Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Committee for the Education of Russian Youth in Exile Records, 1914-1939

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: BAR Ms Coll/CERYE
Bib ID 4078330 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Committee for the Education of Russian Youth in Exile ; Gano, Seth Thomas, 1879-1955 ; Ermolov, Boris Nikolaevich ; Ermolov, Dmitriĭ ; Somoff, Nadine ; Baruch, Bernard M. (Bernard Mannes), 1870-1965 ; Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931 ; Gabrilowitsch, Ossip, 1878-1936 ; Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964 ; Koussevitzky, Serge, 1874-1951 ; Maude, Aylmer, 1858-1938 ; Rachmaninoff, Sergei, 1873-1943 ; Lodge, Henry Cabot, Jr., 1902-1985
Title Committee for the Education of Russian Youth in Exile Records, 1914-1939
Physical Description 35000 items (72 boxes; 1 box of negatives on glass plates)
Language(s) Russian .

This collection is located on-site.



Scope and Content

This collection includes Papers of the Committee for the Education of Russian Youth in Exile, and its predecessors, Refugees in Russia and the Committee for the Rescue and Education of Russian Children, and Papers of the Committee' Director, Thomas Whittemore. The collection, which consists of correspondence, files on students supported by the Committee, financial records, photographs, manuscripts, documents, and printed materials, with the bulk dates 1914-1936.

Correspondence with contributors reflects a deep involvement of Massachusetts aristocracy in the relief work in Russia during World War I, Revolution of 1917, Civil War and exodus. Correspondence with organizations presents the Committee's close collaboration with various Relief organizations such as Red Cross, Zemgor in its relief efforts. Series of correspondence also includes letters of the Committee's representatives in Europe and schools where supported by the Committee students were studied. Cataloged materials include correspondence with prominent persons such as Bernard Baruch, T.A. Edison, Osip Gabrilovich, Herbert Hoover, Sergei Kusevitskii, Henry Cabot Lodge, Aylmer Maude, Sergei Rakhmaninov, and others. Manuscripts of famous Russian writer Evgenii Chirikov is listed under the Cataloged Manuscripts subseries. There are extensive files on students, chiefly college and technical students supported by the Committee in European and Middle Eastern institutions in the 1920s. Financial records are chiefly from the United States, France, and Bulgaria, and photographs from France and Bulgaria.

There are also extensive research materials on situations in Russia, Bulgaria, and Balkans in the period of 1919-1920s.

Thomas Whittemore Papers consist of materials related to the Committee's activity as well as to his professional archeological interests and activities, including materials on the Byzantine Institute, purchase of the Danilov's Monastery Bells and their transfer to the Harvard University, and financial aid to Mount Athos Monasteries.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located on-site.


Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Papers: Source of acquisition--Harvard College Library. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1960.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers Accessioned 1960.

Papers Accessioned 07/--/81.

Revision Description

2009-06-26 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

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:"
Emigration and immigration -- Soviet Union -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Emigration and immigration -- United States -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

The Committee for the Education of Russian Youth in Exile (then Refugees in Russia) was founded in 1916. For many years it was directed by Thomas Whittemore (1871-1950), an American archeologist and Byzantinist who began relief work with Galician war refugees in 1915.

From about 1919 on, the concern of the organization became chiefly educational. In 1919-1922, the name of the organization was the Committee for the Rescue and Education of Russian Children, and it subsequently became the Committee for the Education of Russian Youth in Exile.

The Committee, recognized by the Red Cross, was under the presidency of Elizabeth Cram; Seth T. Gano served as treasurer for more than two decades. The Committee was at its most active in the 1920s, and supported students in many European countries and Middle East. In 1924-25, for example, it supported about 400 students, chiefly in France, and also about 500 children in schools in Bulgaria. Its most important representatives in Europe were Nadezhda Somova and Boris Ermolov in France, Aleksandr and Dmitrii Ermolov in Bulgaria, and Aleksandr Brandt in Yougoslavia. The Committee went out of existence in 1931, although some of its functions continued after that point.