Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Mirra Ginsburg papers, 1910-1999

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: BA#0134
Bib ID 7447714 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Ginsburg, Mirra
Title Mirra Ginsburg papers, 1910-1999
Physical Description 20 linear feet (38 document boxes)
Language(s) English , Russian .

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged in eleven series.



Collection consists of correspondence, writings, research notes, notebooks, printed material, books, photographs and one audiotape.

  • Series I: Cataloged Correspondence

    Series contains Mirra Ginsburg's original correspondence with prominent literary figures, primarily in Russian, with some English correspondence (most notably with I.B. Singer). Manuscript drafts included. Photocopies or typed copies of the same document are enclosed, but not cataloged separately. Documents are filed alphabetically by correspondent, then chronologically, with interleaved incoming and outgoing correspondence.

  • Series II: Arranged Correspondence

    Russian and English.

  • Series III: Writings

  • Series IV: Background materials

    Research material used by MG in her works, such as original texts of translated authors, and writings about these authors. Series also include adaptations and reviews of translations by MG (additional reviews, sent by publishers, can be found in Arranged Correspondence series).

  • Series V: Biographic Material

    Personal documents relating to MG and her family

  • Series VI: PEN

    Materials relating to MG activities in American PEN club and its committees. Includes agendas, munites, publications, and correspondence between committee members

  • Series VII: Writings by Others

    Typescripts or unbound photocopies, often inscribed to Mirra Ginsburg by authors. Series does not include materials translated by MG (for original texts used for translation see Background Materials series). Alphabetical by author.

  • Series VIII: Periodicals

    Alphabetical by title.

  • Series IX: Audiovisual

  • Series X: Books

  • Series XI: Oversized

    Oversized items from various series, cross-referenced in the corresponding series. Box also contains an audio cassette tape of Singer Interviews (paper materials on this project are in Writings - Singer series).

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. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of the Bakhmeteff Archive, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

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


No accruals are exprected

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

Source of acquisition--Barbara Frenchi (niece). Method of acquisition--Donation; Date of acquisition--11/2002.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed Jane Gorjevsky 3/2003.

Revision Description

2010-01-21 Legacy finding aid created from Pro Cite.

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:"
Aĭtmatov, Chingiz Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
American literature -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
American literature -- Translations Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Annenkov, I︠U︡riĭ , 1889-1974 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Authors, Russian -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Belinkov, A (Arkadiĭ), 1921-1970 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Children's literature, American Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Children's literature, Russian Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chukovskiĭ, Korneĭ, 1882-1969 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ginsburg, Mirra Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Gulʹ, Roman, 1896-1986 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Russia -- Emigration and immigration Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Singer, Isaac Bashevis, 1904-1991 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Wilson, Edmund, 1895-1972 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Mirra Ginsburg (1909-2000) was born in Bobruisk, Russia (now Belarus). She attended schools in Russia, Latvia, Canada and the United States, where her family moved c. 1928. Throughout her long and prolific career, Mirra Ginsburg has worked as a researcher, freelance writer, editor, and translator from Russian and Yiddish. Despite the absense of any formal training, Mirra Ginsburg became a highly respected translator, an active member of professional associations, and a winner of numerous awards. Besides being a translator and editor of adult stories, anthologies and plays (including works of such authors as Singer, Platonov, Bulgakov, Remizov, Babel' and Dostoevsky), she was also recognized for her charming adaptations and siccinct translations of folktales for children.