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Library and Archives: Recent Acquisitions

January 20, 2012

Oswald’s Bulgarian Connection: The Spas Raikin Papers

Spas Raikin as a student in Bulgaria in 1946, during a summer job building a rai

The Hoover Archives has received the papers of Spas Raikin, a Bulgarian-American historian, and émigré anti-communist activist. His papers, contained in ninety-nine binders, document Raikin’s historical research and writing as well as Bulgarian émigré activities in the United States. Binder nr. 71, however, is different from the others. It documents an episode in Raikin’s life that has a place in world history: his meeting with Lee Harvey Oswald in the port at Hoboken, New Jersey on June 13, 1962, when Oswald was returning from the Soviet Union.

December 13, 2011

Hoover Receives Unique Portrait Collection from the Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation

British prime minister Margaret Thatcher
Image credit: Bernard Lee Schwartz

The Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation has donated a collection of thirty-four portraits to the Hoover Institution. Among the images are those of royalty, heads of state, diplomats, military leaders, and literary figures. Michael Schwartz, president of the Schwartz Foundation and son of Bernard “Bern” Schwartz, coordinated the donation.

Included in the donation are portraits of Hoover fellow and British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, four Israeli prime ministers, and journalist and author Malcolm Muggeridge. Lady Thatcher chose Schwartz’s portrait for her 1978 campaign poster, and a 1982 commemorative first-day cover commemorative stamp in England features his classic portrait of Lord Mountbatten. Muggeridge, a journalist, author, satirist, and television personality, was a frequent panelist on William F. Buckley Jr.’s Firing Line, and a collection of his papers is housed in the Hoover Institution Archives.

Click here for more information about the Bern Schwartz collection.

November 11, 2011

The Papers of a Righteous German Acquired by Hoover Archives

Selected documents of Pastor Kurtz

Adolf Kurtz, a Protestant pastor, following Hitler’s ascent to power in 1933, resisted the government’s efforts to control religious life in Germany. In that his wife was born a Jew, he organized a relief agency to help Christians of Jewish heritage. After the war, in 1948, Pastor Kurtz was invited by the British military authorities in Berlin to come to England to visit German prisoner-of-war camps. A year ago, Hoover Archives acquired a collection of letters, certificates, church registers, and photographs, mostly associated with Pastor Kurtz’s later life in Oxford. The newly acquired increment consists of many original personal documents, mostly from the pastor’s earlier years in Berlin.

November 11, 2011

Hoover acquires unique photos of Nikita Khrushchev and other Soviet leaders

Khrushchev on visit, in May 1961, to the autonomous Soviet Republic of Adjara (A
Image credit: N. Anastas’ev and V. Babaian

In May 1961 Nikita Khrushchev visited the autonomous Soviet Republic of Adjara (Adzharia) in the present Republic of Georgia. The chief communist official in the region, Aleksandr Dursunovich Tkhilaishvili, was his guide and host. The photographs in this collection depict some scenes and meetings that took place during this visit. Of particular interest is someone in the crowd greeting Khrushchev holding up a large photo of Joseph Stalin, who at the time was out of favor with Khrushchev and his supporters.

November 4, 2011

Hoover Acquires Communist Chinese Materials on the Cultural Revolution

These little newspapers of the Red Guard

The Hoover Institution Library and Archives have recently acquired more than two hundred pieces of historical materials relating to the Chinese Cultural Revolution, a sociopolitical movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976. Set into motion by Mao Zedong, then chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, its goal was to enforce socialism by removing capitalist, traditional, and cultural elements from Chinese society and to impose Maoist orthodoxy within the party. This increment, which augments an earlier collection of Hoover’s Chinese Communist Party records contains nearly two hundred issues of the Red Guard “little newspapers” between 1967 and 1971 and other communist pamphlets, internal party documents, booklets, serial issues, and published speeches of communist leaders during this period.

October 25, 2011

Hoover Institution Library Receives Rare Publications of the Russian Orthodox Mission in China

Hoover Institution Library Receives Rare Publications of the Russian Orthodox Mi

Prince Andre Lobanov-Rostovsky was a specialist on Russo-Asian relations and a professor of Russian history at the University of Michigan and the University of California at Los Angeles. Several years ago his papers were donated to the Hoover Archives; that gift has now been followed by his library. Among the interesting and rare books received is a set of publications of the Russian Orthodox Mission in Peking (Beijing).

October 20, 2011

Vaclav Havel Correspondence Open for Research

(left to right)  Pavel Landovsky, Vaclav Havel, and Jaroslav Kukal in 1978

Vaclav Havel is a man of letters—author, playwright, essayist, and poet. A series of more than two hundred letters between him and Czech emigre historian Vilem Precan are now available to researchers at the Hoover Institution. Havel’s correspondence with Precan, like the published prison letters, will be an essential source for future biographers of Vaclav Havel, the man, the writer, and the unlikely hero of the Czechoslovak Velvet Revolution.

October 19, 2011

A Half Century of Service: Charles Nelson Leach, MD

An official 1915 CRB photo of Charles Nelson

The Hoover Archives have received the papers and photographs of Charles Nelson Leach (1884–1971), a US doctor who participated in some of the greatest health emergencies of the twentieth century. His association with programs led by Herbert Hoover and contribution to the building of the Hoover Tower are remembered on the walls inside the lobby of the Hoover Tower, where his name is inscribed in three separate places. The bulk of the Charles Leach collection pertains to the 1917–1920 period. It includes photo albums, calendars, clippings, and a diary of an adventurous 1919 trip, in an ARA Cadillac, through Central and Eastern Europe.

October 4, 2011

Hoover acquires two thousand pen-pal letters

H. Lucas Ginn pen-pal letters

In 1989, H. Lucas Ginn, then a California high school student, wrote to a Soviet magazine saying he was seeking a pen pal in the Soviet Union. Ginn’s letter and address were published in Studencheskii meridian, a youth magazine; he subsequently received some two thousand missives from young Soviet citizens. Most letters, which came from all over the USSR, are brief (and in Russian) but do allow some glimpses of the interests of Soviet youth at the time, including music, current events, and AIDS.

September 26, 2011

Hoover Acquires Personal Papers of Overseas Chinese Leader

The opening ceremony of the Chinese School in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
Image credit: Courtesy of Mr. Tony Chen

The Hoover Institution Library and Archives have recently acquired the personal papers of Chen Jiaxian (Henry Chen), a Chinese Nationalist Party official in charge of overseas Chinese affairs in the Caribbean region and Latin America. The personal papers include correspondence between Chen and important Kuomintang Party officials regarding China’s diplomatic relations with the Caribbean region and Latin America, the Kuomintang’s policy toward overseas Chinese communities, and photos depicting Chen’s activities in Trinidad and Latin America.