1. The Andrei Sakharov Archives – history of creation, status, sponsors and benefactors, staff.

2. Content of the Archives.

3. The First Ten Years. An Overview. 

1. The Andrei Sakharov Archives – history of creation, status, sponsors and benefactors, staff.

The Archives have been created by “The Andrei Sakharov Foundation – The Public Committee for Preservation of Legacy of Andrei Sakharov”. The Archives’ quarters have been provided by the government of the city of Moscow on the basis of 25 years rent free lease.

Status – a non-governmental archive.

Staff – three employees, including a part time bibliographer.        

Sponsors and benefactors:                      

  •    The government of the city of Moscow;

  •   National Endowment for Democracy (USA);

  •   United States Agency for International Development (USAID);

  •    Know How Foundation, UK;

  •    E. Gurvich;

  •    Boris Berezovskiy;

  •    Edward Kline (USA);

  •    Elena Bonner.

2. Content of the Archives.

The Archives’ collection is based on the gift by Elena Bonner of various documents, publications, books from both Sakharov’s and her own libraries.

The Archives contain collections of documents (three collections), visual – audio collections (four collections), a library, a museum exhibit dedicated to Andrei Sakharov, a collection of personal items of the Sakharovs’ family.


3. The First Ten Years. An Overview. 

Below are described results achieved by the Archives in the first 10 years of its existence, as of May 2004.

 3.1. The archive’s database contains electronic filing cards describing in detail documents by Sakharov and bibliography of Sakharov’s works. The database contains, as well, computerized images of  Sakharov’s autographs and an incomplete, as yet,  collection of images of autographed  typewritten documents.

            The archive’s documents. The data base contains entries on 1115 Sakharov’s documents (1502, counting different versions). 165 archival units are compiled containing the total of 6919 pages, including autographs (1218 pages), from them 943 are originals, and 275 are copies. There are  206 typewritten texts autographed by Sakharov, and 149 texts bearing Sakharov’s handwritten corrections.

            Sakharov’s bibliography. The database contains 3366 bibliography entries covering 923 of Sakharov’s works. The documents database and the bibliography database are interconnected. 

Documents and material not yet entered into the databases constitute, unfortunately, the bulk of the collection. They are, however, put in order and in the inventory. The total volume of these documents runs into 14 – 15 thousand pages. Here are some examples:

                              - Sakharov’s memoirs – 1542 handwritten pages;

                              - Sakharov’s letters – 176 pages;

                              - notes and drawings by Sakharov – 258;

                              - works on Sakharov – about 700;

                              - letters to Sakharov – 3018 (there is additionally about 5000 letters not yet in the inventory);

There are kept, in the Archives, more than 3000 press items on Sakharov published in the Russian and foreign press. The Archives keeps data on more than 200 memoirs about Andrei Sakharov or works dedicated to him (books, manuscripts, musical compositions, paintings, etc.), on more than 160 events in memory of Andrei Sakharov that either have been conducted, or are conducted regularly (conferences, festivals, commemorative events), on more than 50 buildings, institutions, and sites bearing Sakharov’s name (streets, libraries, mountain peaks, schools, awards, etc.). 

3.2. The Archives’ reference material.

  •    The principles of systematization of the collections.

  •     Descriptions of the archival items of the processed part of the documents collection.

  •     Inventories of archival items.

  •     Filing cards describing already processed documents.

  •     Bibliographical cards.

  •     Inventory lists of documents and materials not yet processed and entered into the database.

3.3. Audio-visual materials.

Photographs. There are kept in the Archives about 1500 photographs of Andrei Sakharov, Elena Bonner, of their friends and relatives. This includes photographs made by professional photographers, such as L. Sherstennikov, Yu. Rost, S. Perepletchikov, and others. There are also kept negatives made from the archival photo-collection, and around 100 negatives on glass plates made by D.I. Sakharov between 1910 – 1960. There is also a collection of photographs by Yurii Rost on CD-ROMs (1029 pictures), and a collection of Xerox copies of photographs from photo-archives of the APN news agency.  

Audio materials. This includes 87 hours of audio recordings of Andrei Sakharov, Elena Bonner, and of other recordings pertinent to the Archives’ goals. There are transcripts of the tape recordings of Sakharov. The audio materials include recordings of interviews and public appearances by Sakharov and Bonner, taped recollections of his colleagues, recordings of events commemorating Sakharov, etc.

            Video materials. There is the total of 304 hours of video recordings of Andrei Sakharov, Elena Bonner, and of other recordings pertinent to the Archives’ goals. This includes documentaries on Sakharov, his interviews and his public appearances, TV footage, TV appearances of Elena Bonner, etc.

 3.4. The Archives’ clients and visitors.

The Archives have all kinds of visitors: high school students, graduate students, scholars, journalists, TV producers, archives and museums workers. Scholars from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Israel, USA, Australia, and from many European countries have worked in the Archives. Each year the Archives hosts 10 – 12 scholars, responds to 45 – 50 inquiries.

 3.5. The Archives’ acquisitions.

            The following public and state institutions have contributed to the Archives:

  • The State Archive of the Russian Federation,

  • Current Affairs Documentation Center, 

  • Center for Preservation and Study of Documents of Modern History,

  • The Russian State Archive of Ancient Enactments ,

  • The Russian State Military History Archive,

  • Ulyanov Province’s  State Archive,

  • The Nizhnegorodskaya Province Branch of the State Archives (the city of Arzamas),

  • archives of the President of the Russian Federation,

  • of the Federal Security Service,

  • of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation,

  • of the Ministry of Atomic Energy, of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

  • of the Lebedev Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

  • of the All-Russia Research Institute for Experimental Physics,

  • news programs archive of the Russian Public Television,

  • archives of the Moscow State University, archives of “Memorial”,

  • a public human rights institution,

  • Central Library of the city of Nizhniy Novgorod,

  • Pushkin  Museum of the city of Kishenev,

  • Archives of Samizdat (Munich, Germany),

  • Sakharov Archive at Brandies University (USA).

Material were also donated by the following private individuals:

Elena Bonner, Lubov Vernaya (Sakharov), Irina Sakharov, Roy Medvedev, Nikolay Formozov, Lidia Chukovskaya, Andrei Malishevskyi, Leonid Litinskyi, Boris Altshuler, Natalya Leontovich, Yurii Rost, Victor Adamskyi, Edward Kline, Frantishek Yanouch, Maria Petrenko-Podyapolskaya, Yurii Tuvim, Yakov Alpert, and other individuals from different countries.

 3.6. Publications by the Archives:

  •  “30 years of  Andrei Sakharov’s “Reflections…””. Proceedings of the conference on the 30-ed anniversary of publication of Andrei Sakharov’s

  •  Dmitryi Ivanovich Sakharov (1889 – 1961): Bibliography. Compiled by E.N. Savelieva, “Prava Cheloveka” publishing house, Moscow, 2003, 48 pages.  

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