Archives & Manuscript Collections
for Eastern Europe & Russia

     Guiding/Scouting spread to many parts of the globe prior to the onset of the First World War. After the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Scouting was banned in the former Russian Empire. When the Soviet Union exerted its control within the countries behind the “Iron Curtain” after the end of the Second World War, Scouting was banned in those countries as well.
     For both the former Russian Empire, and the Soviet bloc countries, many of the persons associated with the Scouting movement found themselves in exile. As a result, there are several archival collections of material related to these early Scouting movements in the United States and Canada. Below is a list of some of these collections. If you know of an archive not listed below please contact us.


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  • American Relief Administration. Russian Operations. American Relief Administration. Russian Operations Records, 1919-1925. Hoover Institution Archives. Stanford, CA. Contents: Correspondence, telegrams, memoranda, reports, agreements, minutes, histories, financial records, lists, press summaries, and photographs, relating to American relief in the Soviet Union following the Russian Civil War, and food and public health problems, agriculture, economic conditions, transportation and communications, and political and social developments, in the Soviet Union. Several folders dealing with Russian Boy and Girl Scouts.
  • Czechoslovakina Scout Movement in Exile. University Archives - Special Collections Department, University of Nebraska. Lincoln, NE. Contents: NIDS microfiche no.3.146.7

  • Eckhardt, Tibor. Tibor Eckhardt Papers, 1921-1972. Hoover Institution Archives. Stanford, CA. Contents: Correspondence, writings, notes, memoranda, clippings and other printed matter, relating to twentieth-century Hungarian politics, anti-communist movements in the U.S., and Hungarian emigré politics. Several folders on: Magyar Cserkesz Szoevetseg (Hungarian Scouts Association), Magyar Cserkeszszoevetseg Nagytanacsa (General Council of the Hungarian Scout Association in Exile) and the Szechenyi Istvan Cserkesz Szabadegyetem (Stephen Szechenyi Boyscout Free University).
  • Kniazeff, Alexis N. Alex N. Kniazeff (Aleksei Nikolaevich Kniazev) Papers, 1911-1993. Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace; Hoover Institution Archives. Stanford, CA. Contents: Correspondence, minutes, financial records, bulletins, personal documents, printed matter, and photographs, relating to the Russian Boy Scouts movement abroad and to Russian émigré affairs. This collection consists of correspondence, clippings and other matter reflecting Kniazeff's involvement in various émigré organizations. He was a member of the San Francisco Trans-Baikal Cossacks' Stanitza and of the Harbin Polytechnic Alumni Association, and senior scoutmaster of the Natsional'naia Organizatsiia Russkikh Skautov (National Organization of Russian Scouts, or St. George's Knights, as it was incorporated in California). Most of the collection relates to the history of the Russian Boy Scout movement abroad, particularly for the period 1963-1975.
  • ———. Alexis N. Kniazeff Papers, 1877-1993 (BANC MSS 86/201 CZ). The Bancroft Library, University of California. Berkeley, CA. Contents: The Alexis N. Kniazeff Papers were purchased from Alex N. Kniazeff by The Bancroft Library on March 31, 1986, through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the Russian Emigre Project. Additions were received in 1991. Alexis Nicolas Kniazeff was born in Tsitsihar Station (Manchuria, China) on August 5, 1909. His father, Nikolai Ivanovich Kniazeff, an officer of the Russian Imperial Army Engineering Troops, and his mother, Nadiezhda Shabanova, a Red Cross nurse during the war, were married after the Russian-Japanese War in 1905 and decided to remain in the Far East. During the Civil War, his father was a commandant of the Manchuria station, and then an assistant commandant for the city of Harbin, where Alexis went to high school. He graduated from the American Methodist College in 1927. From 1927 to 1933, Alexis was a student of the Harbin Polytechnical Institute and, after completing a government project, was awarded a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. At the same time, he was graduated as a sergeant from an officer's training course. He completed additional training in the Military Academy of the Russian All Military Union, and graduated in 1934 as a Chief Cadet Officer. Due to the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, Kniazeff moved to Tientsin, North China, where he worked for a number of engineering companies. In 1945, Northern China was occupied by American Marines, who landed from Okinawa to stop the Soviet troops. Kniazeff was working with the Kailan Mining Company when communists surrounded Tientsin. An American consul general helped him to escape to Shanghai, where he stayed for one and a half months, with other refugees waiting for evacuation to the Phillipines. Kniazeff lived in Tubabao Camp (Philippines) until January 1951 and on January 25th, he arrived in San Francisco. From 1951 through 1974, Kniazeff worked for the following local companies: Pelton Water Wheel Co. (as a draftsman and laboratory technician, 1951-1952); Bechtel Corporation (as an instrumentation designer, 1955-1958); and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (1958-1974). He also served as a college instructor for the Army Language School-Presidio of Monterey from 1952-1955. Kniazeff has been a member of the Russian Boy Scouts Organization since 1922, and has served as Assistant Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster, Group Scoutmaster, Commissioner, and president in Harbin, Tientsin, Shanghai, and Tubabao, as well as in San Francisco. Since 1951, he has been part of St. George's Knights, Inc., the Russian Orthodox Church Scout Organization. Kniazeff has been a member of the Board of Directors of the All Cossack's Union of San Francisco, Inc. (for which he also served as Treasurer), and the Trans-Baikal Cossack's Stanitza of San Francisco. He was also a member of the Society of the Russian Veterans of World War I of San Francisco and of the Supervisory Committee of Harbin Polytechnic Institute Alumni Association. Alexis N. Kniazeff died in San Francisco in 1993.
  • Maciw, Christina, and Myron Momryk. Plast-Ukrainian Youth Association: National Archives of Canada, MG 28, V 107: finding aid, Occasional research reports; research report no. 31. Edmonton, Alta.: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, 1988.
  • Magyar Cserkséz Szövetség (Hungarian Scouts Association). Records, 1965 -. Hungarian American Studies Fund, The Immigration History Research Center, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN. Contents: In the late 1940s, the scouting movement in Hungary was disbanded and replaced by the "pioneer" movement, based on the Soviet model. In 1951, Ferenc Beodray and Ede Császár organized the first Hungarian Boy Scout Troop in the United States. In the same year, the International headquarters was moved from Germany to Garfield, New Jersey. There are troops and camps among Hungarian immigrants in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Australia. Records (1965- ) of the Magyar Cserkséz Szövetség (Hungarian Scouts Association) consist of correspondence and organizational material of the central administration and Troop No. 6 "Gabor Aron" (Passaic, New Jersey).
  • Nedzvetskii, Boris I. Boris I. Nedzvetskii Papers, 1904-1970. Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace; Hoover Institution Archives. Stanford, CA. Contents: This collection contains the papers of Boris I. Nedzvetskii, an émigré active in scouting and monarchist organizations. In the subject file, of particular interest are the records of the Natsional'naia organizatsiia russkikh razvedchikov in China and the materials relating to the internment of Russian refugees from China at the Tubabao camp in the Philippines. The latter materials include also a number of issues of rare Tubabao information bulletins. Detailed processing and preservation microfilming of these materials were made possible by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and by matching funds from the Hoover Institution and the Museum of Russian Culture. The grant also provides depositing a microfilm copy in the Hoover Institution Archives. The original materials are held in the Museum of Russian Culture, San Francisco, as its property. A transfer table of box and microfilm reel numbers is available at the Hoover Institution Archives.
  • Pantuhoff Sr., Col. Oleg. Russian Boy & Girl Scout Archive (1890-1980s). Private Collection: Alexey Zacharin. Contents: Russian scouting was founded in 1909 by Colonel Oleg Pantuhoff, Sr. (1882-1973), who, in 1919, became Chief Scout. Colonel Pantuhoff continued Russian scouting after 1920 from abroad in exile. Russian scouting is little known to non-Russians but it was an important factor in the pre-revolutionary social and educational fabric of Russia. After 1920, and then again after World War II, Russian scouting became a strong link among Russian emigre groups and displaced persons in some fourteen countries of their exile and continues today. Scouting was prohibited in the Soviet Union after 1923. The collection is essentially the accumulation of some seventy years of correspondence and Russian scout material by Colonel Pantuhoff and occupies 25 feet of shelf space. There are thousands of letters addressed to the founder from scoutmasters and leading Russians, including a number from the late Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of world scouting in 1908; photographs of Russian scouting, some as early as 1911; and pamphlets, books, manuals, newspapers, scout magazines and many clippings, all pertaining to Russian scouting and all in Russian. There is a small collection of Pantuhoff family letters, ca. 1890-1905, photographs and manuscripts relating to Colonel Pantuhoff book O dniakh bylykh. There is also a small collection of Colonel Pantuhoff's library: rare, old books on Russian history, Russian arts and crafts, and old engravings-10 engravings by Mikheev (1753) and old maps of St. Petersburg (1750-1820). There are also two separate collections: One consists of paintings and photographs of portraits done by Colonel Pantuhoff's Russian-born younger son, Igor Pantuhoff. A graduate of the National Academy in New York, he painted such personalities as Princess Grace of Monaco, Secretary and Mrs. James V. Forrestal, Laurence Rockefeller, Benson Ford, Madame T.V. Soong and others; The other ontains the biographical notes of Colonel John L. Bates, who was U.S. Liaison Officer with the Soviets in the U.S. Army Persian Gulf Command (1943-45), and at the sites of all three Big Three conferences-Teheran, Yalta, and Potsdam--and was liaison officer and interpreter for Generals Eisenhower and Clay in Berlin (1945-1947).
  • Polchaninov, R. V. R. V. Polchaninov Papers, 1941-2000. Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace; Hoover Institution Archives. Stanford, CA. Contents: Writings, correspondence, and printed matter, relating to the Russian scouting movement. Rostislav V. Polchaninov was a prominent figure in the Russian scouting movement in exile. This collection contains his correspondence, writings and subject files, mostly connected to the Russian Boy Scouts and collecting Russian stamps.
  • Polish Ambassador to Great Britain. Poland. Ambasada (Great Britain) Records, 1918-1945. Hoover Institution Archives. Stanford, CA. Contents: Poland and Great Britain established formal diplomatic relations in February 1919. During the decade that followed Poland was represented in London by an envoy in the rank of minister and, since November 1929, by an ambassador. The archives of the Polish embassy in Great Britain shared the turbulent history of Poland. A large portion of the embassy's archives was transferred to Warsaw during the 1930's. Part of this documentation was destroyed during the war. The surviving 22 linear meters are now held in the Contemporary Records Archives (Archiwum Akt Nowych) in Warsaw, and are described in a detailed published inventory. Most of the embassy archives remaining in London were evacuated to Canada and the United States during the early years of the war on orders of Count Edward Raczynski who, during 1941-1943, was both Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador in London. In July 1945 the United States and Great Britain abandoned their Polish ally, withdrawing recognition from the London-based Polish government in exile. To protect the archives from falling into the hands of the representatives of the Soviet-dominated government in Warsaw, Poland's Ambassador in Washington, Jan Ciechanowski, transferred all of the archival collections held in Washington to the Hoover Institution. The Ciechanowski deposit included the archives of the Polish embassies in Washington, Moscow-Kuibyshev, and London. The Hoover part of the archives of the Polish embassy in Great Britain occupies 133 manuscript boxes or about 17 linear meters. What remained in London, about 6 linear meters, has been preserved in the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum. The Polish Institute's holdings also include the papers of Edward Raczynski and Jan Ciechanowski. A couple of folders on the Polish Boy Scout Association is in the collection.
  • Russian Boy Scouts Abroad. Newspaper clippings, press releases, miscellanea. Radio Liberty. New York. Contents: Materials on Russian Boy Xcouts from the collection of Radio Liberty -- Radio Free Europe. In English and Russian. (OCLC: 30391089)
  • Vrangel', Mariia Dmitrievna. Baroness Mariia Dmitrievna Vrangel' Collection, 1915-1944. Hoover Institution Archives. Stanford, CA. Contents: This collection was created by Baroness Mariia Vrangel', mother of Baron Petr Nikolaevich Vrangel', last commander of the White Army, as a memorial to the cultural, academic and social contributions of the so-called first Russian emigration. This group was formed by individuals who emigrated from Russia after the defeat of the White Movement in the early 1920's and included many prominent representatives of the cultural and political elite of Imperial Russia. The collection incorporates a great variety of material, including biographical information which Baroness Vrangel' solicited from individuals as well as organizations active in the emigre community, personal correspondence, short biographies and autobiographies, memoirs, original and printed works as well as photographs. There is also a large volume of clippings from the contemporary emigre press. The collection consists of two parts, the first is arranged by the profession or field of activity of an individual or organization. This includes writers, artists and academics as well as social and professional organizations. The second is arranged by geographical location and includes material about emigre communities scattered around the globe. A files, containing several folders deal with the Russian Scouts (Razvedchiki).


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