The Tyrkova-Williams Collection

Harold Whitmore Williams and Ariadna Vladimirovna

We have a collection of letters and papers of Harold Whitmore Williams (1876-1928), a New Zealand journalist and Foreign Editor of the Times, and of his wife, Ariadna Vladimirovna, neé Tyrkova, a Russian journalist and leading member of the Constitutional Democrat (Kadet) Party, and a collection of newspaper cuttings and printed ephemera amassed by Williams and Tyrkova while they were in Russia from 1918-1921.

About the collection

The papers, mainly related to the activities of the Russian Liberation Committee in London in 1918-1929, were presented to the British Museum by Mrs Tyrkova-Williams in 1937.

Individual books and papers are rare and as a collection give an insight into the social and political ideas of the White Movement during the Russian Civil War and in emigration.

They include:

  • About 125 books and brochures mainly published between 1918-1921 in Russia, in territory occupied by the White forces
  • Over 300 leaflets issued by or under the aegis of the White forces and by Church authorities, containing orders, regulations, appeals, statements of political programmes, biographies and obituaries of White generals, and descriptions of the treatment of the Church in Soviet territories
  • Texts of articles published or for publication in areas occupied by White forces
  • Information bulletins of Russian news agencies in South Russia, Siberia, Belgrade and Constantinople, and surveys of the foreign press, mostly prepared by the White information and propaganda agency OSVAG
Printed ephemera collected by the Williams in Russia are searchable via Explore the British Library

What is available online?

Correspondence between N.Berdiaev and A.Tyrkova:

R.M.Iangirov. ‘Protiv techeniia: Nikolai Berdiaev I ego spor s Delym delom  o Rossii’ in: Otechestvennye Zapiski, 2007.

What is available in our Reading Rooms?

Both archival and print items of the collections are available for consultation in the Manuscripts and Rare Books and Music Reading Room.

What is available in other organisations?

Bakhmetev Archive at Columbia University: Ariadna Vladimirovna Tyrkova-Williams Papers, 1897-1961

State Archive of the Russian Federation

Further information

Nasledie Ariadny Vladimirovny Tyrkovoĭ : dnevniki, pisʹma / sostavitelʹ, avtor predislovii︠a︡, vvedenii︠a︡, vvedenii︠a︡ i kommentariev, N.I. Kanishcheva. Moskva: ROSSPĖN, 2012.

Alston, Charlotte. Russia's greatest enemy?: Harold Williams and the Russian revolutions. London: Tauris Academic Studies, 2007

John Simkin. Harold Williams on: Spartacus Educational, September 1997 (updated August 2014)

Irene Zohrab. 'Remizov, Williams, Mirsky and English Readers (with some Letters from Remizov to Ariadna Tyrkova-Williams and Two Unknown Reviews)', in New Zealand Slavonic Journal (1994), pp. 259–287.

Alexandra Smith. 'The Shaping of the Literary Canon in A. Tyrkova-Williams's book The Life of Pushkin ', in Pushkinskie chteniia v Tartu: 2, ed. L. Kiseleva (2000. University of Tartu, Tartu), pp. 267–81.

Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild. 'Writing for Their Rights: Four Feminist Journalists: Mariia Chekhova, Liubov' Gurevich, Mariia Pokrovskaia, and Ariadna Tyrkova', in An Improper Profession: Women, Gender and Journalism in Late Imperial Russia, eds. Barbara T. Norton and Jehanne M. Gheith (2001. Duke University Press) ISBN 0-8223-2585-3 pp. 167–195

Arkady Borman. A. V. Tyrkova-Williams: po ee pis’mam i vospominaniiam syna (1964 Washington, DC, Luven)