Nina Berberova collection
Scope and Contents
The Nina Berberova Collection contains correspondence, writings, printed material, photographs, audiovisual recordings and electronic files by and relating to Nina Berberova. The material was collected and donated by Murl Barker and John Malmstad and mostly relates to the later decades of Berberova's life.
Series I was collected and donated by Berberova's former student Murl Barker, whom she met in the early 1960s at Yale University. They continued a close friendship until Berberova's death in 1993. Barker's collection includes correspondence, writings, printed material, photographs, audiovisual recordings and electronic files documenting Berberova's career, especially after her emigration to the United States in 1950.
Series II, donated by John Malmstad, consists chiefly of letters from Berberova to Malmstad.
Many of the relationships, writings and events documented in this collection are also documented in the Nina Berberova Papers, GEN MSS 182. Barker's letters to Berberova are in her papers, while Berberova's letters to Barker are in this collection. Berberova's papers contain material related to many of her publications; additional typescripts and holograph notes are in this collection. This collection contains two holograph journals and one photocopy of a journal that are not in Berberova's papers.
- circa 1900-2001 1968-1993
- Majority of material found within 1968 - 1993
Language of Materials
The collection is in Russian and English and includes translations of some letters from Russian to English.
Other storage formats: electronic files.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Box 18: Restricted fragile material. Reference copies are available for electronic documents. Consult Access Services for further information. For other materials, reference surrogates have been substituted in the main files. For further information consult the appropriate curator.
Boxes 11-14 (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Existence and Location of Copies
Audiocassettes have been reformatted as digital files.
Conditions Governing Use
The Nina Berberova Collection 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 of John Malmstad, 2004 and Murl Barker, 2005.
The Nina Berberova Collection is organized into two series: Murl Barker Collection of Nina Berberova and John Malmstad Collection of Nina Berberova.
8.27 Linear Feet (18 boxes)
The Nina Berberova Collection contains correspondence, writings, printed material, photographs, audiovisual recordings and electronic files by and relating to Nina Berberova, especially the latter decades of her life. The material was collected and donated by Murl Barker and John Malmstad.
Nina Nikolaevna Berberova (1901-1993)
Nina Nikolaevna Berberova was born on August 8, 1901 (July 26, 1901, old style) in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her autobiography, Kursiv moi (first published in English as The Italics are Mine), details her life as an emigre and writer up to approximately 1957.
After living in Paris for twenty five years, Berberova emigrated to the United States in 1950. She began her academic career in 1958 at Yale University. She continued to write while she was teaching, publishing several povesti, critical articles and some poetry. She left Yale in 1963 for Princeton University, where she taught until her retirement in 1971. For Berberova "retirement" meant visiting as a lecturer at Cornell, Columbia, Bryn Mawr and the University of Pennsylvania, teaching during the summer in the Russian School at Middlebury College, and writing. During these years she was awarded honorary degrees from Glasboro State College (1980), Middlebury College (1983), and Yale University (1992).
In 1991 Berberova moved from Princeton, New Jersey to Philadelphia. She lived there until she died September 27, 1993 from complications from a fall.
Readers may consult Nina Berberova Papers, GEN MSS 182 for further description of Nina Berberova's life and work.
- Guide to the Nina Berberova Collection
- Under Revision
- by Lisa Conathan
- 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
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.