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Register of the Catherine A. Gumensky (Ekaterina Aleksandrovna Gumenskaia) Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Location of Originals
  • Biography
  • Chronology
  • Scope and Content Note

  • Title: Catherine A. Gumensky (Ekaterina Aleksandrovna Gumenskaia) papers
    Date (inclusive): 1913-1985
    Collection Number: 2000C84
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: In Russian and English.
    Physical Description: 13 microfilm reels (2.2 linear feet), Boxes 13-17 are not included in the microfilms. Please contact the Museum for Russian Culture  for further assistance.
    Abstract: Correspondence, writings, financial records, clippings, and photographs, relating mainly to Russian émigré and family affairs.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Gumensky, Catherine A., 1897-1988


    Collection is open for research.
    Boxes 13-17 are not included on the microfilms. Please contact the Museum for Russian Culture  for further assistance.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Catherine A. Gumensky Papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information


    Location of Originals

    Originals in: Museum of Russian Culture, San Francisco.


    George C. Guins is best known to historians as the administrative secretary (upravliaiushchii delami) of the Siberian (later All-Russian) anti-Bolshevik government at Omsk. Privy to governmental decisions in this capacity as well as in concurrent service as deputy minister for education and foreign affairs, he described the workings of the government and the anti-Bolshevik campaign in Siberia, 1918-1920, in his published memoir, Sibir', soiuzniki i Kolchak (Peking, 1921).
    Less well-known is his career as a legal philosopher, journalist, and writer and lecturer on the Soviet Union. Born in Novogeorgievsk (now Modlin, Poland) on 27 April 1887, he studied law at St. Petersburg University under the direction of the eminent jurist and legal philosopher Leon Petrazycki, obtaining his degree in 1909. Entering government service in the Resettlement Office (Pereselencheskoe upravlenie) of the Ministry of Agriculture, he continued legal studies in his spare time, obtaining an advanced degree in 1915 and remaining at St. Petersburg University as a lecturer. At this time he completed a dissertation on water rights in Central Asia.
    The 1917 Revolution saw his promotion in government service to the post of chief legal counselor of the Ministry of Provisions, but following the Bolshevik coup in October, he left for Omsk, where he was drawn into service in the White government formed there the following summer. At the conclusion of the Civil War, he found himself in Harbin, China, where he served on the administration of the Chinese Eastern Railway until 1926, first as director of the chancellery and later as chief controller. At the same time, he edited and wrote for Russkoe obozrenie, published in Peking, and helped found the Harbin Law Faculty, a unique émigré institution training lawyers in China. Here he lectured almost until his departure for the United States in 1941, made necessary by Japanese pressure due to his independent position in Harbin politics. During this period he accomplished his greatest scholarly achievements in legal philosophy, with such publications as Novye idei v prave i osnovnye problemy sovremennosti (Harbin, 1931-1932), Uchenie o prave i politicheskaia ekonomiia (Harbin, 1933), Ocherki sotsial'noi filosofii (Harbin, 1936), all now bibliographic rarities.
    Following his arrival in the United States, he settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, editing for a brief period the émigré newspaper Russkaia zhizn', and lecturing at the University of California at Berkeley and the Army Language School in Monterey. Not finding an application for his specialization in legal philosophy, he turned to teaching Russian and Soviet civilization, history, and law, publishing numerous articles and two books on Soviet affairs: Soviet Law and Soviet Society (The Hague, 1954) and Communism on the Decline (New York, 1956). Even after retiring from active teaching, he continued to lecture and write, served as a consultant to the Voice of America until 1964, and contributed an oral history to the UC Berkeley Regional Oral History Office's Russian émigré program. He died in September 1971.


    1897 July 14 (N.S.) Born, Kazan', Russia
    1914-1917 Student, Moscow University, Moscow, Russia
    1921 Married Dmitrii B. Gumensky
      Arrived in the United States
    1925 B.A., University of California, Berkeley, California
      M.A., University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
    1927 Naturalized as a U.S. citizen
    1932 Divorced Dmitrii B. Gumensky
    1945-1952 Translator, U.S. Army, European High Command
    1988 Died, Apple Valley, California

    Scope and Content Note

    Catherine A. Gumensky was a California artist of local note. The collection contains materials relating to her work as an artist and other biographical data, as well as her children's stories. Of particular significance is the family file, which contains a large amount of correspondence (of Catherine, her mother Neonila Platonovna Aristova, and others) with family members in the Soviet Union and other countries from the 1920s through the 1980s, as well as writings of other family members.
    Detailed processing and preservation microfilming for these materials were made possible by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and by matching funds from the Hoover Institution and the Museum of Russian Culture. The grant also provides depositing a microfilm copy in the Hoover Institution Archives. The original materials remain in the Museum of Russian Culture, San Francisco, as its property. A transfer table indicating corresponding box and reel numbers is available at the Hoover Institution Archives.
    The Hoover Institution assumes all responsibility for notifying users that they must comply with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17 United States Code) and Hoover Rules for the Use and Reproduction of Archival Materials.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Russians--United States.
    United States.