The Russian Empire & the Soviet Union: A Guide to Manuscripts and Archival Materials in the United States (University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign) or pdf version (Library of Congress)
Archives of Russia (Federal Archival Agency of Russia)
Archives In Poland (Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America)
Archives of Ukraine (State Archival Service of Ukraine)
The Duke University Libraries Catalog is the first place to check for information about our holdings. Use the Advanced Search Option: to limit searches to Rubenstein Library materials, users should use the advanced search option. To search manuscript and archival materials, set the format option to "archival materials." Please note that the Rubenstein Library also maintains a number of legacy card catalogs and files that may be useful for further identifying resources.
Published Guide to the Manuscript Collections
Information on 5991 archival collections acquired up to 1980 by the Manuscript Department of Perkins Library, now part of the Rubenstein Library. Originally a published resource available at select libraries, it is now available for browsing and searching on the web.
Archival Finding Aids
More detailed records for manuscript and special collections are often available in the archival finding aids (both linked to the catalog record and searchable separately). These finding aids are online descriptive tools which serve as the primary point of intellectual access to archival collections in archives and manuscript repositories. Archival finding aids have been created for only a subset of our collections.
Collection Strengths and Subject Guides
May provide helpful direction if you are beginning a research project. These guides provide highlights, not comprehensive lists.
The following selected list of archival collections on Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies in Duke University's Rubenstein Rare Book and Manusciipt Library is meant to be informative, not comprehensive. To locate other archival collections, conduct an Advanced Search in the Duke University library catalog (making sure to limit your search by fiormat, eg. "archival materials." or "location", eg. Rubenstein Library).
Collection No. 4551.
ROMANOV FAMILY PAPERS, 1796-1852.
Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Transcripts of letters written in French by members of the Russian imperial family. Some of the letters, translated into English, have been published in Romanov Relations, The Private Correspondence of Tsars Alexander I, Nicholas I and the Grand Dukes Constantine and Michael with Their Sister Queen Anna Pavlovna, 1817-1866, by Sydney Wayne Jackman (London: 1969). The originals are located at the Royal House Archives, The Hague, and at the Thuringian State Archives, Germany.
Collection No. 1766.
MARY FARRAR PAPERS, 1916-1919.
Dorchester (Norfolk County), Mass.
Principally letters to Mary Farrar from Jennie (Stone) Abrams, among which is Farrar's views on the Red Cross, the Russian Revolution, World War I, and the return of the Jews to Palestine.
Collection No. 2836.
ROBERT BANKS JENKINSON, SECOND EARL OF LIVERPOOL, PAPERS, 1669-1900.
9 items and 1 vol.
Papers of Robert Banks Jenkinson, Second Earl of Liverpool (1770-1828), government official and member of Parliament, consist principally of a volume (114 95.) entitled "Some Reminisences of the Past, 1900," which is a compilation of letters, reports, and documents chiefly from the first quarter of the nineteenth century. The volume also contains letters about military operations during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars; ministerial politics and governmental reform in Russia, and Russian relations with Great Britain and France, 1803; a defense of British naval strategy in the War of 1812. Among the correspondents are the Count de Marcoff, Count Alexandre Worontzov, Mikhail Worontzov, and Count Semeon Worontzov.
Collection No. 3238.
LORD AUGUSTUS WILLIAM FREDERICK SPENCER LOFTUS PAPERS, 1858-1892.
Papers of a British diplomat who served at Vienna, Munich, Berlin, and St. Petersburg in the 1860s and 1870s, and later as governor of New South Wales and Norfolk Island. Topics include investment in the coal and iron industry of Russia; the Russo-Turkish War; an Afghan pretender; Russian society.
Collection No. 4348.
PURVIANCE FAMILY PAPERS, 1757 (1776-1920) 1932.
2,344 items and 21 vols.
Professional and family correspondence and papers of two generations of the Purviance family and several generations of the Courtenay family. The early papers relate chiefly to Samuel Purviance (d. 1787), Baltimore merchant, and chairman of the Committee of Observation for Baltimore County, and contains a letter, 1817, from the minister of Brazil to the U.S. minister containing copies of the correspondence between himself and the Russian minister dealing with a question of diplomatic protocol. See also online collection guide.
Collection No. 4476.
KURT RIESS PAPERS, 1904-1933.
Scrapbook containing pictorial clippings from German publications concerning the German, Russian, Japanese, British, French, and United States navies, naval and land operations during the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905; and naval operations during World War I.
Collection No. 4486.
HANSON A. RISLEY PAPERS, 1774-1908.
137 items and 1 vol.
Fredonia (Chautauqua County), N.Y.
Personal correspondence of Hanson A. Risley (d. 1892 or 1893), who was employed by the U.S. Treasury Department. Among the correspondents is Aleksandr Georgiyevich Vlangaly (Russian minister to China).
Collection No. 4693.
SIR ALBERT HOUTUM-SCHINDLER CORRESPONDENCE, (1889-1912) 1965.
Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England.
Chiefly letters from George Nathaniel Curzon, First Marquis Curzon of Kedleston (1859-1925), viceroy of India, 1899-1905, to Sir Albert Houtum-Schindler (1846-1916), engineer and authority on Persia, concerning (among other things) Curzon's book Persia and the Persian Question (London: 1892); and relations among Britain, Persia, and Russia. A draft memorandum (15 pp.) of Schindler discusses the opening of the Karun River to commerce, the Russian consular office at Meshed, the boundary problem with the Russians in northeastern Persia, and internal improvements.
Collection No. 5306.
WILLIAM E. TOLBERT PAPERS, 1820 (1870-1894) 1939.
1,405 items and 8 vols.
Chambersburg (Franklin County), Pa.
Chiefly the business and legal papers relating to the businesses of John Huber and Robert E. Tolbert, Robert E. Tolbert and Son, and William E. Tolbert, including bills, receipts, and correspondence. Also included are letters from Elizabeth Russell, a Methodist missionary in Nagasaki, Japan, to Emma Tolbert, describing missionary efforts, Russian refugees in Japan, and her attitude toward World War I and the Bolshevik revolution.
Collection No. 5797.
JAMES WILLIS PAPERS, 1799-1804.
Papers of James Willis, chief assistant in the Examiners' Department at the East India House, consisting primarily of letters from Harford Jones (1764-1847), later Sir Harford Jones Brydges, while British resident at Baghdad concerning British relations with the Pashalik of Baghdad as well as Persia, Afghanistan, and India. The letters pertaining to Baghdad discuss (among other things), Russia's desire to establish an agent in Baghdad. Letters pertaining to Persia describe the fear of an expedition by the Shah against Russia; uprising of the Azerbaijan rebels; need for a regular British envoy at Tehran; and efforts to dissuade the Shah from a campaign against the Wahhabi. Letters dealing with Afghanistan chiefly concern the war over the throne. Also included is a document describing information obtained from an Armenian merchant who traveled from Herat, Afghanistan, to Astrakhan, Russia, containing comments on the country, populations, rulers, relations with the Russians, and conditions of travel.
Collection No. 3538.
JOHN SANFORD MARTIN PAPERS, 1917-1958.
8,586 items and 16 vols.
Winston-Salem (Forsyth County), N.C.
The papers of John Sanford Martin, North Carolina newspaper editor and political figure, contain correspondence, 1912-1951, relating, for the most part, to Martin's long career as editor of the Journal and Sentinel, newspapers of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Letters pertaining to national and state politics form an important part of this correspondence. Correspondence from the period of World War II concerns the debate over the entry of the United States into the war, politics in North Carolina during the war, and discussions about American policy after the war, including a confidential transcript of an interview with President Harry S. Truman in 1945 on future relations with the Soviet Union and the United Nations.For more info., consult online collection guide.
Collection No. 92.
JOHN ALMON PAPERS, 1769 (1771-1772).
Almon (1735-1805) was a bookseller and political pamphleteer. The collection includes letters from John Calaraft (1726-1772) and drafts of notes for Almon's replies. One of the topic of this correspondence is continental diplomacy and military affairs, especially as regards the fates of Poland and Turkey following Russian military triumphs under Empress Catherine II (The Great).
Collection No. 1210.
JOSEPH CONRAD PAPERS, 1897-1965.
195 items and 7 vols.
Bishopsbourne, Kent, England.
This collection of letters includes, among other things, letters from Conrad's uncle, Tadeusz Bobrowski (1869-1893,) as well as an album of photographs of Conrad s Polish relatives (1860-1890). For more information, consult Virginia R. Gray, “Young Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski,” Library Notes, Number 43 (November 1972), pp. 43-52 (text only); (full text with images); the Rubenstein Library card catalog; and the online collection guide.
Collection No. 4650.
WILLIAM SANDFORD PAPERS, 1833-1914.
Bath, Somersetshire, England.
Papers of William Sandford, a merchant of Manchester, England, contain correspondence relating to Sandford's interest in exiles from Hungary after the unsuccessful revolution of 1848-1849, including letters, 1846-1866, from Lajos Kossuth, John Paget, and Count Laszlo Teleki; correspondence, 1848-1863, concerning Polish affairs; correspondence, 1860-1867, related to Sandford's work in developing the cultivation of cotton in the Ottoman Empire; and correspondence on British politics and relations with France, Russia, Austria, and Turkey from the 1830s to the 1860s.
Collection No. 5222.
HENRY JOHN TEMPLE, THIRD VISCOUNT PALMERSTON, PAPERS, 1808-1865.
Papers of Henry John Temple, Third Viscount Palmerston, British statesman, contains (among other things) correspondence, 1863, with Charles Ross, parliamentary reporter of The Times (London) about proposals which England would make to Russia on the Polish situation, after the brutal suppression of the recent revolt against Russian Imperial rule.
Collection No. 5746.
JOHN WILKS PAPERS, 1830-1840.
Letters to John Wilks (ca. 1765-1854), member of Parliament and honorary secretary of the Protestant Society for the Protection of Religious Freedom. This correspondence includes a letter, 1840, from Dudley Coutts Stuart requesting a donation for relief for Polish refugees following Russia's suppression of the Polish Uprising of 1838.
WALLACE KAUFMAN PAPERS, 1959-1994
Author, teacher, naturalist, environmental activist, and World Bank consultant Wallace Vickers Kaufman was a 1961 graduate of Duke University's Trinity College majoring in English. Collection contains correspondene, reports, journals, and miscellaneous material relating primarily to Kaufman's environmental activism and as a real estate and entrepeneurial consultat, including for the International City/County Management Association and World Bank.
Hungarian Journal, September 1991 -- Box 2
Czechoslovakia Journal, World Bank survey -- Box 2
Eastern European Entrepeneurs -- Box 2
Alma Alta, Kazakhstan journal, August-July 1993 -- Box 2
Kazakhstan journal, July 1993-July 1994 (4 folders) -- Box 2
Kazakhstan Real Estate Report, 1993 -- Box 3
Poland journal, April-May 1991 -- Box 3