Photographs and personal letters, 1904-1928.

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

Shabliovsky, Boris (Creator)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1904 - 1928
Place: Havana, Cuba.
Library locations
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection
Shelf locator: Slav. Reserve (Photo) 95-1904
Crew -- Russia
Battleships -- Russia
Content: 2 personal letters with envelopes dated 5/13/21 and 5/25/26. 23 photographs of Russian Imperial Navy, its officers and sailors, visits by Czar Nicholas II, its service in WW I, and its final internment by the French in North Africa. Each photograph is captioned on verso, apparently after 1940. Scenes date circa 1904-1928.
Ownership: Purchased by NYPL from Charles Apfelbaum, Valley stream, NY on January 15, 1991.
Physical Description
Extent: 23 photographs ; 6.5 x 6 cm. - 21.5 x 16 cm. 2 personal letters.
Type of Resource
Still image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12048497
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 3b262720-c6b9-012f-9dbd-58d385a7bc34
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