Guide to the Ivan Elagin Papers, 1937-1990 UA.90.F85

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ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Ivan Elagin Papers
Creator
Elagin, Ivan, 1918-1987
Collection Number
UA.90.F85
Date
1937-1990
Extent
4.1 linear feet (9 boxes)
Abstract
This is a collection of the papers of Ivan Elagin, a poet and professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh mostly dating from 1960 to his death in 1987. Elagin was one of the most prominent of the Russian émigré poets of the mid twentieth century. The collection consists of personal files of his life and work and correspondence files with other literary figures.

Preferred Citation

Ivan Elagin Papers, UA.90.F85, University Archives, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Biography

Ivan Elagin was born Ivan Venediktovich Matveiev in Vladivostok, Russia on December 1, 1918. His father was the Futurist poet Venedikt Mart. His grandfather was N.P. Matveiev, a publisher and journalist. Elagin began his academic career studying Medicine at the Soviet Institute of Higher Learning in Kiev in the 1930’s. In 1941 his studies were interrupted by war and he served as a medic in the military. Following World War II, he lived in several displaced persons camps around Europe and wrote his first volume of poetry, Po doroge ottuda; stikhi published in Munich. His poems focused on the theme of the estranged and bewildered émigré. In 1950 he immigrated to the United States where he continued his education and his career as a poet and translator. All of his literary work was written under the name Elagin and published in Russian.

Elagin’s education in the U.S. was at Columbia University and then New York University where he completed his Ph.D. in Slavic Languages. In 1970 he accepted an appointment as an Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh and was made full professor in 1978. He also taught at the prestigious summer program in Russian language and culture at Middlebury College in Vermont.

Elagin had married Olga Anstey on June 17, 1938. They had two children: Inna who was born on October 8, 1943 and died of pneumonia in January of 1944 and Helen (Yelena) who was born on January 8, 1945. Elagin and Olga divorced in 1950 after their move to New York. He then married Irena Ivanovna Danngeizer on April 19, 1958. Their son Sergei was born in 1967. Ivan Elagin died of pancreatic cancer on February 8, 1987 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Scope and Content Notes

The collection is divided into four series. First are personal papers and letters. The second and largest series of the collection is the correspondence files. These are letters from poets, artists and figures connected to Russian literature and arts. The third series is literary works. These are some original works, translations, the Laguna Beach poetry reading and part of Elagin’s dissertation. In addition there are several audio and video tapes. The final series contains class lecture notes from Elagin’s classes at the University of Pittsburgh and Middlebury College. Elagin’s book collection also came to the Archives and contains 105 books, pamphlets and journal issues that are inscribed by their authors. Topically these books are mostly poetry.

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Arrangement

Series I. Personal files and letters

Series II. Letters from authors and poets

Series III. Literary works

Series IV. Instruction materials

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, June 2009

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

The University of Pittsburgh holds the property rights to the material in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by the original creator/author. Researchers are therefore advised to follow the regulations set forth in the U.S. Copyright Code when publishing, quoting, or reproducing material from this collection without the consent of the creator/author or that go beyond what is allowed by fair use.

Acquisition Information

The Elagin Papers were acquired by the University Library System from Elagin’s widow, Irene Matveiev, in 1992. The book collection was acquired from his daughter, Helen Matveiev, also in 1992. The book collection consisted of mostly books of poetry from other Russian poets and all are inscribed by the authors. Both collections were deposited in the Special Collections Department in Hillman Library in 1991. The Papers and the book collection were transferred to the University Archives by Charles Aston in 2008.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Marianne Kasica in 2009 from an inventory created by Karen Rondestvedt. Assistance with the processing of the papers was given by Faye Leibowitz and Hannah Bergman. Michael Lowry assisted with the book collection.

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Related Materials

Separated Material

The book collection was separated, cataloged and sent to library remote storage. A list of the books is available at the Archives Reading Room. Two folders, “Orlov, Aleksei” and “TSGALI (Central Government Archive of Literature and the Arts in the USSR)” were found to be empty at the time of processing and were removed from the collection.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • University of Pittsburgh. -- Faculty

Genre(s)

  • Correspondence
  • Lecture notes
  • Manuscripts (Document genre)

Personal Name(s)

  • Elagin, Ivan, 1918-1987

Subject(s)

  • Faculty papers
  • Poets, Russian -- United States
  • Russian poetry -- 20th century
  • Russian-American poetry -- 20th century
  • University of Pittsburgh

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Previous Citation

Ivan Elagin Papers, UA.90.F85, University Archives, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Personal Files and letters, 1938-1947 

Scope and Content Notes

This series consists of correspondence, clippings and files that are principally about Elagin’s family and personal life.

  BoxFolder
Invitations to readings and lectures, undated 101-02
  Folder
Photocopies of personal documents, undated 3
  Folder
Photocopies of perquisition minutes of the Kiev NKVD, undated 4
  Folder
Letters to Elagin during his illness, undated 5
  Folder
Letters to Irena after Elagin’s death, undated 6
  Folder
Articles about Elagin after his death, undated 07-08
  Folder
Curriculum Vitae, undated 9
  Folder
Letters from Olga Anstey to Bella Kaznachey, 1937-1941 10
  Folder
Newspaper clippings, undated 11-13
  Folder
Displaced Persons Camp in Schleissheim, Germany, (photograph) 1947 14
  Folder
West Point, undated 15
  Folder
Poetry Society of America, undated 16
  Folder
Spiritual Needs Committee, undated 17

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Series  II. Letters from authors, artists and others, undated 

Scope and Content Notes

This is a collection of letters, postcards, essays and drawings from various authors such as Evtushenko, Filipov and Solzhenitsyn and artists such as Hollerbach and Bongart. Many of these people were also émigrés.

  BoxFolder
Adamovich, Georgii, undated 21
  Folder
Alekseev, Anatolii, undated 2
  Folder
Artemov, Aleksandr, undated 3
  Folder
Belavina, Nonna, undated 4
  Folder
Bobritskii, Yurii, undated 5
  Folder
Berberova, Nina, undated 6
  Folder
Berezov, Rodion (Akul’shin), undated 7
  Folder
Bobyshev, Dimitrii, undated 8
  Folder
Bogachinskaia, Inna, undated 9
  Folder
Bodryi, Nikolai (Matveiev, Elagin's father's brother), undated 10
  Folder
Bol'shukhin, Yurii, undated 11
  Folder
Bongart, Sergei, undated 12
  Folder
Brodsky, Joseph (Brodskii, Iosif ), undated 13
  Folder
Bunin, Ivan (letters to Olga Anstey) , undated 14
  Folder
Burkin, Ivan, undated 15
  Folder
Burliuk, David (Includes issues of “Color and Rhyme”), undated 16-17
  Folder
Chinnov, Igor, undated 18
  Folder
Chirkov, Aleksandr , undated 19
  Folder
Duke, Vernon (Vladimir Dukelskii), undated 20
  Folder
Eberhart, Richard, undated 21
  Folder
Ėtkind, E. G. (Efim Grigorʹevich), undated 22
  Folder
Yevtushenko, Yevgeny Aleksandrovich, undated 23
  Folder
Fesenko, Tatiana, undated 24
  Folder
Filippov, Boris Andreevich, undated 25
  Folder
Gendlin, Leonard, undated 26
  Folder
Gorbanevskaia, Natalia, undated 27
  Folder
Gul, Roman (Goul), undated 28
  Folder
Green, Militsa, undated 29
  Folder
Guerra, Rene, undated 30
  Folder
Hinrichs, Jan Paul, undated 31
  Folder
Hollerbach, Serge (Includes drafts of drawings for book), undated 32
  Folder
Joffe, Yuri (Ioffe, Yurii), undated 33
  Folder
Ivanov, Sergei, undated 34
  Folder
Ivask, IUrii, undated 35
  Folder
Klenovskii, Dimitrii, undated 36
  Folder
Klionsky, Marc, undated 37
  Folder
Korzhavin, Naum, undated 38
  Folder
Kreps, Mikhail, undated 39
  Folder
Ktorova, Alla, undated 40
  Folder
Kublanovskiĭ, IUrii, undated 41
  Folder
Kuznetsova, Galina, undated 42
  Folder
Klimov, Evgenii, undated 43
  Folder
Legkaia, Iraida (Pushkarev), undated 44
  Folder
Liubin, Evgenii, undated 45
  Folder
Losev, Aleksei, undated 46
  Folder
Maksimov, Sergei, undated 47
  Folder
Maltseva, Nadezhda, undated 48
  Folder
Mantulin, Valentin N., undated 49
  Folder
Maramzin, Vladimir Rafailovich, undated 50
  Folder
Margolins, The (collective letter from Tel-Aviv), undated 51
  Folder
Markov, Vladimir (includes his "Nightmare Cantata"), undated 52
  Folder
Mechik, Donat, undated 53
  Folder
Morrison, R.H., undated 54
  Folder
Morshen, Nikolai (Marchenko), undated 55
  BoxFolder
Nartsissov, Boris, undated 31
  Folder
Odoevtseva, Irina Vladimirovna, undated 2
  Folder
Panin, Gennadii, undated 3
  Folder
Rannit, Aleksis, undated 4
  Folder
Rachko, Marina , undated 5
  Folder
Rzhevskiĭ, Leonid Denisovich, undated 6
  Folder
Sapozhnikova, Inna, undated 7
  Folder
Savolainen, Luidmila (Savin, Ivan), undated 8
  Folder
Sedykh, Andrei, undated 9
  Folder
Sechkarev, V., undated 10
  Folder
Sinkevich, Valentina, undated 11
  Folder
Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isaevich, undated 12
  Folder
Stepun, Fedor, undated 13
  Folder
Tarasenkov, Dimitrii, undated 14
  Folder
Ulianov, Nikolai, undated 15
  Folder
Wierzyński, Kazimierz (Vezhinskii), undated 16
  Folder
Vitkovskiĭ, Evgeniĭ Vladimirovich, undated 17
  Folder
Vladimirova, Liia, undated 18
  Folder
Voznesenskaia, Yulya, undated 19
  Folder
Wolfe, Bertram D., undated 20
  Folder
Yablonskii, Andrei, undated 21
  Folder
IUpp, Mikhail, undated 22
  Folder
Popovskiĭ, Mark Aleksandrovich, undated 23
  Folder
Pomeransev, K. (Pomerantsev), undated 24
  Folder
Gorbanevskaia Natalia, undated 25
  Folder
Ioann, |c Archbishop of San Francisco and Western United States (Dimitri Alexeevich Shakhovskoi, undated 26
  Folder
Turasova, Natalia (Tarassow), undated 27
  Folder
Betaki, Vasilii , undated 28
  Folder
Voznesensky, Andre, undated 29

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Series  III. Literary Works, undated 

Scope and Content Notes

This is a collection of original and translations of Elagin’s work and his translations of other people’s works. Many of these were collected by Irena Matveiev and made part of this collection of papers. Included here is Boris Pasternak’s "Ya propel kak zver' v zagone" Elagin's translation back to Russian from an English translation done before the Russian original was published in the West. There are also two audiotapes titled "Elagin Program, for Russian SVC" and "Russian: Elagin Poetry, for: Russian, SVC" and three videotapes: "Ivan Elagin Reading His Poetry," "Ivan Elagin Reads His Poetry: Introduced by John Glad," and "Excerpts from John Glad's Interviews."

  Folder
Handwritten Draft of Last Poem, undated 30
  Folder
Part of Elagin’s dissertation, essay on poetry in translation, undated 31
  Folder
Elagin’s translation of Reavy’s poems, undated 32
  Folder
Pasternak, Boris, poem and translation, undated 33
  Folder
Parody, undated 34
  Folder
Scrapbooks of articles, photographs and news clippings including Laguna Beach, undated 35-36
  Folder
Laguna Beach show and American film actors, undated 37
  BoxFolder
American Poets in Elagin's Translations, undated 401-06
  Folder
Elagin’s poems translated by Helen Matveiev and others, undated 07-08
  BoxFolder
Audiotapes, undated 501-02
  Folder
Videotapes, undated 03-05
Ivan Elagin Reads His Poetry: Introduced by John Glad, undated ("Ivan Elagin Reads His Poetry: Introduced by John Glad," online pending)
  Folder
CD from Primorye Krai Public Library Literary Evening 12

An event in Vladivostok commemorating Elagin and a reading of his poetry.

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Series  IV. Instructional Materials, undated 

Scope and Content Notes

This series is comprised primarily of typed index cards containing information about Russian literary figures and Russian literature. The index cards relate to course lectures Elagin presented at the University of Pittsburgh and the Middlebury College Summer Russian Language Program. The Russian literary figures covered in these cards include: Ostrovskii, Gogol, Lermontov, Zhukovskii, Nekrasov, Pushkin, Blok, Esenin, Mayakovskii, Sukhovo-Kobylin, Chekhov and Tolstoy. Some files relate to literary concepts such as criticism, satire and drama. In addition to index cards, the series includes a file of typescript and manuscript sheets relating to Russian literature. These include part of a paper by IU. Mann about Gogol’s “Mervye dushy (i.e. Dead souls), course outlines for Middlebury College Russian literature courses, a copy of a bibliography or library reserve list by Jane Harris on “Approaches to literary criticism and methodology,” and other documents. Most of the materials in these files are in Russian, with a very small number in English.

  Folder
Instructional Materials typescript sheets, undated 6
  BoxFolder
Ostrovsky, undated 61
  Folder
Gogol, undated 2
  Folder
Lermontov, Zhukocskii, Romanticism, undated 3
  BoxFolder
Nekrasov, Evgenii Onegin, undated 71
  Folder
Pushkin, undated 2
  Folder
Literature in Movies, undated 3
  BoxFolder
Folklore, Autobiography, undated 81
  Folder
Critiques, undated 2
  BoxFolder
Satire, undated 91
  Folder
Blok and friends (Esenin and Mayakovskii), undated 2
  Folder
Drama, Chekov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Middlebury College, undated 3

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