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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Russ 160

Elizaveta Mnatsakanova papers


Papers of Russian Austrian émigré poet Elizaveta Mnatsakanova relating to her career as a poet and artist, translator, and professor.


  • Creation: circa 1965-2012

Language of Materials

Russian, German, English

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

Access to born-digital material is restricted until processed.

This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


16 linear feet (15 boxes and 1 folder)
3.5 Gigabytes (5 CD)

Contains materials relating to Mnatsakanova’s career as a poet and visual artist—often creating visual poetry which she published in small runs. These materials include drafts and some published versions of poetry, visual poetry, visual art, essays, translations, and other writings, as well as drawings; correspondence; speeches, talks, and lectures; materials relating to her teaching at University of Vienna; biographical materials; notes; photographs, clippings, and printed works.

Biographical / Historical

Elizaveta Mnatsakanova (1922-2019), also known as Elizaveta Mnatsakanian and Elizaveta Netskowa, was a poet and visual artist. She was in Moscow, in the Soviet Union, where she worked as a translator to and from German and Russian. She trained as a musicologist in Moscow, and then immigrated to Vienna, Austria, in 1975. In Vienna, she published books of visual poetry, translations, and essays, typically at her own expense and in small print runs with no distributor. She adopted the surname Netzkowa when in Vienna, but her books often were self-published under the surnames Mnatsakanian or Mnatsakanova. In her correspondence she also used the name of Elizabeth Mnatsakanova.


Collection is arranged into seven series: I. Compositions and drawings II. Translations III. Compositions and drawings by others IV. Correspondence V. Academic work VI. Biographical material VII. Printed material

In Compositions, Academic work, and Printed works series, material is arranged alphabetically by name of the author and/or title of the work, as well as by subject and type of material. Correspondence series is arranged alphabetically by the name of correspondent. Biographical material is arranged by type of material.

Within folders material is left in the order it was received. There are multiple duplicate copies in this collection, most of which represent the method of self-publishing used by Elizaveta Mnatsakanova.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Special equipment or surrogate required; consult Houghton staff.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2020M-88. Gift of Dr. Alexander Witte, 2020 February. 2006M-7. Purchase, 2007 July 9. 2008M-114. Purchase, 2009 April 27, June 11, June 3. 2009M-118, 2011M-1. Purchase.

Processing Information

Processed by Betts Coup, 2020, with the assistance of Christine Jacobson. Titles are derived from the donor's original description.

Revised description by Irina Klyagin, 2023.

Mnatsakanova, Elizaveta, 1922-2019. Elizaveta Mnatsakanova papers, circa 1965-2012 (MS Russ 160): Guide
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
2020 February 28
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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