The Nikolai Yantchevsky and His Contemporaries Collection was purchased by the CRC from bookseller I. Lempert in Paris in 1995.

Apparently, this collection had been gathered in Paris after World War II. For the most part it consists of the correspondence, diaries and manuscripts of the prominent Russian émigré theatrical critic Nikolai Yantchevsky. After World War II he was mistakenly accused of collaborating with the Germans and spent several years in French prison. In the middle of the 1950s Yantchevsky initiated a project of documenting Russian émigré life in exile. He envisioned a series of scholarly publications devoted to the different aspects of Russian life in exile – art, aviation, ballet, opera, etc. He planned to publish his own manuscript entitled Russkaia opera v izgnanii. Unfortunately, this project had never been completed.

The collection also includes correspondence of Nikolai Evreinov, Georgii Meyer, Vladimir Unkovskii, manuscripts of Nikolai Evreinov, Valentin Gorianskii, Konstantin Korovin, and others. A separate group of material represents a collection of historical Russian and French autographs collected by Yantchevsky in Paris. It also includes a drawing by Fiodor Shaliapin, Jr., calling cards, certificates, clippings, postcards, photographs and stamps.

RELATED MATERIAL: The Amherst Center for Russian Culture has information about Nikolai Yantchevsky’s contemporaries beyond that found in this collection. Sources include: Z. Gippius and D. Merezhkovsky Papers, The Il’ja Halperin-Kaminsky and His Contemporaries Collection and others. Contact the Amherst Center for Russian Culture for further information.