Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Leonide Massine Papers, 1914-1963

Summary Information


The bulk of collection consists mostly of letters to a well known Russian ballet dancer and choreographer Leonide Massine (Leonid Fedorovich Miasin) from prominent Russian émigré dancers, composers, writers and artists, such as Alexandre Benois, Naum Gabo, Vernon Duke, Wassily Kandinsky, Serge Lifar, Nikolai Minskii, Evgenii Zamiatin and others. Also includes Massine's lecture, notes for various ballet productions, documents and financial matters. Related to several BAR collections: Dobuzhinsky Papers, Zamiatin Papers, and Shervashidze Papers.

At a Glance

Call No.: BA#0611
Bib ID 12954458 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Massine, Leonide, 1896-1979
Title Leonide Massine Papers, 1914-1963
Physical Description 0.5 linear feet (1 manuscript box)
Language(s) Russian , English , French .

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located on-site.




The bulk of the collection comprises Leonide Massine's personal, family and professional correspondence with individuals and organizations. There are also some legal documents, Massine's professional notes on various ballet productions, handwritten text of his lecture on dance composition delivered in London in July 1932, notes with schedules, cast drafts, financial matters. The collection includes letters from many prominent Russian émigré dancers, composers, writers and artists, such as Alexandre Benois, Naum Gabo, Vernon Duke, Wassily Kandinsky, Nikolai Legat, Serge Lifar, Nikolai Minskii, Nicolas Nabokov, Zinaida Vengerova, Evgenii Zamiatin and others. There is an extensive correspondence between Massine's and his parents and sibblings.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located on-site.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Leonide Massine papers; Box and Folder; Bakhmeteff Archive, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Custodial History

Donnor received this collection in about 1980 from Mary Ann De Vlieg, Massine's assistant during the last few years of his life. She collected the materials for her research project and later gave them to the donnor asking for help with the Russian. Mary Ann De Vlieg didn't complete her project and suggested the donnor to donate the materials to a library.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Collection-level record describing unprocessed material made public in summer 2018 as part of the Hidden Collections initiative.

The collection was processed and finding aid written by Katia Davidenko in September 2019.

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:"
Bakst, Lʹeon, 1866-1924 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ballet dancers -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ballet russes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Basil, W. de Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Benois, Alexandre, 1870-1960 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Dance Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Delarova, Eugenia Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Dousse, Mara Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Drizen, Nikolaĭ Vasilévich, baron, 1868- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Duke, Vernon, 1903-1969 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Eglevsky, André Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Gabo, Naum, 1890-1977 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Grigorʹev, S. L. (Sergeĭ Leonidovich), 1883-1968 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Legat, Nikolaĭ Gustavovich, 1869-1937 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lifar, Serge, 1905-1986 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lopokova, Lydia, 1892-1981 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Massine, Leonide, 1896-1979 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Minskiĭ, N. M. (Nikolaĭ Maksimovich), 1855-1937 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Nabokov, Nicolas, 1903-1978 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Nouvel, Walter Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Russian ballet -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Semenov, M. N. (Mikhail Nikolaevich), 1873-1952 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Trefilova, Vera, 1875-1943 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Vengerova, Z. A. (Zinaida Aḟanasʹevna), 1867-1941 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Woizikowski, Léon Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Zami︠a︡tin, Evgeniĭ Ivanovich, 1884-1937 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Léonide Massine (Leonid Fedorovich Miasin), 1896-1979, Russian dancer and choreographer, one of the most important figures in 20th-century dance. Studied acting and dance at Moscow's Imperial Theatre School, was a principal dancer and choreographer for Diaghilev's Ballet Russe and for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. In the 1940s Massine worked in the United States. During the late 1940s and the 1950s, Massine spent most of his time in Europe working with many European ballet theaters and companies. He also choreographed ballets for films, including iconic "The Red Shoes"(1948) and "Tales of Hoffman"(1951), in which he also appeared, and Honeymoon(1958). Massine died in Cologne, West Germany, on March 16, 1979.