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Sergeĭ Aleksandrovich Evreinow correspondence and papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 296

Scope and Contents

Series I, Correspondence , largely consists of N. N. Evreinov's letters to S. A. Evreinow. These provide a fascinating portrait of the dramatist's strong personality and a record of his artistic triumphs and financial difficulties. The two men apparently met in 1926 in New York, where Evreinov was attempting to enter into the American theater world and arrange translations of his "countless" books. Apart from a series of lectures in various cities, one concrete result was Evreinov's 1927 book The Theatre in Life. Some of the correspondence refers to productions of Evreinov's plays, particularly to that of Korabl' pravednykh at New York's Irving Place Art Theatre in 1926, and of The Chief Thing at Harvard in 1926 [?] and at Tufts College in 1949 (on this latter production see also Evreinow's correspondence with Marston Balch). A significant portion of the correspondence reflects a shared interest in clarifying the nature of their kinship; in later years, S. A. Evreinow even undertook a special genealogical study, the results of which he communicated to N. N. Evreinov. The correspondence between Evreinov and Evreinow shows that Sergei Aleksandrovich supported his distant relative quite generously in times of need, both in 1927, when Evreinov encountered some difficulties in New York, and in the post-war years. He became a close friend of the family, traveling to Paris to visit the Evreinovs. After Evreinov's death, Sergei Aleksandrovich continued to correspond with his widow. S. A. Evreinow's correspondence with Ivan Lapshin, Arthur Lourie and Vladimir Nikolaevich Skriabin testifies to his own interests in music, especially the works of Scriabin.

Series II, Other Papers , includes notices and programs of N. N. Evreinov's works in the United States, including the 1927 production of The Chief Thing. Here one also finds obituary and commemorative items, as well as two photographs of the dramatist, one with his family and one with his teachers Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov. The series also encompasses some items bearing on S. A. Evreinow's own interests, such as clippings from the Russian-language press and materials concerning the demise of one Jacob Weinberg.


  • 1926-1959


Language of Materials

Materials in Russian, French, and English.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Box 2: Restricted fragile material. Reference surrogates have been substituted in the main files. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Conditions Governing Use

The Sergei Evreinow Correspondence and 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

Gift of Mrs. Francis R. T. Evreinov, 1968.


0.6 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


52 ALS and 15 TLS from N. N. Evreinov to Sergeĭ Aleksandrovich Evreinow, 6 carbons of letters from Sergeĭ Aleksandrovich Evreinow to N. N. Evreinov. Also includes correspondence between Sergeĭ Aleksandrovich Evreinow and Anna Aleksandrovna Evreinova, Arthur Lourié, and various printed materials (theatrical programs, clippings, memorial notices) and photographs relating to N. N. Evreinov.


Sergeĭ Aleksandrovich Evreinow, born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1895, was the son of Alexander S. and Anna Evreinoff. He was an accomplished musician who ran a music distribution business and also worked in the insurance industry and as a financial writer. His own interests are reflected in his correspondence with Ivan Lapshin, Artur Lur'e (Arthur Lourie), and Vladimir Nikolaevich Skriabin, a descendant of the composer. Little further information is available about S. A. Evreinow; the correspondence indicates that he had probably arrived in America at a young age, since he could read N. N. Evreinov's letters in Russian but preferred to reply in French.

Evreinow married Frances Rhoades Tatnall in 1931 in Wilmington, Delaware. By 1933 the couple was living in New Haven, Connecticut, where Frances Evreinow worked in the Yale University Library. Sergeĭ Evreinow died in New Haven in 1960.

Sergeĭ Evreinow was a distant relative of dramatist Nikolaĭ Nikolaevich Evreinov.

N. N. EVREINOV (1879-1953)

Russian dramatist, theater director and historian Nikolaĭ Nikolaevich Evreinov was born February 13/25 1879. He studied music composition under Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov, as a photograph of the three, located among the papers, testifies. In 1907-1908, and again in 1911-1912, N. N. Evreinov directed seasons of antique plays at "Starinnyi teatr"; in 1908 he directed Gabriele d'Annunzio's Francesca di Rimini at V. F. Kommisarzhevskaia's theater, and from 1910 to 1916 he collaborated in the theater "Krivoe zerkalo". These productions not only made him known as a daring and brilliant director and playwright, but also gave him much material for his historical studies of the stage. His ideas of the "theatricalization of life" and the "monodrama" remain influential in modern drama, and some of his plays have been found to presage Expressionism and the theater of the absurd.

After some equivocation, in 1925 Evreinov decided to remain permanently outside Russia. His European renown allowed him to continue his tireless theatrical and publishing activities from Paris. During the 1930s, he worked on several motion pictures in France. In 1935, Evreinov was honored with an invitation to direct at the Paris National Theater. As his letters to S. A. Evreinow show, Evreinov and his wife, Anna Aleksandrovna Kashina-Evreinova, weathered the German occupation and post-war depression quite badly. Still, he continued to write and publish quite prolifically until his death on September 7, 1953.

Guide to the Sergei Evreinow Correspondence and Papers
Under Revision
by Robert Bird and 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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