Kerensky Family Papers

Scope and Content

Papers of the Kerensky family, a Russian emigre family.

This collection comprises papers of three generations of the Kerensky family: the Soviet Revolutionary politician, Alexander Kerensky (1881-1970), who served as Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government in 1917 and who escaped from the Bolsheviks and remained in exile until his death; his first wife, Olga Kerensky (1883-1975) who, following the overthrow of the Provisional Government and a short imprisonment, escaped from Russia, via Estonia to London in 1920; their sons Oleg (1905-1984) and Gleb (1907-1990) who were both engineers; and Oleg's son, also Oleg (1930-1993), a ballet critic.

The collection comprises a wide range of quite disparate materials of personal, family, political and professional papers represented across the papers of these individual members of the family. The papers of Alexander Kerensky are largely of a political nature and include his writings and interviews with him and a small quantity of correspondence from his second wife, 1962-63. Olga Kerensky's papers principally comprise versions of her memoirs and extensive family and personal correspondence from Alexander Kerensky, written to her and her sons over a period of nearly 50 years, and from Katherine Breshko-Breshkovskaya, 1925-34. The papers of their sons, Oleg and Gleb Kerensky, largely represent their professional lives with the papers of Gleb being particularly strong in relation to his work as an engineer on hydro-electric projects and while there is no strong political element to their papers, both of them wrote about the October Revolution of 1917 and their father. The bulk of the papers of Oleg Kerensky junior relate to his professional work as arts journalist and broadcaster which include a fairly comprehensive record of his writings. His highly personal autobiography, written towards the end of his life, is currently closed for research access.

Administrative / Biographical History

Full biographical histories of the individual members of the Kerensky family represented in this collection are included in the full catalogue at sub-fonds level: Alexander Kerensky (1881-1970); Olga Kerensky (1883-1975); their sons, Oleg Kerensky (1905-1984), civil engineer; Gleb Kerensky (1907-1990), engineer; and grandson, Oleg Kerensky (1930-1993), ballet critic.


The collection has been arranged into five sub-fonds, reflecting the fact that it comprises the papers of five individual members of the Kerensky family; with a sixth fond added for miscellaneous papers of other individuals.

Access Information

One item - MS126/5/3/3 - typescript draft of Oleg Kerensky's (1930-1993) autobiography is closed until 2031.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by a member of the Kerensky family in February 1999

Other Finding Aids

Please see the full catalogue for further details.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Director of Special Collections (email: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Related Material

Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections holds other archive collections relating to 20th century Russia including a collection of White Russian printed literature acquired by George Soloveytchik ( MS19) and the papers of E. H. Carr, historian, whose archive includes research and other materials relating to his monumental 14-volume 'A History of Soviet Russia' ( EHC).

Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections also holds a Kerensky collection of books of and collected by Oleg Kerensky junior.