Columbia's Dynamic Archive of
Russian History and Culture
PHILIP E. MOSELY
Editor's Note: Although the other articles in this issue are related to
railways, for diversity of interest vi-eare including this article in which
Professor Mosely brings up to date the description of the riches of the
Russian Archive, which he first portrayed in the February, /pf j, issue
of this periodical.
How w as the great humanist, Maxim Ciorky, transformed
into a political partisan of the totalitarian wing of the
Russian revolutionary movement? Fascinating new light
will be thrown on his spiritual and literary evolution by the forth¬
coming publication of Letters of Gorky a?id Andreev, i8pp-ip!2
(Columbia University Press, 1958). Of the 101 letters published
here, 89 arc being published for the first time, thanks to a Columbia
initiative. A talented young writer, Leonid Andreev, whom Gorky
assisted in many ways and with whom he finally broke because of
their increasingly divergent political and litetary sympathies, was
the frequent recipient of Gorky's frank and often passionate com¬
ments on the Russian scene. Because the Columbia University
Libraries were enabled in 1951 to acquire this unique collection
and to safeguard it in Columbia's Archive of Russian and East
European History and Culture, students of Russian literature arc
now awaiting eagerly the publication of this important addition
to our understanding of Maxim Gotky.*
Our understanding of another great Russian wtiter and thinker,
* The difficult task of identifying the largely undated letters and preparing com¬
mentaries was carried our by Professor Peter Yershov at the initiati\e of Professor
Frnest j. Simmons; the translation was made by Miss L\dia Weston (Mrs.
Veselin Kesich), with assistance from the Research Program on the U.S.S.R.
(F,ast F.uropean Fund, Inc.); a grant from the Committee for the Promotion of
.\dvanecd Slavic Cultural Studies, Incorporated, made possible rhcir publicarion.