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Boris Filippov papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 334

Scope and Contents

The Boris Filippov Papers, 1880-2015, contain business and personal correspondence, writings of Boris Filippov, project files for books Filippov edited, writings by others, personal papers, research files, and book cover art for a number of Filippov editions. Also included are writings, research files, and other papers by or related to the life and work of Eugenia Filipoff, an essayist, cultural critic, and Boris's wife.


  • 1880 - 2015


Language of Materials

Materials in Russian, English and French.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Box 21: Restricted fragile material. May only be consulted with permission of the appropriate curator. Preservation photocopies have been substituted in the main files for general reference use.

Box 42 (audiocassettes): Restricted fragile material. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Boris Filippov 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

1969 Acquisition: Gift of Boris Filippov, 1969.

August 2017 Acquisition: Gift of the Estate of Eugenia Filipoff, 2017.


Arranged into two groupings: I. 1969 Acquisition, 1908-1969. II. August 2017 Acquisition, 1880-2015.


30.58 Linear Feet (42 boxes)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The papers consist of Filippov's correspondence with Russian émigré literary figures and scholars, typescripts of Filippov's writings (poetry, prose, critical essays), materials for works edited by Filippov as well as writings by others not included in works edited by Filippov; and artwork by Serge Hollerbach for books edited by Filippov.

BORIS FILIPPOV (1905-1991)

Boris Filippov was born Boris Andreevich Filistinskii in Stavropol', in the Caucasus, on 6 August 1905. In the early 1920s, Filippov was active in experimental schools and educational societies, under the tutelage of accomplished scholars. Filippov later credited one of these, the philosopher Sergei TSvetkov, with having had the greatest impact on his own thought.

Filippov received his post-secondary education first at the Leningrad Institute of Modern Oriental Languages (1924-28), and then at the Evening Institute of Industrial Construction (1928-33). He became an accountant in this field and then worked as an instructor (Dozent). Throughout this period Filippov was an active participant in religious-philosophical circles in Leningrad; in 1925 he organized a group under the leadership of philosopher Sergei Askol'dov. Filippov's career as a architectural engineer, however, was hampered by a series of arrests for tied to his membership in unofficial associations. His first arrest occurred in spring of 1927. A subsequent arrest led to his incarceration in remote labor camps from 1936-41.

Upon his release in 1941, Filippov was exiled to Novgorod, where he was reunited with Sergei Askol'dov, and also met such prominent pre-revolutionary figures as Tat'iana and Natal'ia Gippius, sisters of the Symbolist poet Zinaida Gippius. When the invading German army occupied Novgorod soon thereafter, Filippov, Askol'dov and other exiled intellectuals took an active part in city administration and published in pro-Nazi Russian-language publications. His actions, perceived by some as collaboration, became a source of controversy in the post-war years. In 1943 Filippov followed the retreating Germans to Pskov, Riga, and then on to Germany, where he lived for a time in a displaced persons' camp near Munich. At this time he was married to the poet Irina Bushman.

In 1950 Filippov moved to New York, marrying Ol'ga Anstei in 1951. When this marriage failed in 1954 Filippov settled in Washington D. C., where he remained for the rest of his life. He divorced Ol'ga Anstei in 1965. Soon thereafter he married Evgeniia Vladimirovna Zhiglevich, who became a partner in his publishing enterprises. Boris Filippov died in Washington, D.C. on May 3, 1991.

Filippov's first known publications were in Russian-language newspapers under Nazi occupation. After the war, while living in a DP camp near Munich, Filippov became co-editor of the literary and political journal Grani and contributed to other émigré publications. After moving to the United States, Filippov continued to write poetry, stories and critical articles, which were collected into a series of books, including: Kresty i perekrestki (1957) Veter Skifii (1959), Nepogod' (1960), Skvoz' tuchi (1960), Bremia vremeni (1961), Pyl'noe solntse (1961), Polustanki (1962), Rubezhi (1962), Muzykal'naia shkatulka (1963), Stynushchaia vechnost' (1964), Kochev'ia (1964), Zhivoe proshloe (1965), Tuskloe okontse (1967) and Veter svezheet (1969). He also worked on a freelance basis as a construction consultant and researcher of Soviet architecture.

Gradually, however, Filippov's own career as a writer was overshadowed by his tireless editorial and publishing activity. Beginning with the 1961 collection Sovetskaia potaennaia muza, Filippov set about making available the works of writers who could not be published in the Soviet Union, from Dostoevsky's "U Tikhona," omitted from the novel Besy (Demons), to the poetry of Silver Age poets and émigré literature. To this purpose, Filippov founded the Inter-Language Literary Associates, which used money from cultural organizations such as the Tower Foundation to arrange the publication, under varying auspices, of this wide range of literature. Together with Gleb Struve, professor of Russian literature at the University of California-Berkeley, Filippov edited and published the collected works of Anna Akhmatova, Nikolai Gumilev, Nikolai Kliuev, Osip Mandel'shtam, Boris Pasternak, Maksimilian Voloshin, and Nikolai Zabolotskii. It was in part due to Filippov's initiative that similar editions of Viacheslav Ivanov and Evgenii Zamiatin also appeared in the 1970s. Filippov was instrumental in publishing the works of the Soviet dissidents IUlii Daniel' (pseudonym: Nikolai Arzhak) and Andrei Siniavskii (pseudonym: Abram Terts), whose 1965 trial is well documented in Filippov's papers and correspondence.

In 1968 Filippov came under intense criticism by Soviet publications and some émigré groups for his anti-Soviet activities, which were tied to his wartime collaboration with the Germans. It was hinted that Filippov's publications were funded by the CIA, USIA, or other US intelligence organizations. At the close of 1968, Filippov resigned his directorship of Inter-Language Literary Associates, ostensibly to deflect undue attention from its contributions to the anti-Soviet cause. The publishing house promptly fell into neglect. Thereafter, he continued his writing, editing and publishing with the London-based Overseas Publications Interchange.

For Filippov's account of his childhood and episodes of his later life, see his memoirs, Vsplyvshee v pamiati (London: Overseas Publications Interchange Ltd., 1990.) For a detailed listing of works issued with Filippov's participation, either as author, editor or introducer, see Vsplyvshee v pamiati (385-9).

Processing Information

Over the course of his life, Boris Filippov's last name was spelled multiple ways. The most common spellings--Filippov and Filipoff--are both used in this finding aid.

Guide to the Boris Filippov Papers
by Timothy G. Young, Robert Bird, and Beinecke Staff
February 1998
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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