The Zemblarchive is intended to be an electronic resource for scholars and students in search of original Nabokov materials held in collections around the world. Additions and corrections to the Zemblarchive are encouraged. Please send relevant information to Jeff Edmunds.
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY | YALE UNIVERSITY
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY | AMHERST COLLEGE | PENN STATE
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT SANTA BARBARA
Nabokov began donating various papers and manuscripts to the Library of Congress in 1958. The resulting sizable collection promises to be a treasure-trove for future generations of Nabokovians.
The official policy on access to the collection, per Alice Lotvin Birney, American Literature Manuscript Historian at the Library of Congress, is as follows:
"Dmitri Nabokov still controls access to those Vladimir Nabokov Papers in the Library of Congress donated by the author. According to the terms of the Instrument of Gift signed by Vladimir Nabokov May 30, 1959, and by the Librarian of Congress June 23, 1959, the author or his wife or son has control of both access and copyright for fifty years, i.e. until June 23, 2009. At that point, the collection will be open and the as yet unpublished Nabokov writings in it will be in the public domain. Presently, Dmitri responds separately to each detailed application for access submitted through the Manuscript Division. Those items acquired from persons other than the author, located at the end of the collection, have no access restrictions."
Complete (or very nearly complete) manuscripts of Nabokov's Russian novels Mashen'ka (Mary), Otchayanie (Despair), Priglashenie na kazn' (Invitation to a Beheading), and Podvig (The Exploit, Glory).
For more information on the collection, contact Alice Birney (email@example.com).
In 1991 the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library acquired the Vladimir Nabokov archive. The materials in this collection, organized and maintained by Nabokov and his wife during their years at the Montreux Palace Hotel in Switzerland, occupy approximately 140 linear feet of shelf space, 40 feet of which is devoted to books and magazines from Nabokov's Montreux library. The collection is being cataloged by Steven Crook, who is available to answer questions about the contents of the Archive at firstname.lastname@example.org. The curator of the Berg Collection is Rodney Phillips (email@example.com).
Approximately half the Archive consists of extensive correspondence both to and from Nabokov. Correspondents include Sylvia Berkman, Morris Bishop, Jason Epstein, Anna Feigin, Franz Hellens, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, James Laughlin, Elena Nabokov, Sergei Nabokov, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Sonia Slonim, Bertrand and Lisbeth Thompson, Peter Ustinov, and Edmund Wilson.
The information here has been excerpted from:
Goldwasser, James. "The Vladimir Nabokov Archive in the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library: An Overview," in Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook, 1991, (Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research Co.), pp. 186-190.
The Nabokov Family Papers (1882-1950) in the Bakhmeteff Archive consist of correspondence, documents, and a photograph of members of the Nabokov family. Included are 6 letters, a photograph, and 4 school documents of Dmitrii Dmitrievich Nabokov; birth, school, and marriage documents of his daughter, Sofia Dmitrievna Nabokova (Fasolt); letters to his brother Konstantin Dmitrievich Nabokov, 1 each from Sergei Witte and Viscount Alfred Milner (photocopies); an autographed letter (1885) from Tsar Alexander III to Dmitrii Nikolaevich Nabokov (1827-1904), father of Dmitrii Dm. and Konstantin Dm., asking for his resignation as Imperial Minister of Justice; and copies of an 1895 letter by Tsar Nicholas II to Dmitrii N. Nabokov.
Letters from Vladimir and Véra Nabokov are included elsewhere in the Archive, in collections devoted to their sundry correspondents: Mark Aldanov, Mstislav Valerianovich Dobuzhinskii, Alexis Goldweiser, Roman Grynberg, Abram Saulovich Kagan, George Vernadsky, Avrahm Yarmolinsky, Vladimir Feofilovich Zeeler, and Vladimir Mikhailovich Zenzinov.
The Curator of the Bakhmeteff Archive is Ellen Scaruffi.
The information here has been excerpted by from:
Russia in the Twentieth Century: the Catalog of the Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian and East European History and Culture, the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University (Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1987).
The Edmund Wilson-Vladimir Nabokov correspondence is in the manuscripts collection of the Beinecke Rare Books Library at Yale University. Items which may be of interest to Nabokov scholars include:
A two-page note on English iambics sent to Wilson by Nabokov--possibly a handout from the latter's Spring 1950 course at Cornell.
Other collections in the Beinecke which contain Nabokoviana (that has been catalogued) are in the following collected papers:
A letter to Herman W. Liebert dated 5/30/93 from Montreux.
For more information on the Wilson Papers, see:
Barabtarlo, Gennady. "Nabokov in the Wilson Archive," in Cycnos, vol. 10, no. 1, 1993, (Nabokov: Autobiography, Biography, and Fiction), pp. 27-32.
In addition to very extensive holdings of Nabokov's fiction, including translations of his work into many languages, Washington University Libraries owns a collection of letters from Véra Nabokov to Peter Russell concerning Nabokov's books and translations. The letters date from March 12, 1958-June 7, 1959. Also in the collection are the typescript of an interview with Nabokov by Jane Howard for Life Magazine (August 1964) and a clipping of the final published article, "The Master of Versatility."
In the letters to Russell, Mrs. Nabokov expresses her husband's opinions on translations and points out that he no longer believes in rhymed translations but in literalness alone. In one letter she adds the comment that her husband believes Pound to be an exceptionally poor translator.
The Acting Head and Curator of the Modern Literature Collection is Kevin Ray (firstname.lastname@example.org).
There are several items of possible interest in the Schakovskoy Family Papers at the Amherst Center for Russian Culture. These include an autograph poem by Nabokov, a letter from Véra Nabokov to Zinaida Schakovskoy, several letters from Nabokov's sister Elena Sikorskaia to Z. Schakovskoy, and several letters from Natalia Nabokova to her sister. The Center also owns several folders with correspondence, clippings and reviews of Zinaida Schakovskoy's book V poiskakh Nabokova. Some of the materials in the collection do not appear in the book and so might be of particular interest to Nabokov scholars.
The Center's WWW site is accessible at: http://www.amherst.edu/~acrc/menu.html
The Rare Books Room at Penn State holds two items of interest. The first is a first edition of Nabokov's second novel, Korol', dama, valet (King, Queen, Knave, 1928), inscribed by the author. The second is a first edition of the novel Podvig (Glory, 1932), which seems to have been Nabokov's own copy, for it bears on the cover, in a hand resembling Nabokov's, the author's name transliterated into Roman characters as well as the notation "Nestor Str. 22, c/o Feigin"--Nabokov's address during part of his time in Berlin.
University of California at Santa Barbara
The first three series in the collection were donated anonymously in 1987. They are:
Writings-Monographs. Arranged alphabetically, by title. Includes corrected typescript drafts, galley and page proofs, along with some related correspondence, for Pale Fire (Russian translation), Perepisksa s sestroi, and Pnin.
Correspondence, 1966-1986. Incoming/Outgoing, arranged chronologically. Mainly with Carl R. and Ellendea Proffer (ARDIS). A few typescript signed letters by Vladimir, but most by Vera and, later, also by their son Dmitri. Some later letters also with Ronald Meyer (ARDIS).
Nabokoviana, ca. 1966-1980. Mostly relating to Carl Proffer's work with Nabokov, including correspondence, articles, consultant's report, blank memoranda of agreement between ARDIS and Nabokov, and b/w photo of Nabokov.
The fourth series, donated by Donald B. Johnson in 1991, contains:
Additions. Issues of magazines, journals, and newspapers, containing articles by Nabokov, ca. 1978-1987.
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