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COLLECTION Identifier: DCMC-2011-003-00

Alexander V. Chukayeff Papers


Papers pertaining to the life and work of Russian-born USIA analyst Alexander V. Chukayeff.


  • 1902-1978 (inclusive)
  • Majority of material found within 1954-1972


Language of Materials

Collection materials are mostly in English and Russian.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restriction

For restrictions on use, please consult the Librarian for the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Collection.


2.9 linear feet (7 document cases)
Consists of correspondence, internal memoranda, newspaper clippings, reports from various government agencies, handwritten and typed notes and drafts, scripts of radio broadcasts, airgrams, telegrams, leaflets, and photographs. Most of the papers document Chukayeff’s work at the USIA as an analyst and writer on Soviet affairs in the 1950s and 1960s, and consist largely of research material generated while creating background reports on various aspects of Communism, Soviet policies, current developments, and related areas. These subject files cover a wide array of topics, with a particular on: literature under Communism (especially Solzhenitsyn, Yevtushenko, and the Sinyavsky-Daniel trial of 1965-1966); international Communism; dissidents (in particular the defection of Svetlana Alliluyeva in 1966); living conditions in the Soviet Union; Soviet media coverage of events in the USSR and abroad; and Soviet methods of domestic propaganda. The files contain many newspaper clippings, in both English and Russian, that Chukayeff drew from for his analyses, as well as telegrams and airgrams with news from overseas. There is a large collection of the background reports he produced, mostly in later photocopies. Also included are administrative documents relating to the State Department and the USIA’s Research and Reference Service, notably interoffice communication and requests for reports. There is a collection of Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese newspaper clippings of translations of articles by Chukayeff. There is also a small amount of biographical material and photographs.

Biographical Note

Alexander V. Chukayeff was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1902. He volunteered for the White Army during the Russian Civil War, and lived in China for three years before moving to the United States in 1923. He became a U.S. citizen in 1929 and received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Lincoln University in San Francisco in 1930. In 1942, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he attended Radio and Radar schools, as well as Military Intelligence school. In 1943, he joined the Radio section of the Psychological Warfare Division, working first in Algiers and then in Naples, Italy. Upon his discharge in 1945, he joined the State Department as an editor and writer, and spent two years as chief of information for the War Department in Berlin. A staunch anti-Communist, he transferred to the United States Information Agency (USIA) in 1954, working in the Office of Research and Intelligence as a social science analyst and an intelligence research officer covering Soviet affairs. In the early 1960’s, he transferred to Research and Reference Services, where he worked until his retirement in 1972. On October 1st, 1978, he died of a heart attack while visiting Moscow, survived by his wife Lilly and their daughter Marina.


The collection is arranged in three series:
  1. Biographical and Administrative Materials, arranged alphabetically;
  2. Subject Files, arranged alphabetically;
  3. and USIA Reports and Background Papers, arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

Gift of Marina Chukayeff McCarthy, 2011.

Related Collections

The records of the United States Information Agency are held at the National Archives, Record Group 306.


  • The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.) Obituary of Alexander V. Chukayeff. October 12, 1978.

General note

  1. Chukayeff, Alexander V., 1902-1978.
  2. Cannon, Thomas L.
  3. Loomis, Henry.
  4. Stephens, Oren.
  5. Rummel, Alexander.
  6. White, Ralph.
  7. Allen, George V. (George Venable), 1903-1970.
  8. Crespi, Leo Paul, 1916-2008.
  9. Decter, Moshe.
  10. Marks, Leonard H.
  11. United States Information Agency--History.
  12. Public relations and politics--United States--History--20th century.
  13. Soviet Union--Politics and government--1945-1991.
  14. United States--Foreign relations--Soviet Union.
  15. Soviet Union--Foreign relations--United States.

Processing Information

Processed by: Hugh K. Truslow and Rebecca Rosenthal (2011). Additional processing by Svetlana Rukhelman (2015).
Link to catalog
Chukayeff, Alexander V. (1902-1978). Papers of Alexander V. Chukayeff : Guide
Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Collection, H.C. Fung Library

Repository Details

Part of the H.C. Fung Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University Repository

CGIS Knafel Building, 1737 Cambridge St
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 496-0485