Location of Originals
Scope and Content Note
Title: Antonina R. von Arnold papers
Date (inclusive): 1890-1988
Collection Number: YY598
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
Language of Material: In Russian and English
1 folder, 23 microfilm reels
(3.6 Linear Feet)
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.
Von Arnold, Antonina R., 1896-1988
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.
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.
[Identification of item], Antonina R. von Arnold Papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.
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.
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 Library & 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 Library & 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
Russians -- United States
Social service -- California
Von Arnold family