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Trubetskoi (Grigorii Nikolaevich) papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Alternate Forms Available
  • Custodial History
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Arrangement
  • Related Material
  • Works by G. N. Trubetskoi
  • Writings about G. N. Trubetskoi

  • Title: Grigorii Nikolaevich Trubetskoi papers
    Date (bulk): 1914-1929
    Collection Number: 2006C49
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: Russian
    Physical Description: 3 manuscript boxes, 2 oversize boxes, 91 digital files (6.0 GB) (3.4 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Writings, correspondence, printed matter, and photographs relating to Russian foreign policy, the Russian Civil War, the Russian Orthodox Church, and Russian émigré affairs. Digital copies of select records also available at https://digitalcollections.hoover.org. 
    Creator: Trubet͡skoĭ, Grigoriĭ N., kni͡azʹ (Grigoriĭ Nikolaevich), 1873-1930
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    The collection is open and has been digitized.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Selected scanned PDF files on CD-Rs were deposited at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in 2005-2006. Please note that not all the documents were scanned and offered to the Hoover Institution. Dela (files) 23, 35, 64, 65, 83, 90, 91, 92, 93, 98, 101, and 102 were not received by the Hoover Institution.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], delo [number], Grigorii Nikolaevich Trubetskoi papers, Hoover Institution Library & Archives, accessed [date] at [URL].
    When citing from the archive, please be aware that the folio numbers ( listy) in the PDF files and in the paper photocopy version may differ from those on the original documents, which are to be assembled and numbered by archivists at the two archives where they are deposited. Thus, it is important that the researcher clearly indicate the version being cited. To standardize citations, it may help to also cite the number written in pencil in the upper right corner of each document.
    The dissertation of Sophie Schmitz is the most extensive and valuable piece of scholarship on the career of G. N. Trubetskoi to date. She has generously granted permission to publish it in this collection for the first time (d. 103). When citing it, please include the full dissertation reference: (Sophie Schmitz, "Grigori N. Trubetzkoy: Politik und Völkerrecht, 1873-1930," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Vienna, 1971), followed by the delo number, collection title, repository name, URL and date accessed.
    Citations from these sources are allowed, and welcomed. I would very much like to hear about any research done with these materials (elohr@american.edu). I will pass on the information to the Trubetskoi family, and to the archive of the OCA. I will also be glad to share any additional information that emerges about Grigorii Nikolaevich Trubetskoi and inform scholars of work that has been published or is in progress using his papers.

    Alternate Forms Available

    Digital copies of select records also available at https://digitalcollections.hoover.org. 
    The original documents in dela (files) 1-83 are held by the State Archive of the Russian Federation ( Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Rossiskoi Federatsii, GARF) in Moscow. The remaining dela (files) (84-102) are held by the Archives of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) in Syosset, New York ( http://www.oca.org/DOdept.asp?SID=5&LID=7 ).

    Custodial History

    The papers of G. N. Trubetskoi were in the possession of his son, Sergei Grigorievich Troubetzkoy (1906-2003) until he deposited them at the archive of the Orthodox Church of America in Syosset, New York in the 1980s. Sergei Grigorievich added a few files to the collection in the decades after the death of Grigorii Nikolaevich in 1930, but nearly all the files are original materials from Grigorii Nikolaevich. In some of the files Sergei Grigorievich added some explanatory notes in his own hand.
    Shortly before his death in 2003, Sergei Grigorievich requested that the papers be donated to a Russian archive in order to make them available to Russian researchers. The original documents in files 1-83 were donated to the State Archive of the Russian Federation ( Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Rossiskoi Federatsii, GARF) in Moscow in October 2005. The remaining files (84-102) are held in the Archives of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) in Syosset, NY ( http://www.oca.org/DOdept.asp?SID=5&LID=7 ). The children of Sergei Grigorievich-- Mary Troubetzkoy, Alexis Troubetzkoy, and Elizabeth Saika-Voivod--generously facilitated the transfer.* The OCA archive in Syosset (where Sergei Grigorievich and Mary Troubetzkoy worked for many years) was also extremely cooperative and helpful throughout the entire process. The typed copy of G. N. Trubetskoi's memoir (d. 104) was discovered in the papers of Alexander Schmemann in 2005 and made available for this collection by his wife Julianna Schmemann. All hope that this project will make these materials available to more researchers.
    In 2004, with crucial financial and logistical support from American University, and the enthusiastic work of my research assistant Yuliya Iskhakova, we prepared the opis' and introduction that follows, and photocopied and scanned the entire archive.** The single set of paper photocopies that resulted will be held at a location to be determined.
    *I would like to thank the Trubetskoi family for helping to make possible what I hope will become an increasingly common practice in the storage of historical materials. By allowing the reproduction of the G. N. Trubetskoi archive and its wide distribution, they have greatly reduced the cost and barriers to the use of these valuable materials.
    **Several whole newspapers and journals in several of the files were not copied. The dates and titles are listed in the inventory, and the file or items not copied are marked as such.
    Addendum to Custodial History
    Prepared by Hoover Institution Library & Archives staff, June 2006
    Selected scanned PDF files on CD-Rs were deposited at the Hoover Institution in 2005-2006. These PDF files total about 4.70 GB in size. Please note that not all the documents were scanned by Eric Lohr and offered to the Hoover Institution. Dela (files) 23, 35, 64, 65, 83, 90, 91, 92, 93, 98, 101, and 102 were not received by the Hoover Institution. In addition, delo (file) 16 is an empty folder and thus was not scanned. Finally, a few files received by the Hoover could not be posted on the Internet out of concern that this might violate copyright law. These are dela (files) 6, 56, and 84. These three PDF files are available in the Hoover Archives reading room.
    The Hoover Institution offers the PDF files on the Internet for any interested researcher via the Online Archive of California. Adobe Acrobat 6.0 or later is needed to view the files. The original PDF files were as large as 271,000 KB. Staff at the Hoover Institution split these large files into smaller segments and applied compression to create files that would download more quickly; the total size of the compressed files available online is 3.52 GB. Even so, many of the files are larger than the ideal for modem downloads; file sizes range from 366 KB to 10,675 KB, although most are in the 4,000 KB to 6,000 KB range. The "View pages [numbers]" references in the container list refer to the page numbers of the PDF files, which can be different from the page numbers written on the actual documents.
    Please note that the quality and legibility of the scanned files held by the Hoover Institution varies. The Hoover Institution has no control over image quality and does not possess higher quality "master" images. Among the problems with the scanned documents received by the Hoover Institution are pages apparently missing or not in sequence, text that is too light to easily read, bleed-through and overly dark images that make text difficult to read, and text that is cut off and lost. The Hoover Institution was not consulted during the scanning process and was unable to review the scanned images for quality prior to receiving the material; rather, it accepted the scanned documents and related finding aid "as is." Because the PDF files are the only version of the Trubetskoi papers housed at the Hoover Institution, problems with illegible scanned documents must be resolved by consulting the original materials housed at the OCA and GARF. The Hoover Institution is unable to provide assistance to researchers who are unable to read any of the scanned documents, or who have other issues with the quality or content of the digital collection.

    Biographical Note

    Grigorii Nikolaevich Trubetskoi was born in 1873 to one of Russia's oldest noble families, a family which traces its princely title to the twelfth century Grand Prince of Lithuania Gediminas. Grigorii had nine sisters and was the youngest of four renowned brothers. The eldest, Piotr Nikolaevich, was Marshal of the Nobility in Moscow. Sergei Nikolaevich was the rector of Moscow University, a prominent philosopher, and a popular professor. His funeral spurred large student demonstrations and proved to be an important event in the 1905 revolution. Evgenii Nikolaevich was also one of Russia's leading philosophers, a professor at Moscow University, and the editor of Moskovskii ezhenedel'nik, an important liberal weekly journal that published broadly on foreign affairs and other topics from 1906 to 1911.
    Grigorii studied in the department of history and philology and in 1896 he defended his master's thesis on Russian domestic situation on the eve of the emancipation of the serfs in 1861. He began his diplomatic career with a posting in Constantinople, where he served for nearly ten years. In 1901, he was promoted to the post of first secretary of the embassy in Constantinople. In 1906, Trubetskoi left his career to pursue publicistic and scholarly work, dedicating himself to work for "a free liberal Russia," and commenting extensively on Russian foreign policy. He contributed 53 articles to the liberal journal Moskovskii ezhenedel'nik between 1906 and 1911 and wrote an influential long article for the collection Velikaia Rossiia on the tasks of Russian diplomacy and its great power interests.*
    In this period he was one of the leaders of a very important political orientation among the liberals that began to express opposition to the tsar not only on questions of political freedom and domestic political reform, but also by criticizing the tsar's foreign policy on nationalistic grounds. Trubetskoi's critiques of imperial foreign policy were a nuanced mix of his attraction to pan-Slav ideas and his realist views on the best ways to maintain a balance of power and avoid war. But on the whole, his influence probably made it more difficult for the tsar to compromise in the Balkans when Russian and Slav interests were threatened by Austria, and thus he may have--contrary to his intentions--contributed to one of the key causes of World War I.
    In 1912 Trubetskoi returned to the foreign ministry. His close colleague and friend, Foreign Minister Sergei Sazonov, appointed him to head the Near Eastern Department of the Foreign Ministry, which was responsible for Balkan and Ottoman affairs. His influence on foreign policy during the following years was considerably greater than his title might suggest, in large part due to the deep respect of Sazonov for Trubetskoi's opinions and expertise.**
    In June 1914, the Russian representative in Serbia, Hartwig, died unexpectedly, and Trubetskoi was immediately appointed as his replacement. Trubetskoi's position thus put him at the center of Russian diplomacy during the crucial period of the Russian entry into the war, and his memoirs of this period are an important source for the study of the outbreak of the war (see d. 56).
    Allied negotiations in early 1915 led to plans to occupy Constantinople, envisioning future control to go to Russia. In secret, G. N. Trubetskoi was named the future Russian commissar of the city. In spring 1915, Trubetskoi accompanied the retreating Serbian army to Corfu. In 1916-1917 Trubetskoi served as head of the diplomatic chancery at the headquarters of the Russian Army. He continued his diplomatic career through the time of the Provisional Government, then continued similar work in the White movement from January 1919 in Kiev and Ekaterinodar as a member of the Special Conference (Osoboe soveshchanie) to the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Southern Russia and as head of the Special Conference's religion department. He worked closely with the movement until forced to leave Russia through the Crimea on one of the last boats to leave prior to the Bolshevik conquest of the peninsula. He settled in the Paris suburb of Clamart, where he became a benefactor to the émigré community and continued political and scholarly activities, focused primarily on church matters.
    In summer and fall of 1917, Trubetskoi became deeply involved in the politics of church reform as a delegate to the All-Russian Council of the Orthodox Church. He played an important role in the decision to restore the Moscow patriarchate. Files contain Trubetskoi's post-1917 correspondence with Patriarch Tikhon, drafts of his many articles in the émigré press about church politics, and other materials relating to the fate of the Orthodoxy within and outside the Soviet Union in the 1920s. He devoted much of his energy to a new diplomatic task: working to unify the church and to overcome the divisions among Orthodox in the world. As his correspondence with Catholic priest and writer Michel d'Herbigny suggests, he extended his diplomatic efforts toward unification beyond the Orthodox world to the Catholic church as well. In one of his late letters to d'Herbigny, Trubetskoi expressed his dream that the crises of Russian Orthodoxy and Europe as a whole might provide an opportunity for peace and universal regeneration.***
    *For a full bibliography of his pre-World War I articles, see Sophie Schmitz, "Grigori N. Trubetzkoy: Politik und Völkerrecht, 1873-1930." Unpublished dissertation, University of Vienna, 1971. This dissertation is reproduced in full with the permission of Sophie Schmitz in the collection (see d. 103). (It is also available at the Austrian National Library and the juridical department of the Library of the University of Vienna).
    **D.C.B. Lieven, Russia and the Origins of the First World War (St. Martin's Press: New York, 1983), 91; see also the obituary by B. E. Nol'de in P. B. Struve, Pamiati Kn. Gr. N. Trubetskogo, Sbornik statei (Paris: E. Siial'skoi, 1930).
    ***For comments on the limits of Trubetskoi's tolerance and universality of values , see Oleg Budnitskii, "Russian Liberalism in War and Revolution," Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 5, no. 1 (Winter 2004): 160.

    Scope and Content Note

    The archive includes the 245-page manuscript of a memoir Trubetskoi had written on his work in the Russian diplomatic service as special emissary to Serbia during the crucial period of the beginning of the July Crisis and the outbreak of war in 1914 (d. 56). It also includes memoirs of his later work in the foreign ministry, experiences in the White movement during the civil war (1918-1920), and other topics (dd. 70, 71). Particularly valuable is an unpublished 251-page family history and autobiography that Trubetskoi wrote in 1925 (d. 63 handwritten, d. 104 typed).
    Many of the materials in the archive relate to the history of the Orthodox Church and émigré religious politics from the great Russian Orthodox Church Council (Sobor) of 1917 through the 1920s. These materials include extensive correspondence with metropolitans, other church officials, and with colleagues interested in religious matters. Several files contain large collections of clippings from émigré newspapers on the Living Church, Soviet religious policy, and émigré church matters in the 1920s. Scholars have yet to make use of these rich materials.
    The collection also includes correspondence with leading émigré politicians and philosophers Berdiaev, Frank, Bulgakov, Struve, and others (dd. 2, 19), as well as photographs from Trubetskoi's life in Serbia and Montenegro during the First World War.


    Arranged in 104 dela (files). Not all dela were scanned for online access.
    The old numbering that appears in brackets in the container list after each delo (file) are the original markings on the files, most of which were previously stored at the archive of the Orthodox Church of America in Syosset, New York. Among the abbreviations used in the brackets are a "b" for "box" and "f" for "folio." I have renumbered the files, imposing a simple numbering of files with the "d" for delo (file).

    Related Material

    Arkhiv vneshnei politiki Rossiiskoi Imperii (AVPRI), Moscow. F. 340 Kollektsiia dokumental'nykh materialov iz lichnykh arkhivov chinovnikov MID 1743-1933. Op. 902 Trubetskoi, G. N. 1912-1914. Contains roughly 65 pages of letters, primarily addressed to G. N. Trubetskoi.

    Works by G. N. Trubetskoi

    1. 53 articles in Moskovskii ezhenedel'nik, 1906-1910. This journal, edited by Evgenii N. Trubetskoi (G. N.'s brother), was an important journal for liberal-moderate commentary on foreign affairs that is often associated with the "right-kadet" orientation in domestic and foreign affairs. The journal published widely on questions of Russia as a great power and was known for its publication of "neo-slav" articles arguing for strong assertion of Russian interests in the Balkans. The editorial board included: S. A. Kotliarevskii, A. L. Pogodin, P. B. Struve, G. N. Trubetskoi, and A. A. Kaufman. 2. Trubetskoi also published extensively in the liberal journal edited by his close colleague and friend Peter Struve, Russkaia mysl'. 3. See d. 80 for a collection of newspaper articles by G. N. Trubetskoi in 1908. 4. Gody smut i nadezhd, 1917-1919 (Montreal: Bratstvo prep. I. Pochaevskogo, 1981). Includes "Ocherk vzaimootnoshenii vooruzhennykh sil Iuga Rossii i predstavitelei Frantsuzskogo komandovaniia." 5. Krasnaia Rossiia i sviataia Rus' (Paris: YMCA Press, 1931). 6. La politique Russe en orient le schisme Bulgare (Paris: Typ. Plon-Nourrit et Cie, 1907). 7. Rat na Balknu, 1914-1917, i ruska diplomatija (Belgrad: Prosveta, 1994). 8. Rusiia kato velika sila: prievel s priedgovor i s pribavlenie priedgovorut kum niemskoto izd. (Sofiia: Iskra, 1915). 9. Ruskata politika na iztok: bulgarskata skhizma (Sofiia: Grzahdanin, 1910). 10. La Russia come grande potenza, del principe Gregorio Trubezkoi (Milan, 1915). 11. Russkaia diplomatiia, 1914-1917 g.g. i voina na Balkanakh (Montreal: Bratstvo prep. I. Pochaevskogo, 1983). 12. Russland als Grossmacht (Stuttgart, Berlin: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1913). 13. Rysland som stormakt. Översättning av Walborg Hedberg (Stockholm: A. Bonnier, 1914). 14. "Souvenirs diplomatiques sur 1914" in Le Monde Slave, vol. 3 (Paris, 1937). 15. Trubetskoi, Andrei (compiler), Rossiia vosprianet: Kniaz'ia Trubetskie (Moscow: Voennoe izd., 1996). Includes the war chapter selections from Trubetskoi's memoirs. 16. Article in Velikaia Rossiia (Moscow, 1911).

    Writings about G. N. Trubetskoi

    1. Lieven, D.C.B. Russia and the Origins of the First World War (St. Martin's Press: New York, 1983), 91-101. 2. Schmitz, Sophie. "Grigori N. Trubetzkoy: Politik und Völkerrecht, 1873-1930." Unpublished dissertation, University of Vienna, 1971. (available at the Austrian National Library and the Library of the University of Vienna). 3. P. B. Struve, Pamiati Kn. Gr. N. Trubetskogo, Sbornik statei (Paris: E. Siial'skoi, 1930). Includes 17 articles in memory of Trubetskoi and 15 articles written by Trubetskoi on various topics. In addition, 30 pages of his correspondence with M.E. Edzekhovskii is included.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Russia -- Emigration and immigration
    Soviet Union -- History -- Revolution, 1917-1921
    World War, 1914-1918 -- Diplomatic history
    Russia -- Foreign relations -- 1894-1917
    Diplomats -- Russia
    Russia -- Religion
    Russkai͡a pravoslavnai͡a t͡serkovʹ