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   Viktor Gorenko Papers 1890s-1990s

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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.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

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, 1896-1976
Title:Viktor Gorenko Papers 1890s-1990s
Physical description:.42 linear ft. (1 document box)
Language(s):English and in Russian .
Access: This collection is located on-site. This collection has no restrictions.  More information »



The papers are arranged into three series:

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Scope and Content

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.

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Using the Collection


Access Restrictions

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

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.

Finding aid is available online.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers processed by Marlow Davis (GSAS), June 2017

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

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion June 14, 2017 Finding aid written in English. Original Russian titles are transliterated in accordance with Library of Congress accepted norms and regulations.
    2017-06-14 File created.
    2017-06-16 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi

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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.


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Akhmatova, Anna Andreevna, 1889-1966PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Gorenko, Andrei Andreevich, 1920-1976PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Gorenko, Viktor AndreevichPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Gumilev, L. N. (Lev Nikolaevich), 1912-1992PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Immigrants--United StatesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Poets, Russian--20th centuryPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Russian AmericansPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Russians--United StatesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
United States--Emigration and immigrationPortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Viktor Andreevich Gorenko was born on September 29, 1896, to a Russian noble family. His elder sister was the poet Anna Akhmatova (née 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.

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