Geneva Library and Archives of the RSDLP

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Geneva Library and Archives of the RSDLP


the primary depository of party documents and Social Democratic literature of the prerevolutionary period. V. I. Lenin assisted in its creation in Geneva in January 1904. In a resolution dated Jan. 29, 1904, which was drafted by Lenin, the Central Committee of the RSDLP welcomed the creation by a “group of initiators” of the Geneva Library and Archives of the RSDLP and called on all party committees and groups to provide assistance in this important undertaking. In early 1904 the library was opened for public use; Lenin was among those who did research there. A total of 118 magazines and newspapers in 16 languages were ordered. By Sept. 1, 1905, the number of books had increased from 3,750 to 9,520. Party literature and newspapers prepared for shipment to Russia were also stored there. In 1905 the Geneva Library and Archives of the RSDLP received materials about the history of the party and the revolutionary movement in Russia; these included documents of the RSDLP Central Committee (1903-05), the newspapers Iskra, Vpered, and Proletarii, documents of the Bureau of Committees of the Majority and of the Publishing House of Social Democratic Literature of V. Bonch-Bruevich and N. Lenin, and materials from party congresses and conferences. Before leaving for Russia in 1905, Lenin turned over his personal archives and library to the Geneva Library.

As a result of the return of political emigres to Russia during the Revolution of 1905-07, there was no longer a need for the Geneva Library and Archives of the RSDLP. In January 1906 it was dismantled. Some of the books and documents were sent to Stockholm, where they were kept in the People’s House until 1912; their fate is not yet known. Other materials, given to the library of G. A. Kuklin in Geneva, were sent in 1910 by V. A. Karpinskii to Paris. In 1923 and 1924 substantial portions of this collection were brought to Moscow by the Commission on Party History. At present they are in the Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the Central Committee of the CPSU.


Fond dokumentov V. L Lenina. Moscow, 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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