crown CU Home > Libraries Home
Columbia University Libraries Archival CollectionsRare Book & Manuscript Library Collections

   Leopold Haimson Papers, 1890s-1999

Download and Print CitationContact Bookmark Share

Preferred Citation

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

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information


The papers comprise correspondence, documents, institutional files, writings, lectures, memoirs, research notes, photographs, third party materials, printed materials, periodicals, microfilms, audio material, and digital files accrued by historian and professor emeritus of Columbia University, Leopold H. Haimson, during his professional life.

At a Glance

Bib ID:6909647 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Haimson, Leopold H. 1927-
Title:Leopold Haimson Papers, 1890s-1999
Physical description:88 linear ft. (164 document boxes, 4 flat boxes; 2 record storage boxes).
Language(s):English and Russian .
Access: This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. This collection has no restrictions.  More information »



In sixteen series:

Return to top


Scope and Content

The bulk of the collection consists of Leopold H.Haimson correspondence (including correspondence with Isaiah Berlin, letters from Joseph Brodsky, and correspondence with prominent historians and scholars), writings by Haimson and other authors, manuscripts, research and archival materials from Soviet archives and libraries, printed materials, and institutional documents from the History Department of Columbia University, the Harriman Institute, and the History Department of the University of Chicago. There are also documents, memoirs, microfilms, audio materials, digital files, and photographs.

The collection documents the variety of Leopold Haimson's professional activity as a professor of Russian history, scholar, editor, conductor of various collaborative projects, organizer of and participant in numerous colloquia and conferences, faculty member at the University of Chicago and Columbia University, and one of the key figure in the development of Soviet-American academic relationships in his field.

It ought to be specially noted that Haimson Papers include extensive files on the history of Menshevism - a collection of materials known as the Archive on the History of Menshevism. The establishment of this archive was one of the main goals of the Inter-University Project on the History of the Menshevik Movement. It contains extensive collection of documents and newspapers of the Menshevik Party, Mensheviks' memoirs and case studies, correspondence, records and transcripts of interviews conducted by associates of the Project with survivors of the Party, transcripts of seminar discussions of various of the Project studies, biographical and bibliographical data, periodicals, and editorial materials of the "Sotsialisticheskii vestnik".

There are also research materials on the late imperial Russian social history, including Haimson's extensive collection of microfilms, photocopied newspapers, provincial census reports, rare journals, bibliographic files, and his own data files. The collection also contains Haimson's professional papers, which include correspondence as well as materials from his many trips to Russia, beginning in 1956, and which are a great source of information about the academic life of the 1950s and 1960s. In addition, there are institutional materials relating to the history of the Harriman Institute and to Soviet/Russian studies in general. Among other materials, included here are institutional records and correspondence of a broad sort.

Audio materials, oversize items, and digital files were removed from their original location and organized in series based on their format. References are provided.

Some correspondence and printed materials remain with materials to which they relate, and can be found in various series. References are provided.

Microfilms and periodicals and serial publications from the collection are in a process of been cataloged by individual title, as of the February 2009.

Leopold Haimson's rich collection of microfilms contains research materials, such as books and periodicals, and archival documents on Russian social history from various archives and libraries. It also includes microfilms belonging to the Menshevik project, which contain a variety of materials related to the history of the Menshevik movement: periodicals, books, archival materials from Soviet archives and libraries. Upon completion of the cataloging process, microfilms from Leopold Haimson's collection will be available in the Microform Reading Room. For the comprehensive list of microfilms see Appendix 2 in the paper copy of the finding aid.

There is some number of microfilm reels with unidentified materials thus they can not be cataloged. These microfilms are part of the Series X: Research and Reference Materials.

Leopold Haimson's collection of periodical and serial publications contains newspapers, magazines, census reports, bulletins, statistical data mostly of the period of late 19th-beginning of 20th centuries. It also includes periodicals belonging to the Menshevik project, such as Menshevik publications, newspapers, and magazines, which were collected in various available formats as originals, photocopies, and microfilms. Originals and photocopies are cataloged for the SEEC collection (Soviet and East European Collection of printed materials in the Bakhmeteff archive) and will be available in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library upon completion of the cataloging process. Periodicals preserved on microfilms will be available in the Microform Reading Room. For the comprehensive list of periodicals see Appendix 1 in the paper copy of the finding aid.

There are cross-references provided throughout the finding aid. When the cross-reference refers to another item within the same series, the reference includes the specific name or title and box and folder number (this also applies to the references within same subseries and sub-subseries). If the cross-reference is to an item in another series, the reference includes the series number, series name, folder title, and box and folder numbers (this also applies to the references to items in another subseries and sub-subseries).

Series I: Correspondence,1950s-1990s

The series consists of Haimson's professional correspondence with various people and organizations, with related materials, such as articles, CVs, drafts, fellowship and scholarship applications. Organized into four subseries. More correspondence with people and organizations on particular subjects can be found in other series of the collection

Subseries I.1: Correspondence with Prominent Figures, 1960-1976

Contains Haimson’s correspondence with Isaiah Berlin and Joseph Brodsky. Arranged alphabetically. More letters by prominent people, such as Mark Aldanov, Avgusta Damanskaia, Boris Gershun, Ekaterina Kuskova, Boris Nikolaevskii, Vladimir Rudol'f, Nikolai Valentinov, Vladimir Veidle, Aleksandr Voloshin, Liudmila Zamiatina, Viacheslav Zavalishin, and others addressed to various people, see: Series III: Menshevik Project-- Subseries III.2: Mensheviks' personal files.

Subseries I.2: General Correspondence, 1959-1997

Comprises Haimson’s correspondence with individuals, mostly his colleagues and students, and organizations. Arranged alphabetically by correspondent, then chronologically. Some files include related materials, such as writings, notes, printed materials, clippings, documents. Unidentified correspondence is at the end of the subseries.

Subseries I.3: Chronological Correspondence, 1955-1997

Files contain incoming and outgoing small volume correspondence. Arranged chronologically by year and then alphabetically within the year.

Subseries I.4: Subject Correspondence, 1959-1999

This subseries is organized into three sub-subseries.

Series II: Writings, 1951-1994

This series includes monographs, articles, papers given at conferences, interviews, and book reviews by Leopold Haimson. Mostly typescripts and photocopies of typescripts, often with holograph corrections and notes by the author; also includes reprints, publications, and clippings. Arranged alphabetically by title. For more of Haimson's writings, see also: Series VII: Editorial Activities; Series X: Research and Reference Materials--Subseries X.2: Drafts and research notes; Series XI: Writings by Others--Subseries XI.3: Unidentified writings.

Series III: Menshevik Project,1890s-1977(Inter-University Project on the History of Menshevik Movement)

This series consists of materials of the Inter-University Project on the History of the Menshevik Movement. The project was launched in the fall of 1959, with the support of the Ford Foundation, by an ad hoc committee of specialists in Russian history teaching at American universities, in collaboration with representatives of the then already fast dwindling Menshevik émigré community in the United States. (The subsequent work of the project was also supported by grants from the Rockefeller and Atran foundations, the Hoover Institution, and the American Council of Learned Societies.)

The Project pursued two main goals: to assemble and preserve the factual record, and to provide a suitable medium for survivors of the Menshevik movement to re-examine those aspects of the Party's history in which they had been most directly involved.

The pursuit of these two objectives culminated in the establishment of a permanent archive on the history of Menshevism; the preparation, and distribution in multilith form, of accounts by Mensheviks residing in the United States and Western Europe of events in the Party's history in which they were participants; and preparation for publication of memoirs, bibliographies, and documentary and monographic studies by Menshevik associates of the Project as well as participating American scholars. English language volumes are being published by the University of Chicago Press; others appeared in a Russian-language series sponsored by the Hoover Institution.

The series is arranged in three subseries, then in sub-subseries within them.

Subseries III.1: Project Records, 1957-1977

This subseries includes documentation of the Project including correspondence, documents, grant files, and other project records. Arranged by type of material.

Subseries III.2: Mensheviks Personal Files,1920s-1970s

This subseries consists of materials developed and produced mostly during the time of the Project but also include some background material. There is Mensheviks' correspondence, documents, and photographs. Organized in two sub-subseries. Files of Georgian Mensheviks are part of Subseries III.3.7: Georgian Collection (boxes 55-57).

Subseries III.3: Archive on the History of Menshevism, 1898-1972

Includes a collection of documents of the Menshevik Party, records of interviews with survivors of the Party, their memoirs and writings, biographical data, materials of seminars, bibliography, collection on Georgian Mensheviks, archive of the Sotsialisticheskii vestnik , microfilms and periodicals. Arranged in eleven sub-subseries.

Series IV: Strikes Project, 1980s

This series contains materials from the cooperative project that was launched in 1982 after an international colloquium in comparative labor history in Paris. The participants in the colloquium decided to pursue a discussion of analytic problems addressed in its proceedings, and to explore further possibilities of analyzing them in a comparative perspective through the application of quantitative methods. An international working group was created for this purpose. An international cooperative framework was established involving the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (Paris), the International Research and Exchanges Board (New York), the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, and the eventual cooperation of the Friedrich Ebert and Feltrinelli Foundations. The tasks pursued by this Project included the creation of an international data bank to make available, in computer readable form, the statistical data on industrial labor conflicts recorded in the official and other major sources for Austria-Hungary, France, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Imperial Russia, and the United States; the organization, under the sponsorship of the Project, of other colloquia in the field of comparative labor history; and the joint publication program. The series is arranged in three subseries and includes Project documents, writings, and research material. Related to the Project materials located also in Series VI: Colloquiua and Conferences.

Subseries IV.1: Project Documentation

Files contain project description, grant proposals, budget notes, and data. Not arranged.

Subseries IV.2: Monographs and colloquium papers, 1982-1992

Comprises typescripts with holograph notes and correction; drafts and notes of the Project publications and papers presented at the international colloquium. Arranged in alphabetical order by volume's title, then alphabetically by author's name.

Subseries IV.3: Research Material

Contains extensive data on strikes, elections, and censuses; raw data, coding books, methodology description, statistical analysis. See also: Series X: Research and reference materials--Subseries X.2: Drafts and research notes--Strikes: statistical section (boxes 127-128) and Subseries X.3: Materials from Soviet archives and libraries--Strikes, workers' movement, and labor statistics (boxes 142-147).

Series V: Seminars, 1948-1983

Files contain materials of academic seminars held by various institutions and include seminar minutes and notes, manuscripts of talks and papers presented by various authors; and related correspondence. Organized in five subseries by the name of the institution.

Subseries V.1: Columbia University Seminars, 1967-1986

Seminar minutes, manuscripts of talks and papers presented at seminars held by Columbia University with related correspondence

Organized alphabetically by the subject of the seminars, then chronologically within the subject.

Subseries V.2: Russian Institute (Harriman Institute), 1972-1973

Manuscripts of papers delivered at the seminars in 1972-1973 with related correspondence. Arranged chronologically.

Subseries V.3: Russian Research Center, Harvard University, 1948-1970

Files include seminar notes and minutes. Arranged in chronological order.

Subseries V.4: University of Pennsylvania, 1982-1983

Contains bulletins and correspondence. Not arranged.

Subseries V.5: Unidentified Seminar

Contains typescript of talk delivered by M. Temkina and of the following discussion.

Series VI: Colloquia and Conferences, 1975-1991

This series comprises papers by various authors presented at colloquia and conferences, Haimson's notes, documents and correspondence related to the organization of these academic events. Organized in chronological order. Related materials can also be found in Series IV: Strikes Project; Series VIII: Institutional Files; Series IX: Russian Files.

Series VII: Editorial Activity, 1964-1974

The series contains materials related to Haimson's work as an editor and compiler and includes drafts, notes, and corrections for The Mensheviks and project documentation, and manuscript for The Russian revolutionary tradition: an anthology . For more materials on Haimson's editorial activity see Series III: Menshevik project; Series IV: Strikes Project.

Series VIII: Institutional Files, 1956-1990s

Institutional materials accrued by Haimson during his work at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and the Harriman Institute make up this series. Subject files contain internal institutional documents and correspondence, Haimson's correspondence with various organizations, grant applications and proposals, correspondence with publishers of his books, and materials regarding the Menshevik project. Organized into two subseries.

Subseries VIII.1: Chicago University Files, 1956-1966

This subseries includes subject files related to Haimson's work at Chicago University. Files organized in alphabetical order by subject.

Subseries VIII.2: Columbia University Files, 1966-1990s

This subseries includes subject files related to Haimson's work at Columbia University. Files arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series IX: Russian Files, 1957-1998

This series contains materials related to Haimson's long-lasting participation in scholarly and library exchanges between the United States and the Soviet Union and includes correspondence with various people (mostly with Russian scholars) and institutions, such as the Academy of Science, the Institute of History, libraries, etc.; and materials on scholarly and library exchange programs and Haimson's trips to Russia.

Subseries IX.1: Correspondence with Individuals, 1957-1998

Comprises personal and business correspondence regarding scholar exchange, colloquia, etc., mostly with Russian scholars. Also included related materials, such as writings by various authors, notes, and clippings. Arranged alphabetically by the last name of correspondent.

Subseries IX.2: Exchange Files, 1959-1991

The subseries contains agreements and memorandums, related correspondence, and subject files, including files on Haimson's trips to the Soviet Union. For more materials on the program of exchange of scholars and inter-library exchange between the US and the USSR see: Series III: Menshevik project--Subseries III.1: Projects records--Sub-subseries III.1.2: Documents--Trip to Europe (box 18, folders 4-6) and Sub-subseries III.1.1: Correspondence--Library (box 15, folder 12-13); Series VIII: Institutional Files--Subseries VIII.1: Chicago University--Library (box 89, folder 9-15) and Subseries VIII.1: Chicago University--Inter-University Committee on Travel Grants (box 89, folder 2); Series VIII: Institutional Files--Subseries VIII.2: Columbia University--Library exchange (box 95, folder 16), Subseries VIII.2: Columbia University--American Historical Association (box 91, folder 3), Subseries VIII.2: Columbia University-- Inter-University Committee on Travel Grants (box 95, folder 6-7); Series VI: Colloquia and Conferences (box 87).

Series X: Research and Reference Materials, 1900s-1994

Contains research materials on Russian social history, including bibliographic files; Haimson's own data files and his many notebooks, scholarly notes, and drafts of his lectures and writings; materials copied in Soviet archives and libraries; and printed materials. Arranged in four subseries.

Subseries X.1: Bibliographies, 1900s-1970s

Contains lists of pamphlets, books, archival materials, and microfilms; photocopies of published bibliography on various research subjects; and extensive subject card catalog created by Haimson.

Subseries X.2: Drafts and Research Notes, 1950-1994

Includes drafts and notes of Haimson's lectures from various years, writings, papers for conferences and colloquia; materials for research projects and seminars; extracts from various sources, such as books, articles, archives. Notebooks, notepads, scrap notes. Organized by subjects.

Subseries X.3: Materials from Soviet Archives and Libraries, 1903-1920s

Photocopies and transcripts of letters, diaries, police reports, statistical data, writings, materials on the State Duma and political parties from Soviet archives including Tsentral'nyi Gosudarstvennyi Istoricheskii arkhiv, Tsentral'nyi Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Oktiabr'skoi revoliutsii, INION, State Library named after V.I.Lenin. Organized by subject. Also includes microfilms with unidentified extracts and fragments from handwritten letters.

Subseries X.4: Printed Materials and Publications, 1900s-1981

This subseries comprises pamphlets, photocopies of books and articles, some with Haimson's notes. Arranged in alphabetical order. Periodicals are not included in this subseries.

Series XI: Writings by Others, 1934-1990s

This series consists of manuscripts and reprints of works by various authors on different subjects. More writings by various authors are part of other series and filed throughout the collection. They can be searched by the author's last name. This series is arranged in two subseries.

Subseries XI.1: Memoirs, 1960-1969

Typescript of "Reminiscences" by Segal-Meler and extract on a visit to the Soviet Union by an unidentified author. See also memoirs of Mensheviks in Series III: Menshevik project.

Subseries XI.2: Academic and Professional Works, 1934-1990s

Typescripts, photocopies of typescripts, reprints and separate publications by SIA of essays, articles, monographs, papers for conferences and colloquia, lectures (including written versions of Geroid Robinson's lectures on Russian and Soviet history), research materials. Many inscribed by authors. In alphabetical order by author's name. Unidentified and untitled writings stored at the end of subseries and may include some works that belong to Haimson.

Series XII: CVs and Photographs, 1960s-1990s

This series holds Haimson's CVs and photographs.

Series XIII: Maps, 1900s

(shelved at RBML Historical Map Collection P-Europe--Russia)

There are four maps: Karta zheleznykh dorog Evropeiskoi Rossii, Plan Gatchiny, Plan Petergofa, and Plan Sestroretska.

Series XIV: Audio Materials, 1960s

The series comprises reel-to-reel tapes with materials from the Menshevik Project and some tapes that may not be related to it. Arranged in 3 subseries.

Subseries XIV.1: Memoir Reading

N. Zhordania's memoirs read by I.Zhordania.

Subseries XIV.2: Interviews

Includes interviews with Georgian Mensheviks and reels entitled "Russian interviews" that may not be related to the Menshevik project. Arranged alphabetically.

Subseries XIV.3: Seminars

Audio records of five seminars. Arranged chronologically.

Series XV: Digital Files

384 of 5.25'' diskettes and 14 of 3.5" diskettes contain files in Lotus 1-2-3, Word and other formats with archival and bibliographical material, manuscripts, letters, papers, statistics, grants and working files mostly related to the Strikes Project. Also contains material related to the Menshevik project, the Russian Exchange program, and various other subjects.

Series XVI: Oversize Materials, 1920-1969

Oversize materials removed from Series III: Menshevik Project and stored in flat boxes. Organized into two subseries.

Subseries XVI.1: Menshevik Documents

Includes documents on English delegation of 1920 and research and reference material. Arranged by the type of document.

Subseries XVI.2: Sotsialisticheskii vestnik

Contains galley proofs and final revises with holograph notes. In chronological order.

Return to top

Using the Collection


Access Restrictions

 This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Chair of the Bakhmeteff Committee. The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Restrictions on quote and publication applied to letters of recommendation.

Preferred Citation

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

Return to top

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers processed 2008 Katia Shraga and Tanya Chebotarev with assistance of Nataliia Ermolaev and Bela Shaevich, graduate students of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, class of 2008

Finding aid prepared by October 2008 Katia Shraga.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion April 23, 2009 Finding aid written in English.
    2009-04-23 File created.

Return to top

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.


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Aldanov, Mark Aleksandrovich, 1886-1957.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Aleksandrova, Vera, 1895-1966.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Aronson, Gregor, 1887-1968.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Balabanova, A. V.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Berlin, Isaiah, 1909-1997.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Brodsky, Joseph, 1940-1996.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Dalin, David G.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Dallin, Alexander, 1924-2000.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Damanskaia, A. (Avgusta), b. 1885PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Dan, Lidiia.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Denicke, George.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Dvinov, Boris L'vovich--Manuscripts.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Galili y Garcia, Ziva.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Gershun, Boris L'vovich, 1870-1954.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Harriman Institute.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Inter-university Project on the History of the Menshevik Movement.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Kuskova, Ekaterina.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Labor movement--Europe.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Labor movement--Russia.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Martov, L., 1873-1923.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Memoirs and biographies.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mensheviks--Georgia (Republic).PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Nicolaevsky, Boris I., 1887-1966.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Raeff, Marc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Revolutionaries--Soviet Union--Biography.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Revolutionaries--Soviet Union.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Robinson, Geroid Tanquary, 1892-1971.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rossiiskaia sotsial-demokraticheskaia rabochaia partiia--Bibliography.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rossiiskaia sotsial-demokraticheskaia rabochaia partiia--History.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rossiiskaia sotsial-demokraticheskaia rabochaia partiia.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rudol'f, V. V. (Vladimir Vasil'evich).PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Russia--History--February Revolution, 1917.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Russia--History--Revolution, 1905-1907.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Russia--Politics and government--1894-1917.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Russian Studies--United States.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Schwarz, Solomon M.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Socialism--Georgia (Republic).PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Socialism--Russia--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Socialism--Soviet Union--History.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Soviet Union--History--20th centuryPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Soviet Union--History--Revolution, 1917-1921PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Strikes and lockouts--Europe--History.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Strikes and lockouts--Russia--HistoryPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Tsereteli, I. G. (Iraklii Georgievich), 1881-1959.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
United States--Foreign relations--Soviet Union.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
University of Chicago.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Vakar, Gertruda, 1904-1973.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Valentinov, N. (Nikolai), 1879-1964.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Veidle, V., 1895-1979.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Voloshin, Aleksandr.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Working class--Russia--Political activity--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Working class--Soviet Union--Bibliography.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Working class--Soviet Union.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Wortman, Richard.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Woytinsky, Wladimir S., 1885-1960.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Zamiatina, L. N. (Liudmila Nikolaevna), 1883-1965.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Zavalishin, Viacheslav.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Zhordania, Noe Nikolozisze, ca. 1868-1953.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Return to top

History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Leopold Henri Haimson is a historian and professor emeritus of Columbia University, where he worked since 1965 as a professor of Russian history and a member of the Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of Eurasia.

Haimson was born in Brussels, Belgium on April 28, 1927 in a family of immigrants from Russia. He resided there up to the age of 13, when the German invasion in 1940 prompted his family to escape, first to unoccupied France, and eventually to the United States. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history and philosophy from Harvard University in 1945 and his PhD in history and social relations there in 1952. His professional background includes his work as a research associate at Columbia University (1948-1949, 1950-1952), American Museum of Natural History and Center for International Studies (1948-1949, 1951-1952); a visiting research scholar at Princeton University (1952-1953); a lecturer in the Russian Regional Program and the Department of History at Harvard University (1955-1956); an assistant professor and then a professor of Russian History at University of Chicago (1956-1966). From 1960 to 1965, Leopold Haimson served as the director of the Inter-University Project on the History of the Menshevik Movement. In 1964-1965, he was a research associate at Hoover Institute and a visiting scholar at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences. He became a professor in the Department of History and the Russian Institute at Columbia University in 1966

A distinguishing feature of Haimson's career has been his role as the organizer of collaborative research projects that have brought together scholars from different disciplines and different academic cultures, especially those of the United States, France, and Russia. Starting in 1982, in addition to his work for the Inter-University Project on the History of the Menshevik Movement, he was a director of the International Project in Comparative Labor History, based at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (Paris), for almost two decades. He also served as co-chairman of the International Commission for Joint Projects in Modern Russian History. Starting in the 1960s, he became involved in Soviet academic life. His efforts to develop contacts between Soviet and American specialists in Russian history resulted in an extensive scholar exchange program between the Soviet Union and the United States. He helped organize a regular series of workshops in the form of international colloquia devoted to discussions of various historical problems in a comparative perspective that brought together American, European, and Russian scholars. He was also a visiting lecturer at Moscow University, at the Institute of History, and at the European University in St. Petersburg.

Haimson's scholarly interests include political culture, social and quantitative history, the dynamics of strike movements in a comparative perspective, as well as cultural anthropology and the application of its concepts and methodology to studies of the Soviet Union. Since the publication of his influential "The Russian Marxists and the Origins of Bolshevism" in 1955, Leopold Haimson has published many books and articles and edited volumes on Russian political, social, and intellectual life in late imperial and revolutionary Russia in English, French, and Russian

Return to top