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On 26 May, a Public Lecture Was Held by Theatre Historian Vladislav Ivanov, ‘On the Benefits of Theatrical Documents’

While Vladislav Ivanov, DSc Art History, was a student at the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts (GITIS), he would come to the Russian State Art Library (RSAL)—the former Theatralnaya Library. Since then, the study of the history of 20th century theatre has become one of his academic interests.

Long-term studies have shown that the picture of Russian theatre in the last century is full of distortions and omissions of both Soviet and post-Soviet origin and requires the creation of new, factually-based documentation on the basis of which aesthetic concepts can be built that correspond to the objective reality of what was actually happening.

In Ivanov’s lecture, he provided interesting information regarding the importance of comprehensive study of each fact and the use of a variety of sources. Having spent many years in different archives, he has come to the conclusion that no topics are too small or unworthy. Often the diaries of famous people have had pages torn out and records have been destroyed. In fact, many theatrical memoirs are not so much documentary evidence as self-portraits that the authors would like to remain in history. The comparison of diaries and the memories of different people about the same events often becomes an impetus for further research.

For Vladimir Ivanov’s lecture, RSAL prepared an exhibition of his books, articles, and editions of the almanac Mnemosyne.