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Alexandre Polovtsoff papers

Call Number: MS 403

Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of notes, manuscripts and typescript copies of the writings of Alexandre Polovtsoff, between the time of his emigration from Russia in 1918 and his death. His autobiographical works contain reminiscences from his youth and accounts of his later official work. His book,Les trésors d'art en Russie sous le régime bolchéviste,published in Paris, 1919, and found here in manuscript form as "Le Bolchévisme et les palais imperiaux," describes his efforts to protect the imperial palaces of Russia immediately after the Revolution in 1917, before his emigration.

The bulk of the collection consists of various historical writings. The only one of these works to have been published isLes Favoris de Catherine la Grande,Paris, 1939; but the collection contains an extended study of Peter the Great, and articles, sketches, and notes on various Russian monarchs and other historical figures. There are also some translations: theJournal de Voyage en Russieof Don Francisco de Miranda (from Spanish), andThe Curse of Witof A. S. Griboedov (from Russian).


  • 1918-1934


Language of Materials

The materials are in Russian, French, and English.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited by Madame Sophie Polovtsoff, 1964.


1.5 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Notes, manuscripts, and transcript copies of Alexandre Polovtsoff's (1867-1934) writings after his emigration from Russia in 1918. Included are autobiographical materials, articles on Russian art, the imperial palaces, and Russian historical figures; also, translations of the Journal de Voyage en Russie by Francisco de Miranda, and The Curse of Wit by A. S. Griboedov.

Biographical / Historical

Born in St. Petersburg in 1867, Polovtsoff grew up amid the cultivated society of the era; as a young man, he served several years in the cavalry (1888-1892), afterwards entering the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where he held responsible positions and travelled extensively through Russia and the outlying provinces. He also served as a foreign diplomat, one of his more protracted assignments being a post with the Russian Embassy in Bombay, 1906-1909. He maintained an active interest in Russian art and engaged in such activities as the organization of the Exhibition of Russian Art in London in 1935, also writing several articles and speeches on the subject.

Guide to the Alexandre Polovtsoff Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Staff of Manuscripts and Archives
March 1983
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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