Rare books and reminiscences by prominent Muscovites: New entries in the Moscow Main Archive Directorate

December 7, 2020

The Moscow Main Archive Directorate has not only the documents of plants and organisations, but also personal archives of Moscow residents who have made a great contribution to the national sciences, arts, architecture and other spheres.

Since January 2020, the directorate has accepted over 2,500 personal documents. It now has over 100,000 letters, diaries, postcards, drawings, albums, notes and other personal documents.

The recent additions include documents from the personal archive of journalist and playwright Nikolai Smelyansky (essays, short novels, stories, plays and memoirs), photographs and documents of his wife, poetess Lyudmila Tatyanicheva, and letters to Smelyansky from theatre director Lev Prozorovsky and writers Sergei Baruzdin and Nikolai Kushtum.

Lyudmila Tatyanicheva and Nikolai Smelyansky. Main Archive Department of Moscow

Another interesting donation consists of articles, memoirs, librettos and letters of circus historian Rudolf Slavsky. There are many photographs from the period between 1931 and the 2000s, as well as pantomime scripts, a collection of clown acts and articles by various authors about circus art and artists written between 1903 and the 1960s.

Rudolf Slavsky. Main Archive Department of Moscow

The directorate’s collection of books printed before the 18th century and other rare books now has a Bible printed in 1751 and a Book of Psalms (Psalterium ecclesiosslavicum, cum officiis diversis) from the 18th century. The Bible is a translation into Church Slavonic printed during the reign of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna. This type of Psalter was published most often and comprised not only psalms but also other texts, including prayers, and everything else needed for church services.

City residents interested in the history of Moscow industry are now able to see the documents of the Moscow Electric Lamp Plant (MELZ) about the plant workers’ participation in the Great Patriotic War, the plant’s Komsomol organisation, special occasions in the plant’s history, and the workers’ social life and sports activities. There are unique photographs of the plant’s buildings, kindergarten and residential blocks, as well as workers during the national census, sports events, ports and May Day parades, and in the demonstration the march held to mark Yuri Gagarin’s flight.

From the album of the Moscow Electric Lamp Plant. Main Archive Department of Moscow

Other new entries include documents from the personal archives of Leonid Matveyev, who held senior party and state positions, and his wife and People’s Artist of Russia Albina Matveyeva, art historian Nina Moleva, and engineer and lecturer Alexei Nadezhin.

Nina Moleva, 1940s. Main Archive Department of Moscow

The directorate’s collection of documents on the history of the Great Patriotic War has been complemented with reminiscences from the book titled Story of a Regiment, written by Captain Mikhail Baskakov in 1944, about his regiment’s participation in the Battle of Moscow, the routing of Nazi troops in the Demyansk Pocket, the liberation of Riga and other operations of the Kalinin, North-Western and Baltic fronts.

This year Muscovites continued to provide their personal documents and war-era items to the directorate’s Moscow: Taking Care of History online museum, which already has over 8,000 family artefacts.

Source: mos.ru

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