Inventory of the George Herbert Ryden papers

Finding aid prepared by Hoover Institution Library and Archives Staff
Hoover Institution Library and Archives
© 2010, 2014
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-6003

Title: George Herbert Ryden papers
Date (inclusive): 1915-1941
Collection Number: 2010C51
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 2 manuscript boxes (0.8 Linear Feet)
Abstract: Correspondence, reports, personal documents, photographs, and memorabilia, relating to relief activities in the Crimea during the Russian Civil War. Includes correspondence with Grand Duchess Ol'ga Aleksandrovna.
Creator: Olʹga Aleksandrovna, Grand Duchess of Russia, 1882-1960
Creator: Ryden, George Herbert, 1884-1941
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


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Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 2010.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], George Herbert Ryden papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

Biographical Note

George H. Ryden (1884-1941) was an American National Red Cross worker in Russia from 1918 to 1920. A native of Kansas City, he interrupted his academic career to serve with the American Expeditionary Forces in Italy during World War I, was with the Red Cross in the southern Russian city of Novorossiisk in 1920, seeking to aid refugees during the civil war that followed the Russian Revolution. While there, he played a key role in helping the family of Grand Duchess Ol'ga Aleksandrovna, the sister of the recently murdered Czar Nicholas II, escape to Turkey and subsequently to Europe. Ryden, a historian, later became the state archivist of Delaware.

Scope and Content of Collection

Correspondence, reports, personal documents, photographs, and memorabilia, relating to Red Cross relief activities in the Crimea during the Russian Civil War. Includes correspondence with Grand Duchess Ol'ga Aleksandrovna.
The twenty-three letters and postcards from the Grand Duchess were written from Denmark between 1923 and 1929. Several of these postcards contain reproductions of her paintings, which Ryden helped sell in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s.
In addition to the correspondence with Ol'ga Aleksandrovna, Ryden's papers contain a variety of documents pertaining to Red Cross operations in the Crimea and southern Russia, including correspondence, reports of visits to orphanages and hospitals, and financial records. Ryden and his colleagues received a number of honors from White Russian Army commanders, and his papers contain documents concerning honors and medals that he and his colleagues were awarded, including Ryden's honorary membership in the Kuban Cossacks, and medals that were bestowed on him by Generals Denikin and Wrangel. Following his service with the Red Cross, Ryden visited Denmark in 1921 to meet once again with Ol'ga Aleksandrovna, as well as with her mother, the empress dowager Mariia Feodorovna, who expressed her gratitude to Ryden with an inscribed photograph that read "In gratitude for what you did for my daughter," and signed simply "Marie."
Ryden's academic career and interest in history are also represented in correspondence with the academic institutions that he attended, student transcripts, and certificates of membership from various state historical societies.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Soviet Union -- History -- Revolution, 1917-1921 -- Civilian relief
International relief
American National Red Cross


Academic Career File 1915-1924

box 1, folder 1

Correspondence 1915-1924


Biographical File 1918-1957, undated

box 1, folder 2

Business Cards undated

box 1, folder 3

American Expeditionary Forces identification card 1919

box 1, folder 4

Delaware Historical Markers Commission membership certificate 1923, 1931

box 1, folder 5

Pennsylvania Historical Society membership certificate 1924

box 1, folder 7

Passports 1924, 1933

box 1, folder 8

Newspaper clippings 1938-1957

box 1, folder 46

Kansas City Southern Railway Co. letter of recommendation 1918

box 2, folder 5

"Honorary Cossack," certification 1920


YMCA Italy File 1918

box 1, folder 6

Letters of introduction 1918


Ol'ga Alexandrovna Materials 1923-2008

box 1, folder 9

Correspondence 1923-1929

box 1, folder 10

Correspondence 1923-1941, 1960

box 1, folder 11

Postcards with artwork 1929-1932

box 1, folder 12

Newspaper clippings 1957-2008

box 1, folder 13

Receipts for sale of paintings 1925-1930


Ryden Correspondence 1919-1941

box 1, folder 17

May 1941

box 1, folder 16

General Boris Shoulgin 1920

box 1, folder 18

A. Staritzky undated

box 1, folder 15

Baroness Olga Wrangel 1920, 1924

box 1, folder 14

Russian Embassy in Paris 1919

box 1, folder 19

Russian Plenipotentiary, Constantinople 1920


American Red Cross File 1919-1921, undated


Correspondence 1919-1922

box 1, folder 24

Max Ferrand 1920

box 1, folder 25

Burris Jenkins 1920

box 1, folder 44

Johnson 1922

box 1, folder 22

Leonid Lenko-Popovsky 1920

box 1, folder 26

Horace Morrison 1920

box 1, folder 27

R. E. Olds 1920

box 1, folder 29

Charles Smith 1920

box 1, folder 43

Leon K. Wiese 1922

box 1, folder 28

Rockefeller Foundation 1920

box 1, folder 30

Regarding insurance policies 1920

box 1, folder 31

Regarding personal finances 1920

box 1, folder 32

Regarding social initiatives 1920

box 1, folder 37

Russian Red Cross 1919

box 2, folder 9


box 1, folder 20

Decorations Awarded to Staff by Russian Military 1920

box 1, folder 23

"An Account of the Evacuation of Crimea," Leon K. Wiese 1920

box 1, folder 42

"An Account of the Evacuation of Crimea," G. H. Ryden 1921

box 1, folder 34

Letters of Introduction undated

box 1, folder 36

Memorandum 1920

box 1, folder 38

"An Account of General Denikine's Speech at Ekaterinodar" 1920

box 1, folder 39

"General Holman's Proclamation to all the Athamen of Territories, Districts, and Villages and to all Cossacks of the Kuban and Don" 1920

box 1, folder 40

Reports on meetings with Russian officials 1920

box 1, folder 41

Reports on visits to hospitals and orphanages 1920

box 1, folder 33

Notebook undated

box 2, folder 6

Blank stationery undated


Russian Red Cross Letters 1920

box 1, folder 21

Letters of introduction 1920

box 1, folder 35

Letter in recognition of Ryden's service 1920


Delaware File 1938-1941

box 1, folder 45

Swedish history materials 1938, 1941


Russian Army Letters 1919

box 1, folder 47

Letter of introduction 1919


Photographs undated

box 2, folder 3

Portraits of Ryden undated

box 2, folder 10

Portraits of General Baron Wrangel and Maria Feodorovna undated


Speeches and Other Materials 1920-1921, and undated

box 2, folder 1

Appointments Committee for Russian Scientific and Literary Men report 1921

box 2, folder 2

"Significance of Crimea," speech notes 1921

box 2, folder 4

"Panorama of Sebastopol," report 1920

box 2, folder 8

Business cards, ephemera undated

box 2, folder 11

Medals undated