Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)MS126/2
TitlePapers of Olga Kerensky
Extent1 box
Datelate 19th cent -1988
DescriptionPublished and unpublished memoirs of Olga Kerensky, family correspondence including letters to her and her sons from her former husband, Alexander and personal correspondence with Katherine Breshko-Breshkoskaya; other personal papers including family photographs and official documents; genealogical research papers including materials relating to her wider family, the Baranovsky, Vasiliev and Oreshov families; and other printed and published material relating to Olga and more generally to the history of Russia
ArrangementArranged in seven series, comprising published and typescript writings by and about her; family correspondence and other papers; official documents; recordings; photographs; papers relating to genealogical research; miscellaneous printed materials relating to the history of Russia
Access StatusOpen
Administrative HistoryOlga Lvovna was the daughter of Lev Baranovsky, a general, and his wife Maria. Maria's sister Lydia married Lev Baranovsky's brother Vsevolod. Olga's paternal grandfather was Stephen (Stepan) P. Baranovsky, a professor of Russian at Helsingfors University; then an inventor and developer of military ordnance. Her uncle, Vladimir S. Baranovsky, was an engineer-inventor who found the Baranovsky Works in St Petersburg and invented a quick firing gun. Her maternal grandfather, Vasili Pavlovich Vasiliev was a Professor of Chinese and Sanskrit and a member of the Russian Academy of Science. He married Sofia Simonov, daughter of Ivan Simonov, Professor of Astronomy and later Director of Kazan University, who took part as a navigator, astronomer and biologist in the Russian expedition to the Antarctic in 1819-1821.

Olga Lvovna was born in 1883 in Kazan. She met Alexander Kerensky when he was a law student at St Petersburg University through one of her cousins who was an engineering student and a revolutionary. They married in July 1904 and their sons Oleg and Gleb were born in 1905 and 1907. The family lived in St Petersburg/Petrograd until after the Bolshevik revolution of October/November 1917 which overthrew Alexander Kerensky's Provisional Government. Olga, her mother and her two children travelled to Oost-Sissolsk in the north of Russia in 1918 where Olga was arrested by the Cheka (secret police) and sent to Moscow with her children. They were detained in the Cheka prison, the Lubianka but were later released and allowed to return home. Olga and her mother struggled to survive on little money and poor food. Sokoloff, a political acquaintance of Alexander Kerensky, arranged for Olga and her two sons to leave Russia under false identities with a group of Estonian subjects in 1920. After travelling through Sweden, Olga and her children settled in London. She obtained a job as a typist while Oleg and Gleb attended Oakfield school and later took in lodgers. In 1955 she went to live with her son Gleb and his wife in Rugby and later lived in Southport. She began to write down an account of her experiences during and after the 1917 revolutions while she was still working, and in later life she published some of her memoirs, notably in the form of articles marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Bolskevik takeover in 1967. She died in Southport on 1 October 1975.

Sources: autobiography


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