Collection MS Russ 13.1 - Leon Trotsky exile papers

Identity area

Reference code

MS Russ 13.1


Leon Trotsky exile papers


  • 1929-1940 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

197 boxes (65 linear ft.)

Context area

Name of creator

Leon Trotsky

Biographical history

Archival history

Purchased from Leon and Natalia Trotsky; received: 1940, 1946, 1953.
The papers of Leon Trotsky were purchased by the Harvard College Library in 1940 and 1946 with funds provided by John Wood Blodgett, Jr. The preliminary arrangements for the sale and shipment of the archives were made by Trotsky himself; after his death, these were completed by his widow, Natalia Sedova Trotsky. The first shipment of papers contained all that survived for the years 1917 to 1937, with the exception of certain official papers retained by the Soviet Union at the time of Trotsky's deportation and of miscellaneous papers in his son's possession that were either lost, stolen, or impounded during the exile period. The second shipment, purchased from Mrs. Trotsky in 1946, contained the papers for the years 1937 through 1940. For administrative purposes the archives were divided into two parts: the pre-exile papers (1917-1928) and papers from the exile years (1929-1940). A stipulation was made by both Lev Trotsky and Mrs. Trotsky that the exile papers were not to be opened to the public until 1980.

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Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers of Russian revolutionary and Soviet leader Leon Trotsky from his period of exile in Coyoacán, Mexico.

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Finding aids

Trotsky, Leon, 1879-1940. Leon Trotsky exile papers: Guide.

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  • English


Archivist's note

Andrei Zamoiski, FUB

Accession area

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