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Filip'ev (Pavel Timofeevich) papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Location of Originals
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content Note

  • Title: Pavel Timofeevich Filip'ev papers
    Date (inclusive): 1925-1981
    Collection Number: 2000C117
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: Russian
    Physical Description: 16 microfilm reels (2.4 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Writings, notes, correspondence, and printed matter, relating to the authenticity of the Vlesova Kniga, the early history of Russia and the Slavs, and Russian émigré affairs.
    Creator: Filip'ev, Pavel Timofeevich, 1896-1981


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


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

    Acquisition Information


    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Pavel Timofeevich Filip'ev Papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Location of Originals

    Originals in: Museum of Russian Culture, San Francisco.


    P. T. Filip'ev was born in Ekaterinodar on 14 December 1896 (O.S.). He graduated from the Ekaterinodar School of Arts in 1915, was drafted into military service the same year, and commissioned as an officer following training at the Tiflis Military School in May 1916. He saw action in the Caucasus during the First World War, and served in Siberia and South Russia during the Civil War, eventually being evacuated with General Baron P. N. Vrangel's army. From 1920 to 1925, he worked as a painter and draftsman in Yugoslavia.
    In 1925, Filip'ev moved to Prague, Czechoslovakia, to continue his studies at the Russian Higher School of Transportation (Russkoe vysshee uchilishche tekhnikov putei soobshcheniia), graduating in 1928 as a transportation technician. This gave him the opportunity to find employment as a surveyor, project manager and auditor in the highway section of the Czechoslovak State Construction Department, where he worked until 1941. With the advent of the Second World War, Filip'ev was forced to change employment several times, working as an artisan and a teacher at a high school in Klatovy, Czechoslovakia, before illegally crossing the border into Allied-occupied Germany in January 1947. After working there at a variety of jobs, including policeman, tanner and toymaker, he left for the United States in 1951.
    In America, he became intensely interested in the so-called "Vles-Kniga," devoting most of the remainder of his life to examining and deciphering it and attempting to prove its veracity, although it has long been dismissed as a forgery by all competent scholars. Filip'ev died in San Francisco in September 1981.

    Scope and Content Note

    The centerpiece of this collection is Filip'ev's research material: clippings, correspondence, notes, printed matter, and writings associated with his interest in early Russian history, particularly the so-called "Vles Kniga" or "Doshchechki Izenbeka," a forged series of writings alleged by believers to have been produced on the territory of Russia prior to the introduction of the Cyrillic alphabet. Filip'ev expended an enormous amount of time and energy deciphering these writings and attempting to prove their veracity, as well as arguing that they represented an entirely new vision of early Russian and Slavic history. His correspondence and notes on this and related topics shed light on the story of the emergence of this forgery and its effect on the émigré community as well as on believers in the Soviet Union.
    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 Museum of Russian Culture. The grant also provides depositing a microfilm copy in the Hoover Institution Library & 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 Library & 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
    Vlesova kniga
    Forgery of manuscripts
    Slavs -- History
    Ukraine -- History -- To 862