Collection ID: 4077550 Bar Ms Coll/Girs

Collection context


Girs, A. F. (Alekseĭ Fedorovich), 1871- and Girs , Li︠u︡bovʹ A., -approximately 1965
25 items and 1 manuscript box
Russian .
Preferred citation:

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Aleksei Fedorovich and Liubov Aleksandrovna Girs Papers; Box and Folder; Bakhmeteff Archive, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.


Scope and Content:

One letter, manuscripts, and printed materials of Aleksei Fedorovich Girs and of his wife, Liubov' Aleksandrovna Girs. The letter, dated 1914, when Girs was governor of Minsk, is addressed to N. A. Maklakov. Aleksei Gir's memoirs cover such topics as his service in Estland; Petr Stolypin; the "Jewish question;" Tsar Nicholas II; and independent Estonia, where he lived in 1918-1924. There are also two reports by Girs from the time of his service in Minsk. ́Liubov Girs is represented chiefly by diaries from 1901-1918, particularly on Odessa in 1905-1906; Stolypin's murder in 1911; and Nizhny Novgorod in 1917. Among the printed materials are announcements of Gir's accession to the Minsk governorship in 1914-1915.

Biographical / Historical:

Aleksei Fedorovich Girs (1871-1958), Captain of the Preobrazhensky Life Guards Regiment, Chamberlain of the Court of His Imperial Majesty, Lieutenant Governor of Estland province, Governor of Kiev, Minsk, and Nizhniĭ Novgorod provinces in late Imperial Russia.

Liubov Aleksandrovna Girs (1885-1964), nee Ponomareva, Wife of Aleksei Fedorovich Girs.

Aleksei Fedorovich Girs was born on March 17, 1871 into a noble Russian family of Swedish descent. In 1891, he graduated from the Corps of Pages and started his military career at the Preobrazhensky Regiment, in which he served for ten years until he left military service.

He began his civic activity as marshall of district nobility in the city of Kovno, and then in the Minsk provinces.

From 1906 to 1908, he was lieutenant governor of the Estland province. He married Liubov Ponomoreva while in Revel, then the capital city of the Estland province.

From May 18, 1909, he served as governor of Kiev. During his governorship, there was an attempt on Stolypin's life, and although the investigation showed that Girs could not prevent the assassination attempt, a stain on his reputation still remained. In order to suppress rumors, Aleksei Fedorovich was transferred to Minsk.

In the Minsk province, Girs was governor from November 26, 1912 to April 30, 1915. His service there fell on hard times - the World War I was going on. The Girs family gave away their house, which became an infirmary of the Red Cross. The entire second floor of the governor's house was converted into wards for 50 people and an operating room. Doctors settled on the first floor, and nurses on the third. During his arrival in Minsk, on September 22, 1914, Nicholas II, personally visited the hospital and presented the St. George crosses with the inscription "For Courage" on the St. George ribbon, first to the soldiers and then to the officers.

In 1915, Girs was appointed governor of Nizhny Novgorod. Revolutionary sentiments were already in the air. On March 2, 1917, the local council issued an order to arrest the governor. A day later he was transported to Moscow, however, on March 7 the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Provisional Government ordered the release him.

Later, the Girs family managed to emigrate to Estonia. In 1924, they moved to France where Girs became a member of many public organizations. In 1943, he was elected to the parish council of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Paris, and at one time was a member of the audit committee. Aleksei Girs also authored numerous memoir sketches and published them in the magazine "Chasovoy".

The last years of his life he lived in the Russian House in Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois. He died on February 11, 1958, in Paris. Buried in the Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois cemetery.

Acquisition information:

Papers: Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--1955.

Papers: Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--1960.

Papers: Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--1965.

Papers: Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--1957.

Papers: Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--1963.

Processing information:

Papers Accessioned 1955.

Papers Accessioned 1960.

Papers Accessioned 1965.

Papers Processed 05/--/79.

Papers Revised 11/--/82.

Papers Accessioned 1957.

Papers Accessioned 1963.


Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact for more information.

Rules or conventions:



This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.


Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.


Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Aleksei Fedorovich and Liubov Aleksandrovna Girs Papers; Box and Folder; Bakhmeteff Archive, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

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