Nicholas Roerich bibliography overview in English based on the collection of the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York
Archival and library collections of the Nicholas Roerich Museum (New York) represents two important and independent sections of its funds and working materials.
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The archival fund (Manuscript department) consists of documents and printed materials of equal importance. They come from Nicholas Roerich family, his closed people, institutions and organizations relevant to his diverse activities, as well as from the Nicholas Roerich Museum and the Agni Yoga Society, developing materials which are to be stored. Let us list the most important and significant components of this fund.
Primarily, it is the Roerichs' correspondence of thousand sheets, sent to diverse addressees (including intra-family correspondence). It forms an invaluable source of information about their views, ideas, activities and lifestyle.
The artist and philosopher's legacy is: manuscripts and galley-proofs of books and articles written by Nicholas Roerich and his family members, some articles and essays reprints, draft notes, etc.; diaries and other documents on Roerich's Central and East Asian expeditions, as well as documents reflecting the activities of Roerich institutions and organizations (the Roerich Museum of Art, the Master Institute of United Arts, the "Corona Mundi" International Art Centre, the Urusvati Himalayan Research Institute, numerous Roerich societies, etc.).
The archive also contains materials on the Roerich Pact, related to its development and promotion, manuscripts and galley-proof books on Agni Yoga (original Russian texts and English translations of books on this living ethics teaching, also known as the Agni Yoga series), documents on the activities of the Agni Yoga Society, founded and launched under the direct supervision of Helena Roerich. The materials developed during the society activities are presented mainly in the form of thematic book fragment collections on this teaching.
The collection of Nicholas Roerich life through photos from his early childhood in St. Petersburg to his life end in the Himalayan Kullu valley is the main pictorial source for numerous illustrated books and publications devoted to various sides of Roerich's legacy.
The multivolume handwritten diary of Sina Lichtmann, who was one of the closest Roerich supporter and the first director of the Nicholas Roerich Museum, is the most valuable source of reliable information about the Roerichs. It is noteworthy that this document is not an ordinary personal diary, as it contains records devoted to communication with the Roerichs, and Lichtmann's work under Roerichs' supervision. The diary collection also includes many handwritten notebooks on the living ethics teaching.
Thus, the Manuscript department of the Nicholas Roerich Museum is one of the largest Roerich archive fund in the world, and perhaps the most significant of them. Its materials have already served as the basis for dozens of publications from the previously unpublished Roerich's legacy, as well as hundreds of books and articles concerning Roerich studies. The archive is open to all researchers of personal and creative life of Nicholas Roerich and his family members, both in direct and remote access.
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The Museum library consists of four main sections: Roerich, Research & Information, Memorial and Accompanying sections.
The Roerich section is the main part of the museum library, consisting of lifetime editions of artistic and literary works of Nicholas Roerich, his wife Helena, and sons George and Svetoslav, as well as some publications about them. In addition, the library fund stores publications related to their diverse activities.
This section is based on books of Nicholas Roerich and about him, Helena Roerich's books, the Agni Yoga series edition, George and Svetoslav Roerich's books, and exhibition catalogues of both artists.
Memorial section. Although this part of the book fund is small, it is an independent collection of books, belonging to the artist himself, his wife or sons. It is unquestionably identified by their signatures and bookplates.
Research & Information section. This section is the most voluminous and constantly updated collection of reissued Roerichs' books, books about them, as well as new scientific and popular studies on life and work of Nicholas Roerich and his family members. It also includes modern original printed works from literary Roerichs' legacy that were not published during their lifetime.
Among other things, we see dozens of volumes of the Roerichs' epistolary heritage, numerous art albums and exhibition catalogues, collections of materials from conferences on the Roerich study, biographical monographs, illustrated thematic collections, and much more.
This section best shows a modern comprehensive picture of Roerich' heritage and the ideas of this artist, thinker and enlightener that he introduced into the sphere of universal thought.
Accompanying section. This is the literature that formed the main circle of interests of Nicholas Roerich and his closest family members in rare editions (published at the artist lifetime and earlier) that could belong to him, his family members, his closest associates and followers, as well as Roerich institutions and organizations.
Here, we highlight a book collection on the history of art, which served as a source of pictorial material for the artist, as well as literature of the theosophical movement initiated by Helena Blavatsky, where publications written and edited by her were the most essential.