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Series I: Correspondence, 1940-1990
Series II: Articles & Writings, 1939-1990
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in five series and several subseries.
Correspondence, articles, travel notes, reporter notebooks, and photographs from Stevens provide a compelling perspective into mid-20th century journalism and war reporting, as well as an extended look at political and social affairs of the Soviet Union from the 1940s through the 1980s. The collection contains many articles that Stevens wrote for a range of newspapers and magazines: covered topics include media censorship, persecution of political dissidents, and daily life in the Soviet Union. These articles also cover his early career reporting on military engagements in Europe (1939-1940) and East and North Africa (1940-1942). The correspondence is predominately with editors, and includes significant information about the status of journalists in the Soviet Union, as well as information about specific events.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
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.
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.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Edmund Stevens Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
A copy of Steven's Pulitzer Prize winning article series is available in the Pulitzer Prize Collection, Box 109, in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library
No additional material is expected
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
2010-2011-M168: Source of acquisition--Edmund Stevens, Jr. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--6/16/2011.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers processed by Brianna Nofil (GSAS) 2015.
Finding aid written by Brianna Nofil (GSAS) September 2015.
2015-09-30 File created.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Edmund Stevens, born July 22, 1910, was a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who covered the Soviet Union from the time of Stalin's purges to the reforms of Mikhail S. Gorbachev. Edmund Stevens was an outspoken critic of Soviet censorship and had a vast network of connections throughout the Soviet Union, where he lived for over 40 years. Journalism historians have acknowledged Stevens as the longest-serving American-born correspondent working from the Soviet Union.
After graduating from Columbia University in 1934, Stevens traveled to the Soviet Union in hopes of contributing to the Bolshevik cause as a translator and writer for the Publishing Cooperative of Foreign Workers in the Soviet Union. He began his journalism career with the Christian Science Monitor in 1939, where he was the publication's first journalist to cover fighting in World War II, reporting in Latvia, Finland, and Greece, as well as Russia.
In 1950, Stevens won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for "Russia Uncensored," a 34-part series in the Christian Science Monitor about life under Stalin. After a stint as a war reporter in North Africa, and as the head of the Christian Science Monitor's Mediterranean Bureau in Rome, Stevens returned to Russia (now under the control of Khruschev) in 1956, as a reporter for Look magazine. Stevens wrote in great detail about the process of de-Stalinization, as well as about the growth of the Russian arts and literature scene, led by authors such as Boris Pasternak.
In 1957, Stevens opened the Moscow Bureau for Time, Inc., where his work focused on the fall of Khruschev, with particular attention to the 1961 shooting down of a U-2 spy plane incident and the decline of censorship known as the "Khrushchev thaw." The collection contains a letter written by Stevens to Khrushchev, encouraging him to dismantle the Soviet censorship system, suggesting that it hindered Russia's relationships with other nations. Stevens' had a contentious relationship with the editors at Time, and resigned in 1963.
During the later years of his career, Stevens continued his relationships with the Christian Science Monitor and Manchester Guardian. His work was syndicated in eight other papers in the U.S. and Canada through Newsday until 1982. He wrote sporadically for the Times of London and Sunday Times until his death in 1992.