Putin gives Columbia University library duplicate documents on Russian-US relations

Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited the exposition of the Bakhmetyev archive in the Butler Library, Columbia University.

The Butler Library has one of the largest archives of Russian documents abroad, an archive of Russian and East European history and culture called the Bakhmetyev archive.

Putin was told about the history of the archive, which was created in 1951 by a group of American professors and intellectuals, and was told in detail about the most outstanding exhibits.

The archive has approximately 1.3 million of storage units, dating from the 17th century till the present. It has not only Russian documents, but also East European ones, such as the first Constitution of Serbia.

The Russian head of state listened carefully to the archive keeper. She said that it was actively used by postgraduates - historians, culture and art historians, and political experts.

The President was given a copy of Leo Tolstoi's unpublished letter to Doctor William Cantor, where the writer developed his doctrine about non-resistance to evil by violence.

Putin in his turn gave the archive a number of duplicate documents, including the Decree of Emperor Alexander I about appointing A.Dashkov consul general in Philadelphia and Russia's charge d'affaires in the USA of June 20, 1808, and the message of then Russian Foreign Minister Gorchakov to Russian envoy in the USA E.Stekl about Russia's stand on the Civil War in the USA.