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Guide to the Irena S. Verblovskaia-Revolt I. Pimenov Correspondence

MSE/REE 0018

 

Collection Summary

Title: Irena S. Verblovskaia and Revolt I. Pimenov Correspondence
Dates: 1957-2014
Collection No.: MSE/REE 0018
Creator: Verblovskaia, Irena (1932-)
Creator: Pimenov, Revolt Ivanovich (1931-1990)
Extent: 2 containers; 1 linear foot
Language: Collection material in Russian
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: Personal correspondence between Irena S. Verblovskaia and her first husband Revolt I. Pimenov, who was one of the founders of the dissident movement in the Soviet Union, written during their imprisonment for "anti-Soviet" activities (1958-1963).

Selected Search Terms

Political prisoners--Soviet Union
Dissenters--Soviet Union
Civil rights--Soviet Union
Human rights--Soviet Union
Shcherbakov, Ivan Gavrilovich (1902-1982)
Orlovskii, Ernst Semenovich (1929-2003)
Vail, Boris Borisovich (1939-2010)

Administrative Information

Restrictions: Access to the Verblovskaia-Pimenov correspondence (folders 10-36; 46-62) is by permission only through 2024. For access during this period contact the curator of the collection.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Irena S. Verblovskaia and Revolt I. Pimenov Correspondence, [Collection and folder no.], Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The Irena S. Verblovskaia and Revolt I. Pimenov Correspondence was acquired by the Hesburgh Libraries in 2014. The papers are arranged and described by Nelia Martsinkiv and Natasha Lyandres. Finding aid 2016, by Nelia Martsinkiv and Natasha Lyandres.

Biographical Note

Irena Savelevna Verblovskaia (b.1932) is a historian, Soviet-era dissident, and writer. She grew up in Leningrad and studied Polish history at the Leningrad State University. Verblovskaia met her first husband Revolt Ivanovich Pimenov (1931-1990) in 1956. Pimenov was a brilliant mathematician, a leading intellectual and one of the founders of the dissident movement in the Soviet Union. In 1957 Pimenov was arrested together with four other members of "his group", including Verblovskaia, for "anti-Soviet" activities. Pimenov was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but was released on parole in 1963. Verblovskaia served 5 years (1957-1962). After returning to Leningrad in December 1963, she worked as a tourist guide. Verblovskaia wrote several books and articles about Leningrad's cultural and literary history, and a memoir about her life and experience in Khrushchev's Gulag. Pimenov was arrested again in 1970 for his dissident activities and served five years. In the late 1980s together with Andrei Sakharov he helped to initiate the first legal democratic opposition to Communist rule. Pimenov died in 1990 shortly after he was elected to the Congress of People's Deputies of the Russian Federation.

Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the materials include personal correspondence between Irena S. Verblovskaia and Revolt I. Pimenov written during their imprisonment for "anti-Soviet" activities (1958-1963). The collection also contains an assortment of original photographs of the Soviet era human rights activists, political prisoners, dissidents as well as selected letters from Ernst Semenovich Orlovskii (1929-2003), Boris Borisovich Vail (1939-2010), and Pimenov's father Ivan Gavrilovich Shcherbakov (1902-1982).

Arrangement Note

The collection consists of three series. The first series contains documents and photographs of Verblovskaia, Pimenov, and other political prisoners before and after their incarceration. The second series is comrpised of original letters to I.S. Verblovskaia written by Revolt I. Pimenov, Ernst S. Orlovskii, Boris B. Vail, as well as Pimenov's father, Ivan G. Shcherbakov during their imprisonment. The third series for the most part includes letters from Irena S. Verblovskaia to Revolt I. Pimenov also written during their imprisonment.

Container List

  • Series 1: Documents and Photographs 
    • Folder 1 (MSE/REE 0018-1) Biographies of Revolt Ivanovich Pimenov, Ernst Semenovich Orlovskii, Boris Borisovich Vail, 2014 September. TMs, 11 leaves.
      The folder contains biographical sketches written by Irena S. Verblovskaia. Translated in English by Taras Karaulshchikov, 2014.
      • Folder 2 (MSE/REE 0018-2) Documents. Letters written by Pimenov's colleagues about his scholarship addressed to his legal consul, 1957-1958. TLs, 2 leaves.
        Folder contains two letters by Iu. Borisov and A. Aleksandrov. One of them is addressed to Pimenov's attorney I.I. Raikhman.
        • Folder 3 (MSE/REE 0018-3) Document. Letter about R.I. Pimenov's scholarship adressed to his legal consul, March 3, 1959. TLS, 8 leaves.
          Folder contains two copies of a report written by Pimenov's colleagues at the Steklov Institute of Mathematics about his scholarship and addressed to Pimenov's attorney Gerasimenko. Signed by G.I. Petrashen, V.A. Zalgaller, Yu.A. Volchkov.
          • Folder 4 (MSE/REE 0018-4) Photographs. Irena Savelevna Verblovskaia, 1958-1963. 5 photographs various sizes, including 3 b/w original prints, one negative, and one photocopy.
            Photographs center around I.S. Verblovskaia during her imprisonment. Inscribed by I.S. Verblovskaia.
            • Folder 5 (MSE/REE 0018-5) Photographs. Irena Savelevna Verblovskaia with political prisoners Irina Ivanovna Emelianova, Sheva (Bassheva) Elevna Rubshtein, Tamara Parshina, Mara Valushkina, Valentina Mashkova (Tsekhmister), 1958-1962. 5 photographs various sizes, including 4 b/w original prints and one photocopy.
              Inscribed by I.S. Verblovskaia and I.I. Emeliianova.
              • Folder 6 (MSE/REE 0018-6) Photographs. Revolt Ivanovich Pimenov and his mother Larisa Mikhailovna Shcherbakova (1905-1970), 1957-1960. 6 photographs various sizes, including 5 b/w original prints and one photocopy.
                Photographs center around R.I. Pimenov before and during his exile. Inscribed by R.I. Pimenov and L.M. Shcherbakova.
                • Folder 7 (MSE/REE 0018-7) Photographs. Dissident friends of I.S. Verblovskaia and R.I. Pimenov, 1958-1982. 7 photographs, various sizes, including 6 b/w original prints and one photocopy.
                  Folder includes photographs of B.B. Vail, M.M. Molostvov, Karl Frusin, Iu.B. Mekler, and N.D. Solokhin. Inscribed by K. Frusin and I.S. Verblovskaia.
                  • Folder 8 (MSE/REE 0018-8) Photographs. Group photograph of Boris Pustyntsev, Irena S. Verblovskaia, Iosif Shneider (standing); Aleksandr Golikov, Iurii Mekler, Nikolai Solokhin (sitting), August, 1964. 2 photographs, different sizes, including 1 b/w original print and 1 photocopy. Photograph was taken at the apartment of Iu. Mekler.
                    Inscribed by I.S. Verblovskaia.
                    • Folder 9 (MSE/REE 0018-9) Miscellaneous group photographs, 2003-2004. 4 photographs various sizes, including 2 original color prints, one color photocopy, and one b/w photocopy.
                      Inscribed by I.S. Verblovskaia.
                    • Series 2: Letters to Irena Savelevna Verblovskaia 
                      Letters are arranged by sender. Access to letters from R.I Pimenov is by permission only until 2024 (Folders 10-36, 39).
                      • Folder 10 (MSE/REE 0018-10) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1958 May-July. 4 letters, on paper of various sizes, 1 note, 1 postal card (ALsS, AN, APCS).
                        Letters from Vorkuta and Tsementnyi.
                        • Folder 11 (MSE/REE 0018-11) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1958 August. 4 letters, on paper of various sizes, 1 post card (ALsS, APCS).
                          Letters from Presnia, Taishet, Novosibirsk.
                          • Folder 12 (MSE/REE 0018-12) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1958 September-October. 4 letters, on paper of various sizes, 1 post card (ALsS, APCS).
                            Letters from Vikhorevka.
                            • Folder 13 (MSE/REE 0018-13) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1958 November-December. 4 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).
                              Letters from Vikhorevka and Anzeba.
                              • Folder 14 (MSE/REE 0018-14) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, ca. 1958. 3 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS, AL).
                                Letters from Vorkuta and Taishet.
                                • Folder 15 (MSE/REE 0018-15) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1959 January. 3 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).
                                  Letters from Irkutsk and Taishet.
                                  • Folder 16 (MSE/REE 0018-16) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1959 February. 3 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).
                                    Letters from Anzeba.
                                    • Folder 17 (MSE/REE 0018-17) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1959 March-April. 2 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).
                                      Letters from Vikhorevka.
                                      • Folder 18 (MSE/REE 0018-18) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1959 May-August. 4 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS, AL).
                                        Letters from Vikhorevka.
                                        • Folder 19 (MSE/REE 0018-19) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1959 September-December. 4 letters, (ALsS).
                                          Letters from Vikhorevka. Two letters from November 20, 1959 and December 4, 1959 are numbered 55 and 56.
                                          • Folder 20 (MSE/REE 0018-20) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1960 January-March. 5 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).
                                            Letters no.58, 60-63 from Vikhorevka.
                                            • Folder 21 (MSE/REE 0018-21) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1960 April. 4 letters, (ALsS, AL).
                                              Letters no.64-67 from Vikhorevka.
                                              • Folder 22 (MSE/REE 0018-22) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1960 May. 4 letters, (ALsS, AL).
                                                Letters no.68-71 from Vikhorevka.
                                                • Folder 23 (MSE/REE 0018-23) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1960 June. 3 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).
                                                  Letters no.73-75 from Vikhorevka.
                                                  • Folder 24 (MSE/REE 0018-24) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1960 July. 5 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).
                                                    Letters no.76-79 from Vikhorevka. Letter from July, 4, 1960 is not numbered.
                                                    • Folder 25 (MSE/REE 0018-25) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1960 August-September. 4 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).
                                                      Letters no.80-82, 84 from Vikhorevka.
                                                      • Folder 26 (MSE/REE 0018-26) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1960 October. 3 letters, (ALsS, AL).
                                                        Letters no.85, 87-88 from Vikhorevka. Letter no.87 is missing pages 3-4.
                                                        • Folder 27 (MSE/REE 0018-27) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1960 November-December. 5 letters and 1 note, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS, AL, ANS).
                                                          Letters no.90-94 from Vikhorevka, Novosibirsk, Sverdlovsk and Kirov. Letter from November 10, 1960 is not numbered.
                                                          • Folder 28 (MSE/REE 0018-28) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1961 January-February. 4 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).
                                                            Letters no.96-99 from Vladimir.
                                                            • Folder 29 (MSE/REE 0018-29) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1961 April-June. 5 letters, (ALsS).
                                                              Letters no.100; and no. 1-4 from Vladimir.
                                                              • Folder 30 (MSE/REE 0018-30) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1961 May-December. 6 letters, (ALsS).
                                                                Letters no. 5-7 and 9-11 from Vladimir.
                                                                • Folder 31 (MSE/REE 0018-31) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1962 January-March. 3 letters and one copy of a letter, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).
                                                                  Letters no. 12-14 from Vladimir.
                                                                  • Folder 32 (MSE/REE 0018-32) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1962 April-November. 5 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).
                                                                    Letters no. 15-18, and no. 122 from Vladimir.
                                                                    • Folder 33 (MSE/REE 0018-33) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, ca. 1962. 4 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).
                                                                      • Folder 34 (MSE/REE 0018-34) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1963 January-June. 4 letters, (ALsS).
                                                                        Letters no. 124, 126, 128, 130 from Vladimir. Letter no. 128 is accompanied by a typed transcript.
                                                                        • Folder 35 (MSE/REE 0018-35) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1963 September. 5 letters, on paper of various sizes, (TLsS).
                                                                          Letters no. 2-3 from Raisino and Leningrad.
                                                                          • Folder 36 (MSE/REE 0018-36) Letters. R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia, 1963 November-December. 4 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS, TLsS).
                                                                            Unnumbered letters from Leningrad.
                                                                            • Folder 37 (MSE/REE 0018-37) Letters. Ivan Gavrilovich Shcherbakov to Irena S. Verblovskaia, 1958-1960. 5 letters and 3 envelopes, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).
                                                                              • Folder 38 (MSE/REE 0018-38) Letters. Ivan Gavrilovich Shcherbakov to Irena S. Verblovskaia, 1961-1962. 3 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).
                                                                                • Folder 39 (MSE/REE 0018-39) Letters. Larisa Mikhailovna Shcherbakova to Irena S. Verblovskaia, 1962-1963. 4 letters, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).
                                                                                  Handwritten copies of letters from R.I. Pimenov to I.S. Verblovskaia no. 23 (1962), no. 129 (1963), no. 131 (1963), and February 5, 1963.
                                                                                  • Folder 40 (MSE/REE 0018-40) Letters. Ernst S. Orlovskii to Irena S. Verblovskaia, 1957-1958. 4 letters, 4 postcards, 1 envelope, on paper of various sizes, (TLsS, APCS).
                                                                                    • Folder 41 (MSE/REE 0018-41) Letters. Ernst S. Orlovskii to Irena S. Verblovskaia, ca. 1958-1959. 3 letters, on paper of various sizes, (AL, TL).
                                                                                      Some letters are incomplete and lack a beginning or an end.
                                                                                      • Folder 42 (MSE/REE 0018-42) Letters. Ernst S. Orlovskii to Irena S. Verblovskaia, 1959. 3 letters, 1 postcard and 1 envelope, on paper of various sizes, (ALsS, TLS, APCS).
                                                                                        Letter from February, 25, 1959 has missing pages.
                                                                                        • Folder 43 (MSE/REE 0018-43) Letters. Ernst S. Orlovskii to Irena S. Verblovskaia, 1960. 3 postcards and 3 letters, on paper of various sizes, (APCS, TL, TLsS).
                                                                                          Letters from Leningrad.
                                                                                          • Folder 44 (MSE/REE 0018-44) Letters. Ernst S. Orlovskii to Irena S. Verblovskaia, 1961. 3 letters and 2 postcards, on paper of various sizes, (APCS, TLS, ALsS).
                                                                                            Letters from Leningrad.
                                                                                            • Folder 45 (MSE/REE 0018-45) Letters. Boris B. Vail to Irena S. Verblovskaia, 1960-1964. 3 letters on paper of various sizes, (ALsS).

                                                                                            • Series 3: Letters from I.S. Verblovskaia 
                                                                                              Copies of letters are arranged by sender . Access to letters from R.I. Pimenov (Folders 46-62) is by permission only until 2024. Originals are located at the Memorial Society Archive, St. Petersburg, Russia.
                                                                                              • Folder 46 (MSE/REE 0018-46) Index to letters from Irena .S. Verblovskaia to Revolt I. Pimenov, nd. 6 pages (photocopy).
                                                                                                Index from R.I. Pimenov Archive located at the Memorial Society, St. Petersburg, Russia.
                                                                                                • Folder 47 (MSE/REE 0018-47) Letters. Irena S. Verblovskaia to Revolt I. Pimenov, 1958 May-December. 59 leaves (photocopy).
                                                                                                  Letters no. 0-39.
                                                                                                  • Folder 48 (MSE/REE 0018-48) Letters. I.S. Verblovskaia to R.I. Pimenov, 1959: May-September. 22 leaves (photocopy).
                                                                                                    Letters no. 58-60, 62-67, 69-70.
                                                                                                    • Folder 49 (MSE/REE 0018-49) Letters. I.S. Verblovskaia to R.I. Pimenov, 1959: January-April. 29 leaves (photocopy).
                                                                                                      Letters no. 40-56.
                                                                                                      • Folder 50 (MSE/REE 0018-50) Letters. I.S. Verblovskaia to R.I. Pimenov, 1959: September-December. 27 leaves (photocopy).
                                                                                                        Letters no. 71; 73-82a.
                                                                                                        • Folder 51 (MSE/REE 0018-51) Letters. I.S. Verblovskaia to R.I. Pimenov, 1960: January-May. 41 leaves (photocopy).
                                                                                                          Letters no. 82b-99.
                                                                                                          • Folder 52 (MSE/REE 0018-52) Letters. I.S. Verblovskaia to R.I. Pimenov, 1960: May-September. 49 leaves (photocopy).
                                                                                                            Letters no. 100-102; 105-110; 112-125.
                                                                                                            • Folder 53 (MSE/REE 0018-53) Letters. I.S. Verblovskaia to R.I. Pimenov, 1960: September-December. 37 leaves (photocopy).
                                                                                                              Letters no. 127-137; 20-27.
                                                                                                              • Folder 54 (MSE/REE 0018-54) Letters. I.S. Verblovskaia to R.I. Pimenov, 1961: January-April. 39 leaves (photocopy).
                                                                                                                Letters no. 28-35; 38; 40-53.
                                                                                                                • Folder 55 (MSE/REE 0018-55) Letters. I.S. Verblovskaia to R.I. Pimenov, 1961: May-July. 22 leaves (photocopy).
                                                                                                                  Letters no. 54-66; 68-69.
                                                                                                                  • Folder 56 (MSE/REE 0018-56) Letters. I.S. Verblovskaia to R.I. Pimenov, 1961: August-December. 40 leaves (photocopy).
                                                                                                                    Letters no. 70; 72-73; 76-80; 82-96; 98-103.
                                                                                                                    • Folder 57 (MSE/REE 0018-57) Letters. I.S. Verblovskaia to R.I. Pimenov, 1962: January-March. 33 leaves (photocopy).
                                                                                                                      Letters no. 104-109; 111-125.
                                                                                                                      • Folder 58 (MSE/REE 0018-58) Letters. I.S. Verblovskaia to R.I. Pimenov, 1962: April-July. 42 leaves (photocopy).
                                                                                                                        Letters no. 1-29.
                                                                                                                        • Folder 59 (MSE/REE 0018-59) Letters. I.S. Verblovskaia to R.I. Pimenov, 1962: August-December. 42 leaves (photocopy).
                                                                                                                          Letters no. 30-56.
                                                                                                                          • Folder 60 (MSE/REE 0018-60) Letters. I.S. Verblovskaia to R.I. Pimenov, 1963: January-July. 43 leaves (photocopy).
                                                                                                                            Letters no. 1-27; 110; 128.
                                                                                                                            • Folder 61 (MSE/REE 0018-61) Letters. I.S. Verblovskaia to R.I. Pimenov, September, 1963-March, 1964. 20 leaves (photocopy).
                                                                                                                              Letters unnumbered.
                                                                                                                              • Folder 62 (MSE/REE 0018-62) Letters. Miscellaneous letters from I.S. Verblovskaia to R.I. Pimenov, 1957-ca. 1962. 23 leaves (photocopy), two original letters.
                                                                                                                                Folder contains incomplete and undated letters.
                                                                                                                                • Folder 63 (MSE/REE 0018-63) Letter. I.S. Verblovskaia to Viktor Nikolaevich ?, 1963 October 31. 1 leave (photocopy).