Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Smirnov's Unlisted Correspondents

Our ‘Centrale’ digitization project is in its last year. Among  the last large and complex archives to tackle in the project are the Valerian Nikolaevič Smirnov Papers (4,35 meters).

Valerian N. Smirnov was born in Moscow, where he studied medicine. After his exclusion from Moscow University he went in 1871 to Zurich, Switzerland, and became actively involved in the colony around the Russian library. He was the closest assistant to Petr L. Lavrov in editing Vpered ! 1873-1877. He was correspondent to Russian and other medical journals. In later life Smirnov was active in the peace movement. He raised money for Henri Dunant in 1895. He died in Bern in 1900. 

The archive, acquired by the IISH in 1936 from Smirnov’s son and second wife, had been inventorized before, but not in much detail. Many names of Smirnov’s extensive network of correspondents were not listed.
These weeks, we are working on improving the inventory with the help of Maria Eitingina from St. Petersburg, who is well informed about the period and has been able to identify many of Smirnov’s correspondents.

By the end of this year, we expect to to publish the fully digitized Smirnov papers and the improved inventory.