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Archives & Special Collections

Archives and special collections deposited at the Geneva Graduate Institute

Boris Souvarine Papers

Putilov Plant, Petrograd (July 1920)

The Boris Souvarine Papers are a selection of the personal archives and collections of the French communist, Boris Souvarine (1895-1984), who bequeathed them to the Geneva Graduate Institute along with a part of his library.

Souvarine was a a communist activist, journalist and historian. A prominent figure in the historiography of the Soviet Union, he published the first biography of Stalin in 1935. A member of the Third Communist International from 1921 to 1924, he was one of the founders of the French Communist Party, before being expelled from it in 1924. Souvarine was a pioneer in the study of social movements and communism.

The Institute's collection (13,5 linear metres) includes some of Souvarine’s notebooks, typed and handwritten working notes, correspondence, press cuttings, source files on East-West relations, autographs of personalities from the 1871 Paris Commune, such as Louise Michel, and photographs.

Soviet Russia Photos Exhibition

The Library is participating in the Flickr project “The Commons”, involving libraries and archives from all around the world. The photographs from the fonds can be seen in the Library’s virtual exhibition: “Soviet Russia Photos”. They mainly relate to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and to the Second Congress of the Third Communist International (July-August 1920). One can also find portraits of Bolshevik leaders, among them, Lenin, Trotsky, Zinoviev, who were met by Boris Souvarine during his mandate to the Communist International in the early 1920s.

This exhibition was designed with the scientific collaboration of Honorary Professor Andre Liebich. The project was coordinated by Marie Caillot (archivist paleographer) and implemented jointly by Giselle Castelo (librarian), Marie Caillot and Edgardo Amato (photographs).

The Library also wishes to express special thanks to Professor Joseph C. Bradley (UTULSA), Jean-François Fayet (UNIL), Barbara Martin (Geneva Graduate Institute) and  Professor Lewis H. Siegelbaum (MSU) for their contributions.

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