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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Russ 129

John and Carol Garrard collection of Vasilii Semenovich Grossman papers


Documents and research materials related to the Soviet war correspondent and writer Vasilii Grossman and his family collected by John and Carol Garrard.


  • Creation: 1902-2013
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1923-1994


Language of Materials

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

Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying restricted: copies of original material from other repositories in this collection may not be photocopied. For the list of documents from Vasilii Grossman archive at Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv literatury i iskusstva (RGALI) consult item (51).


2.65 linear feet (7 boxes including 1 pf box and 2 folders containing 3 items)

The collection primarily contains photocopies of documents from various Russian, German and American archives related to the life and writings of Vasilii Semenovich Grossman and to the Nazi occupation of the Soviet Union, and the anti-fascist movement in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe: compositions, correspondence, military and civil records, and maps. The collection also includes compositions by others, correspondence of John and Carol Garrard with friends and relatives of Vasilii Grossman and with repositories and archives, photographs, drawings, maps, and souvenirs.

Please note that additions to the collection (minimally processed) are listed at the end of the finding aid as series V.

Biographical / Historical

Vasilii Semenovich Grossman (1905-1964) was a Soviet writer and journalist. At the outbreak of World War Two he became a war correspondent writing eyewitness accounts of a number of major battles, of the liberation of the Nazi extermination camp at Treblinka, of the conditions of life at the fronts and on the liberated territories. After the war, the manuscript of his novel Life and fate was seized by the KGB and banned from publication for two or three hundred years. The novel was first published in 1980 in Switzerland, and in 1988 in the Soviet Union.

John Gordon Garrard is a professor emeritus of Russian Studies at the University of Arizona; together with his wife Carol E. Garrard he wrote a biography of Vasilii Grossman.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Compositions
  2. II. Correspondence
  3. III. Research files for the Bones of Berdichev : the life and fate of Vasily Grossman
  4. ___A. Files on Vasilii Grossman
  5. ___B. Files on the Nazi occupation of the Soviet Union and the anti-fascist movement
  6. IV. Other material
  7. V. Additions to collection

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

2004M-18. Gift of John G. Garrard and Carol E. Garrard ; received: 2004 July, 2013 August 22-23, 2014 June 13.

2010M-52. Gift of John G. Garrard and Carol E. Garrard ; received: 2010 December 29.

2011M-43. Gift of John G. Garrard and Carol E. Garrard ; received: 2011 October 5, 2012 May 17. 2018M-14. Gift of John Garrard ; received 2017 July 24.

2018M-20. Gift of John and Carol Garrard ; received 2017 August 8.

2019M-22. Gift of John and Carol Garrard ; received 2018 September.

This collection is part of the Andrei Sakharov Archives at Harvard University.

Related Materials

For information on Grossman and a link to the following manuscripts:

Grossman, Vasilii Semenovich. Все течет [Vse techet] : typescript with autograph manuscript corrections, 1963

Grossman, Vasilii Semenovich. Typescript letter draft (signed) to Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev, 1962.


Garrard, John and Carol Garrard. The Bones of Berdichev: the Life and Fate of Vasily Grossman. New York : Free Press, 1996.

Processing Information

Processed by: Irina Klyagin

Garrard, John Gordon, collector. John and Carol Garrard collection of Vasilii Semenovich Grossman papers, 1902-2013: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
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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