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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2933

Nicholas Daniloff papers

Papers of American journalist Nicholas Daniloff concerning his arrest and release in the Soviet Union in 1986.


  • 1957-2008
  • Majority of material found within 1986-1988

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English, Russian, German, and French.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but 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.


15 linear feet (17 boxes)

0.7 Gigabytes

The collection concerns the "Daniloff Affair" of 1986, including correspondence, editorials, and clippings; the collection also includes compositions and research files for Two Lives, One Russia (1988) and files from Daniloff's journalism career prior to his arrest.

Includes material by Daniloff's wife, Ruth Daniloff; a CD-R of Danilov genealogy (2008), audio tapes, and several photographs.

Biographical / Historical

Nicholas Daniloff is an American journalist and 1956 Harvard graduate who was most prominent in the 1980s for his reporting on the Soviet Union. From 1981 to 1986 Daniloff served as the Moscow bureau chief for U.S. News & World Report. Shortly before his tenure ended, he became known internationally on August 30, 1986, when he was arrested in Moscow by the KGB and accused of espionage. This period would come to be known as the "Daniloff Affair". On September 23 Daniloff was allowed to leave the Soviet Union without charges. Daniloff contends in his autobiography, Two Lives, One Russia, that the KGB falsely accused him in retaliation for the American arrest of a Soviet spy. He later became an instructor at Northeastern University's School of Journalism and from 1992 until 1999 served at the director of the school. He retired in 2014.


Arranged into the following series:
  1. I. Compositions
  2. II. Correspondence
  3. III. Research files
  4. ___A. General research files
  5. ___B. Daniloff affair
  6. IV. Clippings
  7. V. Audiovisual and other material

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2013M-20. Gift of Nicholas Daniloff; received: 2013 August 27, December 3.

General note

The collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Processing Information

Processed by: Christine Jacobson and Irina Klyagin.
Link to catalog
Daniloff, Nicholas, 1934-. Nicholas Daniloff papers, 1957-2008: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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