I S T O R Y
Russian and related materials began in 1919, when, at Herbert Hoover's
instigation, Professor E. D. Adams from the History Department of
Stanford University went to Paris to gather documentation on the
First World War and the ensuing peace conference.
first materials on Russia came from members of the Russian political
conference, in which two prominent politicians and diplomats, Vasilii
Maklakov and Sergei Sazonov, played leading roles.
September 1920, Professor Frank Golder, a specialist on Russian
history who had lived in Russia before and during World War I, was
sent to Eastern Europe as a roving acquisitions agent for the Hoover
Library. He and Professor Harold Fisher of the American Relief Administration
acquired quantities of material: books, pamphlets, periodicals,
newspapers, and archival collections dealing with Russia and its
former provinces of Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland,
and Ukraine. An additional trip by Golder to the then independent
Caucasian states produced further documentation.
obtained the greatest amount of published matter concerning Russia
when he participated in the American Relief Administration mission
to Soviet Russia between 1921 and mid-1923. With funds provided
by Herbert Hoover, Golder acquired more than 40,000 valuable items,
aided by Anatolii Lunacharskii, who was Soviet People's Commissar
for Education. Along with the previously gathered documentation,
these acquisitions from Russia served as a solid foundation for
further developing the Hoover Library collection.
early appointment of area specialists as curators for particular
area collections at Hoover guaranteed a high scholarly level of
selection and organization of the materials. In 1924 Dimitry M.
Krassovsky, a Russian-trained lawyer and a graduate in library science
from Berkeley, became the first curator of the collection. Former
General N. N. Golovine became acquisitions agent in Europe. Both
men, particularly Krassovsky (1924-1947), contributed substantially
to the growth and quality of the collection. Succeeding curators
have included Witold Sworakowski (1947-1964), Karol Maichel (1964-1974),
Wayne Vucinich (1974-1977), and Robert Conquest (1981- ).
more than seven decades, the collection on Russia and related areas
has been systematically expanded. Gaps that emerged during World
War II and in the late Stalin period, when acquisitions from the
Soviet Union were limited, have been later filled in with original
materials or microfilms. Since Witold Sworakowski wrote the first
survey of Hoover's Russian/Soviet Collection in 1954, the collection
has grown more than eightfold.
fall of communism and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991
have brought about another great period of growth for the Russian/CIS
Collection. More information on current activities can be found
under the Narrative Index.