Andrei Sakharov Archives


Elena Bonner and Andreĭ Sakharov. Gorky, 1984. Taken after the hunger strike. Houghton library


This is an extensive “collection of collections” containing the papers of physicist and human rights activist Andrei Sakharov as well as the papers of other prominent Soviet activists and dissidents, including  Elena Bonner, Andrei Amalrik, the writer Vasilii Grossman, and many others.

Andrei Sakharov Archives at Harvard University (overview with links to Harvard library catalog records, finding aids, and descriptions of individual paper collections)

HOLLIS catalog link

Andrei Sakharov Archives collections of primary interest:

Andrei Sakharov Papers

Andrei Sakharov (1921-1989) was a Soviet physicist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975 for his work as a human rights activist. The collection, dating primarily from 1960-1990, comprises personal and professional papers related to Sakharov's family and career as a physicist; his life and work with his wife, Elena Bonner; his campaign to limit the testing and proliferation of nuclear weapons; his human rights activities, including hunger strikes undertaken by him and Elena Bonner; and his role in the development of perestroika. Includes various formats of Sakharov's two key autobiographical works: Memoirs; and Moscow and beyond, an autobiographical novel.

Finding aid

Digital material

Andrei Amal'rik Papers    

Amal'rik, 1938–1980, was a Soviet dissident, historian, and dramatist. This collection includes correspondence, biographical materials, political writings, and lectures.

Elena Bonner Papers

Bonner, 1923–2011, was a human rights activist and writer, and the wife of Andrei Sakharov. This collection includes correspondence circa 1975–1999, working manuscripts for Alone Together and Mothers and Daughters, and biographical materials.

Finding aid

Martin Dewhirst Papers

Dewhirst is a specialist in 20th-century Russian literature and history. His papers, circa 1917–1999, include copies of articles from Russian newspapers, samizdat, and other material compiled by Dewhirst on Soviet dissidents and intelligentsia, the gulags, and other topics.

Vasilii Semenovich Grossman Papers

Grossman, 1905–1964, was a Soviet writer and journalist. At the outbreak of World War II, he became a war correspondent, writing eyewitness accounts of a number of major battles, the liberation of Treblinka, and of conditions at the fronts and in the liberated territories. After the war, the manuscript of his novel Life and Fate was seized by the KGB and banned from publication. The novel was first published in 1980 in Switzerland, and in 1988 in the Soviet Union.

His papers, collected by his biographers John and Carol Garrard, include documents and research materials related to Grossman and his family, circa 1902–2013, with an emphasis on 1923–1994.

Finding aid

Ludmila Gurevich Papers

The Gurevich family papers, circa 1900–1950, primarily document the life of Grigorii Gurevich, 1883–1952, editor-in-chief of the Novaia Derevnia publishing house, who spent several terms in labor camps. The papers include his letters to his family and his memoir, as well as correspondence among other family members. Also included are some writings of Roman Eiges, 1840–1926, a doctor who corresponded with Tolstoy.

Human Rights Collection

This collection, circa 1968–2003, includes materials relating to various human rights organizations, as well as materials on individual cases of human rights violations both in the USSR and in other countries. Organizations represented include Amnesty International and the Committee of Concerned Scientists. Individual cases documented include Anatolii Manchenko, Tatiana Yelikanova, Yuri Orlov, Sergei Kovalev, and others.

Edward Kline Papers

The papers of Kline, an editor, writer, and former president of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation (USA), date from 1968–1992.

Peter Reddaway Photograph Collection

Reddaway formed this collection as part of his work documenting Soviet human rights movements. The collection includes images of Soviet dissidents, including Andrei Sakharov, political prisoners in Gulag camps, penal facilities, and psychiatric prison-hospitals.

Finding aid

Digital material