The Photographic Archive of the Russian Diaspora




The Photographic Archive of the Russian Diaspora has been -and to a large extent still is- scattered around Europe, the Balkans, Russia and the States, that is, wherever Russians travelled, worked, lived and died from the beginning of the 20th century until today. Through portraits, photos of buildings, groups, liturgies, funerals etc., one may reconstruct the social, political, intellectual and religious developments of the time.


The preservation of the photographic records of the Russian Diaspora is of great importance as it lends itself for the study of what comes to be identified nowadays as Neo-Patristic era.


The project started in the beginning of the 1990’s by the Patristic and Byzantine Society of the University of Oxford and more specifically by Veronique Magnes and Dr Niki Tsironis. Since that time, it continued until today with the unfailing support of Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia and other scholars and intellectuals included in our scientific committee.


The Scientific Committee at present includes: Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, Sebastian Brock, Fr Hugh Wybrew, Anthony O’Mahonny, Fr Andrew Louth, Ida Toth, Fr Stephen Platt and Rebecca White.


Material from Paris, London and Oxford has been collected, reproduced and catalogued from the early 90s until today, by Veronique Magnes (photographer –Académie de Limoges 1981-, theologian who graduated from St Serge Institute in Paris in 1986 and paper and book conservator –London College of Printing 1993). Part of this material was shown once at the Foundation for Hellenic Culture in London (under the aegis of the Greek Embassy) in 1996 and at the Arts’ Gallery of the Society for the Promotion of Education and Learning in Athens in 2016. The London exhibition was accompanied by a colloquium entitled From Constantinople to Moscow: the Influence of Byzantium in Russia. Speakers included: Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, Sir Dimitri Obolensky, Fr Nicolas Ozoline, Simon Franklin etc. and the Athens exhibition, by a series of talks on The Russian Diaspora from Moscow to Paris and Oxford.


The project currently proposed consists on various components, the most essential of which is the collection and scanning of material currently in private collections of individuals and families, in archives of institutions, such as the Fellowship, Institute St Serge, YMCA Press, etc.


The material needs to be collected, scanned, corrected and catalogued with identification of names, places and dates in order to be subsequently used as a core for exhibitions, audiovisual material, publication (in hard copy and e-publication) with accompanying colloquia.