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Shapiro (Nadia L.) papers
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Nadia L. Shapiro papers
    Date (inclusive): 1910-1984
    Collection Number: 90004
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: In English and Russian
    Physical Description: 12 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize folder, 2 phonorecords (5.1 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Papers of the Russian-American writer and journalist include writings, letters, printed matter, and photographs, relating to the Russian Civil War in Siberia, and to Russian émigré life in China and the United States. Contains a memoir of the Russian Civil War in the Blagoveshchensk area and of the trial of the Socialist Revolutionary A. N. Alekseevskii in Blagoveshchensk in 1918 (with a translation by Elena Varneck). Also includes records of N. L. Shapiro's work with the Office of War Information during World War II.
    Creator: Varneck, Elena, 1891-1976
    Creator: Shapiro, Nadia L. (Nadia Lavrova), 1897-1989
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    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

    Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1990

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Nadia L. Shapiro papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives

    Biography Note

    1897 October 20 Born, Irkutsk, Siberia, Russia
    1914 May High school diploma, Irkutsk, Siberia, Russia
    1915-1916 Elementary school teacher certificate, one-year pedagogical course in Blagoveschensk, Siberia, Russia
    1916-1917 Studied at the Moscow Women's College, Russia
    1917-1918 Teacher of English language, Blagoveschensk Polytechnical School, Siberia, Russia
    1918 Fled with her family from the Bolsheviks to Harbin, Manchuria, China
    1918-1920 Interpreter and feature writer for the newspaper Novosti zhizni, Harbin, Manchuria, China
    1920-1921 Performed literary work and studied Japanese, Yokohama, Japan
    1921 Foreign Editor, Zaria newspaper, Harbin, Manchuria, China
    1922 August Arrived in the United States under the sponsorship of the Harbin Y.M.C.A.
    1923 May 29 B.A., University of California, Berkeley (after Russian diplomas were validated)
    1923-1932 Feature writer and Book and Art page editor for the San Francisco Examiner
    1928 February 6 Acquired U.S. citizenship
    1932-1942 Free-lanced, contributing to the Christian Science Monitor and various West Coast publications, under byline "Nadia Lavrova"
    1936-1937 Play reader and research writer/editor for the Federal Theatre in San Francisco, Work Projects Administration
    1937-1942 Legal research editor, Historical Records Survey of Northern California, Work Projects Administration
    1942-1945 Translator and examiner, U.S. Office of Censorship
    1945 Writer, U.S. Office of War Information
    1945 May-June Member, Russian section, Interpreters and Translators Bureau of the International Secretariat at the United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco
    1946-1953 Foreign broadcast monitor, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
    1989 Died

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Nadia Shapiro papers consist of material related to the life and work of the Russian-American writer and journalist Nadezhda Lazarevna Shapiro.
    The collection includes correspondence, writings, pamphlets, clippings, stories, essays, sketches, other printed matter, photographs, and other pictorial materials relating to the Russian Civil War in Siberia, and to Russian émigré life in China and the United States. There is also material relating to her U.S. government service during World War II.
    Nadia Shapiro was a freelance writer, and also worked as a staff feature writer for the San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times (Sunday Magazine), Christian Science Monitor, and Russian language publications in the United States. Most of her writing in English was done under the pen name of "Nadia Lavrova" or "NL," while in Russian she signed her works as "Nadezhda Lavrova."
    Nadia Shapiro devoted a major part of her spare time to literary activities without, however, submitting anything for publication, which she justified as due to the peculiar nature of her confidential work with different federal agencies. She gathered a great variety of notes and drafts of sketches, stories, essays, and book and chapter outlines –- all in preparation for the later processing of some of this material into stories and books.
    The collection includes a wealth of romantic short stories. A few of them were published during Shapiro's freelancing and news writing days. Considering her Russian origin, there are also notes for an autobiographical narrative "My Old Home Town Was Blagoveschensk," which covers the Russian Civil War and the trial of the Socialist Revolutionary A. N. Alekseevskii in 1918.
    The Hoover Institution Library & Archives acquired the Nadia Shapiro papers in 1990.


    The collection is organized into eight series: Biographical File, Correspondence, Writings, Subject File, Printed Matter, Art Work, Postcards, and Photographs.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Russians -- United States
    Sound recordings
    Siberia (Russia) -- History -- Revolution, 1917-1921
    Russians -- China
    World War, 1939-1945 -- Propaganda
    World War, 1939-1945 -- United States
    Blagoveshchensk (Amurskai͡a oblastʹ, Russia)
    United States. Office of War Information
    Partīi͡a sot͡sīalistov-revoli͡ut͡sīonerov
    Alekseevskiĭ, Aleksandr Nikolaevich