Scope and Content of Collection
memoirs and drawings,
Date (inclusive): 1964
Collection Number: XX170
, Mieczyslaw, 1886-
8 manuscript boxes, 12 oversize boxes
(9 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Relates to historical events in Russia and Lithuania before, during, and after the Russian Revolution and Civil War; Poles
in Lithuania; and agricultural developments in Lithuania, 1881-1939. Includes watercolor drawings and sketches of scenes and
manor houses in Lithuania and Poland, as well as parts of Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia, and Estonia. Boxes 1-8 also available
on microfilm (8 reels).
Collection is open for research.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.
[Identification of item], Mieczyslaw
memoirs, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the catalog is larger than the number of boxes
listed in this finding aid.
Alternate Forms Available
Boxes 1-8 also available on microfilm (8 reels).
was born to a prominent Polish landowning family of northern Lithuania in 1876. He studied in St. Petersburg, Riga, and several
German universities, completing degrees in agriculture and agricultural economics. His career in Russian civil service, in
agricultural finance, and in business, gave him the opportunity to travel and to develop an intimate knowledge of the economic
and cultural landscape of Lithuania and its neighborhood. Shortly before World War I,
was elected president of the assembly of the nobility of northeastern Lithuania.
The war devastated the region and disrupted the lives of most of its inhabitants.
lost virtually everything. His ancestral Sylgudyszki, with thousands of acres of meticulously managed farmland and forests,
was nationalized by the government of the newly independent Lithuania, and he moved to Poland. Because of his economic expertise
and knowledge of German affairs, the Polish government appointed him to be its representative in the city of Gdansk (Danzig).
Here, during 1919-20, he was able to open the port facilities to arriving American food and humanitarian relief for Poland,
which was organized by Herbert Hoover. He spent the remaining interwar years farming on his wife's estate in western Poland.
World War II took him ever farther from the beloved lands of his ancestors and his youth. As a refugee in Allied London, he
worked for the Polish government in exile, publishing pamphlets and textbooks on a variety of subjects. The war ended with
East Central Europe under Soviet occupation and hundreds of thousands of Polish refugees unable to return to their homeland
was one. From the standpoint of his literary and artistic legacy, these postwar London years were his most productive.
Living in very modest circumstances in his later years, he spent virtually all of his time writing his memoirs, drawing, and
re-created the world of his youth in his sixteen-volume memoirs and more than a thousand detailed views of country manors,
palaces, and landscapes of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, and Ukraine.
died in London in 1962.
Scope and Content of Collection
manuscripts and watercolors were acquired by the Hoover Archives a few years after his death in 1962. In his later years,
spent virtually all of his time writing his memoirs, drawing, and painting. Taking advantage of the private photographic
and iconographic collections of the Polish émigré community, the resources of the British Museum, and his own near-photographic
re-created the world of his youth, in his sixteen-volume memoirs and in more than a thousand detailed views of country manors,
palaces, and landscapes of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Each view is accompanied by detailed information
on former owners and, whenever possible, builders and architects.
Because of the massive destruction wreaked by World War II, the many decades of deliberate neglect under communism, and limited
drawings have become a valuable source of information on the region's architectural heritage. In some cases, as the modest
country manor of Sylgudyszki, they are the only available representations.