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Register of the Antonina R. von Arnold Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Location of Originals
  • Biography
  • Chronology
  • Scope and Content Note

  • Title: Antonina R. von Arnold papers
    Date (inclusive): 1890-1988
    Collection Number: YY598
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: In Russian and English.
    Physical Description: (3.6 linear feet) 1 folder, 23 microfilm reels
    Abstract: Diaries, correspondence, writings, financial records, printed matter, photographs, artwork, and memorabilia, relating to Russian émigré affairs, and to social work in California. Includes papers of other members of the Von Arnold family.
    Creator: Von Arnold, Antonina R., 1896-1988


    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], Antonina R. von Arnold Papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives.


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

    Location of Originals

    In part, originals in: Museum of Russian Culture, San Francisco.


    A. R. von Arnold, who often went by the nickname Dora, was born in Siedlce (now in Poland) on 26 February 1896 (O. S.). Her father, Roman Apollonovich, then a retired military officer working in the office of the governor-general, volunteered for service during the Russo-Japanese War, following which he remained in Harbin, where he eventually rose to the rank of chief of police. Her mother, born Ekaterina Khristoforovna von Maidel', a dentist by profession, became the founder and director of the Harbin dental school. Antonina had a sister, Liubov', a promising poet who died of appendicitis in Petrograd early in 1917, and a brother, Boris, who became a psychologist in the United States.
    Following Boris to the United States in 1923, Antonina tried her hand at business college, but eventually had to fall back on office work to support herself, as well as her mother living in Harbin (her father died in 1930). From work at the Young Women's Christian Association, she moved to the International Institute of San Francisco, making a career in social work and receiving an M.A. in the subject from the University of California at Berkeley in 1942.
    An unhappy marriage to a Polish immigrant named Ignatius McGuire was followed by a happier one to the émigré artist Sergey Scherbakoff. Ultimately, Antonina was able to put together enough savings to bring her mother to San Francisco and buy a number of properties, thus achieving the trappings of material success. She died in San Francisco on 8 December 1988.


    1896 February 26 (O.S.) Born, Sedlets, Russia (Poland)
    1916 Death of Liubov' Romanovna von Arnold
    1923 Arrived in the United States
    1929 Death of Roman Apollonovich von Arnold
    1937 B.A., University of California, Berkeley, California
    1942 M.A., Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley, California
    1963 Death of Ekaterina Khristoforovna von Arnold
    1964 Death of Boris von Arnold
    1967 Death of Sergey Scherbakoff
    1988 December 8 Died, San Francisco, California

    Scope and Content Note

    This collection contains the papers of Antonina Romanovna von Arnold, as well as papers relating to and produced by her father, mother, sister, brother, and other family members. Of particular interest are von Arnold's diaries and her untitled family chronicle (SPEECHES AND WRITINGS, Box 12). Together with the material in her biographical file and correspondence, these provide an in-depth view of the personal experience of a Russian immigrant in the United States. The FAMILY FILE contains the reminiscences of von Arnold's father, Roman Apollonovich, the police chief of Harbin, and materials on the career and life of his wife, Ekaterina Khristoforovna, founder and principal of the Harbin Dental College. Also of importance are the papers of von Arnold's second husband, the artist Sergey Scherbakoff (SERGEY SCHERBAKOFF FILE).
    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 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 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

    Von Arnold family.
    Russians--United States.
    Social service--California.
    United States.