World War I in Private and Corporate Collections of Russia and the Russian Expatriate Community

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Abstract


This article looks at the formation and fate of the private and museum collections of the history of World War I that emerged in Russia during the conflict, as well as subsequently in the émigré community. Already shortly after the outbreak of hostilities, Russian individuals and museums began to organise collections of relevant memorabilia, which they saw as their duty to future generations. After the 1917 Revolution, the museums and the most significant private collections, particularly that of M.S. Vorobev, led to the establishment of museums in the RSFSR. However, private collection of artefacts related to the military history of old Russia were illegal. By contrast, between 1920 and 1980, Russian émigré organisations in France, Czechoslovakia, the USA, especially those of former officers, actively gathered medals, weapons, banners and other relics, as well as photos and documents from the Great War. At the turn of the 21st century, these collections became an important part of the common memorial space in both Russia and Russia Abroad.


About the authors

Maria V Katagoshchina

State Historical Museum

Author for correspondence.
Email: marya.katagoshina@yandex.ru
Red Square, 1, Moscow, Russia, 109012

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