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Politika, ideologiia, byt i uchenye trudy russkoi
emigratsii: Bibliografiia. Iz kataloga Russkogo zagranichnogo istoricheskogo
arkhiva,1918-1945 gg.


(Politics, Ideology, Social Life and Scholarly Works

of the Russian Emigration:  A Bibliography;

from the Catalog of the

Russian Historical Archive Abroad, 1918-1945)


An unpublished work by Sergei Postnikov,

edited in Moscow by Sergei Blinov



                Sergei Porfier'evich Postnikov was the head of the RZIA library in Prague.  After World War II he was deported to the USSR and sen­tenced to five years in the camps because of his former mem­bership in the Socialist Revolution­ary Party.  Upon his release, Postni­kov found work as a door­man for a tea room in the provincial town of Nikopol'.  



            The Prague Archive (Russkii zagranichnyi istoricheskii arkhiv‑‑­RZIA) was established by the Prague Zemgor of 17‑18 February 1923.  The RZIA's chief aim was to collect all available litera­ture on the ideology, politics and social life of the post‑revolutionary Rus­sian emigration.  It there­fore served as the `Book Chamber' (Knizhnaia palata) in exile to which all emigré publishers and authors voluntarily and free of charge sent all their books, journals and newspapers.  The RZIA represented the most extensive collection of manu­scripts and books and was, without ques­tion, regarded by all emigré political factions, from monarchists to leftist socialist‑revolu­tionaries, as the most important collector, repository and exhibitor of Russian emigré publica­tions.  Aided by its representatives in Europe, Asia, Africa and Ameri­ca, and with material support (and, from 1928, organiza­tional support) from the Czecho­Slovak Republic, the RZIA gathered nearly one hun­dred percent of all books, bro­chures, news­papers and journals published by Russians abroad from 1918 to 1945. 

            This unique collection was described, de visu, in its entirety, catalogued and preserved in a per­manent repository.  The collection was systemati­cal­ly consulted by emigrés as well as by their societies and institutions.  The RZIA func­tioned more or less normally until the Second World War, but under German occupation the collection was placed under the strict control of Nazi admin­istrators.  Preparations were made for moving the collection to Germany; however, only a small part was actually transferred to German soil.  At the close of WWII, the portion of the RZIA already relocat­ed to Germany was taken to the Soviet Union as spoils of war.  The Czechoslovak govern­ment then elected to give the remain­der of the collection to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR as a sign of gratitude for its liberation from the German occupation. 

            [There are those who believe that the Czecho-slovak government had little choice in the matter.



The majori­ty of the RZIA materials were trans­ferred to the USSR, but to the N.K.V.D., not to the Academy of Sciences.  The N.K.V.D. then delivered the mater­ials to one of its subordinate organs, the Central Archive Administration (Glav­noe arkhiv­noe uprav­lenie).  Later the documents were scat­tered among the special collections of state ar­chives according to their contents.  As might be expected after such a cataclysmic reloca­tion, a small part of the collection's archive materi­als, journals and newspapers, as well as a signifi­cant portion of its reference materials, were re­moved by the RZIA employees and placed in private collections in Czechoslovakia.  This, in es­sence, represented the end of the RZIA, which by this time was distri­buted among Soviet archive reposi­tories, as well as private collections and libraries in Czechoslovakia.


            The RZIA staff was similarly dispersed.  Lar­gely consisting of Russian emigrés to Czecho­slovakia, former employees of the RZIA either remained there or moved to Western Europe or America, while others were forcibly repatriated to the Soviet Union.   The fate of the emigré RZIA staff, like that of the Archive itself, was second exile (this time not abroad, but within Russia)‑‑a tragic and bitter end that left little hope for the cultural renaissance long desired by the Russian intel­ligentsia.  It is striking to note that the first schol­ars to attempt significant steps toward the reunifi­cation of fractured Russian culture were them-selves emigrés‑-archivists, museum staff, members of cultural societies and unions.  After serving their sentences, they returned to the ar­duous task of reconstructing the archival, liter­ary, journalistic and antiquarian riches of the Russian diaspora. 


            S.P. Postnikov was the first to undertake a bibliography of the Russian first‑wave emigration, while Valent­in Fedorovich Bulgakov, then Director of the Russian Cultural‑Historical Museum in Zbraslav, near Prague, compiled a bio‑bibliographi­cal dictionary of Russian writers.  Simply put, these two works represent the most fundamental sources of information on the Russian emigration.  Postni­kov produced the main part of a systematic RZIA catalogue (assisted by L.F. Magerovskii), which covered its collection of journals and newspapers.  Bulgakov researched the biographies of writers, editors and publishers.  These two reference works are crucial aids in the reconstruction of the con­tents of the RZIA and the creation of an encyclo­pedic work on Russians abroad. 


            Postnikov wrote two important works on RZIA materials ("Russkaia zarubezh­naia kniga.  Chast' 2.  Bibliografi­cheskii ukazatel'.  1918‑1924 gg.," Prague, 1924, and "Bibliografiia russkoi revoliu­tsii i grazh­danskoi voiny.  1917‑1921," Prague, 1938).  The present work, containing detailed information on nearly 5000 books and brochures, 1435 journals and 1029 emigré newspa­pers published in Russian and other languages during the period 1918‑1945, sur­vived only in typescript and required con­siderable reworking.




Structure of the Bibliography


            The bibliography consists of a compiler's pre­face, the author's introduction, and the actual bibliographic data divided into sections as follows:


1.         Politics and ideology of the Russian emigration; pertinent Rossica (1021 titles). 


2.         Political parties and factions: 

Monarchist parties (52 titles). 

Mladorossy (25 titles). 

People's Freedom Party (1 title). 

Republi­can‑­Democratic Union (15 titles). 

Peasant Labour Party ("Peasant Russia") (20 titles).  Social­‑Demo­crat Party (Men'sheviki) (42 titles).  Social­ist‑Re­volutionary Party (104 titles). 

Anar­chists (54 titles). 

Nevozvrashchentsy, Trotskii, communists (42    titles). 

Separatists (49 titles). 

Eurasianists ("Evra­zitsii") (51 titles). 

Russian fascists (61 titles). 

National Labour Union of the New Gener­ation (31 titles). 

Russian National‑­Socialist Move­ment (NAZI) (4           titles). 


3.         Memoirs, diaries and letters; essays on the revolution and civil war; pertinent Rossica.  (653 titles). 


4.         Russian emigrés in various countries; pertinent Rossica.  Emigré sporting organizations; Russian culture day; St. Vladimir's day; the Russian Or­thodox Church in Exile (686 titles). 


5.  WWI: military science (88 titles). 


6.  Emigré publications on religious questions (300 titles). 


7.  Scholarly publications (collective authorship) (18 titles). 


8.  Collections (Sborniki) (13 titles). 


9.  Bibliographic indexes (35 titles). 


10.  Russian scholarly publications abroad

            (411 titles). 


11.  Journals of the emigration: 1918‑1945:

General (1125 titles). 

Social‑Democrats (5 titles). 

Socialist Revolutionaries (11 titles). 

Anarchists (10 titles). 

Communists (9 titles). 

Historical journals (12 titles). 

Economic journals (63 titles). 

Religious journals (179 titles). 

Humour and satire (21 titles). 


12.  Newspapers of the emigration: 191­8‑1945: 


            Austria (6 titles)

            Belgium (4 titles)

            Bulgaria (53 titles)

            Czechoslovakia (80 titles)

            Denmark (3 titles)

            Danzig (5 titles)

            England (4 titles)

            Estonia (64 titles)

            Finland (9 titles)

            France (114 titles)

            Germany (50 titles)

            Greece (3 titles)

            Holland (3 titles)

            Hungary (1 title)

            Italy (4 titles)

            Latvia (68 titles)

            Lithuania (13 titles)

            Poland (51 titles)

            Rumania (Bessarabia) (81 titles)

            Sweden (4 titles)

            Switzerland (8 titles)

            Turkey (26 titles)

            Yugoslavia (44 titles)



            China (229 titles)

            Japan (1 title)

            Mongolia (2 titles)

            Persia (2 titles)


North America:

            Canada (4 titles)

            USA (75 titles)


South America:

            Argentina (8 titles)

            Brazil (5 titles)

            Uruguay (3 titles)


Africa: (1 title)


Australia: (1 title)


Three guiding principles were followed during the preparation of this bibliogra­phy for publication:


1. To present, precisely and without distortion, that portion of the systematic RZIA catalogue to which Postnikov's bibliography was dedicated;


2.         To supplement, as much as possible, Post­nikov's bibliographic data when it was incomplete;


3.         To clarify bibliographic information taken by Postnikov from reference sources and publishers' printed catalogues.  (Approximately 40% of the entries were corrected).  In preparing this edition for publication, entries for every book, brochure, journal and newspaper were verified; authorship was conclusively established; pseudo­nyms were deciphered; titles, dates and places of publication were corrected.  Typographical errors in the text have been corrected without comment; all editorial additions to the text are noted in square brackets.  Repetitions of bibliographical data have been completely cross‑referenced.  Perhaps most impor­tantly, the bibliography has been supplied with author, subject and geographic indexes.

--Sergei Blinov


[The foregoing text was transmitted from Moscow to New York by electronic mail over the San Francisco--Moscow Teleport in July 1991 through the offices of the Gorky Institute for World Litera­ture (with the kind assistance of IREX) and was downloaded into Word Perfect.  Although the text has been reduced slightly, few changes have been made, even stylistically.  However, the text does not reflect the fact that the former library of the RZIA has been found in Prague!  --ed.]


            Sergei Georgievich BLINOV, born in Leningrad in 1954, earned a Bachelor's degree in philosophy at Leningrad State University and his Master's in philosophy at Moscow University.  He worked for the USSR Central State Archive of Literature and Art from 1984 to 1990 and for the Gorky Institute of World Literature from 1990 to 1991.  He has written and edited more than a dozen publications.


Postnikov, Sergei Porfier'evich. Politika, ideologia, obschestvennaya zhizn i nauchnie raboty russkoi emigratsii:  Bibliografiia; iz kataloga "Russkii zagranichnyi istoricheskii arkhiv za rubezhom," 1918-1945 gg. 2 volumes, xviii + 324, vii + 322 pp., library bindings,

ISBN: 0-88354-354-0 & 355-9…............................…….$75 (as of 3/1/09 we have 3 copies left that we just found in the closet)