks are hard- or softbound composition books. They are divided among the following subject areas: "Yakut-language texts"; "Japan" (in Russian and Japanese); "Siberia, Kamchatka, and America" (in Russian and Tungus); "Russian-language literature of Yakutia"; and "Literature and music." The notebooks contain notes handwritten in ink or in pencil. Most of the Siberian serials in the Collection date from 1917 and 1918. While some of the publications are of a general nature and others are devoted to literature (Jewish writings, for example), many are political. The series "Russian emigres: organizations and culture" includes poems handcopied by Michael Z. Vinokouroff, collected circulars and brochures, and his files on the emigre artists David D. Burliuk, Mikhail S. Mastriukov, and Leonid V. Tulpa. The emigre circulars and brochures are divided into two groups. Those in the "social/cultural" group (1912-1958 and undated) were issued by charitable and cultural organization or commercial establishments; they promote cultural events as well as appeals, fund drives, and refugee relief. The "political/religious" group (1905-1945 and undated) includes political broadsides, meeting announcements, and appeals for membership (primarily New York and Chicago, 1920-1935) and religious tracts and meeting announcements. Emigre publication announcements directed to Vinokouroff personally are filed with other catalogs in the series "Purchase and sale of books." The series "Purchase and sale of books" contains Vinokouroff's files of book orders, invoices, and catalogs, and the sales catalog he compiled from his own collection in the mid-1940s. Vinokouroff's files on Russian emigres and writers generally contain fragmentary biographical and bibliographical notes; a few include sample publications or manuscripts submitted by an author together with a cover letter and an "auto-bio-bibliography" of the kind requested in IT MUST BE DONE! (see Appendix). This finding aid includes an alphabetical list of names from that file. The Russian-language serials are sample issues of U.S. and foreign publications, usually from the 1920s and 1930s. The clipping and copy file, in numbered envelopes with an accompanying author/title index, is drawn primarily from Russian/U.S.S.R. and U.S. Russian-language periodicals. Subjects include, in part, the Russian Civil War, Russian-emigre writers, and artists in North America, the Russian Orthodox Church, and Russian America. Although most of the articles date from the 1920s and 1930s, some are older. This finding aid includes a sampler of titles from the file. Michael Z. Vinokouroff's data files are card files containing names and addresses; names, occupations, and birth and death dates for emigres; and notes and pre-1910 bibliographic citations on a variety of topics. Many are handwritten. Russian Orthodox Church periodicals in the Collection include some Siberian periodicals for 1863 through 1869 and 1906, and the RUSSIAN ORTHODOX AMERICAN MESSENGER for 1896 through 1958. Most of the Russian calendars (1847-1984) are almanacs. These yearbooks, many of them published by organizations connected with the Russian Orthodox Church, typically feature articles on a variety of emigre concerns. The Vinokouroff Collection includes calendars in Ukrainian and Czech as well as in Russian. The children's literature includes sample Russian works and translations into Russian from more than half a dozen languages, including English. The publications at the end of the Collection are books, pamphlets, reprints of journal articles, and articles or chapters excerpted from longer works. There is a separate file of newspaper clippings, primarily in English. Except for the newspaper clippings, the publications have been divided into the following categories: those by Russian emigres; general publications in English; general publications in Russian (three boxes); special publications (art books and rare editions in Russian, French, Finnish, and German); the Russian Orthodox Church (music and special service texts); publications of the Russian Orthodox Church and affiliated societies, agencies, and organizations (these include biographies of prominent churchmen); Siberia; Yakutia; the Yakut people and language (including works in Russian and Polish on the subject as well as booklets and other materials published in the Yakut language from 1897 to 1924); Alaska and related topics; and publications in other languages. Among the Russian Orthodox Church publications are texts translated from Russian into the following Alaska Native languages: Aleut (Unangan), Alutiiq (Kodiak and Chugach), Tlingit, and two dialects of Yup'ik (Lower Kuskokwim/Nushagak and Yukon/Middle Kuskokwim). The oversize map case contains art prints, engravings, and other materials pertaining to the Russian Orthodox Church, Alaska, Russia, and Siberia; maps (Alaska, with an emphasis on Kodiak and Sitka; Siberia, and the Pacific Ocean); and Russian portraits. The photograph collection consists of six boxes of photographs and postcards described separately from the manuscript inventory.


  • 1764-1984

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is unrestricted.

Biographical / Historical


by Richard A. Pierce

In its unique range of interests the Michael Z. Vinokouroff Collection reflects its creator's wide scope of scholarly inquiry. This account provides background on Vinokouroff's life (1894-1983) and antecedents as an aid to understanding the development and content of the Collection.

Vinokouroff Family Genealogical Perspective

In a letter written in 1937 [1] Michael Vinokouroff described his area of specialization as the "bibliography, geography, history, and ethnography of Alaska and Eastern Siberia." His interest in these areas resulted directly from their association with his own and his family's history. Vinokouroff's earliest known forebears lived in Yakutsk, Eastern Siberia, in the first quarter of the nineteenth century: a letter to Vinokouroff from an uncle [2] traces the family back to the former's great-grandparents, a deacon Ioann Vinokurov and his wife Evfimiia Fedorova Vinokurov in that period.* Their son, Egor Ivanov Vinokurov (Vinokouroff's grandfather, provided the link with Alaska that is reflected in the Collection. Egor had been born in Yakutsk about 1820 and completed seminary courses about 1850. Ordered to proceed to Russian America to become a psalm reader in the cathedral at New Archangel (Sitka), Egor filed a request to serve in either the Irkutsk or the Kamchatka area so as to remain near his aged mother. The request was denied. In 1852 Egor, now designated a priest, traveled by ship from the Pacific port of Aian to begin service as seminary teacher and cathedral dean (blagochinnyi) at Sitka. On 21 January 1853 the 25-year-old Father Egor married Nadezhda Ivanovna Ul'ianova, a 16-year-old girl of Aleut and Russian extraction whose maternal grandfather had been a Russian priest serving at Sitka and Kodiak and whose father had been a Russian-American Company clerk. The couple lived in the two-story Bishop's House, built in 1840. Between 1853 and 1862, when Nadezhda died of puerperal fever, the couple had five sons and a daughter. The daughter and three of the sons died in infancy. In 1861 Fr. Egor requested permission to return to Siberia following his completion, in May 1863, of ten years of service in Russian America. In 1863 he and his two surviving sons left for Yakutsk, where Egor had been assigned to a church and where the boys might receive a better education than in the colonies. Both sons became priests. The elder, Zinovii, was Michael Vinokouroff's father. Named after the Sitka doctor Zinovii Stepanov Govorlivyi, who had overseen the difficult birth, Zinovii was later described by his brother Aleksandr [2] as a solitary boy preoccupied with spiritual concerns. Zinovii (d. 1907) eventually became archpriest of the Yakutsk seminary and for five years headed the Chukotka Ecclesiastical Mission at Nizhne-Kolymsk, then the most northerly mission in the world. *This account will use the standard contemporary transliteration for all names but that of Michael Z. and Anastasia S. Vinokouroff, who chose the latter spelling upon arrival in America. Fr. Zinovii married Paraskeva Prokop'eva Okhlopkova (d. Yakutsk 1921); the daughter of a priest, she also had two brothers in the priesthood. Fr. Zinovii and Paraskeva had three sons. While the eldest, Innokentii (b. 1884) followed the family tradition into priesthood, the second son, Tikhon (b. 1889), became an ichthyologist. Michael Vinokouroff, their third son, was born in Yakutsk in 1894.

Growing Up in Yakutsk

The Lena River port of Yakutsk, Michael Vinokouroff's birthplace, had been settled by Russian fur traders and cossacks in the 17th century. Located three thousand miles east of St. Petersburg, Yakutsk served as capital of a 1,500,000-square-mile province. Sparsely settled by Tungus and Yakut tribes, the region included ethnic Russians who generally lived only in Yakutsk, in the rare hamlets, and around the gold mines; they had in places intermarried with the Yakuts and adopted their language. In Vinokouroff's time Yakutsk had only 7,000 inhabitants but was important as an administrative center. Political and religious exiles settled there or moved on to even remoter localities. A center for hunting, fishing, and stock raising as well as a place where fur, gold, and mammoth ivory were collected for export, Yakutsk had a thriving cultural life and a strong regional pride. This was the milieu in which Michael Z. Vinokouroff grew up--a small town, the capital of a vast region, fairly self-sufficient, with predominantly local interests. The family was emotionally close, and Michael was particularly attached to his brother Tikhon, five years his elder. Vinokouroff's family had been affiliated with the Church for at least three generations, and Michael continued the tradition. A later letter describes his studies:

I obtained my education only in Siberia (I [was] educated in our Russian Orthodox Ecclesiastical Seminary). Although 4 went for that purpose to Petrograd, [. . . ] the World War began and I was forced to return to Siberia . . .

As a youth Michael displayed a deep interest in Russian literature, especially poetry. His collection contains a number of volumes of prose and verse painstakingly copied by hand, since typewriters were uncommon. In 1912, at the age of 17, Vinokouroff published a poem, "Taiga" ("The Taiga [Siberian forest]") in the newspaper IAKUTSKAIA OKRAINA (Yakut Region, 14 September 1912, no. 37). [3] Between 1912 and 1916 this was followed by eight other poems bearing his pseudonym "Taezhnik [Man of the Forest]." Vinokouroff's poems display a mystical feeling for the forest, the deep cold of winter, and the majestic rivers of Arctic Siberia. Of those poems, three are dedicated to the poet Petr Chernykh, now known as Chernykh-Iakutskii. Petr Nikodimovich Chernykh (1882-1933) was born of a Yakut mother and a father of Russian, Georgian, and Tatar blood. Petr Chernykh's involvement in the revolutionary movement led to his imprisonment during World War I, and after the Revolution he became a prominent literary figure in Yakutsk region. A personal friend of Vinokouroff's, Chernykh dedicated poems to him and presented him with inscribed volumes. [4] In February/March 1917 the quiet provincial life of Yakutsk changed with the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II. Vinokouroff, a socialist of the moderate wing of the Socialist Revolutionary Party, supported Kerenskii and the Provisional Government until the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917. Between May and December of that year poems by Vinokouroff expressing foreboding about the national crisis appeared in a student newspaper and in IAKUTSKOE OBOZRENIE (Yakutsk Review), of which Petr Chernykh was a principal figure. In 1918 Vinokouroff served as secretary to a succession of Socialist Revolutionary newspapers closed first by the Reds, then by the Whites. GOLOS TRUDA (Voice of Labor) published two of Vinokouroff's poems, including one dedicated to Kerenskii, hailed as "like a knight of old . . . coming to save the motherland" (5 Sept. 1918, no. 7); the same paper ran his lead article urging construction of a railway uniting the Irkutsk oblast with world centers. In Yakutsk, according to a letter he wrote later [1], Vinokouroff worked in the Public Library and in the museum of the Yakutian section of the Russian Geographical Society. On 5 October 1917 he married Anastasia Semenovna Iakushkova, whose family, like his, had a long history of priestly service. Born 23 March 1895, Anastasia had finished the Eparchial school at Yakutsk in 1912 before working in local libraries, including that of the Ecclesiastical seminary. In the winter of 1918 the Vinokuroffs were arrested because of Michael's affiliations with the Socialist Revolutionary Party. They were imprisoned until 1919, when a White advance gave them the opportunity to flee. On March 1919, not wanting to have new trouble with the Whites, they left Yakutsk for Okhotsk. There Anastasia taught school while Vinokouroff continued his poetic writing and prepared for departure from Russia. The Vinokouroffs were able to take along many books, manuscripts, personal papers, and family memorabilia which are part of the Vinokouroff Collection.


In July 1919 the Vinokouroffs left Okhotsk for Japan, arriving in Tokyo on 18 July. There Michael obtained a position as a singer in the choir of the Russian Cathedral. Both he and Anastasia took lessons in the Japanese language, but after a year and a half they were able to leave for the United States.

United States

The Vinokouroffs left Yokohama on 26 January 1921 as immigrants and steerage passengers on the steamship Tenyo-Maru. On 11 February they arrived at San Francisco, and two days later, on the suggestion of friends, they left for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In Pittsburgh Vinokouroff was appointed a psalm reader in a local Orthodox church. From 6 July to 2 August Anastasia worked in a Heinz factory. On 13 August the Vinokouroffs left Pittsburgh for New York, where they lived in a basement apartment. Anastasia began work in a factory, but remained only a few weeks; in October she gave birth to their first child, Eugenia ("Zhenia"), a girl. On 13 November they moved to Washington, D.C., where Michael had obtained a job at the Library of Congress. Vinokouroff's work at the Library of Congress, his collecting, and his extensive correspondence were all to be carried on in the face of constant financial problems and difficult family situations. After leaving Yakutsk for Japan, Vinokouroff had tried to keep in touch with his family in Russia. In 1921 he heard that his mother had died in poverty in Yakutsk. Of his two brothers, he heard that in 1925 the eldest, Innokentii, had become a monk; after that he heard no more. Vinokouroff and his elder brother Tikhon exchanged letters frequently at first, but in the mid-20s Tikhon temporarily disappeared, and in the 1930s his letters ceased entirely. In America the Vinokouroffs' firstborn, their daughter Eugenia, died at the age of two years. A son, George, born in 1924, committed suicide in his mid-20s. Today their married daughter, Elena Tidwell, is the surviving family member.

Work at the Library of Congress

On 15 November 1921 Vinokouroff began work at the Library of Congress as an assistant in the Slavic Section. Vinokouroff was determined to describe the scanty Russian holdings and add to them. It would be another quarter-century, however, before there would be a call for a more extensive acquisition of Russian materials. In August 1925 he was transferred to the Catalogue Division. Although the new position offered Vinokouroff fewer opportunities for direct participation, he continued to lobby for development of the Russian collection. In a draft of an article, probably unpublished, he advocated production of a bibliographical guide to the Russian books in the Yudin Collection: "It is time to let people know accurately and in detail what books are there and what they contain." [5] Also, important Russian-American document collections--Russian-American Company correspondence then in the State Department, documents in the Yudin Collection, and Russian Archives photostats obtained by Frank Golder in 1914--lacked both listings and finding aids. Vinokouroff took up the second issue with his new supervisor, Charles Martel, a thirty-year veteran at the Library and originator of the Library of Congress classification system. On 10 May 1927 Vinokouroff wrote to him regarding the Russian documents [6]:

The material now in Washington . . . has, so far as I know, never been closely examined by any one. Its interest, use and value are not certainly known. In the interest of the advancement of historical research pertaining to Alaska and to make better known its own resources, it would be a worthy enterprise for the Library of Congress to bring all this material together and to arrange and analyze it.

Vinokouroff's preoccupation with tasks other than those assigned to him appears to have tried his superior's patience. On 30 April 1929 [7] Martel wrote a memo to Vinokouroff sympathizing with his "bibliographical and other special interests such as Tolstoi in the U.S., Russian book production in the U.S., transliteration of Russian, etc., etc." while stressing the need "to devote the official working hours to cataloguing . . . and to revision of the catalogue cards." Vinokouroff later described his Library of Congress cataloging work in glowing terms [l]: "For me, an immigrant, this was the height of success and happiness." In 1944 Vinokouroff estimated [8] that during the twenty-two years he had worked at the Library, he had brought into it "923 large-sized filing boxes of greatly valued archive material . And aside from this material --books, pamphlets, maps, photos, prints, etc., etc., etc." As early as 1923, he later wrote [1], he had

promoted the deposit of very valuable periodical and other publications collected by the Russian Embassy during the war and revolution. These publications, nearly two truck loads, were presented to the Slavic Section by the Embassy when the latter was closed.

The major document transfers effected by Vinokouroff took place in 1927 (from Church archives in New York City) and in 1940 (from individual churches in Alaska).

Transfer of Russian Orthodox Church Records, 1927

Early in 1927 Vinokouroff, always attentive to matters concerning the early history of Alaska, heard that numerous of Alaska Church documents were being stored in a sub-basement of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Nicholas in New York City. In February he asked Metropolitan Platon, Archbishop of New York City, for permission to investigate the Alaska section of the archives. The Metropolitan granted permission [9], writing of his joy that Vinokouroff was taking up "the arduous task of rescuing these priceless historical documents from the neglected and chaotic state in which they have, of late years, been kept." Vinokouroff spent several days in New York looking over the documents. On 5 September Vinokouroff returned to New York. He gave the new Metropolitan, Archbishop John Kedrovskii, a detailed report of his work on the documents, and proposed that they be turned over to the Library of Congress. [10] The plan was endorsed the following day by Waldemar Jochelson, the well-known ethnographer. In a letter dated 17 September Kedrovskii granted his approval provided that 1) the documents be properly cared for and classified, 2) the originals or copies of the originals be kept available for reference by the Church, 3) the expense of packing and shipping the records be borne by the Library of Congress, and 4) a file of documents relating to George Vinokouroff be presented to Michael Z. Vinokouroff with the understanding that copies of these papers would be deposited with the Library. Vinokouroff wrote to Charles Martel with a list of the materials, and on 3 October Martel recommended that Vinokouroff be given a few days' official leave to effect the transfer. Martel cited the Metropolitan's willingness to present the manuscript records from Alaska

at the instance of Mr. Vinokouroff, in order that they may be preserved from deterioration and possible destruction, being housed at present in non-fireproof quarters, exposed also to damp and other damage. These records, together with a certain number of volumes (77?) in the Archives of the State Department, constitute a large and important part of the remaining sources of the history of Alaska prior to 1867. The proposed gift appears to offer an opportunity for the acquisition of a valuable collection of original records . . .

On 7 November 1927 the transfer of the materials from New York was completed. By wish of Dr. Herbert Putnam, the Librarian of Congress, the documents--some 702 cartons--were deposited in the Library attic. Vinokouroff wrote to Dr. Putnam requesting permission to sort, classify, and index the manuscripts [11], but was told to make only a preliminary sorting. Forty years would pass before the task was completed by others. It was not until after the Alaskan Native Land Claims Settlement Act of 1971 made necessary the extensive use of birth and death records of the Russian Church that these were indexed. In 1983 the entire collection was rearranged, a finding aid prepared, and the materials microfilmed, an invaluable tool for Alaskan historical research.

Bibliography Project, 1928

Vinokouroff would not be able to collect more documents for the Library until his 1940 trip to Alaska. In the meantime he cast a critical eye at the Library of Congress program for purchasing Russian books, and particularly those books published by Russians outside Russia. As he later wrote in a catalogue describing his personal collection [12], Within the very first few days of my employment at the Library, I was quite astonished to note the extreme scarcity of Russian books published in the United States in this great National Library. But--later on, I learned that in practically no libraries in this country was this sort of material abundant, and that only very, very few of just such Russian books were received in the Library of Congress through the Copyright Office. And it was at this very time that I began to collect personally everything in published Russian in the United States that I could find . . .

Toward the end of 1928 the newspaper PRAVDA, organ of the Society of Russian Brotherhoods in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, printed on its pages an article by Vinokouroff titled "Eto nuzhno sdelat': [It Must Be Done:]." (See Appendix.) Vinokouroff's catalogue later described the formal initiation of his project with that article as having

[rendered] a call to all Russian writers, publishers, printers, and all those interested in the preservation of current Russian literature in the United States, to aid me in the task of preparing a bibliographical record of all Russian publications printed in America. Later on, this same article was published in the form of a pamphlet in 1,000 copies. As a result of having sent out approximately 600 of these pamphlets to various organizations, institutions, and individuals throughout the United States, Canada, and South America, I began receiving an enormous quantity of mail.

It is not known how large a response Vinokouroff's appeal received, but the Collection contains extensive files (Boxes 48-52), presumably created for this project, on Russian writers in the emigration. A column by A. Fovitskii in the Russian-language New York daily NOVOE RUSSKOE SLOVO for 3 May 1931 anticipated the publication as "the most valuable monument to the work of Russian cultural forces in America for many years." The work was never completed. In 1945 Vinokouroff undertook the sale of part of his collection of books and the entirety of his collection of materials published by Russians in the United States. Vinokouroff appears to have met with little success in trying to sell his collection of Russian materials published in the U.S., although a few libraries bought individual items.

Alaska Trip, 1940

Material on Alaska constitutes a strong part of Vinokouroff's collection, reflecting his sentimental fascination with the period of Russian exploration and rule. As he described it in a 1944 letter to Archie Shiels [8], amateur historian and cannery operator, his efforts to get the Library to send him to Alaska to seek materials had begun in 1925:

No one can actually surmise . . . how difficult this venture was, just . . . how much time and energy it took from me--an individual minus any personal means and opportunities, only subject to a great love for Alaska and her past, --no one knows . . . how hard it was for me to organize and to receive for my efforts this one single trip to Alaska. And before this--beginning with 1921, when I, in November of that year,-first entered the Library of Congress--I, personally, without any side help or aid of any kind, and . . . only in my spare time aside from the actual hours of work at the Library, began to systematically collect and to bring together all that which was perishing . . . of which no one before me was concerned with and had not thought of concerning themselves with--not here, in the States, and not there, in Alaska itself . . . From that first year of work at the Library, I began in my spare time to organize the bibliography of the Russian literature of Alaska. And . . . and already in 1925, I had written my very first memorandum of intention to Dr. Putnam, at that time the Librarian of Congress, on the subject of my trip to Alaska for collecting and bringing to order its materials for our Library.

His efforts finally bore fruit in 1940, when he was able to gain permission of the Orthodox Church for a further rescue of manuscript material, this time from Church archives kept in the chapels and churches of Alaska. The Library of Congress was also willing to sanction this trip. In a rapid tour of about three months, he was able to garner another 150 cartons of materials. His letters to Anastasiia from Seattle, Sitka, Anchorage, Kodiak, and the Aleutians document his itinerary. Vinokouroff's effort, evidently complicated by his peremptory approach, caused resentment in some Alaskan quarters. Archie Shiels, W.J. Erskine, and others queried the transporting of historical materials outside the Territory. An editorial in the DAILY ALASKA EMPIRE (Juneau) termed the trip a "blitzkrieg," stating:

Alaska is in process of being despoiled of the best of her historical documents and mementos from the days of the Russian occupation of the Territory. Last week more than half a ton of these priceless records were taken from Sitka. Soon Kodiak, Unalaska, and the old churches of the Westward are to be similarly stripped of their historic heritage. . . . The idea is that the records of the Russian colonization will be gathered together in one place, which is Washington, D.C. . . . Once they reach Washington they probably will never be heard of or looked at again. [13]

The resistance exemplified by this editorial led to Vinokouroff's being denied access to the archives of the church at Kodiak. Destruction of the church with all its contents three years later gave futile proof of the soundness of the operation. [8] In 1941 Vinokouroff sought permission at the Library of Congress to make another trip to Alaska to continue his collection of Church documents. In May of that year, however, he was informed that he would not be sent because of the war. Though he asked that he might be allowed instead to work on the Russian collection already assembled, that request too was denied.

Later Years

Vinokouroff spent his entire working career at the Library of Congress, retiring in 1956. The presence in the Collection of photos of his Library colleagues as well as letters from them and their families suggests close working friendships. on occasion co-workers would dedicate light poems to him. From his home in Forest Glen, Maryland, Vinokouroff continued his personal correspondence, with its emphasis on ties with other Russian emigres and specialists in Vinokouroff's areas of interest. One significant friendship of this period had grown out of his Alaska trip in 1940: visiting the grave of Father (now Saint) Herman on Spruce Island, Vinokouroff had spent three days as a guest of Father Gerasim Schmaltz (d. October 1969). The visit resulted in a lifelong friendship reflected in letters spanning the nearly thirty years through 1966. [14] In the 1970s Vinokouroff came to know Antoinette Shalkop, of Anchorage, Alaska, then working on a special project to index, arrange, and microfilm the Alaska Russian Church archives and to compile a finding aid to the collection. At Ms. Shalkop's suggestion, Vinokouroff willed his entire massive collection to the State of Alaska. Vinokouroff died a few months later, in 1983, only a few months after the death of his wife. The unique collection put together over a long lifetime by a knowledgeable scholar will add greatly to the ability of the State Librarian to meet the needs of researchers.


1. MZV to Roger Hawthorne, 7 Feb. 1937. Box 3, Folder 2. 2. Fr. Aleksander Vinokurov to MZV, 17 Aug. 1920. Box 13, Folder 7. 3. See Box 37 for all cited Siberian periodicals. 4. For additional information on Chernykh and on his papers in the Vinokouroff Collection, see the description for Box 15. 5. MZV, "The Yudin Collection in the Library of Congress, 1907-1927." N.d. Box 14, Folder 9. 6. MZV to CM, 10 May 1927. Box 17, Folder 13. 7. CM to MZV, 30 April 1929. Box 17, Folder 13. 8. MZV to AS, 23 April 1944. Box 17, Folder 14. 9. Platon to MZV, 18 Mar. 1927. Box 17, Folder 4. 10. See Box 19 (oversize) for Michael Z. Vinokouroff's album of copies of transfer-related materials. 11. MZV to HP, 14 June 1928. Box 17, Folder 19. 12. MZV sales list, n.d. Box 47, Folder 5. 13. DAILY ALASKA EMPIRE, June 14, 1940, p. 4. Box 13, Folder 10. 14. For Michael Z. Vinokouroff's correspondence with Fr. Gerasim Schmaltz, see Box 25.


[Editor's Note: This appeal in Russian by Michael Z. Vinokouroff was published by the newspaper PRAVDA, organ of the Society of Russian Brotherhoods (Philadelphia) in 1928. An English translation by Richard A. Pierce, Ph.D., is given here as evidence of Mr. Vinokouroff's efforts to document Russian emigre writings. His dream of publishing a bio-bibliography was not fulfilled. NOTE: Boldfacing provided as in original.]


(Concerning the preparation of a bibliographical record of all Russian publications printed in America and of a bio-bibliographical dictionary of Russian writers and scholars living on this continent)

Ever since the development and perfection of typography, printing houses all over the world have turned out millions and millions of printed pages each day. The modest German toiler Johannes Gutenberg, who only four centuries ago came forth with his invention of book-printing as a replacement for the medieval scribe, surely did not even dream of this virtual flood of books worldwide. And only bibliography, serving as intermediary between books and reader-"users," can endeavor to give us even an approximate understanding of this "flood." Bibliography strives to draw a picture of this, mankind's paper culture--of this multimillion "book output," in current parlance. It is customary to believe that the so-called "national book repositories" in every country come to the aid of bibliographers in their difficult work. It is customary to assume that these repositories always reflect, fully and in detail, all manifestations of their nation's cultural life. But in actual fact that is not always so-- One must not forget, of course, that the task of collecting and, what is more, of bibliographically registering all printed works, without exception, issued in a country--that that task is assuredly a difficult and complex one. But, at the same time, no civilized state can dispense with this collection and registration. That is why the most sensitive areas in the bibliographical literature of the whole world are so-called "state registration" and its customary consequence, the organization of "compulsory-copy" delivery to national book repositories. In Europe, as is well known, the resolution of all these problems is attempted through various types of legislative methods; and so the whole matter there is usually reduced to the question of these "compulsory copies" (the German pflichtexmplare, the French exemplaire de depot legal, and so forth).

And it would seem to us that the profound cultural significance of these "compulsory copies" must be clear to everyone. Even though they appear, of course, to represent a kind of fixed "tax" on authors, publishers, and printing-houses, nevertheless, if this tax is levied on a moderate scale, then certainly there should be no one who would evade payment. Thus it would seem to us-- But in practice usually the author relegates payment to the publisher, the publisher to the author and on to the printing-house, and the printing-house to both of the others-- And in those circumstances it is naturally no easy matter to achieve delivery of all copies needed in order that national book repositories may give a full accounting of all "book output" occurring daily within the territory of their countries. And if in Western Europe the fundamental aim of this "tax" is the gathering and safeguarding of printed products from loss or destruction, in Russia, on the other hand, it must be confessed that all this has been connected mainly with the punitive-censorial functions of certain of our beloved "administrative establishments." Nor have we yet escaped its charm even to this day-- For that reason, or because in Russia printing-houses tended to be very rare (so that they were easier to keep track of), it was only in Russia that the business of gathering and registering all "book output" was always on a higher and better level than in Europe. In this fact we can even, if you will, take pride. I only regret that I cannot dwell longer here on the details of our homeland's practice in this regard. But I can say that under Emperor Alexander I the number of required compulsory copies" was two, under Nicholas II it was ten, and in the U.S.S.R. today it is between thirty and fifty.*

My main interest now is to organize this affair here closer to us, in America-- In the U.S., too, there is a central governmental book repository: Washington, D.C.'s famous Library of Congress, the richest in the world. But to call this library a "national book repository" in the usual European sense of the term would be at the very least debatable-- True, the Library of Congress succeeds hugely in expanding its holdings daily by means of a great many free copies (European as well as American); but here this matter is linked to the concept of literary property--that is, to safeguarding the rights of authors. And here is the result: Wishing to secure rights to their literary work or publication, authors or publishers (in accordance with American copyright laws) supply the Library of Congress with two copies of their printed product plus two dollars. Then and only then is this work registered, secured, and preserved for the future. And from this it is evident that these are "depository copies" rather than compulsory copies" (a pflichtexemplare or an exemplaire de depot legal) in the European sense-Now the question arises: Does the entire book output" of America fall under this accounting and registration at the Library of Congress? And the unavoidable answer to that is: Absolutely not. Yet that means that many American publications are, in fact, lost for the future, leaving behind them no trace of any sort-- Yet meanwhile, for the future researcher, printed text of any kind--irrespective of its length and however insignificant its content--can be of enormous interest. We in our own time cannot predict that researcher's fields of interest, therefore we cannot permit any selection whatsoever to be performed even with the greatest of care. We must preserve for the researcher absolutely everything that comes off the printing press. That is the most elementary demand made (at least in Europe) of "national book repositories" as such. That is for all of them their most important and most obligatory general principle. Now further: In all countries a running register of all "book output" is usually maintained in organs specializing in such registration. Examples of these are BIBLIOGRAPHIE DE LA FRANCE in France, WOCHENTLICHES VERZEICHNIS in Germany, THE PUBLISHERS' CIRCULAR in England, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY in the U.S., KNIZHNAIA LETOPIS in the U.S.S.R., etc., etc.** And it would be a great mistake for us to assume that in the American PUBLISHERS WEEKLY we would find all American publications. In that organ are registered many books which nevertheless do not undergo copyrighting in the Library of Congress, just as, in the latter's "Catalogue of Copyright Entries," more books are secured than are registered in PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. And this takes place because PUBLISHERS WEEKLY is the organ of the Union of American Publishers. Consequently, whoever belongs to the Union registers publications there, and whoever does not either is "secured" in the Library of Congress or else--and this is most unfortunate--remains outside any sort of accounting. There we have the "vicious circle,' so to speak, in which every American bibliographer and student of "book output" finds himself. *In the F.S.F.S.R. it is 32; in the U.S.S.R., 30; in the B.S.S.R., 27; in the A.S.S.R., 50; in the S.S.R.G., 30; and in the S.S.R.A., 35-- **There are currently six KNIZHNYE LETOPISY in the U.S.S.R.: those of the R.S.F.S.R., the Ukraine, Belorussia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia; and it seems that others are about to be published in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan-- And if this is true of basic or English editions (that is, of editions published in English), then what about the languages of the "national minorities," as they say in the U.S.S.R.? But about this, if you please, nothing whatever is said-- By way of illustration, let us take our Russian publications. It is very naive, as well as very unfortunate, of us Russians apparently to take no notice, or to want to take no notice, of that done earlier or that being done now regarding Russian publications here on the broad expanses of America. With our characteristic mistrust of everything Russian, we Russians have (and this is most painful) a greater penchant for self-abasement, for self-disparagement. And yet one really must not pass over in silence so powerful a cultural factor as the printing of books. "The great, mighty, just, and free Russian language" about which Turgenev wrote has found, is finding, and will find the way (be it even by trails or by paths) to its self-manifestation. Yes, it is "free"--and no sort of "emigration" or "flight," be it from tsars or from Bolsheviks, can stifle or kill the Russian language! Truly how well it is said: "In days of doubt, in days of painful meditations on the fates of my homeland, you alone provide my encouragement and support--Were it not for you, how could one not fall into despair at the sight of everything taking place at home?" (Turgenev) --For some of us, we know, "home" means a bright building, while for others back there it means only bondage--One of us wants to go there with the Gospel, others to sow atheism--etc. And who of us is right?--Truly that is an agonizing question, and for many the most terrible one of all. But do not forget that this language is heard outside our "house' as well--beginning in the south, with sunny Argentina, through the noisy and wide "melting pot" of the U.S., through the forests and mountains of vast Canada to snowy Alaska, formerly our own--here, there,, and everywhere this language is heard! Here, there, and everywhere various methods are employed--mimeography, shapirography, and even the now-obsolete hectography, as well as typography and lithography--to propagate everything that people want to say to their own kind in their own tongue. Here, there, and everywhere you meet with every variety of general and specialized presses, with all shades of religious literature and church literature in the strict sense, and with all shades of political thought, from the defense of autocracy to anarcho-syndicalism inclusive-- I write all this here in order that we Russians may understand that here in America libraries not only do not register our Russian publications--they do not even gather them. We are poor and therefore remain outside the two-dollar accounting, and in this respect we must think and fend for ourselves.

In 1924 in Prague the "Russian Book Committee" made an attempt at registering all Russian-language foreign publications; but their work can of course claim to be only an approximation at best. The Committee's field of investigation was sizable: the entire globe, wherever Russians live outside Russia-- In the Committee’s published work, titled RUSSKAIA ZARIJBEZHNAIA KNIGA (The Russian Foreign Press, Prague, 1924), attention was given to books published in America as well. Unfortunately, the second issue of this work, which it was promised would give "exact tables of book distribution by year, country, and subject," has still not appeared. I have therefore tried to do this work myself; here are the figures obtained. According to these findings, two hundred ninety titles have been published in the U.S., one in Canada, and fifteen (or nineteen, but I doubt that) in Argentina--325 titles in all. If you count U.S. cities individually, it emerges that of this total (i.e., 290), 258 titles were published in New York; eight in Chicago; three each in Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre; two each in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Springfield, and Bridgeport; and one each in the remaining cities (Boston, Detroit, Olliphant, etc.). (Of course, every Russian resident of these cities who knows even a little about the Russian-"book" situation in his area will tell us that this figure is too low for the city he lives in.) The Committee selected the so-called "decimal" classification system, but very often certain books were entered twice--that is, in more than one class--so that the total number, 325, must be reduced. Moreover, from this doubtful number, 325, one must subtract 53 titles of serial publications, leaving only 272 titles for the U.S., Argentina, and Canada together-- Naturally, I here set forth all PW calculations in no way to the detriment of the Prague Committee. I dwell on their work only because it represents the sole attempt known to me at listing all Russian-language foreign books, including those published in America. What the "Russian Book Committee" in Prague has done and is still doing is a great and good thing which one should rejoice in and give assistance to. And it is no fault of the Committee in Prague, so distant from us, that their work is only cursory in nature. I repeat: their field of research is the whole globe. Other attempts at registration have been made only in relation to serial publications. Except for the Prague Committee, no one has yet undertaken the registration of books-- In the well-known RUSSKO-AMERIKANSKII SPRAVOCHNIK (Russian-American Guide, New York, 1920) compiled by Omel'chenko and Korff, twenty-seven periodical publications are registered. In the late Herman Rosenthal's index published by the New York Public Library in 1916, twenty-one periodical publications are registered. M. Vil'chur, in his one separately-published study of the Russian emigre community, RUSSKIE V AMERIKE (Russians in America, New York, 1918), registers 54 periodicals. That is all we are able to learn from books on Russian publications in America.

Now I will write about myself and my own work-- For several years I have been collecting local Russian editions for my own library. At first my collecting was by chance--or, more accurately, by subject--but having recently become, so to speak, keen on this work, with the aid of my friends I have been collecting whatever I can and whatever my means permit. Eight years ago I entered the Slavic Division of the Library of Congress in Washington and three years later transferred to another division of the same Library, where I still work today. When I was in the Slavic Division an idea came to me and began to torment me: in this--America's richest library and its central, federal one--to gather together, insofar as possible, the fullest collection of Russian editions printed in this country. With this aim I then turned to New York, to Mikhail Mikhailovich Karpovich, former secretary of the Russian Embassy in Washington. At that time he was connected with the Vek (Century) Bookstore managed by the Russian-writer Grigorii Nikolaevich Rakovskii. They compiled for the Library of Congress a list of Russian books published in America. This list--only the first, of course, and therefore only approximately complete--contained 316 Russian titles, of which 303 had been published in the U.S. and 13 in Argentina. Again, as on the Prague Committee list, the main town by number of editions--282--is New York. But, interestingly, the Karpovich-Rakovskii list contains many titles missing from the Prague list. --Unfortunately--With my transfer to another division I was not able to maintain such a list in the Library of Congress. Subsequently, to expand my own collection, I have been compiling (and continue, today, to complete)--from all these bibliographical lists; from other heterogeneous periodical and newspaper sources, sometimes hard to find; from my own materials and those of the Library of Congress; and from correspondence with friends--I have been compiling and I continue to compile a general combined bibliographical catalog of all Russian books published in America. The number of Russian book titles on my list long ago surpassed 600, and that of titles of serial publications, 200. In this number I do not include leaflets, appeals, reports, circulars, or other small editions; these also have great historical interest, and I therefore devote the greatest attention feasible to collecting them. Earlier this year (1928) I went to New York, but unfortunately I had only a week to work there--During that week I looked through several private Russian libraries, but mainly through church and parochial (e.g., Baptist) ones. And there I came to the conclusion that the comprehensive completion of my register remains distant enough-- With joy and pride I saw that Russians in America--whether by their own modest means or with the aid of American organizations and institutions--are thinking, working, writing, and publishing--in short, are alive, in the best sense of that word! This was the message I got from the many brochures and leaflets, the little magazines and newspapers published sporadically, the existence of which one would hardly have suspected. And I realized then that, however I might love this cause, it would be difficult for me alone to deal with such a large and complex task. Therefore I decided to turn to all booklovers with this appeal of mine in the form of an open letter. With a verbosity perhaps typical of us Russians (but it is said, is it not, that "from abundance of feelings words flow out"?) I decided to write for help, hoping that I would be heard and understood. I turn, then, mainly to writers, scholars, journalists, poets, and newspaper contributors and correspondents; to public personages, priests, preachers; to the chairmen and secretaries of our Russian organizations, societies, brotherhoods, and circles; to my professional colleagues, the librarians of Russian libraries, large and small; to printers and booksellers; and, more generally, to people in one way or another involved in the business of the printed word. I know that only with the aid of all of you, dear friends, can I accomplish my good, great, and necessary task. I will be infinitely glad and grateful for any sort of letter from you; for any communication, no matter how insignificant-seeming at first glance; for anything of any kind sent to me for registration: any booklet, brochure, leaflet, appeal, or issue of a magazine or newspaper which you might discard as insignificant in itself. Please send me the addresses of all persons who can help.

In order that my project, and hence my request, may be comprehensible to you, I wish here to describe the plan as I see it at the present time. I want to publish my work in the form of a large reference book. It is highly likely that it will be published with two texts, Russian and English. I will publish it with portraits and illustrations. Details utterly essential to any sort of bibliographical work will of course emerge of themselves by way of an accumulation and display of the nature of the materials collected by me. I must say this concerning the method of bibliographic "description" itself: I personally am very inclined to add so-called "annotations," however brief--some setting forth the content of printed material, others having a purely literary-historical character. By means of these notes I would hope to enliven our overly dry and formal (as usual in library practice) book "anatomization", that is, cataloging. But all this will, I repeat, emerge of itself. As for the general plan of my work--the most difficult part of which I have already done, that is organizing and collecting everything done before me by others and on that laying, so to speak, a foundation--the general plan of this work will consist of the following five sections: Section I. A bibliographical list of all Russian publications printed in the U.S., South America, and Canada. Here will be entered books, brochures, collections, almanacs, notes, maps, plans, calendars, leaflets, proclamations, posters, and appeals; protocols, reports, regulation manuals, journals of meetings, instructions, decrees, resolutions, and, broadly, printed materials of the various conferences, congresses, and party sessions whether professional or public in character; themes of public talks, lecture syllabuses, questionnaires, membership books, catalogs of local bookstores, etc. A list of periodical publications--journals and newspapers--will form an independent subsection. There will, of course, be indexing cross-referenced by name, subject, and placename.

Section II. A list of publishers of Russian books. Section III. A list of Russian bookstores. Section IV. A list of Russian libraries and reading rooms. These three sections (II, III, and IV) will be historical in character. In other words, the lists will contain not only publishing houses, bookstores, and libraries currently in existence, but also former ones no longer extant. These sections require historical information which I usually seek in old newspapers and journals. I need the most important chronological dates, data about the management staff, information on the nature of the enterprise, and so forth. I hope that in this regard I will hear from the old-timers of the Russian emigre community. I ask earnestly that I be informed of their addresses. Section V. Materials for a bio-bibliographical dictionary of Russian writers and scholars who have lived in, are living in, or are visiting America.

This section includes not only "celebrities"--not only (in the words of Prof. S.A. Vengerov, the famous Russian literary historian and biographer) the "generals and colonels of literature and science"--but the "ordinary rank and file" (as everyone knows, not all writers, scholars, poets, journalists, newspaper correspondents, and their "fellow authors" publish works that stand alone). Every stand-alone publication will naturally appear in the first section of my work. But to limit the work to that first section alone would mean to resign from the attempt at a full representation of our entire Russian "printed output." The compilation today of just such a bio-bibliographical dictionary has, I believe, the very greatest significance. It can act somehow to unify our scattered forces, to reveal to us not only the "bibliographical addresses" of those writing in America, but also the "faces" and "spirits" behind those addresses. For that reason I would also wish to compile this section using auto-bio-bibliographic reports from writers themselves.

And so: Whatever you may be--whether you are "great" or "minor' writers; whether you write specialized, scholarly articles; whether you happen, as Russians here in America, to write only in English; whether you write exclusively in Russian; whether some of you write only "correspondence" and not articles; whether you write only articles, tales, and verses, and not "correspondence"; whether you write only "letters to the editor" when so moved by events to respond--all of you (I repeat, great and minor writers alike) get in touch with me and help me in this matter which is essential for you as well! Here are the main questions to which I would like to have your replies. It would be still better, however, if you would reply to these questions in the form of a small auto-bio-bibliography which I might include in full. Biography: 1) surname, first name, and patronymic (it is very important that you provide your surname both in Russian and in English); 2) type of literary or scientific activity (poet, fiction writer, journalist, publisher, editor, astronomer, engineer, chemist, botanist, etc.); 3) year, day, and month of birth; 4) nationality; 5) place of birth; 6) names of parents, and a short family history; 7) educational background; 8) knowledge of foreign languages; 9) when you arrived in America (and, if you wish, under what circumstances); 10) at what age you began to write; 11) literary organizations of which you are or have been a member; 12) your public-service and political activity; 13) your primary profession at this time; 14) your family status; 15) your exact address (state also whether you want your address to be published). Bibliography: 1) where and when your first literary work was printed; 2) an enumeration of everything you have either written (whether in Russian or in English is immaterial) or translated, with its exact title (a. if you have stand-alone publications, list them indicating titles, prefaces if any, year and place of printing, publisher information, and number of pages; b. if this is a matter of journal or magazine articles, list titles, years, dates and numbers of periodical publications, and where they appeared); 3) a list of reviews of and references to your output, designating precisely where these reviews appeared; 4) show any translations of your works that you are aware of (where, when, and by whom); 5) whether biographical information about you has appeared anywhere; 6) whether a portrait of you has appeared anywhere; and 7) your literary pseudonyms (if you wish, I will not "disclose" them). I would also greatly appreciate receiving photographs with information as to when, where, and of whom they were taken. I ask that relatives and friends of deceased writers get in touch with me and provide the information necessary for my project. And there I conclude.

--I hope that editors will report to me the editions their labors have produced and are producing; that publishers will compile for me lists of their publications; that booksellers will inform me of local Russian publications sold in their stores; that librarians will inform me of such publications found in their catalogs--and, finally, that printers who have collected and printed Russian texts will perhaps recall that over which they have labored--

All of you, all of you who love the book business and work in it, can help me--It is to you that I direct my appeal! Be assured that I wish to do the job well; I know, though, that only with the aid of all of you, dear friends, can I fulfill my wish! Remember, everyone, that this is our joint endeavor--that it must be done! M.Z. Vinokouroff.

My addresses: Michael Z. Vinokouroff, Catalogue Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., or 113 Second St., N.W., Washington, D.C.

P. S. It is with joy that I wish here to report one circumstance which I am finding encouraging now and which somehow "inspires" my hopes for a satisfactory and significant crowning conclusion for our project. In the past few days I have obtained the kind consent of Mr. Charles Martel, my immediate superior in my job at the Library of Congress, to edit my work. Mr. Martel is very well known and is a great authority in American library circles. He has served in the Library of Congress more than thirty years and today heads the Catalogue Division. It was he who created the well-known library classification scheme bearing the name of the Library of Congress, a system considered the most elastic and convenient of any in the world. This system has been printed in 22 volumes to date and has been adopted by more than 80 major libraries in America and Europe. Mr. Martel, by the way, just recently returned from a trip to Rome, where he spent more than four months. He had been invited there by the Vatican Library (Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana)--founded as early as the fifteenth century, the Library is the most ancient in Europe--to direct the reorganization of their catalog. I had already been long accustomed to regard Mr. Martel with affection, and had always found him to be not only a superior and a friend but above all else a person of exceptional warmth, and a person with something to teach the rest of us. And now I am glad that our common Russian project described above has found here, in this land foreign to us, such a patron, friend, and mentor as only Mr. Martel can be-- In concluding here I must not fail to thank the editorial staff of the Russian newspaper PRAVDA, published in Philadelphia, organ of the Society of Russian Brotherhoods. Knowing of my project, Dr. Simeon S. Pyzh, editor of Pravda, rendered me a service out of sympathy by agreeing to print, free of charge, a thousand copies of this appeal of mine, to be sent free to those persons who can be of assistance in my task. Great and sincere thanks for this friendly aid! M.Z.V.


109 Volumes (109 boxes) : MATERIALS ON MICROFICHE (BOX 107) Box 15: 4 folders Box 16: Folder 17 Box 21a: 1 folder Box 22: 59 folders Box 23: 53 folders Box 37: 35 folders Box 96: Folder 10 Box 98: Folder 10, 16, 19, 22, 27 Box 99: Folder 2 Box 100: Folder 9 Box 101: Folder 5 Selected photographs: in A Guide to Historical Photographs in the Alaska State Library; SERIES LIST; PERSONAL PAPERS Boxes 1-14; COLLECTED PAPERS Boxes 15-16; LIBRARY OF CONGRESS (1921-1956) Boxes 17-20; RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH Boxes 21-27; RESEARCH NOTES AND REFERENCES Boxes 28-36; SIBERIAN SERIALS (1906-1919 and n.d.) Box 37; NOTEBOOKS (HANDCOPIED) Boxes 38-42; RUSSIAN EMIGRES: ORGANIZATIONS AND CULTURE Boxes 43-46; PURCHASE AND SALE OF BOOKS Box 47; RUSSIAN EMIGRES AND WRITERS Boxes 48-52; RUSSIAN-LANGUAGE SERIALS (1894-1979 and n.d.) Boxes 53-58; CLIPPING AND COPY FILE Boxes 59-62; DATA FILES Boxes 63-67; RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH PERIODICALS (1863-1972) Boxes 68-75; RUSSIAN CALENDARS (1847-1984) Boxes 76-81; CHILDREN'S LITERATURE IN RUSSIAN LANGUAGE Boxes 82-87; COLLECTED PUBLICATIONS Boxes 88-105; ART PRINTS, ENGRAVINGS, MAPS, ETC.

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PCA 243: Michael Z. Vinokouroff Photograph Collection, ca. 1880s-1970s

Processing Information

Executor of the Vinokouroff estate, Antoinette Shalkop, produced a preliminary inventory in 1984. Dr. Lydia Black, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alaska/Fairbanks, arranged and described the Russian Orthodox Church series as well as those publications listed under ethnology, Alaska native languages, and the Russian Orthodox Church. Dr. Richard A. Pierce, a historian and specialist on Russian America, helped with sorting and prepared finding-aid descriptions for the personal papers, collected papers, notes and files, and publications. He arranged and described the emigre circulars and brochures. Abbot Herman from the New Valaam Monastery arranged and described the Father Gerasim Schmaltz correspondence on a volunteer basis. Specialists on the project also made recommendations for microfilming material. Dr. Louise Martin served as project coordinator preparing the final inventory and providing continuity needed to complete the project.

Finding aid for the Michael Z. Vinokouroff Papers, 1764-1984
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Processed by: Dr. Lydia Black, Dr. Louise Martin, Dr. R.A. Pierce ; ArchivesSpace Finding Aid by: Freya Anderson
2019 May
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