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International Center for German-Russian Studies Collection

Identifier: UCGR

Scope and Contents

The International Center for German-Russian Studies collection consists of documents dated 1919 and 1992 to 2015, with the bulk falling from 2008-2013. Materials were created by Ken Rock and Janet Bishop, both members of CSU's Joint Academic Board for the International Center for German-Russian Studies. A later accrual is comprised of the records from the office of the International Center for German-Russian Studies. Materials include correspondence, meeting notes, proposals, official agreements between CSU and Saratov State University, presentations, writings, newspaper clippings, and photographs. United States and Russian visa applications were removed and destroyed.


  • Creation: 1919, 1992-2015
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 2008-2013


Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.


Germans from Russia represented a substantial ethnic population of immigrants to Colorado from the 1880s through the 1920s, whose presence contributed to the growth of Colorado's agricultural economy through the 20th century. Colorado State University's prior interest in the Colorado community of Germans from Russia led to the funding of the "Germans from Russia in Colorado Study Project" of the 1970s and 1980s. This historical and ethnographical research project resulted in a number of publications on German-Russians in Colorado, with research materials from the project ultimately deposited in the University's Archives and Special Collections.

During exploratory discussions in 2006 and 2007 regarding an international academic partnership between Colorado State University (CSU) and Saratov State University (SSU), the idea of a joint international study program dedicated to researching the history and culture of Germans from Russia found support among administrators and faculty members of both institutions. As a result, the CSU-SSU strategic partnership began with the formation, in 2008, of the International Center for German-Russian Studies (ICGRS), with Alex Kuraev appointed as the Center's director. At its formation, CSU's ICGRS was envisioned to serve as a complement to SSU's Research Center for the History and Culture of Russian Germans, uniting efforts of academic researchers from the U.S. and Russian Federation in the study of the unique history of the community of Germans from Russia. Key among the original proposed goals of the Center was to hold lectures and events to highlight special facets of international German-Russian research. Another major goal of the Center was to provide global access to primary source materials on German-Russian history through digitization of materials from various Russian and American sources.

The Center's first major activity was in September 2008 when Louis Swanson (Vice President for Outreach and Engagement), Lee Sommers (Interim Dean of the College of Agriculture/Agricultural Experiment Station Director), Kenneth Rock (History Professor Emeritus), and Janet Bishop (Coordinator for Archives and Special Collections) traveled to the Russian Federation as members of a CSU-based fact-finding delegation. While Swanson and Sommers focused on joint agricultural research and educational initiatives, Rock and Bishop toured regional libraries and archival repositories to investigate their holdings, as well as to gauge the feasibility of proposed digitization projects. All four members of the delegation visited former German Russian village settlements along the Volga River and met with scholars in Saratov and Moscow to discuss respective research interests.

Subsequent to this visit, in 2009 the Center sponsored an Inaugural Conference on German-Russian Studies ("From the Russian Steppes to the American Plains") with CSU President Tony Frank and SSU Rector Leonid Kossovich formally opening the event. Presenters for the conference's academic symposium and public forum included academic faculty, scholars and archivists, from CSU, SSU, North Dakota State University, Dnepropetrovsk National University (Ukraine), and GASO (the State Archives of Saratov Province).

Other activities sponsored by the Center between 2010 and 2012 included a collaboration between archivists at GASO and CSU, which resulted in the creation of a digital collection website highlighting a sampling of materials from GASO's extensive holdings. In 2013 ICGRS members represented CSU on the host planning committee for the 44th Annual International Convention of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR). The Center arranged for Russian scholars to participate in this convention, which drew more than 650 attendees from the U.S., Canada, Germany, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine to Fort Collins.

By 2014 the adverse political climate fostered by Vladimir Putin towards international collaborations, and "foreign agents", prompted the Center to refocus its activities towards U.S.-based educational outreach and archival projects, including work with regional donors on building manuscript collections related to the German Russian experience. Although preservation of historic materials and contemporary research related to Germans from Russia continues through CSU's Archives and Special Collections, the International Center for German Russian Studies ceased formal activities in 2016.


7.5 linear feet (5 record cartons)

Language of Materials





The International Center for German-Russian Studies (ICGRS) was created in 2008 as an international academic center with offices at both Colorado State University (CSU) and Saratov State University (SSU). The purpose of ICGRS was to advance the study of German-Russian history and culture worldwide. Materials were collected by Ken Rock and Janet Bishop and include meeting minutes and notes, agreements between CSU and SSU, proposal, correspondence, information on visits of CSU delegates to SSU and SSU delegates to CSU, and planning, budgets, and programs for conferences.


The collection consists of 3 series in 5 record cartons:

Series 1: Ken Rock's papers, 1992-2014 and undated

Series 2: Janet Bishop's papers, 2002-2015 and undated

Series 3: International Center for German-Russian Studies records, 1941, 1994-2013 and undated

Subseries 3.1: International Center for German-Russian Studies materials, 2003-2014 and undated

Subseries 3.2: English, Russian, and German publications, 1941, 1994-2013


The International Center for German-Russian Studies collection was donated by Kenneth Rock in 2015-2016 and Janet Bishop in 2015. An accrual to the collection consisting of office materials occurred in July 2016 following the closure of the Center.

Online Materials

Some materials have been scanned and are available through the Colorado State University Libraries website. In the electronic version of this document, direct links appear in context.

Related Collections

The University Archive at Colorado State University has the Records of the Sidney Heitman Germans from Russia in Colorado Study Project.

Manuscripts holds a number of collections regarding Germans from Russia, including the Ron Bauer Collection, the Papers of Elise Claassen, the Dutch Hop Collection, the Collection of Genealogical Research on Germans from Russia, the Papers of Ida M. Hettinger, and the Saratov Ephemera Collection.

Published materials regarding Germans from Russia are cataloged and part of Special Collections.


Processing was completed in March 2016. Materials were rehoused in acid-free boxes and folders. Duplicate copies and publications were removed. The accrual to the collection was processed in December 2016. Papers remained in their original folders when possible and publications in the accrual were kept; the remainder of the material was rehoused in acid-free folders. All of the folders were rehoused in acid-free boxes.

Guide to the International Center for German-Russian Studies Collection
Edited Full Draft
Prepared by Karen Spilman; revised by Victoria Lopez-Terrill
Copyright 2016, 2017
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA