Sidamon-Eristoff Family Presents A Valuable Gift To Hoover Library

Friday, October 2, 2015

Hoover Library & Archives has recently received the Sidamon-Eristoff Library, a rich resource on the history of Georgia, the Caucasus and the Russian Empire, with extraordinary, rare and unique titles covering all aspects of Georgian culture, including pamphlets and periodicals published by Georgian émigrés.

The foundation of the collection was the personal library of Prince Simon Sidamon-Eristoff, who came from a prominent Georgian aristocratic line and served in the Russian Imperial Army. After the Russian Revolution and the establishment of an independent Georgian Republic, he served as a chief of staff in the Georgian army. Following the collapse of Georgia, he was forced to leave, reaching the United States in 1921.

During his lifetime, he and his family, including his son Constantine and daughter Anne, collected material concerning Georgia. They participated in Russian and Georgian societies such as The Georgian Association, Allaverdy (an association for Georgian refugees) and American Friends of Georgia.

The books represented in this magnificent donation range from the multi-volume Sbornik materialov dlia opisaniia miestnostei i plemen Kavkaza (Materials for the Description of Places and Tribes of the Caucasus), which was an annual issued from 1881 until 1926, Kavkazsie pokhodnye risunki Gorshel’ta (Gorshel’ts’ Caucasian Campaign Sketches) (St. Petersburg, 1896), a rare émigré pamphlet in English entitled The Highlanders of Caucasus (Paris, 1930), the first issue of The Caucasian Quarterly (Paris, 1937), a digital version of an album of rare photographs of Georgia dating from 1869, a beautifully bound nine-volume history of the 44th Nizhegorodskii Dragoon Regiment (St. Petersburg, 1893-1895) and many other rare treasures new to the Hoover Institution’s holdings.

This collection is a unique resource for scholars studying the Caucasus and Georgian history in particular. It crowns the Hoover Institution’s existing rich holdings on this region, which include the Nestor Lakoba papers, Aleksandr Tkhilaishvili photographic collection, the Eduard Shevardnadze transcripts, T.G. Stepanov-Mamaladze writings, and other collections.

The Hoover Institution is grateful to Mrs. Constantine Sidamon-Eristoff and Miss Anne Sidamon-Eristoff for this generous gift.