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Georgij Sanji Zagadinow collection of Kalmyk materials


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Georgij Zagadinow (1925-1999) was born in Kalmykia and was living in a village in the Rostov region of southern Russia when conditions became intolerable for him and thousands of other Kalmyks, Buddhist Mongol people, as a result of World War II. Along with his parents, his brothers, and their families, Zagadinow escaped in 1951, ended up in Germany in a displaced persons camp, and later immigrated to the United States where he ran the Society for the Promotion of Kalmyk Culture. A resident of Northeast Philadelphia since 1989, he also lived in East Oak Lane and North Philadelphia. He worked for the Budd Co., retiring in 1993, and remained interested in Kalmyk culture, in particular its language, throughout his life. For more than 20 years, he worked on putting together a dictionary of Kalmyk words and phrases in his spare time. He was unable to complete the undertaking, but left behind hundreds of project notes. His prime collaborator in his promotion of Kalmyk culture was Arash Bormanshinov, whose correspondence is present in this collection. Name variants include: Georgij Zagadinow, George Zagadinov, George Zagadinow.

Kalmykia is a Republic of the Russian Federation on the Caspian Sea. The capital is of the Republic of Kalmykia is Elista, and the region was made an autonomous republic in 1936. In World War II, its inhabitants were deported to Soviet Central Asia for alleged collaboration with the Germans, and returned in 1957. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, Kalmykia became a Republic within the Russian Federation, acquiring its present name in 1992. The Republic of Kalmykia is the only region in Europe where Buddhism is the most practiced religion. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 289,481.

References "Kalmykia." In World Encyclopedia. : Philip's,

The materials that Georgij Sanji Zagadinow collected are unusual, and include literary and other sources from Soviet Kalmykia, as well as extensive documentation of the Kalmyk communities in the United States. Material from Kalmykia is rare, as Kalmykia was essentially off-limits for all non-Soviet citizens until 1989, even to visitors from "fraternal socialist" countries (like Hungary). While Zagadinow did not return to Kalmykia before 1989, his family connections enabled him to obtain a great deal of otherwise inaccessible Kalmyk and Russian language material from Kalmykia. In turn, the sources originating from the US document a span of decades in the life of an Inner Asian diasporic community. This collection contains significant content relating to Inner Asian studies and US immigration history.

The collection is arranged in seven series: correspondence, Kalmyk dictionary, Kalmyk history, photocopies of published materials (in Cyrillic script with title translated unless otherwise stated), publications and documents from Kalmyk refugees in Western Europe, records, and recordings (including reel-to-reels, audiocassettes, and LPS-- please note that access to these original files is restricted). The collection is primarily in Russian and Kalmyk, with some materials in Mongolian German, and English. Correspondence and materials on the Kalmyk dictionary, vocabulary, and history are primarily handwritten notes by Zagadinow, while the offprints are primarily reprographic copies.

Gift of Patricia Aptaker, November 2016.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Alexandra M. Wilder; Collection arranged by Mitch Fraas and Brian Vivier
Finding Aid Date
2017 July 6
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use, with the exception of boxes 6-9, which are restricted as they contain original audio/visual materials.

Access to original audio/visual materials and computer files is restricted. The Kislak Center will provide access to the information on these materials from duplicate master files. If the original does not already have a copy, it will be sent to an outside vendor for copying. Patrons are financially responsible for the cost. The turnaround time from request to delivery of digital items is about two weeks for up to five items and three to seven weeks for more than five items. Please contact Reprographic Services ( for cost estimates and ordering. Once digital items are received, researchers will have access to the files on a dedicated computer in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Researchers should be aware of specifics of copyright law and act accordingly.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

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Aalto, Pentti (English and German), 1954-1959.
Box 1 Folder 1
Aberle, [first name unknown] (English), 1952.
Box 1 Folder 2
Adelman, Fred (English), 1959-1975.
Box 1 Folder 3
Adianow, Noron (Kalmyk), 1957-1963.
Box 1 Folder 4
Alekseev, Pasha (Kalmyk), 1994-1999.
Box 1 Folder 5
Alekseyev, P. (Kalmyk), 1992-1997.
Box 1 Folder 6
American Committee for Liberation (English), 1955-1963.
Box 1 Folder 7
American Government (State Department and naturalization materials) (English and Kalmyk), 1957-1959.
Box 1 Folder 8
American Philosophical Society (English), 1959.
Box 1 Folder 9
Asia Society (English), 1960.
Box 1 Folder 10
Badm, Ch. (Kalmyk), 1994.
Box 1 Folder 11
Badmaev, A. and B. (Kalmyk), 1993-1999.
Box 1 Folder 12
Bajanova, Damara (Kalmyk), 1961.
Box 1 Folder 13
Balinov, Shamba (Kalmyk), 1959.
Box 1 Folder 14
Bayanov, Sandsha (Kalmyk), 1927.
Box 1 Folder 15
Bombetov, B. (Kalmyk), 1960.
Box 1 Folder 16
Booksellers, various (English, German, Kalmyk), 1955-1963.
Box 1 Folder 17
Bormanshinov, Arash (English, German, Kalmyk), 1958-1980.
Box 1 Folder 18
Bormanshinov, Arash (English, Kalmyk), 1982-1996.
Box 1 Folder 19
Bosson, James (English, Kalmyk), 1959-1962.
Box 1 Folder 20
Budinov, Dschab (Kalmyk), 1960-1961.
Box 1 Folder 21
Chinese Embassy, Washington D.C. (English, Kalmyk), 1959-1962.
Box 1 Folder 22
Chulchatschirow, T. (Kalmyk), 1961.
Box 1 Folder 23
Church World Service (English and Kalmyk), 1955-1960.
Box 1 Folder 24
Dalatinov, Sadman (Kalmyk), 1963.
Box 1 Folder 25
The Dilowa Hutukhtu (English and Kalmyk), 1952-1965.
Box 1 Folder 26
Dzewzinow, Peter (Kalmyk), 1960.
Box 1 Folder 27
Friends Neighborhood Guild (English), 1958-1965.
Box 1 Folder 28
Frye, Stanley (English and Kalmyk), 1970-1982.
Box 1 Folder 29
Gelung Sanji Ragba (Kalmyk), 1960.
Box 1 Folder 30
Guchinova, E.B. (English and Kalmyk), 1995.
Box 1 Folder 31
Hangin, John Gombojab (English), 1956-1958.
Box 1 Folder 32
The Hoover Institute and Library (English and Kalmyk), 1954-1955.
Box 1 Folder 33
Ilishkin, N. (Kalmyk), 1965-1996.
Box 1 Folder 34
International Institute of Philadelphia (English), 1963.
Box 1 Folder 35
Ivanchukov, Sando (Kalmyk), 1957-1958.
Box 1 Folder 36
Ivanov, J. (Kalmyk), 1956-1958.
Box 1 Folder 37
Kalmchkii, R. (Kalmyk), undated.
Box 1 Folder 38
Kalmyk Scholarship Committee (English), 1960-1962.
Box 1 Folder 39
Katushov, Kim (Kalmyk), 1994-1999.
Box 1 Folder 40
Kikeeva, Zema (Kalmyk), 1990-1999.
Box 1 Folder 41
Krueger, John R. (English), 1961-1977.
Box 1 Folder 42
Kuldinov, Sodman (Kalmyk), 1957-1961.
Box 1 Folder 43
Larsen, Lisa (English) , 1957.
Box 1 Folder 44
Library of Congress (English and Kalmyk), 1956.
Box 1 Folder 45
Mergen Khan Khormalzini (Kalmyk), 1963.
Box 1 Folder 46
The Mongolia Society (English), 1961-1980.
Box 1 Folder 47
Muscharw, Garia (Kalmyk), 1953-1955.
Box 1 Folder 48
Pollitzer, William S. (English), 1954-1955.
Box 1 Folder 49
Polonez Parcel Service (English and Polish), 1998.
Box 1 Folder 50
Poppe, Nicholas N. (English and Kalmyk), 1958-1964.
Box 1 Folder 51
Rubel, Paula (English, 1961.
Box 1 Folder 52
Rupen, Robert A. (English and Kalmyk), 1956.
Box 1 Folder 53
Russkoye Slovo (Russian), 1954.
Box 1 Folder 54
Ryan, Anthony J. (English), 1960.
Box 1 Folder 55
Samtonov, [first name unknown] (Kalmyk), 1991-1997.
Box 1 Folder 56
Silverman, Louis (English), 1959.
Box 1 Folder 57
Snellenberg, Betty (English), 1968.
Box 1 Folder 58
Stepanov, Sandsha (Kalmyk), 1961.
Box 1 Folder 59
Street, John C. (English), 1958-1960.
Box 1 Folder 60
Tevrjukow, Ivan (Kalmyk), 1951-1953.
Box 1 Folder 61
Tolstoy Foundation (English, Russian), 1955-1960.
Box 1 Folder 62
Tsagadin, Sanj (English and Kalmyk), 1955-1963.
Box 1 Folder 63
Tsagadinov, Mikhail (Kalmyk), 1991-1999.
Box 1 Folder 64
Ulanoff, Badura (Kalmyk), 1957-1961.
Box 1 Folder 65
Ulashkin, Lev (Kalmyk), 1998-1999.
Box 1 Folder 66
Unidentified correspondents (English and Kalmyk), 1961-1997.
Box 1 Folder 67
Unkrig, W. A. (Kalmyk), 1954-1962.
Box 1 Folder 68
Urgunge, Onon (English), 1958-1959.
Box 1 Folder 69
Vernadsky, George (English and Kalmyk), 1954-1960.
Box 1 Folder 70
Wangral, Geshe (English), 1957.
Box 1 Folder 71
Wloushin, Manj (Kalmyk), 1958.
Box 1 Folder 72
Yamanov, P. (Kalmyk), 1960.
Box 1 Folder 73
Zagadinow, Ewdokija (Kalmyk), 1960-1961.
Box 1 Folder 74

Kalmückisches Wörterbuch, by G. J. Ramstedt, 1935.
Box 2 Folder 1-2
Kalmyk dictionary notes, undated.
Box 2 Folder 3-10
Kalmyk dictionary typescript, undated.
Box 2 Folder 11-15
Vocabulary notecards, undated.
Box 10-19 Folder unknown container

Census documents , 1912.
Box 2 Folder 16
Cultural organizations (includes English documents describing deportation of the Kalmyks, history of the Kalmyks, and Buddhism among the Kalmyks), 1954-1988.
Box 2 Folder 17
Folksongs, undated.
Box 2 Folder 18
Grammars, undated.
Box 2 Folder 19
History research (includes biography of Baza Baksha, notes on academic monasteries, and "Belief Systems and Self Help: Kalmyk Resettlement in America" in English) , undated.
Box 2 Folder 20-21
Kalmyk Brotherhood Society (includes some correspondence, reports, minutes, and tax returns in English), 1955-1971.
Box 3 Folder 1
Kalmyk Immigration Fund, 1953.
Box 3 Folder 2
Language and literature (includes Cyrillic to English equivalents/glossary), undated.
Box 3 Folder 3-4
Lecture notes (includes a lecture on Mongol by Dr. Sodman Kuldinow in English), 1957-1959.
Box 3 Folder 5
Newspapers, 1991-1993.
Drawer 99 Folder unknown container
Organizational newsletters, 1962-1963.
Box 3 Folder 6
Photographs and postcards, 1948-1979.
Box 3 Folder 7
Poetry, undated.
Box 3 Folder 8
Press on Kalmyks in Philadelphia (includes "The American Kalmyks," by Fred Adelman in Expedition and "Philadelphia's Lost Tribe," by Mary Roche in Harper's Magazine), 1954-1961.
Box 3 Folder 9
Religion (includes "The Golden Lotus," Volume 9, Number 10; "The Western Buddhist," 13th Issue; and "Tibetan Buddhist Iconography" in English), 1952-1996.
Box 3 Folder 10
Religion (includes tracing or sketch of a temple), undated.
Drawer 99 Folder unknown container
Society for the Promotion of Kalmyk Culture (includes by-laws, certificate of incorporation, correspondence, grant applications, minutes and reports in English) , 1953-1975.
Box 3 Folder 11-12
Society for the Struggle Against Bolshevism, 1957.
Box 3 Folder 13
Sunday schools, undated.
Box 3 Folder 14
Teaching Kalmyk (includes correspondence and Foreign Language Magnet Program and Philadelphia School District documents, such as memos, programs, and newsletters in English) , 1971-1978.
Box 3 Folder 15
Various notes (includes "The Kalmyk's Exile" and "Turning the Pages of History," by Naran Ilishkin in English), 1956-1976.
Box 3 Folder 16
Various publications and clippings (some in English), 1960-1996.
Box 3 Folder 17
Various research notes (includes a painting of a camel), 1958-1996.
Box 3 Folder 18
Vocabulary reader, undated.
Box 3 Folder 17

"Aus den letzten Jahrzehnten des Lamaismus in Russland" (German), 1926.
Box 3 Folder 20
Bashkir Rebellion, undated.
Box 3 Folder 21
Brief Sketch of the Kalmyks of the Khoshout Ulus, 1852.
Box 3 Folder 22
Buddism in Tibet and Mongolia, 1919.
Box 3 Folder 23
Christianity Among the Kalmyks, 1869.
Box 3 Folder 24
Chronological Index of the Literature on the Astrakhan Region, 1892.
Box 3 Folder 25
Conversational Kalmyk, 1929.
Box 3 Folder 26
Distribution of Minorities in People's Republic of China, 1958.
Box 4 Folder 1
Dix-huit Chants et Poèmes Mongols (French), 1937.
Box 4 Folder 2
Ethnography of the Soviet Union, 1958.
Box 4 Folder 3
Foreign Kalmyks, 1995.
Box 4 Folder 4
Geographical Material on Asia, 1913.
Box 4 Folder 5
Grammar of Kalmyk, 1847.
Box 4 Folder 6
Grummer-Grahimailo Western Mongolia, 1926.
Box 4 Folder 7
Hyacinth on Uyghurs of East Turkestan, 1854.
Box 4 Folder 8-9
Kalmyk Dictionary, 1860.
Box 4 Folder 10
Kalmyk-Russian Dictionary, 1911.
Box 4 Folder 11
Maps of Kalmykia by Renat, 1734.
Box 4 Folder 12
Materials on the History of the Kalmyks in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century, 1939.
Box 4 Folder 13
Notes on Kalmyk History, undated.
Box 4 Folder 14
Old Law Code of the Oirat, undated.
Box 4 Folder 15
On the Don Kalmyks, undated.
Box 4 Folder 16
Russian-Kalmyk Dictionary, 1940.
Box 4 Folder 17
Study of the Don Eparchy, 1880.
Box 4 Folder 18
Study of the Refugees of Astrakhan, 1846.
Box 4 Folder 19
Study of the Uyghur Language, 1976.
Box 4 Folder 20
Trip to the Steppes of the United States, 1846.
Box 4 Folder 21
Writings on Don Lands, 1834.
Box 4 Folder 22
Zham'ian Translation from Mongolian, 1970.
Box 4 Folder 23
Unidentified Russian publications, undated.
Box 4 Folder 24
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1820s.
Box 4 Folder 25-26
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1830s.
Box 5 Folder 1-2
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1840s.
Box 5 Folder 3
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1860s.
Box 5 Folder 4
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1870s.
Box 5 Folder 5-6
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1880s.
Box 5 Folder 7
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1890s.
Box 5 Folder 8
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1900s.
Box 5 Folder 9
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1900s.
Drawer 106 Folder unknown container
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1910s.
Box 5 Folder 10
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1920s.
Box 5 Folder 11
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1930s.
Box 5 Folder 12
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1940s.
Box 5 Folder 13
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1950s.
Box 5 Folder 14
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1960s.
Box 5 Folder 15
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1970s.
Box 5 Folder 16
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1980s.
Box 5 Folder 17
Unidentified Russian publications, circa 1990s.
Box 5 Folder 18
Unidentified Polish publications, 1910.
Box 5 Folder 19
"Short History of the Kalmyks" (Mongolian script) , undated.
Box 6 Folder 1
Unidentified Mongolian publications (Mongolian script).
Box 6 Folder 2
Unidentified Tibetan publications, undated.
Box 6 Folder 3

Grammar and Language (Kalmyk and Russian), 1946.
Box 6 Folder 4
Mana Zaanse (refugee publication), 1946-1947.
Box 6 Folder 5
Refugee publications (West Germany, likely in Kalmyk), 1947-1948.
Box 6 Folder 6
VI. Records: work correspondence, mechanic class notes and worksheets, bank records, bookstore receipts, business cards, 1952-1982.
Box 6 Folder 7

Untitled audio cassettes (three) , circa 1995.
Box 6 Folder 8
Untitled audio cassettes (four), 1994-1995.
Box 6 Folder 9
Untitled box set of seven LPs (four copies), 1990.
Box 7-8 Folder unknown container
Untitled LP, volume one (two copies), volume 2 (one copy), 1984.
Box 7 Folder unknown container
Untitled 33 RPM LP (two copies), 1984.
Box 7 Folder unknown container
"Yellow Album," by The Khalimac (two copies), 1992.
Box 7 Folder unknown container
Tsagan Sar (two reels), undated.
Box 9 Folder 1
Untitled (two reels), undated.
Box 9 Folder 2
Zagadinow (one reel), 1961.
Box 9 Folder 3

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