Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Eduard Ivanovich Totleben Papers, 1850-1960, 1850-1960

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: BAR Ms Coll/Totleben
Bib ID 4078163 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Totleben, Ėduard Ivanovich, graf, 1818-1884 ; Totleben, Nikolaĭ Ėduardovich ; Mili︠u︡tin, Dmitriĭ Alekseevich, graf, 1816-1912 ; Alexander II, Emperor of Russia, 1818-1881
Title Eduard Ivanovich Totleben Papers, 1850-1960, 1850-1960
Physical Description 125 items (1 manuscript box; 3 oversized folders)
Language(s) Russian .

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



Collection arranged in four series.



Correspondence, manuscripts, documents and photographs of Count Eduard Ivanovich Totleben, Russian Fortification Engineer, General of Imperial Russian Army. The correspondence includes one letter from Tsar ́Alexander II, two from Dmitrii Alekseevich Miliutin, a draft of a letter Totleben sent to the Tsar, several invitations to official functions and a bound volume containing Totleben's letters to his wife written during the Crimean War. The manuscripts comprise nine volumes of Totleben's diary entries from the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. Among the documents are diplomas and awards received by Totleben and a copy of his service record. There are several photographs of Totleben and other officers, including N. K. Shilder. Also included are the memoirs of Eduard Totleben's son, Nikolai Eduardovich Totleben, titled Vospominaniia Fligel'-Adiutanta. Al. Savelʹev's book Istoricheskīĭ ocherk Inzhenernago upravlenīi︠a︡ v Rossīi with author's inscription to ̇Eduard Ivanovich Totleben ("Ego siiatel'stvu Eduardu Ivanovichu Totlebenu. Gluboko priznatelʹnyi avtor") was removed from the collection and cataloged.

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.

Preferred Citation

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

Related Materials

Savelʹev, Al. Istoricheskīĭ ocherk Inzhenernago upravlenīi︠a︡ v Rossīi. This book was removed from the collection and cataloged. https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/5090596

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers Accessioned 1965.

Papers Accessioned 1966.

Papers Processed 11/--/81.

Revision Description

07/30/2020 PDF finding aid converted to EAD and AS record updated by KSD. Bio note written by Tanya Chebotarev.

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:"
Memoirs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Personal letters Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Crimean War, 1853-1856 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Crimean War, 1853-1856--Campaigns--Russia Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Shilʹder, N. K. (Nikolaĭ Karlovich), 1842-1902 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Soviet Union -- History, Military -- 1801-1917 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical sketch

Count Eduard Ivanovich Totleben (1818-1884), Russian Fortification Engineer, General of Imperial Russian Army, was born on May 8(20), 1818 in Mitau, now Latvia. His parents were of Thuringian descent, which was Baltic German noble family. He graduated from the Military School of Engineering in St. Petersburg with a degree in Military Engineering and in 1836 joined Imperial Russian Army.

He participated in several important military campaigns but became the genius of defense during the Crimean war of 1853. On the outbreak of war between Russia and Turkey, he served as a junior field officer in the siege of Silistria and then was transferred to the Crimea. In Savastopol, Count Totleben advised to sunk the fleet, to barricade the mouth of the harbor and use the artillery that had belonged to the fleet. After that he became well known as the originator of the idea that "a fortress is to be considered not as a walled town but as an entrenched position, intimately connected with the offensive and defensive capacities of an army."

In 1860, Count Totleben was appointed assistant to Grand Duke Nicholas, future tsar of Russia and then became head of the Department of Engineering of the Defense Ministry of Russia with the full rank of general. In 1878 he headed siege of Plevna operations.

He died on June 19 (July 1), 1884 in Bad Soden, Germany and was buried in Sevastopol, Russia.