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Vladimir Samarin correspondence and other papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 295

Scope and Contents

Series I: Correspondence includes letters to Samarin from Russian émigré literateurs and church figures and a significant quantity of his replies. Of particular note are letters from G. V. Adamovich, G. V. Ivanov, A. F. Kerensky, Archimandrite Konstantin (Zaitsev), N. O. Losskii, Nikolai Vladimirovich Narokov, Aleksandra L'vovna Tolstaia and B. K. Zaitsev. The main topics of discussion are political developments in the USSR, major events in émigré literary life and the worsening schism between the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia and what became the Orthodox Church in America.

Series II: Other Papers includes a long essay and an obituary by Samarin, and also corrected proofs by I. A. Bunin, apparently preserved from Samarin's days at the Chekhov Publishing House. Also present are papers created and collected by Alexander M. Schenker relating to Samarin's trial.

December 1985 Acquisition includes letters to Samarin from Russian professors, publicists, historians, poets, writers--some of the third emigration--as well as nevozvrashchenets, the Russian term for citizens of the USSR who refused to return to their country from the trips.


  • 1945-1988


Language of Materials

Materials chiefly in Russian. Materials created and collected by Alexander M. Schenker in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Vladimir Samarin (Sokolov) Correspondence is 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

Gift and purchase from Vladimir Samarin, 1972-1985. Gift of Alexander M. Schenker.


1.47 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Incoming (508 letters, signed) and carbons of outgoing (127 typescript letters) correspondence, mostly regarding Russian émigré publications, literary and church affairs. Includes the typescript of Samarin's "Front v tylu (Bolʹshevistskoe podpolʹe v zani︠a︡tykh nemt︠s︡ami oblasti︠a︡kh SSSR, 98 p., 1951), page-proofs of works by Ivan Alekseevich Bunin with annotations by Bunin, and materials created and collected by Alexander M. Schenker relating to Samarin's trial.


Vladimir Samarin was born Vladimir Dmitrievich Sokolov March 2, 1913 in the central Russian city of Orel. In 1936, despite some troubles encountered due to his family's bourgeois background, he completed the local Institute and commenced a career teaching Russian literature in Voronezh.

Under German occupation in 1942-1944 Samarin wrote for the newspapers Rech (based in Orel) and Volia naroda. Upon arriving at a camp for displaced persons (DPs) in post-war Germany he continued his journalistic calling in new émigré publications. In addition to contributing anti-communist commentaries and short-stories to various journals, he was editor of Put' (1946-1949) and Posev (1949-1951) and a prominent member of the anti-communist Natsional'no-trudovoi soiuz (NTS). In 1951, Samarin emigrated to the United States, where he worked for a while as a copy-editor for the Chekhov Publishing House in New York. He continued to write for émigré journals such as Grani and Vozrozhdenie, and for the newspapers Novoe russkoe slovo and La pensée russe. In 1964, Samarin published his first collection of stories, Peschanaia otmel', which was followed by TSvet vremeni (1969), Teni na stene (1972) and Teplyi mramor (1976). In 1972, Samarin collected his travel sketches into the book Dalekaia zvezda. That same year, he published in English an impassioned account of the Russian Orthodox Church under Soviet rule, Triumphant Cain. An Outline of the Calvary of the Russian Church.

Samarin was a lecturer of Russian language at Yale University from 1959. In 1976, the Soviet propaganda organ "Sowjetisches Heimland" called attention to his wartime activities as a collaborationist journalist. He subsequently resigned his position at Yale and was deported to Canada, where he died on January 19, 1992. Samarin is buried at Novo-Diveevo cemetary in Spring Valley, New York.

Guide to the Vladimir Samarin (Sokolov) Correspondence
Under Revision
by Robert Bird and Nicole Bouche
July 1997, updated December 2023
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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