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Correspondence of Boris Elkin

 Single Item
MS. Russian d. 13
Held at the Weston Library

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Correspondence between Elkin, based in London, and prominent Russian emigrés discussing recent and contemporary politics and history, with particular emphasis on Russia since 1894. Very often, key publications on the subject are discussed, notably the P.N. Miliukov's Vospominania (memoirs). A friend and admirer of this statesman and liberal historian, Elkin in his editorial role offers constructive criticism. He also mentions, although without any detail, the role of Russian freemasonry in the October Revolution and beyond. The letters briefly touch Jewish issues. The last group of letters represent Elkin’s quest to recover records of interviews with Aleksander Ivanovich Guchkov (1862-1936).

In Russian Cyrillic, except 3 letters in the last group, which are in English. The groups follow the order of the earliest dates, in chronological order within each group. Apart from a handful of manuscript letters, these are predominantly typescript copies. At least three letters (from B. Elkin to M. Aldanov dated 24 May 1945, from B. Elkin to V. Maklakov dated 17 July 1948 and From V. Maklakov to B. Elkin dated 30 Mar. 1956) are incomplete. Comprises:

  1. (fol. 1-40) 21 letters to and from Boris Elkin and Aleksei Aleksandrovich Goldenweiser (1890-1979), Russian Jewish lawyer and public figure, 1943-70. A name or names on fol. 1 have been carefully cut from the document.
  2. (fol. 41-4) 2 letters to Mark Aleksandrovich Aldanov (1886-1957), writer and chemist, 1945
  3. (fol. 45-74) 15 letters to and from Boris Elkin and Vasilii Alekseevich Maklakov (1881-1956), ambassador of the Provincial Government to France, 1917-1924, historian, member of the Special Advisory Committee formed in order to establish Russian Archive in New York, 1945-56; including (fol. 74) excerpt in Elkin's hand of a letter from V. Maklakov to G. Borskii, n.d.
  4. (fol. 75-83) 5 letters to Ekaterina Dmitrievna Kuskova-Prokopovich (1869-1958), member of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, wife of S.N. Prokopovich, Russian economist, Minister of Food in the Provincial Government, 1945-1957
  5. (fol. 84-116) 14 letters to Lydia Iosifovna Dan, sister of Jules Martov (leader of the Mensheviks) and wife of Fedor Dan (member of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party), 1955-1963
  6. (fol. 117-132) 10 letters to and from diplomatic officials concerning the whereabouts of Aleksander Ivanovich Guchkov's documents, 1955-1956


  • Creation: 1943-70


132 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Russian d. 13, fols. 1-2].

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MS. Russian d. 13

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 9940


Correspondence of Boris Elkin

Biographical / Historical

Boris Isaakovich Elkin, Russian Jewish lawyer, editor and writer; born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1887 and died in London in 1972. He studied law at the University of St. Petersburg. He emigrated to Germany in 1919, and subsequently to France and Great Britain. Whilst practising law, he developed his interests in history and politics. He was one of the founders of Russian publication in Berlin Slovo. Together with M.M. Karpovich, he edited P.N. Miliukov’s Vospominania (New York, 1955). With N.E. Andreevich, he prepared for publication 2nd part of the 1st vol. of Ocherki po istorii russkoi kultury by P.N. Miliukov and G.V. Adamovich’s book Vasilii Alekseevich Maklakov: politik, iurist, chelovek (Paris, 1959). Towards the end of his life, he wrote many articles on Russian social life, modern law and Russian freemasonry. A believer in social evolution rather than revolution, he often criticised Russian national and international policies.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Given by Aleksander Elkin (1909-2001), son of Boris and Anna Elkin, 1994.

Related Materials

Further Elkin papers are MSS Russian d. 3-12, described in Mary Clapinson and T. D. Rogers, Summary catalogue of post-medieval western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford: acquisitions 1916-1975 (Oxford, 1991), vol. II, p.1118, and in more detail by A.B. Rogachevskii ('Boris El'kin i ego oksfordskii arkhiv', in Evrei v kul'ture Russkogo Zarubezh'ia , ed. by M.A. Parkhomovskii, vol.5 (Jerusalem, 1996), pp. 222-243) and by A.P. Stephanski ( Otechestvennye archivy, no. 6, 1994).

Correspondence of Boris Elkin
EAD version 2018
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom