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Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Butler Library, Columbia University

Prokofiev Archive received from London

by Jennifer Lee
 

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The Serge Prokofiev Archive that has been housed for many decades at Goldsmiths College, University of London, has arrived in RBML and is now available for use by Prokofiev researchers. Constituted in successive stages over a period of 60 years, this impressive collection was gathered by Prokofiev himself and by members of his family, but credit for painstakingly gathering everything together must go to NoŽlle Mann, whose dedication to the preservation of Prokofiev’s legacy remains unparalleled.
     During his prolonged stay in the West from 1918 to 1936, Prokofiev accumulated a large personal archive. When he returned to Moscow, he took only those papers and manuscripts that he judged necessary in the Soviet Union. Everything else was left in the care of close Parisian friends and his publisher, Edition Russe de Musique. These papers remained in France until 1974 when Lina Prokofiev, having returned to Paris after 38 difficult years, including imprisonment, in the U.S.S.R., was able to reclaim them.
     In the years that followed, Lina devoted herself to promoting Prokofiev and to tracking down his personal effects and papers, thus increasing her husband’s collection. The work continued, with tremendous energy, when NoŽlle Mann established the Prokofiev Archive in London. What has come with the material from Goldsmiths College are high quality photocopies of the archive, along with Lina’s personal archive, and that or their younger son, Oleg. Also in the archive is the largest collection of published material on Prokofiev in the West, including some 500 scores, over 400 books, periodicals and articles on Prokofiev, and nearly 500 concert programs. The fast-growing audiovisual collection contains almost 800 audio recordings on CD, LP and cassette, and 65 video/DVD recordings.

 

 

For access, please contact Jennifer B. Lee, Curator, Performing Arts Collections.

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24 MAY 2014