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Archive Collection description: PAR


Pares (Sir Bernard) Collection (1902-1948)

An online catalogue for this collection is available.

Bernard Pares (1867-1949) visited Russia for the first time in 1898. On his return to Britain he began work as a university extension (adult education) lecturer at the new Liverpool University in 1902. It was at Liverpool in 1907 that he founded the first School of Russian Studies at a British university. Pares was a regular visitor to Russia in the pre First World War period. After the outbreak of the First World War he was appointed British Military Observer to the Russian Army and remained at the front for most of 1915-1917. Pares returned to Russia in January 1919 with a commission from the British Government to give lectures in Siberia then held by the White Admiral Kolchak. After Kolchak's defeat he made his way back to Britain in October 1919. While the British Government awarded him a KBE, the new Soviet Government prevented him from returning to Russia until 1935.

Pares returned to his academic career, becoming Professor of Russian Languages, Literature and History at the School of Slavonic Studies (now SSEES) at Kings College in 1919, a post he held until 1939. He was also involved more generally in the development of the School and served as Director of SSEES 1922-1939. In 1922, with Robert Seton-Watson (qv.), professor of Central European history, Pares founded and edited "The Slavonic Review". During the Second World War, Pares along with Robert Seton-Watson, worked for the Government for a short time as Russian specialist for the Foreign Research and Press Service. He then worked for the Ministry of Information, touring Britain to give public talks about Russia, also giving lecture tours in the United States. Pares remained in the United States for the remainder of his life, he died in 1949. He married Margaret Ellis in 1901. They had five children but later separated.

Ref: "Dictionary of National Biography"; "Who was Who"; Pares, Sir Bernard "A Wandering student" (Syracuse, 1948); "Slavonic and East European Review" vol 28, no 70, 1949, pp 28-38


Correspondence, manuscripts, newscuttings, lecture notes and other papers; subject matter includes the beginning of Russian studies in Britain, visit to Britain of Duma members 1912; life on the Eastern front in the First World War; the Russian Civil War and reconstruction and the formation and development of SSEES.

83 boxes, 7 envelopes and 3 boxes of press cuttings

Some materials in this collection particularly the newspapers are very fragile and should be handled with care

(Language mainly) English & Russian (but also small amounts of) French & German & Japanese & Polish

Access - on authority of UCL SSEES Librarian

Publication: the following publications are based on items in this collection Pares, B, "Day by Day with Russian Army" (London, 1915), "Moscow admits a critics" (London, 1936) and "The fall of the Russian monarchy" (London, 1939)

Catalogue of Pares Collection - class descriptions

A record for this collection is also available on the UCL Archives web site. To see it, please type PAR into the search field.

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This page last modified Thursday 22 April 2010.


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