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Inventory of the Seva Novgorodsev letters received
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Collection Summary

    Title: Seva Novgorodsev letters received
    Dates: 1946-2004
    Collection Number: 2010C20
    Creator: Novgorodsev, Seva, 1940-
    Collection Size: 26 manuscript boxes (10.4 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: The collection consists of letters from listeners of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Russian service broadcasts, related to social and cultural conditions, and especially to music in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Languages: Russian

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.
    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], Seva Novgorodsev letters received, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2010.


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

    Related Materials

    Conference on Cold War Broadcasting Impact proceedings, Hoover Institution Archives
    Charles D. Ablard papers, Hoover Institution Archives
    Vl. Zhabinskii papers, Hoover Institution Archives
    Alexander Vardy papers, Hoover Institution Archives

    Biographical/Historical Note

    1940 July 9 Born, Leningrad, Soviet Union (now St. Petersburg, Russia)
    1949 Moved to Tallinn, Estonia
    1954 Won first prize in on Estonian talent show
    1959-1964 Played in brass and jazz bands in Tallinn
    1962 Graduated from Leningradskoe vysshee inzhenernoe morskoe uchilishche imeni admirala C. O. Makarova (LVIMU), (Marine Academy)
    1962-1964 Served as a navigator for the Estonian Shipping Company
    1964-1975 Joined as a musician in the Joseph Weinstein's jazz orchestra, then head of "Dobrye molodtsy" rock group
    1973-1975 Worked for Moskontsert (Moscow Concert Association)
    1975 November 18 Left the Soviet Union for Austria, then Italy
    1977 Moved to London, England
    Since March 1977 Working for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a translator, then as a radio presenter on the BBC Russian Service

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection consists of letters from listeners of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Russian service broadcasts, related to social and cultural conditions, especially to music in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia.
    The letters are addressed to Seva Novgorodsev, a radio presenter at the BBC Russian Service who became famous throughout the former Soviet Union. He created the "Rok-posevy" music program and "the Sevaoborot" and "BibiSeva" chat shows.
    Most of the letters are from listeners and concern Seva Novgorodsev's musical and chat programs, including program comments, suggestions, and requests for information. These programs were the source of information not only about rock music but also about everyday life in Soviet Union. The letters were later used by the broadcaster in his programs, making a strong connection with the audience and creating an atmosphere of cultural dialogue.
    As Seva Novgodsev noted in his correspondence to the Hoover Institution, "These letters should be valued in the context of the years in which they were written. They show a gradual evolution of individual freedom in the USSR and young people's realizations of their own rights, daring to say what would be unthinkable before. They are also particularly valuable because of their informal nature and sincerity. Some of the letters come from the rural areas and they provide a glimpse of reality in those places. In short the letters witness the last years of Soviet communism from unexpected and previously unavailable source."
    Some letters are accompanied by clippings, articles, brochures, and sound recordings. These materials may be found in the Printed matter and Sound recordings series, as well as in Letters from listeners.
    Additional letters sent from fan clubs may be found in the Letters from fan clubs series. As Seva Novgordsev notes, "In 1988, Shura of Medvezhegorsk began collecting fan club rock-transfers via BBC. Thus began Norris (Independent Combined Information Rock Syndicate). In its heyday it had more than twenty offices around the USSR."
    Seva Novgorodsev e-mail correspondence to Lyalya Kharitonova of the Hoover Institution, June 5, 2010
    Seva Novgorodsev's website, http://seva.ru , accessed June 2010

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Radio broadcasting--Soviet Union.
    Radio broadcasting--Russia (Federation)
    Soviet Union--Social conditions.
    Russia (Federation)--Social conditions.
    Music--Soviet Union.
    Music--Russia (Federation)
    British Broadcasting Corporation.