Eugene Golomshtok Papers
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives [Contact Us]3260 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104-6324
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
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Eugene Alexandrovich Golomshtok was a Russian emigre who arrived in the U.S. in the wake of the revolution in Russia at the age of 20. Several early publications involved Native American archaeology and the Paleolithics of Southern Russia and Siberia. He failed to attain any academic positions but became affiliated with the Penn Museum under the championship of Horace Jayne then the Director of the Museum.
Golomshtok opened doors to archaeology in Russia and participated in two expeditions before being refused a visa in 1934 for a third. While the reason is not known, Golomshtok intimated that his comments regarding missing persons in Russia may have enraged government officials during the period of the purge. Golomshtok's communications with the Museum became less and less following his visa refusal partly because he could no longer work in Russia and partly because of the retirement of Horace Jayne. After the early 1940s, Golomshtok did not publish. He died in 1950 at the age of 52.
In the 1930's the University of Pennsylvania Museum conducted a series of three expeditions to Russia, originally intended as an ongoing project. Although the first two (1931, 1933) were successful, the last one (1934) was aborted.
The earliest, entitled the "Russian Project," was co-sponsored with the Peabody and Fogg Museums of Harvard University. Together, these institutions sent one representative, Eugene Golomshtok of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, to Leningrad. The purpose of the "Russian Project" was to establish contacts for the exchange and dissemination of information relating to developments in archaeology and anthropology, including publications and artifacts. Golomshtok, a former student of Kazan University and a graduate of the University of California, secured during his 1931 three month stay contracts between the University of Pennsylvania Museum and Russia for the "permanent exchange of publications, photographs of objects in the museums, and of original manuscripts [and] for loans and the exchange of collections." Shortly thereafter, the University of Pennsylvania Museum received an initial shipment of 500 volumes of publications, 400 photographs, and a number of summaries and original manuscripts regarding anthropological and archaeological research. This highly successful trip engendered, in 1932, an invitation from the U.S.S.R. for the University of Pennsylvania Museum to participate, the following year, in an ethnological expedition to the Ob Region of Siberia. Unfortunately, when Golomshtok arrived in Leningrad in the spring of 1933 with the equipment and funds supplied by the Museum, he was informed by the government that he been refused permission to go on the Siberian expedition. Following months of efforts at negotiations, Golomshtok instead organized an excavation at Esske-Kermen in the Crimea, jointly with the State Academy for the History of Material Culture (i.e., the "First Joint Soviet-American Expedition in the Crimea"). After the successful completion of this project, and the signing of additional contracts for the exchange of materials, the Russian government invited Golomshtok to lead another excavation in 1934 — a rescue operation in the Manich River area of the Caucasus. However, when Golomshtok arrived in Paris en route to Leningrad in the summer of 1934, he was inexplicably refused a visa by Russian authorities to re-enter Russia. All attempts to straighten out the situation failed, and Golomshtok eventually returned to the United States. As troubles continued, many of the signed contracts for the exchange of material and information were not honored by the U.S.S.R. and all ties finally broke down.
The Golomshtok Papers consist primarily of correspondence between Horace H. F. Jayne (Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum) and Golomshtok, and between the University of Pennsylvania Museum (in the person of Golomshtok and/or Jayne) and Russian authorities and institutions concerning the expeditions (1931, 1933, "1934") and other related matters (1930-1944). Also included are numerous inventories of artifacts and publications (often related to exchanges), object cards, an object catalogue, photographs, and an annotated bibliography compiled in the 1950's. For related correspondence, see Golomshtok's letters to Fewkes in the Fewkes Papers. Photographs collected from the Golomshtok Expeditions are stored in the Archives, and negatives are listed here and in the image catalogue.
The catalogue in the Registrar's Office contains the following inventory numbers for the items acquired by and through the Golomshtok Expeditions:
33-41, 33-44, 33-45, 33-47, 33-48, 33-49, 33-50, 33-51, 33-52, 33-55, 33-56. 33-57, 34-40, 34-41
Selected Bibliography (from University of Pennsylvania Museum publications):
“The Russian Project” The University Museum Bulletin Vol. 3, Nos. 3-4 (1932) 82-91.
“Development of the Russian Project: Traces of a Blond Race in Siberia” by E. Golomshtok The University Museum Bulletin Vol. 4, No. 2 (1933) 40-45.
“The Russian Project” The University Museum Bulletin Vol. 4, No. 5 (1933) 142-143.
“Excavations in Russia” The University Museum Bulletin Vol. 5, No. 1 (1934) 4-8.
“Bronze Bird Figures from Russia (Perm Region)” The University Museum Bulletin Vol. 5, No. 2 (1934) 44.
- University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives
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- Finding aid prepared by K.T. Baxter
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