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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 428

Serge Diaghilev correspondence relating to book collecting


Correspondence between Russian ballet impresario Serge Diaghilev and booksellers in Paris, Berlin, London, Warsaw and Moscow.


  • 1925-1938
  • Majority of material found in 1925-1929

Conditions Governing Access

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


1 linear feet (2 boxes)

The collection contains letters, telegrams and notes from Serge Diaghilev to booksellers in Paris, Berlin, London, Warsaw and Moscow (including Karl W. Heirsmann, Otto Harrassowitz, and Mezhdunarodnaia kniga), and a letter from the notable Pushkin scholar Modest Hofmann. Letters are primarily in Diaghilev's and Boris Kochno's hands. The collection encompasses the last four years of Diaghilev's life, except for one unidentified letter from 1938.

Biographical / Historical

Serge Diaghilev was a Russian ballet impresario, the founder, producer and artistic director of Ballets Russes. In his late years he turned to book and manuscript collecting. He built up a collection of rare Russian printed books, manuscripts and scores.


Arranged chronologically.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

2003MT-112. Purchased with the Howard D. Rothschild fund; received: 1998.

Diaghilev, Serge, 1872-1929. Serge Diaghilev correspondence relating to book collecting, 1925-1938: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
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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