European Russia; portraits, cities and villages, street scenes and country views, ethnic and occupational types

Collection History

The Library acquired the majority of the albums in this digital presentation during the early 1930s. Many were originally part of Romanov palace libraries nationalized by the Soviet government and sold abroad for hard currency.


Subjects include Russian Orthodox churches, monasteries, and ecclesiastical art; views of cities, as well as small provincial towns; secular architecture; tsarist- and Soviet-era political exiles; and the diverse peoples of the Russian Empire. A number of albums include portraits of the Tsar or the imperial family; state occasions, military maneuvers, and relaxation at the imperial hunting lodge are all depicted. Represented as well are military operations, particularly during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. Russian Revolutionary-era photos are extensive, ranging from the immediate aftermath of the February Revolution, to the Stalinist period.

Many of the imperial association albums-that is, those presented as gifts to the royal family-are of superior technical and artistic quality, and in several cases mounted in bindings that are themselves works of art, incorporating silver, wood, and other decorative elements.

Related Resources

Hee-Gwone Yoo."Holdings of rare photographs and plate books at the Slavic and Baltic Division of The New York Public Library." Rosia yongu (Russian Studies), vol. 12, no. 1 (2002): [323]-332.

Collection Data

Kennan, George, 1845-1924 (Collector)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1880 - 1889 (Approximate)
Place: St. Petersburg, etc.,
Library locations
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection
Shelf locator: MFY+ 96-4041
Orthodox churches -- Russia
Cities & towns -- Russia
Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878
Military maneuvers
Content: Mounted and bound by The New York Public Library, 1936.
Ownership: 872341 A. The New York Public Library Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations, RL 1936.
Content: The pictures brought together in this album - most of them are photographs - form part of the material presented to The New York Public Library by Mr. George Kennan. (Slavonic Division. October, 1936)
Content: Many of the typewritten explanations are faithful transcripts of the inscriptions made by the late Mr. Kennan on the back of the pictures. (Slavonic Division. October, 1936)
Content: The Index, at the end of the volume, furnishes a clue to its contents. (Slavonic Division. October, 1936)
Physical Description
Albumen prints
Extent: 1 v. of photos. 33 cm.
Type of Resource
Still image
RLIN/OCLC: 36979860
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b13100920
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): c1c13ad0-c6d0-012f-cba9-58d385a7bc34
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