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Series I: Correspondence
Series II: Manuscripts
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in five series. Selected material cataloged; remainder arranged.
Scope and Contents
Correspondence, manuscripts, documents, photographs, subject files and printed material of Ariadna Tyrkova-Williams (1869-1962). The correspondence, spanning the period 1919-1960, consists of letters written by Tyrkova-Williams, primarily to her husband, Harold williams and her son, Arkadiĭ Borman, and letters received by her. There are one or a few letters each from Leonid Andreev, Boris Bugaev (Andrey Bely), Ivan Bunin, Zinaida Gippius, Jan Masaryk, H.G. Wells, and there are numerous letters from Samuel Hoare (Viscount Templewood), Anton Kartashev, Ekaterina Kuskova, Pavel Mili︠u︡kov, Sofii︠a︡ Panina, Mikhail Rostovt︠s︡ev, Boris Vysheslavt︠s︡ev, and from her husband. The manuscripts are chiefly the writings of Ariadna Tyrkova-Williams (memoirs, short articles, notes) and Harold Williams (novel, short articles). The photographs are primarily portraits of military and literary figures, and include a mid-19th century photograph of the poet Petr Vi︠a︡zemskiĭ. The subject files contain extensive material, dating from 1919-1921, on the Russian Liberation Committee located in London. Among the printed materials are many clippings, including of articles written by Tyrkova-Williams and Harold Williams.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
Permission of Katherine Lickwar required.
This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
Russkii Natsional'nyi Komitet Records, 1917-1960: Records of the Paris-based Russian National Committee, of which Tyrkova-Williams was a founder.
Pavel Nikolaevich Miliukov papers, 1879-1970: Miliukov was Tyrkova-Williams' colleague in journalism and the Kadet Party, and a frequent correspondent.
Existence and Location of Copies
Also available on microfilm: Correspondence with Maksim Gor'kii. On a reel of Gor'kii correspondence compiled from various BAR collections, BAR MN#: 89 - 2027. 1 reel (positive), 2 reels (negative). Call Number: Gorkii.
Also available on microfilm: Correspondence with Harold Williams (Box 8). BAR MN #2005-1036: Correspondence of 1917-1924. One reel (positive), one reel (negative). BAR MN #2005-1040: Correspondence of 1922-1923. One reel (positive), one reel (negative) BAR MN #2005-1037: Correspondence of 1924-1928. One reel (positive), one reel (negative). Some pages may be filmed out of sequence. Donor's permission required to access.
Also available on microfilm: Ariadna Tyrkova-Williams to Harold Williams: letters and telegrams (Box 11). BAR MN #2005-1039. One reel (positive), one reel (negative). Some pages may be filmed out of sequence. Donor's permission required to access.
Also available on microfilm: A. Tyrkova-Williams correspondence with various persons (Box 10). BAR MN #2005-1040. One reel (positive), one reel (negative). Some pages may be filmed out of sequence. Donor's permission required to access.
Also available on microfilm: Manuscripts by Ariadna Tyrkova-Williams (Box 18). BAR MN #2005-1037: Manuscripts, short articles. One reel (positive), one reel (negative). BAR MN #2005-1038: Reprints and drafts of short stories and articles. One reel (positive), one reel (negative). BAR MN #2005-1039: Short stories. One reel (positive), one reel (negative). Some pages may be filmed out of sequence. Donor's permission required to access.
Also available on microfilm: Harold Williams' "Ekaterinodar" manuscript (Box 22). BAR MN #2005-1039. One reel (positive), one reel (negative). Some pages may be out of sequence. Donor's permission required to access.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers Accessioned 1965.
Papers Accessioned 1968.
Papers Accessioned 1969.
Papers Accessioned 02/--/82.
2020-04-15 PDF finding aid converted to EAD by CLB and KSD.
History / Biographical Note
Ariadna Vladimirovna Tyrkova-Williams (Ариадна Владимировна Тыркова; 1869-1962), was a Russian émigré writer, journalist, and leader of the Russian Kadet Party (Konstitut︠s︡ionno-demokraticheskai︠a︡ partii︠a︡).
Ariadna Tyrkova was born in 1869 in St. Petersburg. She was a daughter of Vladimir Alekseevich Tyrkov, a justice of the peace, and Sofiia Karlovna Gaili. One of seven children, Tyrkova spent her early childhood on the family estate, "Vergezha," in Novgorod Province. While she was a secondary school student in St. Petersburg, her older brother was implicated in a plot to assassinate the tsar and was sentenced to 20 years of hard labor in Siberia. Expelled from the Obolenskaia gimnazia, Tyrkova finished her studies attending the "Vysshie зhenskie (Bestuzhevskie) kursy."
In 1890 Ariadna Tyrkova married Alfred Nikolaevich Borman, an engineer. They had two children, Arkadii and Sofiia, and after seven years of marriage they were divorced. It was after the divorce that Tyrkova began to earn her living as a writer and journalist.
In 1903 Tyrkova was arrested on the Russo-Finnish border for possession of the outlawed liberal journal Osvobozhdenie. Condemned to a prison term, she fled to Germany, residing chiefly in Stuttgart with the family of Petr Struve. In 1905 Tyrkova returned to St. Petersburg and to her career as a journalist, writing first for the newspaper Rus', and after 1911 for Russkaia molva. She became actively involved in the newly formed Kadet Party, served as a member of its Central Committee and headed its delegates to the Petrograd City Council.
It was at this time that she met and married the British journalist Harold Williams, a native of New Zealand. In 1918 she left with him for London where she helped to establish the London based Russian Liberation Committee and later the Paris centered Russian National Committee. She returned to the South of Russia briefly in 1919 accompanying her husband on assignment, but by the end of 1920 Harold and Ariadna Williams were permanently settled in London. Harold Williams was appointed foreign editor of the Times and Tyrkova-Williams resumed her writing career. She contributed articles to Vozrozhdenie, wrote an account of the first year of the Russian Revolution entitled From Liberty to Brest-Litovsk (London, 1919), collaborated with her husband on the novel Hosts of Darkness (London, 1921), and worked on the first of two volumes of The Life of Pushkin.
After the death of Harold Williams in November 1928, Tyrkova-Williams devoted her time to writing her husband's biography, which was published in 1935 under the title A Cheerful Giver. Obliged once again to earn her living as a writer, she contributed articles to the English press and wrote regularly for the Riga Russian language periodical Segodnia.
Tyrkova-Williams spent the war years in France with her son Arkadii and his family; it was at this time that she began writing her memoirs. In 1951 she emigrated together with her son's family to the United States, residing first in New York and then in Washington D.C., where she died in 1962 at the age of ninety-two.
Arkadii Borman, Aug. 31, 1891 – May 20, 1974