Alexis Babine at the Library of Congress
Eugene G. Pivovarov,
This web site is devoted to Alexis V. Babine, Russian scholar
and long-time librarian at the Library of Congress. The site consists
of three parts: a biography of Babine, a bibliography of
his works and sources in the Library of Congress on the history
of its Russian collection, and data taken
from Babine's notebooks that show price changes in a Russian province
during the years of the Revolution and Civil War.
Alexis V. Babine (Aleksei Vasilievich Babin) was born into a
family of provincial merchants in the small Russian town of Elatma,
in the Ryazan' region, on March 22, 1866. For two years he studed
at a university in St. Petersburg. Wanting to continue his education
abroad, Babine went to Riga where he found a job as a stoker on
a German ship and left for the United States in 1889. In 1891-1896
he studied American history and worked as a cataloger at the Cornell
University Library. After a short trip to Paris he was appointed
to the position of librarian at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Two years later Babine moved to Stanford where he was not only
an assistant librarian but also a teacher of bibliography and Russian
1902 Babine came to the Library of Congress where he took the position
of "the specialist in charge of the Slavic literature." In 1903-1906
he negotiated the purchase of the large Russian language collection
of a wealthy Siberian merchant, Genadii Yudin. He not only made
all the necessary arrangements, transferring 80,000 volumes from
Russia to the Library of Congress, but also published a bilingual
description of the collection, translated all the correspondence
between the Librarian of Congress and Mr. Yudin, and began to work
on a catalog of this collection.
In 1910 Babine decided to return to Russia where he published
the first popular history of the United States in Russian and worked
as an inspector of public schools in Kharkov and Vologda provinces.
After the February Revolution Babine was appointed to Saratov University,
where he worked as an instructor of English, a librarian, and a
member of the American Relief Administration (ARA) during the years
of the Civil War. In 1922 Babine emigrated to the United States
From 1927 until his death in 1930 he served as the assistant head
of the Slavic Section of the Library of Congress.
Herbert Putnam, the Librarian of the Congress, characterized him
as "scholarly, methodic, industrious, punctilious, and versed in
the necessary technique; familiar also with administration, and
linking it, his professional qualifications for the post were in
that field very unusual."
Babine's collection can be found in the Manuscript Division of
the Library of Congress. In this collection are materials on the
history of the Russian Revolution, the Civil War, emigration from
the Russian Empire, as well as materials about the history of the
Library of Congress and its European Division.
Alexis V. Babine: a Bibliography, shows the holdings of
the Library of Congress--books, papers, and microform -- by and
about Alexis V. Babine. Additional information about Babine and
his activities can be found in the archives of Stanford, Cornell,
and Indiana universities.
The material in the index is divided into three chapters: Books
and Articles, the Babine Papers, and Related Archival Materials
(Collections) in the Library of Congress. The last chapter is divided
into two parts: archival materials available in the Manuscript
Reading Room and files kept in the European Reading Room. The description
of the Babine Papers is based on the register prepared by Ahmed-Jahmal
Johnson in 2000.
All titles and author names are arranged by main entry in alphabetic
sequence and include Library of Congress call numbers. Russian-language
entries are transliterated using the Library of Congress system.
Items are searchable by subject, title, author, call number, and
place of publication in the Library's online catalog (http://catalog.loc.gov).
Books and Articles
Babine, Alexis Vasil'evich. A Russian Civil War Diary: Alexis
Babine in Saratov, 1917-1922. Edited by Donald J. Raleigh.
Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1988. DK265.7 .B3 1988 Diary
written by Babine during the Civil War in Russia.
Babine, Alexis Vasil'evich. Istoriia Sievero Amerikanskikh
Soedinennykh Shtatov. St. Peterburg: Tip. Trenke i Fiusno,
1912. Microfilm 19577 E History of the United States written
Babine, Alexis Vasil'evich. The Yudin Library, Krasnoiarsk
(Eastern Siberia). Washington, D.C.: [Press of Judd and Detweiler]
1905. Z997.Y85 B Babine's description of the Yudin Library.
Babine, Alexis Vasil'evich. The Yudin Library, Krasnoiarsk
(Eastern Siberia). Washington, D.C.: [Press of Judd and Detweiler],
1905. Microfilm 96/10003 [Law Library]
Brasch, Frederick E. A. V. Babine. Washington, D.C., 1930. Z720.B18 B7 Short biography of Babine.
Eighteenth Century Russian Law Collection. Washington,
D.C.: Library of Congress Preservation Microfilming Program, 1996-2000. Microfilm 96/10003 Introductory reel includes Yudin Library, Krasnoiarsk (Eastern Siberia) by Babine.
Kasinec, Edward. Slavic Books and Bookmen: Papers and Essays. New York: Russica Publishers, 1984. Z2483 .K37 1984 Short biography of Babine.
Kraus, David H. "The Slavic Collections of the United States Library
of Congress." UNESCO Journal of Information, Librarianship,
and Archive Administration, 1, No.3, . Description
of the development of the library's Slavic collections.
Lowell, Mildred (Hawksworth). Indiana University Libraries,
1829-1942. [n.p., n.d.]. Microfilm 5564 Z Thesis about
the development of the Indiana University libraries, where Babine
served as a librarian.
Palmieri, Aurelio. Rarità Bibliografiche Russe Nella Biblioteca
del Congresso in Washington... Rome. Tipografia pontificia
nell'Istituto Pio IX. 1917. Z733.U63 Y85 Babine's successor on the purchase and development of the Yudin Collection.
Player, Cyril Arthur. How an American Librarian Reached into
the Heart of Siberia and Plucked 80,000 Volumes. Detroit,
1920. Z733.U63 Y9 Article about purchasing the Yudin Collection
Polovnikova, I. A. Molodye gody IUdina. Moscow: Reklamnoe
agentstvo Ekskliuziv, 1996. Z989.Y83 P65 1996 Book by Yudin's
descendant about Yudin's youth.
Raleigh, Donald J. Revolution on the Volga: 1917 in Saratov. Ithaca:
Cornell University Press, 1986. DK265.8.S37 R34 Book by the editor of Babine's diaries about the revolution in Saratov.
Report of the Librarian of Congress... 1907, pp. 20-23; 1927,
p. 13; 1929, pp. 109, 340; 1930, pp. 7,19. Entries concerning Babine's career and the development of the Slavic holdings at the Library of Congress.
Shindina, A. B., comp. IUdinskoe sobranie Krasnoiarskoi kraevoi
nauchnoi biblioteki: katalog. Krasnoiarsk: Krasnoiarskaia gos. kraevaia universal'naia nauch. biblioteka im. V.I. Lenina,
1991-1993. Z939.K943 S547 1991 Catalog of the Yudin Collection in the Krasnoiarsk Scientific Regional Library, with a preface
concerning its history.
Sokolova, N. M., comp. Gennadii Vasil'evich Iudin: bibliograficheskii
ukazatel'. Krasnoiarsk: Krasnoiarskaia gos. kraevaia universal'naia
nauch. biblioteka im. V.I. Lenina, 1990. Z989.Y83 S65 1990 Bibliographical
index of books about the Yudin Collection.
Tuneeff, D. D. G. V. Yudin: Biographical Sketch in Commemoration
of the 25th Anniversary of the Yudin Collection, Library of Congress.
[Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 1931.] Z989.Y83 T85 Biographical
sketch of Yudin, written by Babine's colleague.
Volkonskii, Sergiei. My Reminiscences.Translated by A.E.
Chamot. London: Hutchinson & Co. . DK254.V6 A3 English
translation of the reminiscences of Prince Sergei Volkonskii about
his trip to the United States and Cornell University.
Zalewski, Wojciech. Collectors and Collections of Slavica at
Stanford University: a Contribution to the History of American Academic Libraries. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University
Libraries, 1985. DJK36.U6 Z35 1985 Book about the development of the Slavic collections at Stanford University. Contains information
about Babine's service at the Stanford University Library.
Archival Manuscript Materials Collections
Manuscript Reading Room
1) Babine, Alexis Vasilevich, 1866-1930. Papers
of Alexis Vasilevich Babine, 1866-1930.
2) Ashley, Frederick William, 1863-1942. Papers of Frederick
William Ashley, 1822-1941 (bulk 1913-1926) 2 v., 1 container.
0.4 linear feet., MMC-3665. Diary and scrapbook containing
handwritten entries, chronologies, clippings, obituaries, and
memorabilia relating to Ashley's career at the Library of Congress
and to his personal life.
3) Ashley, Frederick William, 1863-1942. History of the Library
of Congress, 1939.   The Records of the Library of Congress. Description
of the development of the Library of Congress. Contains entries
about the Slavic Divison and a biography of Babine.
4) The Records of the Library of Congress.
a) Central file (Putnam-Macleish). Container 117.
b) Kennan, George, 1902-1937. Container 162.
Correspondence between George Kennan and Herbert Putnam concerning
the purchase of the Yudin Collection.
c) Slavic Division, 1907-1935. Container 210.
Correspondence of the Slavic Division (1907-1935).
d) Perlstein, Izrael, 1927-1940. Container 232.
Correspondence with I. Perlstein, a book dealer, concerning
book purchases for the Library of Congress.
e) Simikhovich, Vladimir G., (1904-1930). Container 365.
Correspondence between representatives of the Library of Congress
and Simikhovich, a Russian professor, concerning Slavic holdings
at the library.
f) USSR, Embassy of, 1902-42. Container 729.
Correspondence and memoranda from the Russian and Soviet Embassies
g) Yudin Collection, (1903-1947). Col 2.
Correspondence between Yudin, Herbert Putnam, and Babine concerning
the purchase, shipment, and binding of the Yudin Collection.
5) Tuneeff, D. D.
Papers, 1931-1932. 2 items. MMC-2864.
Papers of Babine's colleague .
6) Putnam, Herbert, 1861-1955.
Papers of Herbert Putnam, 1783-1958 (bulk 1899-1939). 8,000 items.
34 containers. ML128.M8 H37 1990.
Family correspondence. The papers relate largely to Putnam's
family and personal life. Include letters to his wife, Charlotte
Elizabeth (Munroe) Putnam, about his trip to Europe in 1903 with
7) Vinokouroff, Michael Z., 1894-1983.
Papers of Michael Z. Vinokouroff, 1851-1930. 1 microfilm reel.
Papers of Babine's colleague. Selections (1927-1930) from a bound
volume, relating to the acquisition of the Alaskan Russian Orthodox
Church records by the Library of Congress.
European Reading Room
1) Kapusta, Alvin.
The Yudin Collection. The Uncatalogued Remnant. Analysis and
Recommendations. European Division Files. The History of the
2) Kapusta, Alvin.
The History of Slavica at the Library of Congress (1800-1985).
European Division Files. The History of the Russian Collection.
3) Karlovich, Robert A.
Izrael Perlstein. Talk Delivered by Robert A. Karlovich at the
AAASS Panel on Eminent Slavic-American Bookmen, November 3, 1984. European
Division Files. The History of the Russian Collection.
4) Kraus, David H.
"The Development of the Russian Collections at the Library of Congress before
World War II." Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American
Library Association, Slavic and East European Section, Chicago, Illinois, July
7, 1985: European Division Files. The History of the Russian Collection.
A Register of the Papers
of Alexis V. Babine in the Library of Congress.
Prepared by Ahmed-Jahmal Johnson, 2000
Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Collection summary: Papers of Alexis Vasilevich
Span Dates: 1895-1953
Creator: Babine, Alexis Vasilevich, 1866-1930
Size: 250 items; 5 containers plus 1 oversize;
2 linear feet
Repository: Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. MMC-3239
Abstract: Librarian, teacher, and author. Correspondence;
lectures and articles concerning the Bolsheviks; Russian ms. of
Babine's history of the United States; notes and typescript of
a journal (1917-1922) recording his experience during the Russian
revolution as superintendent of schools for the Vologda Territory,
as instructor at the University of Saratov, and assistant to the
American mission in Moscow; his translations of short stories;
notes and notebooks; diplomas and other certificates; and passports.
Includes ms. and typewritten copies of a play entitled We the People
by Harold Anson. Most of material in English.
Provenance: The papers of Alexis Vasilevich Babine
(1866-1930), librarian, teacher, and author, were acquired by the
Library of Congress as a bequest from Babine, 1931-1954.
Copyright Status: The status of the copyright
on the unpublished writings of Alexis Vasilievich Babine is governed
by the Copyright Law of the United States. (Title 17, United StatesC.).
Preferred citation: Researchers wishing to cite
this collection should include the following information: container
number, Papers of Alexis Vasilevich Babine, Manuscript Division,
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
- Certificates and diplomas, 1885, 1913-1922, n.d.
Journal, 1917-1922 (3 folders)
- Miscellany, 1922-1928, 1953, n.d. See also Oversize Notebooks,
n.d. (3 folders)
"The American Revolution, 1899
- "The Bolsheviks in Russia," n.d. (2 folders)
"The Brigand," n.d.
"Discovery of America," 1901
"Lenin, Trotski and Co.," n.d.
"New Plymouth, Mass.," 1896
"Periodic Oscillations of the Rapidity," n.d.
- Russia, lecture, n.d.
"Russian University and the Bolsheviks, n.d.
- Short stories, n.d. (3 folders)
- "Story of a Young Love;" n.d.
- "Tonya's Brigand," n.d.
- Unidentified, n.d.
- United States, colonial history
- Connecticut, 1896
- Maryland, 1896
- New York, 1897
- New England, 1896
- Pennsylvania, 1897
- Virginia, 1895
- "We the People,"; n.d. (5 folders)
- OV 1 Miscellany, 1953, n.d. (container 2)