Library examines the Russian Revolution in new commemorative display for 100th anniversary

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Library examines the Russian Revolution in new commemorative display for 100th anniversary
Da zdravstvuet mirovoi Oktiabr'! (Long Live World October [revolution]).

NEW YORK, NY.- The revolution that shaped the twentieth century is the subject of a new commemorative display titled The Russian Revolution: American Perspectives at The New York Public Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Curated by Susan Smith-Peter, Associate Professor of History at the College of Staten Island, the exhibition honors the 100th anniversary of the November revolution that transformed Russia into the former Soviet Union.

Featuring photographs and other printed material from the Library’s archives, the display chronicles the American experience of the uprising. It is on display at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue in the McGraw Rotunda on the third floor November 8 through November 19.

“The creation of the Soviet Union was an important moment in history that not only affected the Russian way of life, but had significant impact around the globe throughout its 74-year reign,” said Smith-Peter. “The New York Public Library, with its strong Russian collection and prolific archives of scrapbooks and photo albums, provided the perfect opportunity to tell the story of Americans who were eyewitnesses to the revolution and told the world about it.”

Smith-Peter, in collaboration with her Historical Methods graduate class at the College of Staten Island, selected materials for the display that narrate the story of the revolution from the perspective of Americans living there at the time. Materials on display include:

A poster from the revolutionary era showing the new ideology of the Bolsheviks;

Leaflet distributed by the Bolsheviks proclaiming the Provisional Government had been overthrown;

The book Ten Days that Shook the World by John Reed

Photographs from American journalist Bessie Beatty in Russia, including one of the Constituent Assembly, the democratically elected parliamentary body that resulted from the previous March Revolution in 1917 and contested the Bolshevik seizure of power;

Photo of David Francis, the senior American diplomat in Russia during the revolutionary period and latter half of World War I.

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