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Overview of the H. Lucas Ginn Letters Received
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Collection Summary

    Title: H. Lucas Ginn letters received
    Dates: 1989-1991
    Collection Number: 2012C5
    Creator: Ginn, H. Lucas
    Collection Size: 4 manuscript boxes (1.6 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: Letters from pen pals in the Soviet Union, relating to social conditions and youth culture in the Soviet Union.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Languages: Russian

    Administrative Information


    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], H. Lucas Ginn letters received, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2012.


    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 Socrates at http://library.stanford.edu/webcat . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in Socrates is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical Note

    In 1989, H. Lucas Ginn, then a California high school student, wrote to a Soviet magazine saying he was seeking a pen pal in the Soviet Union. Ginn's letter and address were published in Studencheskii meridian, a youth magazine; he subsequently received some two thousand missives from young Soviet citizens. The era of glasnost had just begun, making corresponding with their peers in the West a novelty for Soviet youth, which explains the exuberance with which they responded to Ginn's letter.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Most letters, which came from all over the USSR, are brief (and in Russian) but do allow some glimpses of the interests of Soviet youth at the time, including music, current events, and AIDS. Historians and sociologists will find the letters interesting for what they tell us about how Soviet youth, ranging from fourteen to sixteen years old, viewed the world, the United States, and their own society in the crucial years preceding their state's collapse.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Soviet Union--Social conditions--1970-1991.
    Youth--Soviet Union.