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At a Glance
The papers are arranged in seven series.
The papers consist of correspondence, manuscripts, documents, subject files, newspaper clippings, printed materials, photographs, and drawings. Most of the correspondence concerns Bilyi's activities as Ataman, and the journal "Kazak"; other correspondence is personal or relates to the activities of anti-Communist groups (such as the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations - ABN). The manuscripts include articles, reminiscences, drafts of appeals and proclamations, and speeches mostly concerning the Cossack movement, Cossack history, and the anti-Communist movement. The documents mostly concern KNOD and related organizations for the period ca.1955-1970; a few relate to the Cossacks in 1919-1945. The subject files contain newspaper clippings, printed materials, notes, and correspondence relating to KNOD, ABN, "Kazak", Ukrainian-Cossack relations, and the Vlasov Movement. The newspaper clippings are mostly from Russian and Ukrainian emigre publications. Printed materials include a set of "Kazak" and ephemera of KNOD, ABN, and similar organizations. There are a few photographs showing Bilyi in Cossack dress and also various Cossack emigre organization activities. The paintings and drawings include portraits of Bilyi and his wife, Tatiana Iurievna Bilyi, in national dress (his Cossack, hers Czech), other Cossack leaders, Cossack heraldry, and a map of "Cossackia."
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. 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.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Ignat Arkhipovich Bilyi Papers; Box and Folder; Bakhmeteff Archive, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers Accessioned 1978.
Papers Processed 10/--/78.
07/22/2020 PDF finding aid converted to EAD and AS record updated, KSD.
History / Biographical Note
Ignat Arkhipovich Bilyi (1887-1973), Supreme Ataman of the Cossacks in Exile, was born on January 1, 1887 in a family of poor cossacks in Kuban region of Russian Empire. As many Kuban cossacks, he considered himself to be ethnic Ukrainian and was a fervent supporter of political unity between Ukraine and Kuban region.
In 1918, he became an active member of the government of the Kuban Peoples Republic, which was an anti-Bolshevik state established by Kuban cossacks and comprised the territory of the modern-day Kuban region in Russia. Before the republic was defeated by Bolsheviks, he was appointed its ambassador to Ukraine and Poland.
He never came back home to Kuban and lived first in Poland and then in the Czech republic where in 1922 he founded the first Cossack newspaper abroad entitled Voice of Cossacks. In 1923, he graduated from the Politechnic Institute in Prague and soon after started the Free Cossacks, a new magazine published twice a month in Ukrainian and Russian.
In the U.S. where Ignat Bilyi immigrated in 1958, he was very active in many anti-Communist groups, namely ABN (Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations ) and KNOD (Cossack National Liberation Movement in the U.S.).
He died on March 28, 1973 and has been buried at Saint Vladimir Russian Cemetery in Jackson, New Jersey.