Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Irina Grivnina papers
Collection Number: 2018C13
Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Material:
Russian, English, and Dutch
12 manuscript boxes, 11 oversize boxes, 2 oversize folders
(13.05 linear feet)
Correspondence, memoirs, other writings, printed matter, photographs, visual materials, and sound and video recordings relating
to civil liberties in the Soviet Union, and especially to misuse of psychiatry for political repression in the Soviet Union.
Hoover Institution Archives
Box 23 closed until 2020 August 24.
The remainder of the collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least two business days in advance of
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.
[Identification of item], Irina Grivnina papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Archives.
Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2016.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the catalog is larger than the number of boxes
listed in this finding aid.
Aleksandr Ginzburg papers, Hoover Institution Archives; Vladimir Bukovskii papers, Hoover Institution Archives; Valentin Turchin
papers, Hoover Institution Archives; Yuri Yarim-Agaev papers, Hoover Institution Archives; A.S. Esenin-Vol'pin papers, Hoover
Irina Grivnina (b. 1945) received her education in electronics and mathematics at the Aeronautics University in Moscow and
had worked as a mathematician for eleven years. In 1977 she started participating in the publication of the Samizdat ("self-publishing")
magazine revealing psychiatric repression in the Soviet Union. Grivnina was a member of the Moscow Helsinki group. In 1980
she was arrested by the KGB and spent fourteen months in the Lefortovo prison. The court trial resulted in sentencing her
to exile in Kazakhstan, where she spent two years. In 1983 Grivnina returned to Moscow and in 1985 she emigrated with her
family to the Netherlands. Since then she has lived in Amsterdam, writing and translating for Dutch, American, and Russian
newspapers and magazines and for the BBC Russian Service programs. Irina Grivnina is the author of six books published in
the Netherlands; two of them were also published in Russian.
Scope and Content of Collection
The documents in Irina Grivnina papers reflect her participation in the dissident movement, arrest, prison term and internal
exile, and fight for emigration. Her archive also documents her work as journalist and writer.
The collection is divided into ten series; some of them are described below.
Biographical file consists mostly of Grivnina's trial documents and a number of complaints filed by Grivnina and her husband Vladimir Neplekhovich,
in connections with her arrest, imprisonment, and especially exile. (In exile Irina was pregnant, and local KGB authorities
insisted that she terminate her pregnancy.) The file also includes personal documents of Vladimir Neplekhovich reflecting
complications he encountered at work because of Grivnina's dissident activities and arrest.
Correspondence series contains conventional and electronic mail from Grivnina's family and friends. Attention should be paid to letters
from Daniel Jaffe (an American law student/writer/lawyer) who met and befriended Grivnina in Moscow. Their correspondence
lasted for twenty years, from 1978 to 1998.
Irina Grivnina wrote six novels in Russian; most of them were translated into Dutch and published in the Netherlands. Only
one of her novels was published in Russian. Russian language novels and memoirs, mostly unpublished, are included in this
collection. As a journalist, Irina Grivnina wrote extensively on political and cultural issues for newspapers and magazines
and interviewed many prominent political and cultural figures from various countries for her BBC programs. These materials,
as well as her translations, book reviews, lectures, and speeches on various occasions make
Speeches and Writings series a valuable research resource.
Writings by Others series includes stage adaptations by famous Russian theater director Mikhail Levitin (typescripts, unpublished); two plays
by bard, dissident, and poet Yulii Kim; an essay by Vladimir Bukovskii.
Subject File consists of personal documents of Grivnina's grandparents including work evaluation and KPSS member assessment of her grandfather,
Colonel Pavel Al'tshuller, and Soviet military staff maps of the Stalingrad battle that he collected, and material gathered
by Grivnina for a book she planned to write about Andeĭ Saklharov.
Photographs and slides in the
Visual Materials contain images of famous Soviet and foreign writers, poets, and political figures (Vladimir Voinovich, Semen Lipkin, Inna
Lisnianskaia, Venedikt Erofeev, Liudmila Petrushevskaia, Kendzaburō Ōe, Gunter Grass, Pavel Kohout, Václav Havel, and others)
and of Soviet human rights activists (Mustafa Dzhemilev, Viacheslav Bakhmin, Vladimir Bukovskii, Aleksandr Podrabinek, and
others), as well as photo reports from the Poésie International festival in Rotterdam, Pushkin conference in Bonn, Prague
conference of dissidents residing in Russia and abroad, and the Glasnost' and Perstroika Congress. The series also includes
photographs depicting Irina and her family in exile and in emigration.
Sound and Video Recordings consist of interviews conducted by Grivnina or interviews of her.
While in prison, Grivnina worked hard to stay strong. For that purpose, in violation of prison rules, she knitted a sweater
for herself and sewed a night gown out of her husband's shirt. She also treasured a pair of ears created for the Poésie International
festival and signed by famous Russian writers and poets. When she emigrated to the Netherlands she was met by people holding
textile signs "Irina Grivnina, Workers on Human Rights most welcome" and "Irina Grivnina Released." These items and other
memorabilia can be found in the
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Civil rights--Soviet Union.