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Register of the George Constantine Guins papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Location of Originals
  • Accruals
  • Biographical Note
  • Chronology
  • Scope and Content
  • Access

  • Title: George Constantine Guins papers
    Date (inclusive): 1917-1971
    Collection Number: XX314
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: Russian
    Physical Description: 2 manuscript boxes, 2 oversize boxes, 9 microfilm reels (2.2 linear feet)
    Abstract: Correspondence, speeches and writings, notes, reports, declarations, and printed matter relating to the Russian Revolution and Civil War in the Siberian Far East, activities of anti-Bolshevik forces in Siberia, Japanese intervention, and the history, culture and legal systems of Russia and the Soviet Union. Includes biographical data on members of the Guins family.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Guins, George Constantine, 1887-1971

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], George Constantine Guins papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Location of Originals

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


    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.

    Biographical Note

    George C. Guins is best known to historians as the administrative secretary (upravliaiushchii delami) of the Siberian (later All-Russian) anti-Bolshevik government at Omsk. Privy to governmental decisions in this capacity as well as in concurrent service as deputy minister for education and foreign affairs, he described the workings of the government and the anti-Bolshevik campaign in Siberia, 1918-1920, in his published memoir, Sibir', soiuzniki i Kolchak (Peking, 1921).
    Less well-known is his career as a legal philosopher, journalist, and writer and lecturer on the Soviet Union. Born in Novogeorgievsk (now Modlin, Poland) on 27 April 1887, he studied law at St. Petersburg University under the direction of the eminent jurist and legal philosopher Leon Petrazycki, obtaining his degree in 1909. Entering government service in the Resettlement Office (Pereselencheskoe upravlenie) of the Ministry of Agriculture, he continued legal studies in his spare time, obtaining an advanced degree in 1915 and remaining at St. Petersburg University as a lecturer. At this time he completed a dissertation on water rights in Central Asia.
    The 1917 Revolution saw his promotion in government service to the post of chief legal counselor of the Ministry of Provisions, but following the Bolshevik coup in October, he left for Omsk, where he was drawn into service in the White government formed there the following summer. At the conclusion of the Civil War, he found himself in Harbin, China, where he served on the administration of the Chinese Eastern Railway until 1926, first as director of the chancellery and later as chief controller. At the same time, he edited and wrote for Russkoe obozrenie, published in Peking, and helped found the Harbin Law Faculty, a unique émigré institution training lawyers in China. Here he lectured almost until his departure for the United States in 1941, made necessary by Japanese pressure due to his independent position in Harbin politics. During this period he accomplished his greatest scholarly achievements in legal philosophy, with such publications as Novye idei v prave i osnovnye problemy sovremennosti (Harbin, 1931-1932), Uchenie o prave i politicheskaia ekonomiia (Harbin, 1933), and Ocherki sotsial'noi filosofii (Harbin, 1936), all now bibliographic rarities.
    Following his arrival in the United States, he settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, editing for a brief period the émigré newspaper Russkaia zhizn', and lecturing at the University of California at Berkeley and the Army Language School in Monterey. Not finding an application for his specialization in legal philosophy, he turned to teaching Russian and Soviet civilization, history, and law, publishing numerous articles and two books on Soviet affairs: Soviet Law and Soviet Society (The Hague, 1954) and Communism on the Decline (New York, 1956). Even after retiring from active teaching, he continued to lecture and write, served as a consultant to the Voice of America until 1964, and contributed an oral history to the UC Berkeley Regional Oral History Office's Russian émigré program. He died in September 1971.


    1887, April 27 (N.S.) Born, Novogeorgievsk, Russia (Modlin, Poland)
    1909 Law degree, St. Petersburg University
    1910 Entered government service, Resettlement Office of Ministry of Agriculture
    1915 Law degree, St. Petersburg University
    1916 Privat-Dozent, St. Petersburg University
    1917 Chief Legal Counselor, Ministry of Provisions
    1918-1920 Manager of Affairs, Siberian (later All-Russian) Provisional Government (also held positions of Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Assistant Minister of Education, Chairman of State Economic Council)
    1921 Author, Sibir', soiuzniki i Kolchak
    1921-1926 Service on administration of Chinese Eastern Railway as Head of Chancellery and later Chief Controller
    1927 Author, Eticheskie problemy sovremennogo Kitaia
    1928 Author, Obosnovanie politiki prava v trudakh Professora L.I. Petrazhitskogo
    1929 Law degree, Paris
    1931-1932 Author, Novye idei v prave i osnovnye problemy sovremennosti
    1933 Author, Uchenie o prave i politicheskaia ekonomiia
    1936 Author, Ocherki sotsial'noi psikhologii
    1940 Author, Predprinimatel'
    1941 Author, Quo Vadis Europa?
    1941 Emigrated to the United States
    1946-1953 Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley
    1954-1964 Consultant, Voice of America, United States Information Agency
    1971 Died

    Scope and Content

    This collection consists mainly of the speeches, writings and lectures of George C. Guins for his émigré period.
    The collection contains important biographical material, including his third person autobiography and oral history interviews. Also of particular significance are his unpublished book manuscripts on the development of Russian history and culture, as well as on his academic specialty - legal theory.
    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 and copyright to them (with some exceptions) are the property of the Museum of Russian Culture, San Francisco. 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.


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Guins family
    Law--Soviet Union.
    Russians--United States.
    Siberia (Russia)--History--Revolution, 1917-1921.
    Soviet Union--History--Allied intervention, 1918-1920.