ИЗ ИСТОРИИ РОССИЙСКОЙ НАУКИ
Master of Arts, History (University of Turku)
Master of Arts, West and South Slavonic Languages and Cultures
( University of Helsinki)
Postgraduate Student, Department of General History (University of Turku)
Information Systems Specialist (National Library of Finland), Helsinki, Finland
Books and Food for the Precious Brains: Re-establishing the International Scientific Relationships with Russian Scholars through the Relief Programme of Academic Relief Committee of Finland in 1921-1925
В начале 1920-х годов русские ученые были изолированы из-за Первой мировой войны и большевистского режима от международных научных дебатов. В 1921 году научные связи с западными странами восстановились в результате программы Финского академического комитета помощи русским ученым — членам Дома ученых в Петрограде. Кроме продовольственной помощи Финскому академическому комитету помощи удалось организовать международный обмен русских научных публикаций с помощью Русской библиотеки Хельсинкского университета. В статье рассматривается как восстановление академических связей между русскими и западными учеными было возобновлено в рамках инициатив продовольственной помощи и обмена литературой.
Ключевые слова: история науки, Финский академический комитет помощи, Дом ученых, Пе-троКУБУ, Академия наук, международный книгообмен
Politically turbulent years after the Great War redrew not only the Russian borders, but also isolated its scholarly societies from the international academic debate and during the first post-revolutionary years, the academic contacts with the Western colleagues were broken or were arranged in sporadic ways only. There were no structures that could have supported the academic work under these new conditions and, even the international exchange of scientific publications wasn’t yet organised. The period of stagnation was prolonged by the Rus-
sian revolutions, the disintegration of the Russian Empire, the civil war, the rise of Bolsheviks into power and finally by the commercial blockade of Western countries. For those Russian scholars who had decided to stay in Russia and continue their work with scientific aspirations, the early 1920’s may be considered, in every sense of the meaning as a battle for survival. In this article, I am presenting one possible scenario, basing on the sources in Finland, how the scientific relationships of Russian scholars with the Western countries began a rebirth in the course of the relief programme, which was organized by the Academic Relief Committee of Finland (Suomen Yliopistollinen Avustuskomitea, hereafter ARCF) from spring 1921 onwards.
The first part of this article is focused on the rarely discussed events of the relief programme for the Russian scholars1. This section will show how the ARCF built up the agenda on relief in co-operation with the Commission for Improving the Living Conditions of Scientists in Petrograd (Петроградская Комиссия по улучшению быта ученых, hereafter PetroKUBU) and how the ARCF managed to implement the agenda by organizing a Europe-wide relief programme for the Russian scholars at the House of the Learned in Petrograd. The second part of this paper will discuss the aspects and influence of the international book exchange, which took place in pursuance of the relief programme and was organised between the members of the Academy of Sciences in Petrograd and the Russian Library in Helsinki as of spring 1921.
Part One — Relief Programme for the Russian Scholars in need
The history of PetroKUBU is well-known, not least because it was led by the famous Russian author, Maxim Gorky (1868-1936). In Soviet Russia, PetroKUBU was the first scholarly organisation, which had managed to establish The House of the Learned (Дом учёных) with permission of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies (Петроградский совет рабочих и солдатских депутатов) in Petrograd in early 1920, in order to provide the Russian scholars such conditions that could help their aspirations in their academic lives2.
However, the early years of the scholarly work at the House of the Learned was full of difficulties. The living conditions in Russia had drastically worsened due to an ill-directed agrarian policy. The miseries of everyday life were exacerbated by the harsh weather conditions in 1920 and 1921 and especially by the crop failure in the Volga region in 1921 when a drought hit almost half of the food-producing areas in Russia. The production of cereals had declined by 85 % in just a few years, from 20 million tons in the years before the Revolution to 2.9 million tons in 1921 and it is indicated that the nationwide famine decreased the population by 5.1 million between 1920 and 1921 (Pipes, 1995: 411-412, 419).
The crude circumstances of the Russian inhabitants were well-known in the European press at that time. The English novelist and journalist H. G. Wells had visited Russia in the
1 Lhe previous research on the subject has mainly focused on the role of Maxim Gorky in conjunction with the relief programme for the Russian scholars, but ignored the wider scientific, political and cultural aspects of the initiative of ARCF. In particular the importance of the book exchange in the course of the relief programme has not been discussed to any extent. See (Isakov, 1985: 49-80), (Barakhov, 1997: 150-158), (Kjetsaa, 1991: 101-107) and (Petrogradskiy..., 2000: passim).
2 On the establishment of the PetroKUBU, the House of the Learned and their early stages, see (Mints, 1968: 170-265), (Schlogel, 1988: 445-453), (Nozdrachev & Petritsky, 1999: 922-930).
autumn of 1920 and reported on the prevailing conditions in a series of articles for the Sunday Express and in his travel book, Russia in the Shadows. In his reports, Wells did not only observe the miseries of citizens, but also the ill-fated circumstances of scientific labour at the House of the Learned:
It was to me one of the strangest of my Russian experiences to go to this institution and to meet there, as careworn and unprosperous-Looking figures, some of the great survivors of the Russian scientific world. Here were such men as Oldenburg the orientalist, Karpinsky the geologist, Pavloff the Nobel prizeman, Radloff, Bielopolsky, and they like, names of the world-wide celebrity. They asked me a multitude of questions about the recent scientific progress in the world outside Russia, and made me ashamed of my frightful ignorance of such matters. If I had known that this would happen I would have taken some sort of paper, the work they do has to go on in unwarmed laboratories. It is amazing they do any work at all. Yet they are getting work done; Pavloff is carrying on research of astonishing scope and ingenuity upon the mentality of animals; Manuchin claims to have worked out an effectual cure for tuberculosis, even in advanced cases; and so on. I have brought back abstracts of Manuchin's work for translations and publications here, and they are now being put into English. The scientific spirit is a wonderful spirit. If Petersburg starves this winter, the House of Science — unless we make some special effort on its behalf — will starve too, but these scientific men said very little to me about the possibility of sending them in supplies (Wells, 1920: 40—41).
The correspondence of Gorky shows that a little help for the Russian scholars was given already in the autumn of 1920. At least H. G. Wells and Fridtjof Nansen managed to deliver some charities, but there were no organized initiatives that could have been successful in their attempts on any larger scale. In addition to the foreign aid, Gorky tried to apply for internal aid several times in late 1920 and early 1921, but his appeals for additional food and fuel supplies were not successful (Gorky 2007: 109, 140, 124, 151).
However, the inevitable was bound to happen when in the winter of 1921 the prophecy of Wells was becoming a reality. In his letter of March 14th 1921 to Wells, Gorky indicates (Gorky, 2007: 168) that the whole city is suffering from hunger as all the additional food supplies were directed to the Soviet troops in order to feed them in the course of the Kronshtadt rebellion. Later, the same year, it was discussed in the Finnish press that Gorky’s appeals were futile as the Soviet authorities did not want any foreign forces to-intervene with the internal policies of Soviet Russia and had forbidden all foreign help entering Russia (Helsingin Sanomat, 7.5.1921).
The first aid came from an unexpected direction. Gorky had learned that as early as December 1920, his old Finnish artist friend Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931) had published a newspaper treatise (Hufvudstadsbladet, 10.12.1921) in Finland on the devastating conditions for scientific workers in Petrograd. On March 24th Gorky wrote an open letter to Gallen-Kallela and invited him to organize the help for the "most precious brains" (Suomen Sosialidemokraatti, 2.4.1921)3. In spite of the appealing tone of Gorky’s letter, Gallen-Kallela was suspicious on Gorky’s intentions as he collaborated with the Bolshevik regime. Due to the strong anti-Bolshevik tendency among the Finnish cultural elite — like many Western critiques of Gorky, Gallen-Kallela also treated him as lakeij Lenina and in his reply
’The original letter in French, see (Kjetsaa, 1991:105). Translation in Russian, see (Gorky, 2007: 175—176). The Swedish translation of the letter was published in Hufvudstadsbladet April 3rd 1921.
to Gorky (Hufvudstadsbladet, 4.4.1921), Gallen-Kallela refused to organize any help for the Russian scholars in Finland, but four days later, nevertheless, he published another letter to Gorky in the press (Hufvudstadsbladet, 8.4.1921). This time, Gallen-Kallela stated that he had informed the professor of exegetics Arthur Hjelt and the professor of physiology Robert Tigerstedt over the matter and they were willing to do something for the cause of Russians in need. This is the stage when the academic elite in Finland took the initiative by starting to organise the help for the Russian scholars.
With the initiative of Tigerstedt, the question of aid for the Russian scholars was presented for the first time in the Senate (consistorium ordinarium) of the University of Helsinki on April 20th (Yliopiston konsistorin poytakiijat, 20.4.1921. HYKA: Yliopiston konsistorin poytakiijat 1918-1924)4. News about the activities of the Finnish academic circles soon reached Petrograd and Gorky. According to Isakov (Isakov, 1985: 53), Gorky was informed of these plans made in Helsinki and then told the members of PetroKUBU on May 3rd in the meeting concerning supplies that Tigerstedt and Gallen-Kallela would deliver from Finland to the House of the Learned.
On the very next day, Gorky wrote an ‘official’ request of help and it was published in the Finnish press on May 8th 1921. In his letter, Gorky urged Finns to provide the relief as soon as possible, as the situation with food supply in Petrograd was so severe and that famine would be inevitable in the near future which would eventually destroy the scholars:
The help is necessary without any delays. The food supplies should be directed to Petrograd, to the "House of the Learned", under the name of M. Gorky. Approximately 4500 people have joined this house of the scholars — professors, laboratory technicians, assistants and teachers. It is asked, why none of them has signed this letter? The answer is a short and bitter one: who would humble oneself to beg charity? They are used to giving the most valuable things to the world, so they would rather die than beg. Therefore I am carrying this heavy burden of pleading for bread for Russian science. Help! This is the responsibility of all, whom the science of Europe is not a mere expression but who know how great the importance of Russian science is in the treasury of all-human knowledge (Helsingin Sanomat, 8.5.1921; translated by JPH).
Isakov has indicated (Isakov, 1985: 53-54) that Gorky’s appeal was widely taken into account in Finland and on May 10th, with the initiative of Tigerstedt, Finnish scholars gathered in discussion over the aid for Russian scholars. As a consequence of this meeting, the ARCF was established in early May in order to help the Russian scholars by providing them equipment, food and money for purchasing the commodities that they needed. ARCF organized the fund-raising concerts in Helsinki, collected charity and food aid, which were received mainly from the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture (Suomen Sosialidemokraatti, 11.5.1921). In late May 1921, ARCF delivered the first relief shipment to PetroKUBU and the House of the Learned in Petrograd.
The ARCF was not any rough conglomerate since its executive group was led by many academic Finns who had had close ties with Russian culture, society and academic life during
4 According to Isakov (Isakov, 1985: 52), the matter was under the discussion for the first time at the Senate (consistorium plenum) on April 27th 1921. The cause was introduced to the Senate by Tigerstedt, Igelstrom and some others, but as there are no remarks on the discussion, Isakov concludes that the protocol was not observed, but the cause was discussed extraprotocollum, and thus no remarks were ever recorded.
the years before the Great War and the independence of Finland. The key figures of ARCF were Andrey Igelstrom (1860-1927), the head of the Russian Library at the University in Helsinki, ethnographer-slavist Viljo Johannes Mansikka (1886-1947) and professor of the Slavonic languages, Jooseppi Julius Mikkola (1886-1946). These men had collaborated in past decades with the Russian academic world closely and they were aware of the prevailing conditions in Russia. Also, they were supported by the academic and political decisionmakers: they were given the permission to work for the initiative by the Senate of Helsinki University, but it is noteworthy that they had close personal contacts to the Finnish political elite; it gave them some certain liberties and possibilities to run the relief initiative. These leading figures of ARCF, as will be verified, played an important role in the success of the whole relief programme.
Upon the first shipment of goods to Petrograd, Igelstrom and Mansikka travelled along the relief wagons and supervised the distribution of goods up to their final destination. While in Petrograd, on May 24th they also went into negotiations with PetroKUBU over any further assistance and on the probable scale of the relief programme. The outcome of negotiations in Petrograd was a shared agenda for the international relief to the members of the House of the Learned. Isakov lists (Isakov, 1985: 56-58) ten issues that were discussed and agreed during the meeting, but in brief, the major aims of this agenda were twofold: 1) the arranging of the relief (food, clothes, fuel etc.) for the House of the Learned and 2) the exchange of Russian scientific publications by Academy of Science and its institutions5.
There were several driving factors for the Russian and Finnish participants that helped in formulating the relief agreement between PetroKUBU and ARCF. For instance, both Finnish delegates in Petrograd had lost their connections to the scientific world in Russia during the post-revolutionary period. Ethnographer-slavist Mansikka, had been studying the folklore of the kindred (Fenno-Ugric) languages eagerly, but the Great War basically terminated his ‘Russian’ approach of research in folklore and linguistics. Also, the changes in the post-revolutionary period had been crucial for Igelstrom, who had only limited chances to acquire Russian scientific publications for his library. During the period of 1828-1917 the Russian Library in Helsinki had the right to obtain a copy of every publication printed in Russia for its collections, but the right was abandoned when the independency of Finland was declared in 1917 (Ekonen, 2011: 18-20).
The same sense of isolation applied to the Russian scholars, who had gradually lost the connection to the academic debate with Western scholars since the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 and following years. In this sense, ARCF seemed to be a suitable partner for PetroKUBU and Academy of Sciences in re-establishing scientific relationships, not only between Russia and Finland, but also with the wider academic communities. As the earlier attempts to create contacts with Western societies were blocked by the Soviet authorities, the ARCF and its relief programme looked like the only possible window of opportunity for Russian scholars in the academic world at that time.
Nevertheless, the aims of the Finnish delegates weren’t just philanthropic as many other targets were intertwined in the operations of ARCF. For instance, when Igelstrom and Mansikka returned to Helsinki in early June 1921, they declared in an interview that their relief programme had re-established the economic co-operation between the Soviet Russia and Finland through trade (Helsingin Sanomat, 5.6.1921; Hufvudstadsbladet, 5.6.1921).
5 For a summary of the meeting (Mints, 1968: 219) and minutes of the meeting (HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.1).
From left: Viljo Johannes Mansikka, Maxim Gorky and Andrey Igelstrom on the balcony at the House of the Learned in (August) 1921 (Slavonic Library, National Library of Finland).
Also, Igelstrom and Mansikka themselves indicated that the trade route to Petrograd and its markets was now about to become open for Finnish enterprises.
Despite the fact that ARCF and PetroKUBU relied on each other, the Finns realised that they were unable to support the Russian scholars in need alone. The members of the ARCF were well aware of the sensitive politics in Finland too. Public opinion was strictly against the Bolshevik regime, especially after the Treaty of Tartu between Finland and Soviet Russia in October 1920, which was considered in the press as unfavourable for Finland. The Soviet Russia was seen as a threat to the independence of the new nation-state, so all appeasing actions to support an enemy would have raised a wave of disagreement in the press and in the public. For instance, when the Finnish left-wing (Suomen Tyomies, 17.8.1921, 20.8.1921, 30.8.1921) started fund-raising for the starving workers in Russia in summer 1921, public opinion in right firmly disagreed with the cause, as it was considered as an aide for the Bolsheviks (Uusi Suomi, 25.8.1921, 28.8.1921). This was something that the ARCF wanted to avoid with its leading figures willing to explain how the relief programme could lead to the opening of commercial opportunities.
As the success of any vast fund-raising in Finland seemed impossible, the members of ARCF needed to awaken interest among the academic world in order to function efficiently. Just a few days after the return from Petrograd, Mikkola, Igelstrom and Mansikka contacted several European universities and institutions and called on them to help the Russian scholars of the House of the Learned. Their initiative was successful especially so in the academic circles in Czechoslovakia (Narodni politika, 29.6. 1921; Uherek, 1959: 106-111).
As a consequence of the activities of ARCF and the Czechoslovak scholars, an international conference over the relief for the Russian scholars took place in Prague September 12th 1921. The national committees, which were established in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, France and Denmark, formed a joint international relief committee for
helping the Russian scholars and artists. This joint international committee was led by the executive board, which consisted of J. J. Mikkola (the professor of Slavonic languages at the University of Helsinki), Josef Rotnagl (mayor of the city of Prague), Paul Boyer (slavist and a chair of School of Oriental Languages at National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations, INALCO), Olaf Broch (professor of Slavonic languages at the Olso University), slavist Scinishiw Röznicki (Copenhagen), Nicolaas van Wijk (philologist-slavist of the Leiden University), professor Victor Henri (Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Zürich), Hans Töndury (professor and dean of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Geneva) and Antoine Depage (royal surgeon of Belgian Red Cross). As one can see from the formulation of the board, it had mainly members from the area of higher education in the field of Slavonic languages, philology and linguistics (Isakov, 1985: 68-69).
The conference agreed on the relief to Russian scholars and it was agreed that goods of all kinds, like clothes, preserved food supplies, fuel and donations would be collected in Prague by the national committee of the Czechoslovak Red Cross and Charles University and delivered by train via Stettin to Helsinki and on to Petrograd under the surveillance of ARCF (Uherek, 1959: 109-110).
It was the finest hour for the relief programme, though the success of the relief initiative wasn’t based solely on the activity of the Finns, but on the grants raised in Czechoslovakia as well. The president of Czechoslovakia, Tomäs Garrigue Masaryk, saw an opportunity for his trade and economic purposes and donated one million Czechoslovak Crows to the ARCF for the support of the Russian scholars (Isakov, 1985: 63). This donation was essential to the whole campaign and with its help the purchase of the goods for PetroKUBU was made possible.
Donations and money orders were needed for the purchasing the food supplies in Finland. Basically, there was no open market available for PetroKUBU, so their actions were directed by ARCF. In practice, the ARCF gave to PetroKUBU a payment order, which was assigned to be used for the groceries, equipment and fuel, which were sold, manufactured or produced in Finland by carefully chosen partners.
In a wider perspective, ARCF was successful in creating a communication channel and route to Russia and Petrograd earlier than any other organisation or state. This fact started to become very alluring for some other new nation-states in Northern and Central Europe, which were eager to take advantage of this possible trade corridor. For instance, the biggest financier of the relief programme, the Czechoslovak President (in practice, the government), had other intentions in mind. Like Finns, the Czechoslovaks, too, were eager to enter the Russian markets that looked wide open in mid-1921, but the trade policy with Soviet Russia had not been successful so far (Kovtun, 2005: 201-203). For Czechoslovakia, the initiative of ARCF must have looked like one possible channel for entering the Russian markets.
The international phase of the relief programme came to its end due to a diplomatic dispute between Russia and Finland. In November and December 1921, the East Karelian uprising on the Russo-Finnish borderline created mistrust within the international partners of the relief programme and they started to depart from the initiative. One must also notice that the Russian economy started to show signs of recovery due to the newly launched NEP programme. Also, the foreign relief programmes of international organisations, like American Relief Administration and Nansen’s Committee, had started to take care of the additional food supply in Russia as of summer 1921, so the relief programme of ARCF started to lose its grounding on all fronts (Jungar, 1994: 224; Nansen to Mikkola 27.7.1922. HYK: Coll. 150.6).
As the stream of European aid perished, the phase of international relief for the Russian scholars terminated in winter 1922, even though some French organisations and companies sent their aid to Finland as late as May 1922 (HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.2). The ARCF was running out of money and was not successful in fund-raising during the winter 1922, and in late MarcliT the organisation decided to close down the relief programme. The final account was released on April 4th 1922 (Suomen Yliopistollisen Avustuskomitean selvitys tilityksistâ 31.3.1922 mennessa. HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.1). In this summary, the ARCF listed all the transactions that were related to the relief programme for the PetroKUBU and the House of the Learned in Petrograd for first relief shipment in May 1921 till the last delivery of goods in March 1922.
Value of donations (money) by country in Finnish Marks. (Suomen Yliopistollisen Avustuskomitean selvitys tilityksista 31.3.1922 mennessa. HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.1).
Country Contributor Volue in FIM
Czechoslavakia President Mazaryk 799 993,60
The Nitherlands Nederlandish Comité voor Hulpverleening aan Russische mannen en vrouwen van wetenschap 164 904,14
Switzerland Comité Suisee de Sécours 30 575
University of Lausanne 3703,7
University of Zürich 18106,80
Private person(s) 25
England E.I. Salvesén, Edinburg 1107,5
The Chemical Society 4640
University College of North Wales, Canford 1672,5
Aberystwyth University 1050
Imperial War ReliefFund, Universities’ Committee 22 600
Prof. Paul Vinogradoff, Oxford 1055
Norway via Professor Olaf Brock 30 000
France Comité de Ravitaillement 8600
Comité de Secours Russe 6000
Spain Minister Francois Cambo 3000
Denmark Private person(s) 120
Sweden Private person(s) 500
Estonia Private person(s) 50
Finland State 5000
University of Helsinki 2000
Private person(s) 1220
Income from Interest 16 949,06
in total 1 122 929,30
According to the released information, this programme managed to deliver aid to the value of over three million Finnish Marks (ca. 850 000 euro, as valued in 2006) in total Noteworthy, that the value of the relief programme of ARCF was relatively high when compared
with the sum of the Finnish trade export to Russia in 1921 (Kyrôlâinen, 1977: 83; Suomen taloushistoria 3, 1983: 236). The major donor was the President of Czechoslovakia, who donated one million Czechoslovak Crowns for the cause. High donations were given by the Dutch committee as well as Swiss universities and French organisations, whereas the amount collected in Finland could be considered as low (Table 1).
In total, the value of donations in money consisted roughly one third of all donations. This money was directed to PetroKUBU by ARCF as payment orders, which were used for purchasing the groceries, clothes, medical equipment etc. from Finnish producers and wholesale companies. In addition to that, PetroKUBU was given a sum of 200 000 FIM to run the operations and purchase the goods in Petrograd (Table 2).
Purchases from Finland. (Suomen Yliopistollisen Avustuskomitean selvitys tilityksistâ 31.3.1922 mennessa. HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.1).
Products Kilograms Volue in FIM
lard 3949 76 451,75
rye flour 51260 207 376
sugar 1527 15 929,15
dried vegetables 1272 3 442,50
wheat bisquits 4553 22 789,50
margarine 2504 56 364
other groceries 732,5 3 438,35
in total 65 797,50 385 791,25
drugs 15,5 5 956
medical instruments 100 4 158,80
in total 115,5 10 114,80
leather 93 5 204,85
ink (50 bottles) 176 1000
saws (50 pcs) 75 1500
soap powder 974 855,75
galoshes (100 pairs) 105 4 784
in total 1423 13 344,60
Paid to Petro KUBU 200 000
in total 67 336 609 250,65
The majority of the relief was given in different forms of commodities. This group of donations consisted mainly groceries and everyday commodities. All in all, the volume of transported goods to the House of the Learned was more than 27 tons in weight, and the total value of these donations rose to over 2.2 million Finnish Marks (Table 3).
Value of donations (goods) by donor in Finnish Marks. (Suomen Yliopistollisen Avustuskomitean selvitys tilityksista 31.3.1922 mennessa. HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.1).
Donor Date, when sent from Helsinki to Petrograd Contens Weight in kilograms Value in FMK
France: Comité de Ravitaillement de savants et artistes Russes 22.7.1921, 30.9.1921 161, 78, 32 ja 49 parcels of goods n/a n/a
16.12.1921 groceries 14 272 178 680
28.2.1922 clothes 1997 31900
soap 252 1000
books 25 5000
France: Comité de secours russes 9.1.1922-9.3.1922 1000 boxes (a 100 cans) of sardine 22 500 300 000
80 boxes (a 48 cans) of condensed milk 24 580 26 880
Norway: via Frith of Nansen 19.7.1921 140 containers of herring 21000 42 000
Norway: Centro-Sojus 19.7.1921 86 boxes of cod 18 060 27 090
Czechoslovakia 30.7.1921 200 boxes of sugar 10 000 100 000
1.11.1921 350 boxes of soap 10 630 106 300
218 boxes of clothes, fabrics, shoes 26 761 1 471 425
171 boxes of personal packages, groceries, clothes, shoes, medicine 8 883 156 600
Switzerland 31.10.1921 107 boxes of condensed milk 2 588 33 000
The Netherlands 16.12.1921 63 boxes of stock cubes 1 511 6 044
8 boxes of clothes 385 4 480
1 box of pork meat 30 300
England: Centro-Sojus Ldt. 9.1.-31.3.1922 466 containers of cod 116 716 233 432
Different countries: 30.9.1921— 11.3.1922 personal packages, groceries and clothes 3 429 62 991
literature 568 25 100
23 packages of newspapers 400 800
Finland 21.5.-1.7.1921, 1.8.1921, 8.10.1921 dried vegetables, margarine, flour etc. 13 110 60150
in total 270 197 2 287 712
As the international relief programme came to its end, the Finns were willing to continue the tradewith the Russian organisations in orderto support Finnish companies in theirattempts to enter the Russian markets. In July 1922, Mansikka visited Russia again and he reported that the devastation period of Russian revolutions had come to the end and the Bolshevik regime was going to remain in power, supported by its citizens, as well as the academic intelligentsia. According to Mansikka, despite the Bolshevik politics, the Finns should adopt the current
situation and start looking for further opportunities to support the trade to Russia (Mansikka to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland, 5.8.1922. HYK: Coll. 143.2).
The ARCF was able to renew the contacts with the Russian and it started to supply goods for the Academic Cooperative in Petrograd from autumn 1922 onwards, though the volume of exports were significantly lower than during the international phase of ARCF’s relief programme. This co-operation was terminated in the autumn of 1925, when the Russian partner was unable to handle the freight costs of the transported goods (Promemoria, 20.10.1925. HYK: Coll. 150.6). There is no evidence that the key figures of ARCF, Mansikka, Mikkola or Igelstrom, would have participated in this stage of trade in any significant extent after autumn 1922.
Part Two — The Exchange of Russian Scientific Publications
In the formulation of preconditions for the scientific co-operation in the above mentioned transitional period, the discourse of Russian publications and their availability in the postrevolutionary period outside Russia becomes an interesting question. The scholars, who had decided to stay in Russia and work under the prevailing political conjunctures, had only very limited chances to publish and send their studies abroad in the post-revolutionary period.
Despite the fact that the Academy of Sciences had a relatively autonomous role during the first years of the Bolshevik reign (Pipes, 1995: 296, 322), the practical issues created a hindrance for their aspirations, such as the divergence of scholars and the lack of paper and publishing houses in Russia. They were basically sidelined from the world-wide academic debate and had only limited and sporadic access to the contemporary Western publications. The same applied to the scholars outside Russia. The old agreements on book exchange had expired as the Russian Empire collapsed and the new agreement had not been discussed yet. Basically, there was not any organized method of acquiring Russian scientific prints, published during that period.
The first actions towards the exchange of German scientific literature were made by the joint initiative of Foreign Literature Committee (Комитет иностранной литературы, hereafter Kominolit) and Bureau of Science and Technology (Бюро иностранной пауки и техники, hereafter BINT), but in the early stages of the campaign, the results were not able to cover the all needs of Russian scholars (Divnogorcev, 2007: 30-50). In the course of the relief programme, the key figure of PetroKUBU and the Academy of Sciences, Sergey Oldenburg, leaned on Igelstrom instead of Kominolit and BINT in this matter and agreed with him on the exchange of Russian scientific publications with the Western ones, making the Russian Library as an unofficial Bureau des échanges for the Academy of Sciences in exile.
When the representatives of ARCF and PetroKUBU met in May 1921 in Petrograd and agreed on the agenda of the relief programme, the question on book exchange was probably one of the most influential forms of scientific co-operation in their minds. In June 1921, around 4000 volumes of scientific literature, published mainly between the years 1913 and 1921 by the Academy of Sciences and its institutions in Petrograd, were delivered by train to Helsinki. In Helsinki, Igelstrom received the publications and organised the office of the international book exchange based on these deposits (Hufvudstadsbladet, 5.6.1921).
Nevertheless, there was certainly something in the air already prior to the first contacts in the course of the relief programme and the May meeting in Petrograd. On February 22nd
Andrey Igelstrom raised the question on the conditions for scholarly work in Russia in the Finnish press. Referring to Oldenburg’s interview, he writes that the work has continued, but under seriously troubled conditions. In his writing, Igelstrom pays more attention to the status of the scientific publications at the Academy of Sciences than to the poor living conditions among the Russians and asks for the Finns to provide aid for printing the Russian publications:
<...> the situation of the Russian Learned man almost tragic. We could help those martyrs of science in their misfortunes, not only the hungry and cold, but the worst ones, who are inhibited to share the results of their research with others. There is a plenty of paper in Finland, as well as excellently equipped printing houses, libraries and free connection with the West. We could give shelter to some scholars and allow them to print the works of the Academy in more favourable conditions. This is, after all, a question of human culture, partially even on its benefit <...> Oldenburg does not in the first place complain about the lack of money, but the fact that there are no paper, printing houses, types, ink or compositors. All this would be available in Finland; enterprising publishers would be easily found (Helsingin Sanomat, 22.2.1921; translated by JPH).
The citation leads to a question: why Igelstrom was so eager to get involved with the book production of Russian scientific literature in Russia at the time, when all the cultural and political contacts stood on shaky ground. In order to understand completely the importance of Russian publications in the post-revolutionary period, one has to create a clear picture based on the changing scholarly environment in Finland and in the Russian Library of the University of Helsinki in particular.
Max Engman has indicated that public opinion and even scholarly attitudes towards Russian culture and language in Helsinki became increasingly negative during the years of independence, the Finnish Civil war and the rise of the Bolsheviks into the power. For instance, the so-called ‘Russian chairs’ were dismissed from the university as they were regarded as suspicious for an independent Finnish-speaking university (Engman, 1986: 36-37). The decreasing interest in Russian culture, science and language was seen as a threat to the existence of the Russian Library. As the library had lost its rights to retrieve a copy of every printed publication in Russia, the new age led the library into financial troubles.
In December 1918, Igelstrom wrote a report on the state of the Russian Library to the Senate of the Helsinki University. Being unable to collect the required publications for the use of the academic society, the reorganisation of the Russian Library seemed one possibility to save the library’s operations. Igelstrom depicted the possible scenarios and proposed that the Senate should appoint a committee that would examine its possible needs and decide whether the library should continue its work or let it be sold and under which conditions these actions would take place (Igelstrom to Senate, 11.12. 1918. HYK: Fa 10.6). The committee was appointed by the Senate already in early 1919, but it was unable to hand in the proposal on the re-organisation of the library until the emerging stage of the relief programme for the Russian scholars in need.
The work of the committee was prolonged for several reasons until June 1921. In the final report, the committee stated its posture that the Russian Library is a valuable and bestowed gift for the university and its collections are becoming unique at this time as the collections of the national literature and private book treasures were likely to perish in these turbulent conditions in Russia. The committee also suggested that the budget of the Russian
Library should not be limited to any extent and its functions should be secured by affiliating it under the administration of the University Library (Committee to Senate, 10.6.1921. HYKA: Yliopiston konsistorin poytakiijat 1918-1924) Suddenly, it seemed that the future of the Russian Library in Helsinki would be secured due to the politically unstable around the scientific life in Russia.
One has to pay attention to the timing of the report. The committee delivered the report for the Senate of the university on June 10th 1921, which is, not coincidentally, just a few days after the return of Mansikka and Igelstrom from their first visit in Petrograd as the representatives of the ARCF. They were, without a doubt, aware that the co-operation with the Russian partners and institutions would revitalize the current situation of the Russian Library. Despite the fact that the Senate of the University of Helsinki did not take any actions at this stage in order to secure the future of the Russian Library, the swell of events ensured the fate of the Russian Library as it became an international centre for book exchange of Russian scientific publications with Western institutions, enabling the re-establishment of scientific co-operation between Russian and Western scholars.
The rumours on the possibilities to retrieve Russian scientific publications through Igelstrom had already spread overseas by winter 19216. The head of the Library of Congress, Herbert Putnam, had contacted Andrey Igelstrom in April 1921, making enquiries concerning the possibility of acquiring the Russian publications through the Russian Library (Putnam to Igelstrom 20.4.1921. HYK: SI. Ms. K-80-1). Also, the curator of the Smithsonian Institution, Ales Hrdlicka, had contacted Mikkola by letter on May 24th in 1921 and asked whether he would be able to deliver books to the Russian Museum in Petrograd (Hrdlicka to Mikkola 24.5.1921. HYK: Coll. 150.6). It is possible that the American libraries had their information on the possibilities of acquiring the Russian publications through Igelstrom either from Golder or Korff.
Like the remarks in the Igelstrom’s archive, the enquiries from America also support the idea that some kind of possibility for exchanging or purchasing Russian publications existed before the launch of the relief programme of ARCF. The fact, that Putnam and Hrdlicka contacted Igelstrom and Mikkola is evidence of the contacts regarding the early co-opera-tion between the Russian and Finnish scholars. Above all, these enquiries do indicate that there was emerging interest of retrieving Russian publications in Western countries, but the cause was not short of problems. In his reply to Herbert Putnam on July 27th 1921, Igelstrom depicts the existing conditions and difficulties in accessing the Russian prints in Petrograd:
I am sending you, in two cases, some publications, issued by the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Petrograd University and some learned societies since 1914. <...> Of course, what I am sending you, by no means comprises all the scientific literature published in Russia during the war and revolution. It is only an incomplete collection of what was issued in Petrograd and as much as I had time to collect during my short sojourn there. No
6 In 1920, Igelstrom had managed to collect a set of Russian books from Petrograd for the Professor of History and a later director of the Hoover War Library, Frank Golder (1877-1929), who had operated in Finland as a representative of the American Relief Association in Finland in 1920 (Golderin lainaluettelo. HYK: Ba 10.6.10). Also, S. A. Korff (1876-1924), who had worked closely with Igelstrom at the University in Helsinki. Korff was expelled from his post during the clearance of the Russian chairs at the University of Helsinki in 1918 and then moved to the USA in 1919 and was assigned as the professor of the foreign studies at the Georgetown University in Washington (Petrov
& Pavlov, 2010; 134-140).
communication with Moscow and the other towns has, as yet, been established <...> I must inform you that the collecting of Russian books, so far has met with great difficulties. There is no regular communication with Russia and no postât present and I only got there thanks to a special permission from the authorities. The entire book-trade in Russia has been nationalized, there are no book-stores and private persons sell books at speculative prices. The export of books is forbidden; however I succeeded in obtaining the permission from the Soviet powers to export books with scientific content. The net proceeds of the sale are to go towards providing the Russian learned men with foreign literature and paper. Added to the difficulties are the extremely high prices in Petrograd / for books/ the lack of means of communication, of packing materials etc. I hope, however, by degrees, to be able to regulate our undertaking in a satisfactory way and shall acquaint you with my ideas on the subject (Igelstrom to Putnam 27.7.1921, HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.1).
In his letter to Putnam, Igelstrom basically listed all the existing obstacles that affected the acquisition of Russian publications. But he and his partners at the Academy of Science in Petrograd had one great advantage on their side. On May 28th 1921 Maxim Gorky had applied for permission to transport scientific books for the Finnish scholars. The representative ofVneshtorg had participated in the next meeting of PetroKUBU and soon the Russian authorities gave an exceptional permit that allowed the procedure, but the prints were either sold for fund-raising or were exchanged with Western scientific publications for the benefit of the House of the Learned (Isakov, 1985: 58-59). This permission seems to have applied to the first set of Russian publications, which formed the repository in the Russian Library in Helsinki.
In July 1921, Igelstrom started to execute the plans of selling and exchanging the Russian scientific publications. According to the catalogue of transported books, the depot consisted of around 1300 different titles, usually at three copies, so in total the depot comprised around 4000 items. Scarcely without exception, were these titles published between 1913 and 1921. The catalogue of these books included brief bibliographical information on the publications, mainly only the name of the title, name of the author or institution, price of publication in Rubles and the number of delivered copies. For a present-day reader, the book collection of4000 copies doesn’t sound like an immense set of publications, but for the contemporaries such a large repository of Russian prints in existing conditions meant that Igelstrom and Oldenburg in practice enjoyed a position of monopoly, when it came to the selling and exchanging the publications abroad. One could argue that at its time, the repository of the Russian Library in Finland was the most extensive source for Western institutions to retrieve Russian scientific prints, published mainly between the years of 1913 and 1921.
In addition to Putnam and the Library of Congress, he contacted at least one French slavist, Paul Boyer and informed them that the book exchange of publications of the Academy of Sciences and its institutions are his responsibility and he is offering the Bibliothèque Nationale de France an opportunity to begin with the exchanging the Russian scientific publications with the French prints, "assuming that the National Library, during the time of the war and the revolution, has not been able to acquire Russian books" (Igelstrom to Boyer, 6.7.1921. HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.1; Translated by JPH).
This phase of co-operation, however, cannot be considered as the starting point of book exchange — the regularity was created later. In the summer of 1921, the speculation regarding Gorky’s asylum was published in the Finnish newspapers (Suomen Sosialidemokraatti, 28.7.1921; Uusi Suomi, 28.7.1921; Hufvudstadsbladet, 1.8.1921, 3.8.1921) When Gorky finally arrived in Finland on October 17th 1921, he was accompanied by his personal secretary
A. N. Tikhonov, Igelstrôm and publisher Zinovij Grzhebin (Hufvudstadsbladet, 18.10.1921). A couple of days later, the permanent secretary of the Academy of Sciences in Petrograd, Sergey Oldenburg (1863-1934), also arrived to Helsinki. The Russian delegation had arrived to Helsinki to complete some unresolved issues concerning food relief and the possibilities of printing Russian books.
On October 24th, the Russian delegates of PetroKUBU participated in the meeting of ARCF, while Grzhebin had discussions with the Finnish publishing houses over the printing of literature of Vsemimaya literatura in Finland, but according to Isakov and Heilman (Isakov, 1985: 72-73; Heilman, 2009: 187-189) the results of the negotiations were unsuccessful. At the same time, on October 27th, the Czechoslovak delegates, ethnographer Jin Horák and major of Czechoslovak Red Cross Duchácek arrived to Helsinki on their way to Petrograd to distribute the goods, which were collected in Czechoslovakia between September 11th and 25th. They all joined the meeting of ARCF on October 28th was mainly focused on the exchange of scientific publications between the Russian Library and scientific libraries in Petrograd (Isakov, 1985: 73-74).
At the beginning of November 1921, J. J. Mikkola gave a statement to Hufvudstadsbladet concerning the negotiations with Oldenburg and Gorky and according to the agreement, the Russian Library in Helsinki should operate as an exchange centre for Russian scientific publications of the Academy of Sciences. Mikkola does indicate in the interview that as a consequence of the agreement on book exchange, the scientific relations between Finland and Soviet Russia can now be considered as reorganized:
As the most significant outcome of Oldenburg's visit here, Professor Mikkola denoted the fact that the scientific relations between Finland and Russia could now be considered as re-established. Correspondence and exchange of literature has namely been put into practice and will be provided in connection with the food supplies to "the House of the Learned" in St Petersburg. This exchange has re-emerged between Russia and several scientific institutions, which had previously been in the relationship.
Our university library can thus now again borrow books from the main Russian libraries, from the former Imperial Library and the Academy of Sciences, which both employ their former staff and are well organised, though they, of course, have not had the opportunity to complete their collections recently. However, new literature now begins to come in from Scandinavia, Germany, England and America (Hufvudstadsbladet, 5.11.1921; translated by JPH).
This is the stage when the regular exchange of scientific publications becomes rooted. The highest density of contacts around the book exchange was established with Biblio-thèque-Musée de la Guerre in Paris and the Library of Congress in Washington, which were in correspondence with Igelstrôm up to the year of 1925. To the Library of Congress, Igelstrôm delivered the Russian books several times in total during between 1921 and 1925, but the big deliveries were sent on July 27th 1921 and May 17th 1922. Bibliothèque-Musée de la Guerre in Paris received at least two larger deliveries, sent by Igelstrôm on September 3rd 1921 and November 27th 1921. According to a hand-written note in the Igelstrom’s archival material, some publications in smaller sets were sent to Canada as well, but one cannot verify to which individuals or institutions these deliveries were meant. Also, some Russian publications were sent to Professor Frank Golder at the Hoover Institute, to S.A. Korff at the Columbia University in New York and M. Michaut at the Laboratoire d’Geologie in Sorbonne (HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.2).
The scientific publications of the Academy of Sciences comprised the clear majority of the deposited publications, but the variety of institutions that send their publications either for selling or exchanging became broader in time. In addition to the publications of the Academy of Sciences in Petrograd, prints of the Commission for Study of the Natural Productive Forces of Russia (Комиссия по изучению естественных производительных сил России, hereafter KEPS), the House of the Learned, the Hermitage, Petrograd State University and the Geological Committee were sent to the Russian Library in Finland (HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.2)7.
The rumours concerning the book depot of Russian publications were spread rapidly around Europe. Especially at the turn of year 1921-1922 requests to loan or enquiries to buy the literature from the Western academic libraries and private persons were sent to Igelstrom (HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.2; HYK: SI. Ms. K-46.2). One of these was later Sir Boris Uvarov of the British Museum (Natural History). On January 5th 1922 Uvarov wrote to Igelstrom enquiring about the possibility of subscribing to Russian journals for his institution. Unfortunately, there is no a preserved reply by Igelstrom, but Uvarov contacted Igelstrom again on January 30th 1922 and agreeing over the terms of delivery (Uvarov to Igelstrom, 5.1.1922 and 30.1.1922. HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.1).
Also the head of the Uppsala University Library in Sweden, J. M. Hulth, wrote a letter to Igelstrom on September 19th 1923 and asked, given the information by the Academy of Sciences in Petrograd, as to whether or not the Russian Library had started to exchange the Russian publications in Helsinki (Hulth to Igelstrom, 19.9.1923. HYK: Fa 10.6). In his reply to Hulth on September 25th 1923, Igelstrom reveals interesting figures relating to the unwritten regulations concerning the book exchange by writing that "a Large consignment of publications from the Academy of Sciences in Russia arrived at the Library. [They] are intended to be distributed to a number of international Libraries, of which the Uppsala University Library wasn't counted" (Igelstrom to Hulth, 25.9.1923. HYK: Fa 10.6; translated by JPH).
What does Igelstrom reveal here is the fact that he and Oldenburg had a clear vision to whom to offer the publications for exchanging. Therefore, one can say that the dealing, purchasing or selling of the scientific publications wasn’t solely in the hands of Igelstrom, but he tried to follow the instructions of Sergey Oldenburg. For instance, Oldenburg stated in detail in his letter to Igelstrom on November 21st 1923, where the series of publications of the KEPS should be sent for exchanging (Oldenburg to ARCF, 21.11.1923. HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.1). Unfortunately, no records of favoured institutions can be located in the archives of Igelstrom, but based on the Igelstrom’s letter to Hulth one may assume that an agreement on the favoured institutions could have existed.
Not only the poor availability of the publications, but also the insecure contacts to Russia created a gap in the reading of Russian scientific literature in the West — as late as 1924 foreign contacts to the Academy of Sciences were difficult to organise. For instance, Jakob Adrian Bergstedt, a librarian at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm (Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien), was informed about the possibilities of acquiring the Russian publications from the Russian Library in Helsinki. Bergstedt contacted Igelstrom and
7 It is also peculiar to notice that the Soviet literature was sent to Helsinki. The political publications of high Soviet officers, like Lenin, Trotsky, Lunacharsky, Radek and Kollontai were transported to Finland in the same delivery of books that contained poems by the Alkonost authors, like Alexander Blok, whose The Twelwe and Ramzes, for example, were among the listed literature, as well as books by Gumilev, Yesenin and Akhmatova (HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.2).
asked whether or not he could deliver the Russian publications to his institution in order to complete some series of publications they had been subscribing to prior to 1917. Bergstedt’s appeal does highlight the difficulties in getting in contact with the Russian scholars at the time — he says that he has tried to contact the Academy of Sciences by many methods and at several times, but has constantly been left without any answers (Bergstedt to Igelstrom 24.3.1924. HYK: Fa 10.6).
The Russian scientific publications weren’t only meant for exchanging, but they were also sold to raise money for PetroKUBU and the House of the Learned. One of the well-documented arrangements was made in co-operation with the bookstore, Akateeminen kirjakauppa, in Helsinki. Igelstrom had delivered Russian publications, mainly journals, for selling at the bookstore and it transferred the profits on the sold items to Igelstrom, who deposited the money in the account of PetroKUBU. The procedure with Akateeminen kiijakauppa had begun in autumn 1921 and continued up to summer 1923, though the East Karelian uprising seems to cause a some delays for the practice in winter 1922 (HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.2).
Despite the fact that the profits, which were made by selling Russian scientific publications at Akateeminen kiijakauppa, remained quite insignificant in fund-raising, the bookstore had a great role to play in the opening of the academic relations with the West. Akateeminen kiijakauppa had good contacts to the vendors of the German journals, so the bookstore took care of acquiring scientific journals by request. The majority of the requests by Russian scholars were for German journals of law, but also some significant requests in the field of humanities, Arts and anthropology (HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.2).
Based on the documentation in the archive that is compiled by Igelstrom, one can notice that several deliveries (at least five different deliveries) of foreign literature were sent to the House of the Learned between early 1922 and February 1923. In addition to the books that were directed to the House of the Learned, Igelstrom seemed to have some orders from individual scholars, like Pinkevitch, for whom Igelstrom did send a package of publications in March 1922. (HYK: SI. Ms. K-80.2). Worth to mention, that no documentation on the book deliveries for the Russian partners in 1921 can be located from the Finnish archives of Igelstrom.
Still, one cannot underestimate the importance of the foreign scientific literature for the Russian scholars at that time. For instance, Sergey Oldenburg made a speech at the annual celebrations of the Academy of Sciences on December 29th 1921 and said that the scholars are thankful for the books and journals what they have received despite the fact that collections are far from complete, and that the scholars do not feel themselves so estranged from the world like during the previous year (Oldenburg, 1921; 6). Also, the House of the Learned was benefitting from the arrangement: by 1922 around 3000 journals and periodicals in foreign languages were collected into the Library of the House of the Learned and as Borisov indicated (Borisov, 1968: 330-331) the Library of the House of the Learned was at this time the only academic institution in Soviet Russia, where one was able to study the results of Western scholars in the field of technology, published between the years 1914 and 1921.
Based on the accounting and correspondence of Igelstrom, the Russian Library seemed to maintain its position as the centre of book exchange to some extent up to the winter 1923. The re-organisation of publishing policy and cultural relations with the foreign countries gradually started to diminish the importance of the repository in Helsinki as a gateway for Russian scholars into the international academic debate. For Russian scholars the book
exchange, in particular, re-opened a channel for international academic debate after a long period of stagnation.
But the times were changing for both the Russian scholars in Leningrad and the Russian Library in Helsinki. In 1923, the Russian authorities allowed Russian scholars to send their articles abroad for publishing and this decision can be considered as a prelude to future changes whereby Russian scholars were capable of contacting the Western journals directly. However, a more concrete reason for the disappearance of the book exchange was the establishment of the Union of Soviet Societies for Friendship and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries (Всесоюзное общество культурной связи с заграницей, hereafter YOKS) in 1924. YOKS started to organize all the cultural relations with foreign countries, including the international book exchange (Uherek, 1959: 113-114), which ended the needs for the practice of exchanging books through the Russian Library.
In addition the conditions for the operations of the Russian Library were changing at the same time. In December 1923, the Finnish government legislated that the library would be merged into the Helsinki University Library, albeit as its own department — the final consolidation of the libraries took place in early 1924. As the Russian Library had operated independently under the senate of university, it had great opportunities to utilize the close contacts with the Academy of Science and one can freely estimate that the Russian Library definitely benefited from the mutual contacts of Igelstrom and Oldenburg during that period. But when the Russian Library was finally merged into the Helsinki University Library, Igelstrom was forced to change the acquisition policy due to the altered conditions.
The conditions of the book printing, book markets and publishing had changed significantly since the early 1920s. Book production and the preconditions for publishing in Soviet Union were getting normalized. In November 1925, Igelstrom reports to the Head of Helsinki University Library that according to his information the state printing houses had nowadays branch offices in every big city and in Leningrad alone, there were around 40-50 private printing houses in operation. Also, in all the republics of the Soviet Union printing houses were established and almost all of the scientific institutions were printing their own publications. The number of printed items in the Soviet Union had returned back to the same level as in pre-war period. In 1924, 15 600 items were published in Soviet Union and the book stores were flourishing in Leningrad and Moscow (Promemoria, 12.11.1925. HYK: Hi 10.1).
But as book production had taken off, regulation also took place. The export was controlled by legislation and YOKS, which took care of all agreements regarding the international book exchange. According to the new legislation, the prints published after 1917 were allowed to be exported, but the export of the publications printed before 1917 was subject to licence. In this phase, Igelstrom was at the front of the new challenges. After the VOKS came onto the scene and the new legislation on book exports was implemented, the major question to Igelstrom was how he would organize the exchange relations in order to meet the needs and requirements of scientific labour in Finland. He had wished to start exchanging the publications with 48 Russian institutions (Список ученых учреждений и обществ в СССР, с которым Гельсингфорский Университет желал бы обмениваться изданиями, 24.3.1924. HYK: Fa 10.6), but in November 1925 Igelstrom says that he had chosen ten institutions with which he would like to start the exchange of publications (Promemoria, 12.11.1925. HYK: Hi 10.1). And regardless of the fact that the Russian Library at the University of Helsinki had tied the agreement directly with the Academy of Sciences in Leningrad and managed to get scientific literature through the agreement on
the book exchange, one may assume that the volumes of exchange was lower than earlier as the conditions had changed so significantly (Promemoria, 12.11.1925. HYK: Hi 10.1).
The outcome of YOKS and regulations by the Soviet authorities must have been disappointing to Igelstrom as he and his library were also forced to fit into the same mould as all other foreign libraries and institutions.
Despite the short life-span, the ARCF managed to re-establish the academic relationships with the Russian scholars in 1921-1925. This was realised through the international relief programme for the members of the House of the Learned in Petrograd, but one cannot underestimate the influence of exchanging the Russian scientific literature when it comes to the re-establishing of the scientific relationships between Finland, Russia and Western countries in early 1920s.
The relief programme wasn’t solely based on altruistic ideas, as some nation-states like Finland and Czechoslovakia were trying to utilize the connection between ARCF and PetroKUBU as a tool for their own purposes, which had a little to do with the original meaning — helping the Russian scholars in need. Both governments were seeking an opportunity to access the Russian trade markets through the channel created by ARCF and PetroKUBU. The initiative was, however, halted due to the diplomatic dispute between Soviet Russia and Finland in late 1921 and early 1922, with the international relief programme terminated in winter 1922. However, the results of the international relief programme can be considered as remarkable.
The exchange of Russian scientific publications was made possible by the relief programme. The first set of prints was sent to Finland in June 1921, which was distributed to some certain foreign institutions, mainly in France and the USA. The regular exchange of literature took off later in 1921, when the Academy of Sciences in Petrograd and the Russian Library, within the framework of the relief programme, agreed on the terms. Being unique in its time, this co-operation remained beneficial to both partners until the introduction of the new legislations on book exports in Soviet Union and the establishment of VOKS in 1924, when the regulations on the exchange of publications were introduced.
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