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Pares (Sir Bernard) Collection

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0369 PAR
Held at: School of Slavonic and East European Studies
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Full title: Pares (Sir Bernard) Collection
Date(s): 1902-1948
Level of description: Collection (Fonds)
Extent: 83 boxes, 7 envelopes and 3 boxes of press cuttings
Name of creator(s): Pares | Sir | Bernard | 1867-1949 | Knight | historian
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Bernard Pares (1867-1949) visited Russia for the first time in 1898. On his return to Britain he began work as a university extension (adult education) lecturer at Liverpool University in 1902. It was at Liverpool in 1907 that he founded the first School of Russian Studies at a British university. Pares was a regular visitor to Russia in the pre First World War period. After the outbreak of World War One he was appointed British Military Observer to the Russian Army and remained at the front for most of 1915-1917. Pares returned to Russia in January 1919 with a commission from the British Government to give lectures in Siberia then held by the White Admiral Kolchak. After Kolchak's defeat he made his way back to Britain in October 1919. While the British Government awarded him a KBE, the new Soviet Government prevented him from returning to Russia until 1935.
Pares returned to his academic career, becoming Professor of Russian Languages, Literature and History at the School of Slavonic Studies (now SSEES) at Kings College in 1919, a post he held until 1939. He was also involved more generally in the development of the School and served as Director of SSEES 1922-1939. In 1922, with Robert Seton-Watson (qv.), professor of Central European history, Pares founded and edited "The Slavonic Review". During the Second World War, Pares along with Robert Seton-Watson, worked for the Government for a short time as Russian specialist for the Foreign Research and Press Service. He then worked for the Ministry of Information, touring Britain to give public talks about Russia, also giving lecture tours in the United States. Pares remained in the United States for the remainder of his life, he died in 1949. He married Margaret Ellis in 1901. They had five children but later separated.


Scope and content/abstract:

Correspondence and papers of Sir Bernard Pares, 1902-1948, comprising:
Pre World War One papers, 1902-1914, including writings on Russian politics, joint diary on Russian political events written with Samuel Northrup Harper; press cuttings and Russian newspapers;
correspondence and papers on the School of Russian Studies, Liverpool University, 1907-1916, including manuscript and typescript articles for the "Russian Review", and correspondence with Sir Alfred Jones, Liverpool shipping magnate and a supporter of the School;
correspondence and papers on visit to Britain of members of the Russian Duma, June-July 1919;
correspondence and papers on visit of delegation of British public figures to Russia, 1911-1912;
World War One papers, including drafts of his dispatches from the front as British Military Overseer to the Russian Army, 1915-1917, papmplets and newspapers, presscuttings of Pares's articles;
correspondence and papers on the Russian Revolution and Civil War years, 1917-1922, including reports, memos and other papers, press surveys, newspapers, pamphlets and press cuttings, particularly on White held Siberia;
papers dating from the inter-war years, including papers on the education of Russian children in Britain and other relief work for Russian refugees, papers on Pares' visit to the Soviet Union, 1935-1936, correspondence on publications and lectures, correspondence on the Church of England Council on Foreign Relations, pamphlets, reports and press cuttings;
correspondence and papers on the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, 1916-1938, including early plans for the school and Pares' employment as Director; correspondence on Pares's visit to United States, 1929 and lecture notes;
papers dating from World War Two and post-war years, 1939-1948, including mss and working papers for "The fall of the Russian monarchy"; lecture and broadcast notes; letters from American correspondents

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
Mainly English and Russian, also small amounts of French, German, Japanese and Polish

System of arrangement:

The papers are divided into nine classes, as described in Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

Access on the authority of the SSEES Director. Researchers wishing to consult the archives or seeking further information should contact UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) Library, 16 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Details available from the Librarian.

Finding aids:

Online catalogue available on the UCL Archives website.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Not available

Allied Materials

Related material:

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Revised by Alan Kucia as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description ISAD(G), 2nd edition 2000 and National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Revised Jan 2003

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