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Presented By: Bentley Historical Library

Michigan Archives@the DO: American North Russia Expeditionary Force in Archangel

Olga Virakhovskaya

Image of Olga Virakhovskaya. Image of Olga Virakhovskaya.
Image of Olga Virakhovskaya.
Michigan Archives Nights at the Detroit Observatory feature compelling collections and selections from the holdings of the Bentley Historical Library, covering U-M history, state history, and more. Join us as archivists pull fascinating items out of the collections and share the stories behind them.

The American military intervention at Archangel, Russia, at the end of World War I, nicknamed the "Polar Bear Expedition," is a strange episode in American history. Ostensibly sent to Russia to prevent a German advance and to help reopen the Eastern Front, American soldiers found themselves fighting Bolshevik revolutionaries for months after the Armistice ended fighting in France. Because many of the American troops involved in the intervention were from Michigan, the Bentley Historical Library has extensive records on the expedition. Join us for Archivist Olga Virakhovskaya's talk about this historic episode, replete with documents and artifacts from the exhibition.

Olga Virakhovskaya is the Lead Archivist for Collections Management at the Bentley Historical Library. She oversees the process of preparation of collections for use by Bentley's researchers, as well as creating collection guides and catalog records. A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Olga holds a BA in Sociology from Simmons University in Boston; M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Michigan, and a Master in Library and Information Science from Southern Connecticut State University. She joined the Bentley in 2007. Archives related to the American North Russia Expeditionary Force, or the Polar Bears archives, are among Olga's favorite Bentley collections. Her other favorite collections include archives related to the University of Michigan Symphony Band's 1961 tour of the Soviet Union; as well as collections related to civil rights and accessibility rights activism in Michigan. Olga's current professional interests include the issues of ethics and privacy in archives.

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