"Memoirs" of E.V. Spektorsky as a source for the history of university life during the World War I

Print PDF

Mikhalchenko S.I., Bryansk, Russian Federation

"Memoirs" of E.V. Spektorsky as a source for the history of university life during the World War I


The article is devoted to facts of university life (mainly St. Vladimir University in Kiev) in unpublished "Memoirs" by Eugeny Vasilievich Spektorsky (1875–1951) – well known domestic social scientist and leader of higher education in the beginning of the 20th century. In the pre–revolutionary period, he passed through all stages of academic career from a student at Warsaw University to full professor, rector of the University of St. Vladimir in Kiev. Emigrated in 1920, Spektorsky not only continued abroad active research, but became one of the organizers of the research and training activities of the Russian diaspora – he was among the founders of the Russian Scientific Institute in Belgrade, some time led the Russian Law Faculty in Prague. Scientific and organizational activity of Spektorsky did not stop until his death in the United States. In various Russian and foreign archives there are a lot of his documents. But the special value are of his "Memoirs." They are stored in the fund 30.230 (Bona?, Vladimir) in the Archive of the Institute for Eastern European Studies, University of Bremen, Germany.

"Memoirs" are the sheets (pagination ll.42–929) of A–5 format, filled with handwritten text, only the left half of each sheet, the right side sometimes contains additions and corrections, turnover sheet is blank. Text chronologically comprehends Spektorsky life from birth and the origin of his family till the start of the 1930s, the text is cut off in mid–sentence. The text contains many details as of privat life of Spektorsky, so the description of events of the epoch, he had witnessed.A significant part of the memoirs are devoted to 1914–1918 years when Spektorsky taught at the St.Vladimir University of Kiev, and in 1917–1918 elected dean of the faculty of law, and then rector. Special attention is paid by the author to the response of the University at the beginning of the war, the evacuation of the University to Saratov in the 1915–1916 academic year. Particular attention is given by the author to the events of 1917–1918, when events at the front are closely intertwined with revolutionary actions. Spektorsky leave a detailed description of the German occupation of Kiev and the Hetman's regime and their impact on the university life. All this suggests the importance of "Memoirs" by Spepktorsky as source for the history of university life during the World War I.


Source, Spektorsky E.V., "Memoirs", World War I, Kiev St. Vladimir University.

Download the article: pdf

About the authors

Mikhalchenko Sergey Ivanovich, doctor of historical sciences, professor, director of the Institute for Fundamental and Applied Research, Bryansk State I.G. Petrovsky University, Bryansk, Russian Federation, 8-483-258-93-39, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

You can read completely article in the russian historic-archival magazine “The Herald of an Archivist”. Read more about terms of subscription here.

Полностью материал публикуется в российском историко-архивоведческом журнале ВЕСТНИК АРХИВИСТА. Ознакомьтесь с условиями подписки здесь.