I am an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Delhi in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. My Ph.D. is in Russian History from Binghamton University and I have taught Russian history for eighteen years at both private and public institutions.
In 1994 while finishing my Ph.D. research at the Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, Netherlands I found a diary of Alexander Berkman’s from his time in Russia, 1921-1922. In the diary he wrote about being asked by V. Lenin to collect materials from various cities for a proposed Museum of the Russian Revolution. There were several trains that went out to collect materials from the Russian towns and cities. Their remit was to collect all revolutionary materials available from the period 1825 (Decembrist Revolt) to 1921. Alexander Berkman went on two such trips for the government. The first trip went through the Ukraine. The second data collection trip north was halted before the Archangelsk due to heavy snow there.
The project is to look at the documents from Ispart to understand the project, Zinoviev’s chair of the committee, his removal and whether there was a real intention to bring the museum project to fruition. The second phase is to track down what Berkman collected and what became of the collections. I would also like to go to Yaroslav and Volodya to photograph the cities, find photographs of the regions from the 1920-1921 Period and document a century of change that has occurred from the time of Berkman’s train trip.