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Museum Collection

Photographs from the Archives of B.S. Lashchilin

In 2012, the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov acquired unique archives of B.S.Lashchilin comprising 124 items including 70 photographs.

Boris Stepanovich Lashchilin (1906 – 1987) is an ethnographer, folklorist, writer and historian, Member of the USSR Union of Writers. He was born in Stanitsa Mikhailovskaya of the Voysko Donskoye Region (now the Volgograd Region). His father, Cossack Stepan Mitrofanovich Lashchilin, was the ataman of Stanitsa Mikhailovskaya. His mother, Lidiya Nikolayevna, is a daughter of poet Nikolai Yakovlevich Chulkov, who was born in Borshchevo, the Voronezh Region, to the family of a priest. Among the distant relatives of Lashchilin are Dmitry Mendeleyev, Alexander Blok.

Early in the 1930-s, B.S. Lashchilin worked as reporter for the newspaper “Izvestiya” and studied by correspondence at the literature department of the State Academy of Artistic Sciences. In 1938, as a correspondent of the USSR News Agency, B.S. Lashchilin met with M.A. Sholokhov, who spoke warmly about the work of the ethnographer.

In his life-time, B.S.Lashchilin published over 15 books about the history of the Khopyor region, its flora and fauna. His works include stories, fairy-tales, epics, legends, songs, sung couplets, proverbs, sayings, old dramas of the first Russian folk theatres.

The photos, which entered into the collection of the Museum-Reserve, were taken from the family album of the writer’s parents. The pictures show his great-grandfather, mother’s and father’s parents, his father, mother, uncles, their families, B.S. Lashchilin himself in his childhood (the earliest photo of his dates to 1907.

The collection photographs bare inscriptions addressed to the father and mother of B.S.Lashchilin. The inscriptions feature the relations between those shown in the photos and those it was addressed, show the world of human interrelations. For the researcher they are important documents of the epoch as a genre of verbal art.

All the pictures are of artistic, historical and museum interest. The photos of the end of the XIX – beginning of the XX centuries are well preserved, a number of the pictures are glued on a cardboard base of “visit”, “cabinet”, “stereoscope” format or on the letterhead with an embossed emblem and name of the photo-studios, which allows to determine the author, place of manufacture and the year. The geography of the picture collection is various.

The photo documents are important historical sources: we can view the faces of people died long ago, understand the world in which our ancestors lived, observe how it gradually changed, see tangible signs of the past: furnishings, houseware, clothing items, awards and decorations. Photos are also important as works of art. Most significant are the pictures made in the photo-studios of brothers Boris and Izrail Erdman. Their works were honoured with the highest awards of the Tsar Nicholas II, the Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna.

The photo collection from the archives of B.S.Lashchilin is really unique and interesting. Surely, seeing these photographs everyone will be more careful in keeping his family picture archives for the further generations.

Larisa Bukina