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The Sorokin Collection

By ppk147 - Posted on 29 February 2008

Welcome to the Pitirim A. Sorokin Collection at the University of Saskatchewan Special Collections.    


Pitirim A. Sorokin

Pitirim A. Sorokin was born in 1889 in Komi (province in Northern Russia) into a peasant family. He started his career in early childhood traveling with his father and two brothers earning their living by remodeling and painting rural churches. His strong interest in education combined with a natural talent and work ethic soon transformed him into a leading Russian social scientist and famous politician who was in the center of the Russian Revolution in 1917. In 1923, after abolishment by the Bolsheviks, Pitirim Sorokin started a new life in the United States.In less than 10 years the Russian émigré became a world-renowned sociologist and the founder of the Department of Sociology at Harvard University. Over 30 major books were published in the period of 50 years of his active intellectual life. His ideas attracted attention of Albert Einstein and Albert Schweitzer, Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy, political activists and yoga followers, military and peace proponents. At the time of his death in 1968 Pitirim Sorokin was one of the leading thinkers of the 20th century.

The Pitirim A. Sorokin Collection came to the University of Saskatchewan Library in 1968 and has since been housed in Special Collections. The collection contains Sorokin's entire library of more than 1,500 books, and numerous other materials, including his own books, translations of these in some 50 languages, and books and articles of such other eminent scholars as Arnold Toynbee with Sorokin's comments in the margins. Other contents include: original Sorokin authored manuscripts; books and articles including first drafts and final revisions; some 90 notebookson his reading and thinking; books and articles about him and his theories; his personal correspondence; photographs and other memorabilia. Among other materials there
is a unique archive of Harvard Research Center in Creative Altruism founded by Sorokin. Correspondence regarding the provenance of this collection is available online here. A complete finding aid to the collection is available in pdf.

This online archive is a work-in-progress. The volume and diversity of materials provide organizational and digitization challenges to be sure. With that in mind, users should expect  changes in both the content and structure of the site as it evolves over time. Digitized content will be added regularly to allow researchers to access the material from a distance. However, much of the collection will remain viewable upon request exclusively in the University of Saskatchewan Special Collections reading room. Please feel free to contact the Special Collections with any questions you may have regarding the Sorokin Collection or this online resource.



Please note: In an attempt to improve long-term access to our digitized collections, we are currently migrating collections to a new system. As a result, access to several collections will be delayed as we complete the move. Please let us know if you need to view items from any of the digital projects currently affected and we will provide special access as capacity allows. Thank you for your understanding.

“Pitirim Alexandrovich Sorokin: a giant of 20th century sociological thought" Robert K. Merton