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At a Glance
Scope and Contents
Correspondence, documents, photographs, and printed materials of astronomer Leonid Leonidovich Andrenko, chiefly concerning Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovskii, Russian pioneer in the fields of rocketry and aerodynamics.
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Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Leonid Leonidovich Andrenko Papers on K. E. Tsiolkovskii; Box and Folder; Bakhmeteff Archive, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Papers: Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--1952.
Papers: Source of acquisition--Leonid L. Andrenko. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1957.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers Accessioned 1952.
Papers Accessioned 1957.
Papers Cataloged 05/--/79.
Papers Revised 02/--/82.
2020-01-20 PDF removed. kws
2021-05-12 Authorities revised and updated; notes revised and expanded. ksd
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Leonid Leonidovich Andrenko (1903-1966), astronomer, philosopher, writer, sculptor. The spheres of his scientific activity are multifaceted include the field of observational and planetary astronomy, meteorological research, popularization of astronomical science in a broad sense. Initially, Andrenko was interested in a wide range of problems of world and natural sciences, from theoretical substantiation of the origin of life in the Universe to solving a number of cosmogonic problems, even the formation of theoretical foundations for space travel. As a researcher-inventor, applying his own developments, he tried to improve optical astronomical instruments, state optical systems. Author of more than 700 publications, among which a significant share of popular science, collaborating with leading European and American (including South American) astronomical studios. He also left a legacy as an artist: he took part in the artistic design of one of the 3 volumes of Morozov's publication "Christ" (1928); the author (artist and sculptor) of the bust of Camille Flammarion (1929); made sketch drawings for the creation of a bust of K. E. Tsiolkovsky (1932); author of numerous astronomical maps, globes, a series of watercolor drawings of landscapes of Ukraine and Germany.
Leonid Andrenko was born on March 31, 1903 in the city of Zolochiv, Kharkiv province. After graduating from the First Kharkiv Male Gymnasium in 1920, in the same year he entered the Astronomical Department of the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics of Kharkiv University; from 1921 to 1926 Andrenko was a student of the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics, later - the Faculty of Geology and Geography of the Kharkiv Institute of Public Education. On November 3, 1924, student Andrenko began scientific cooperation through letters with revolutionary academician M. O. Morozov (1854-1946). In the fall of 1925, Morozov invited Andrenko to work at the P. F. Lesgaft Scientific Institute (in Leningrad); in 1926-1931 Andrenko worked as a researcher at the astronomical department of this institution. In 1926 Andrenko was elected a full member of the French Astronomical Society (Societe Astronomique de France). In 1927, he was awarded the commemorative gold and silver medals of the French Astronomical Society (for popularizing the ideas of the Society and actively collecting membership fees). Andrenko was also invited to cooperate with the administration of the International Institute of Metaphysics in Paris (Institut Metapsychique International de Paris) and the Association Internationale Biocosmique (Paris), where he was elected a permanent member in the same period. In March 1928 Andrenko initiated scientific correspondence with K. E. Tsiolkovsky. This creative tandem of correspondents quickly turns into a mutual "exchange" of scientific ideas and mutual assistance in their implementation. Andrenko became the most devoted member of the Leningrad initiative group of the Committee for the establishment of the International Institute of Interplanetary Communications in Paris (1928).
In February 1931, the Andrenko was arrested "for participating in a counter-revolutionary group at the Rossiiskoe obschestvo liubitelei mirovedeniia"; according to his own opinion, for disseminating the philosophical ideas of the French astronomer Camille Flammarion and literary scientific work abroad. In the materials of the criminal case, the prosecution specifies: for active participation in the circle, whose activities were limited to the study of "clairvoyance", "transformation" and "mind reading". Andrenko was sentenced to 3 years in Eastern Siberia. During his exile in Irkutsk, Andrenko continued astronomical research at the Irkutsk Hydrometeorological Institute; he was released early in November 1931 at the request of Academician Morozov. Only in September 1989 he was posthumously rehabilitated.
In 1932-1935, while in Kharkiv, he widely promoted astronomical topics through lectures and publications, including radio lectures on the All-Ukrainian Radio; for a short time he held the position of junior researcher-computer scientist at the Kharkiv Astronomical Observatory. From the fall of 1936 to 1942 he was the director of the Second Astronomical Observatory in Odesa. In 1936 he was elected an Honorary Member of the Stuttgart Observatory (Germany). In 1937, for his successful activity in the field of astronomical science, Andrenko was awarded the Honorary Diploma of the Greek Astronomical Society, the award of the Czech Astronomical Society (Prague), the French "Order of Academic Palms" (as an "officer of the Academy").
In the pre-war years in his own country, he was humiliated by fellow astronomers for his "scientific views" and "original inventions", even with attempts to completely ban his activities as pseudoscientific. During the events of World War II, Andrenko implemented his own scientific program of observations, heading a number of private astronomical stations: in 1942-1943 in Krynica and Krakow (Poland); in 1944 - Lviv, Warsaw, Czestochowa (Poland) and Plauen (Germany); in 1945 - in Sigmaringen (Germany) During 1946-1950 he continued his research work at private astronomical stations in Berlin and Mechenin.
In March 1951, L.L. Andrenko emigrated to the United States of America. Until the end of the 1950s, he was an employee of a private astronomical observatory at Columbia University in New York; he devoted himself to literary work, but as a science fiction writer.
Leonid Leonidovich died on November 25, 1966 at the Manhattan State Hospital; he was buried at the Russian Orthodox cemetery of the New Virgin Monastery in Nanuet, near New York.
(Source of biographical information: Marat Balyshev. To the history of astronomy in Kharkiv: Leonid Leonidovich Andrenko. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339435725_Do_istorii_Harkivskoi_astronomii_Leonid_Leonidovic_Andrenko_Materiali_16-i_Vseukrainskoi_naukovoi_konferencii_Aktualni_pitanna_istorii_nauki_i_tehniki_Vidp_red_LOGriffin_Kiiv_Centr_pam'atkoznavstva_NA)