Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Viktor Gorenko Papers, 1890s-1990s

Summary Information


The papers are comprised of documents, photographs, correspondence and an audio recording relating to the life of Viktor Gorenko and the literary legacy of his elder sister, Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966). They document the life in emigration of Viktor Gorenko and his naturalization as a US citizen.

At a Glance

Call No.: BA#0556
Bib ID 12573187 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Gorenko, Viktor Andreevich
Title Viktor Gorenko Papers, 1890s-1990s
Physical Description .42 linear feet (1 document box)
Language(s) English , Russian .

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



The papers are arranged into three series.



The bulk of the collection consists of documents detailing the emigration and naturalization of Viktor Gorenko. These include a Chinese-issued stateless person passport, letters of reference and employment, and affidavits of support. A large part of the collection consists of newspaper clippings concerning Anna Akhmatova, including obituaries and reviews of translations of her work into English.

The correspondence from Akhmatova herself is limited to brief affectionate notes on the reverse of photographs and empty envelopes addressed to Gorenko. Other correspondence includes a postcard from Lev Nikolaevich Gumilev (Akhmatova's son), a letter from Andrei Andreevich Gorenko (nephew of Viktor Gorenko and Akhmatova) and letters from American academics to Gorenko's widow Catherine.

For preservation purposes, the items in this collection have been placed in plastic document holders and acid-free paper.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Chair of the Bakhmeteff Committee. The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Viktor Gorenko Papers; Box and Folder; Bakhmeteff Archive, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.


No additions are expected

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed by Marlow Davis (GSAS), June 2017.

Finding aid written by Marlow Davis (GSAS), June 2017.

Revision Description

2017-06-14 File created.

2017-06-16 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Akhmatova, Anna Andreevna, 1889-1966 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Gorenko, Andrei Andreevich, 1920-1976 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Gorenko, Viktor Andreevich Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Gumilev, L. N (Lev Nikolaevich), 1912-1992 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Immigrants -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Poets, Russian -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Russian Americans Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Russians -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
United States -- Emigration and immigration Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Viktor Andreevich Gorenko was born on September 29, 1896, to a Russian noble family. His elder sister was the poet Anna Akhmatova (nee Gorenko). Gorenko graduated from the Naval Cadet Corps in Petrograd in July 1916 and served in the Russian Imperial Black Sea Fleet until the October 1917 Revolution. He fled to the Russian Far East and then to Shanghai, China, where he remained until 1946. Gorenko was admitted to the United States on a 45-day visa in January, 1947. When deportation proceedings were opened against him the following year, he presented a number of documents attesting to his hardworking character and anti-communist sentiments in his defense. Gorenko became a naturalized US citizen in 1959. He received at least two letters from Akhmatova in Leningrad, as well as signed photographs of the author, in the early 1960s. Viktor Gorenko died in New York on February 4, 1976.