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Gennadiĭ Panin papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 294

Scope and Contents

Series I: Bound Volumes consists of Panin's bound compilations of his own papers and poetry and of the works of others. Most of the volumes contain typewritten pages by Panin interwoven with clippings, letters, photographs and documents. The three-volume compendium of correspondence consists mainly of transcriptions of letters to Panin; few original letters are present. Several volumes, including vol. 24 of Materialy... and the first three volumes of his untitled work on poetic theory, include complete copies of books by previous scholars of versification with Panin's annotations, addenda, and clippings. All volumes are meticulously paginated, indexed, and cross-referenced.

Series II: Letters to G. G. Panin includes letters from émigré authors and scholars of Russian literature and history, including I. A. Artamonov, Ella Bobrova, George Cheron, B. A. Filippov and Vladimir Samarin. This series does not represent the entirety of Panin's quite large correspondence, most of which was probably sold to the Thomas P. Whitney Museum and later transferred to the Amherst Center for Russian Culture at Amherst College in Massachusetts. The letters are supplemented by the transcriptions Panin bound into the three volumes Iz pisem adresovannykh mne.

Series III: Photographs includes portraits of family members and literary acquaintances, and Series IV: Other Papers consists mainly of materials apparently left over from the bound volumes: multiple copies of Panin's poetry (dating from 1917 to 1984), publications where Panin is mentioned, page designs, and the works of correspondents. The two letters from K. P. Pobedonostsev are presumably the vestige of Panin's extensive autograph collection, some of which is also kept at the Amherst Center for Russian Culture.


  • 1897-1985


Language of Materials

Materials in Russian, English, German, French, Greek, Italian, Latin, and Polish.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Gennadii Panin Papers are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Gennadii Gennadievich Panin and transferred to the library in 1989.


8.75 Linear Feet (10 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


A collection of bound volumes and other papers. There are 47 bound volumes, typewritten and with tipped-in clippings, about general poetics and acrostics, and containing copies of Panin's writings (poetry, prose, memoirs, diaries), and correspondence. The volumes include a 26 volume work on the history of the acrostic. The papers also include correspondence, photographs, loose clippings, and printed matter on related subjects.


Gennadii Gennadievich Panin was born September 25, 1895 in Moscow, the son of an engineer. His early childhood was spent in the northern town of Viatka, and from 1903 in Petersburg. In 1906, his mother Varvara Fedorovna abandoned the family, and Panin spent the following years moving between her new household and that of his father Gennadii Andreevich. He lived with an aunt in Kazan' for several years before moving to the Crimea in 1912 to rejoin his father. Panin graduated from school in Simferopol' in 1914 and returned to Petersburg to attend a technical college. He was drafted in 1916 but did not see action; in 1917 he returned to Simferopol' where he began to take active part in local literary circles and publish his own poems. Panin fought with the anti-Bolshevik Volunteer Army in the Crimea and remained there after its defeat, although his father evacuated and eventually made his way to the United States. Panin subsequently served in the Red Army, worked for the newspaper Krasnyi Krym, and pursued a number of careers before becoming an accountant in 1927. In 1925 he married Frantsiska Matveevna Shneider, with whom he remained until her death in 1984.

A new chapter in Panin's life began with his detainment by the NKVD (the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs, precursor of the KGB) from June to December 1938. At the start of the war, due to his wife's German ancestry, the Panin family was exiled to the Caucasus. When the Germans occupied the territory, Panin returned to Simferopol' and worked for the newspaper Golos Kryma. In 1943 Panin's translations of the Armenian poet Simeon Babiian were published in two small collections. In late 1943, Panin left the Crimea together with the evacuating Germans. After spending several years in camps for displaced persons in Germany, Panin followed his daughter Liudmila to America in 1950 and settled in Shelton, Connecticut, not far from where his father had settled. Tragically, one of Panin's first publications, of which multiple copies are preserved among his papers, was his father's obituary.

Panin's life in the United States was a combination of hard work at a local factory and a satisfying existence on the periphery of émigré literary circles. He corresponded with many greater and lesser writers and poets, generously bestowing them with acrostics of his own composition. In time, Panin's acrostics became a staple of such newspapers as Novoe russkoe slovo and journals like Sovremennik and Novyi zhurnal; in the latter he also published an article on acrostic theory. His love for acrostic poems found its greatest expression in a twenty-six-volume collection of the poems in various national literatures Materialy k istorii akrostikha, mezostikha, telestikha. So vremen Assirii i Vavilona do nashikh dnei. Panin included all of the poems he could find in all of the many languages in which he claimed competency, from Assyrian to Lithuanian. Panin also collected his own poetry, several short-stories, his memoirs "Putiami poter'", along with his diaries and correspondence into bound volumes. All in all, Panin completed forty-one homemade volumes before his death, and they constitute the bulk of his papers. Panin died on January 13, 1990, and is buried at Evergreen Cemetary in Ansonia, Connecticut.

Guide to the Gennadii Panin Papers
Under Revision
by Robert Bird & Nicole Bouche
July 1997
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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