Sous-fonds MsC-121-8 - Eli A. Popoff sous-fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Eli A. Popoff sous-fonds

General material designation

  • Photographic materials
  • Graphic materials
  • Artefacts
  • Textual records
  • Sound recordings
  • Moving images

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1882-2019, predominantly 1950-2014 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

956 cm of textual records
35 posters [graphic material]
328 photographs
14 photographs : slides
2 photographs : col. negatives
1 photograph : b&w negative
1 wood frame with photograph
120 postage stamps
3 video recordings : VHS
1 video recording : DVD
4 sound recordings : CD

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Eli A. Popoff (1921-2014) was born on a farm near the town of Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan and as an adult he moved to Grand Forks in the interior of British Columbia. He was a farmer, carpenter, bookkeeper, writer, community worker, Doukhobor historian, educator, translator, editor of Iskra newsletter, member of the USCC and a family man. Popoff’s contribution includes working as an administrator of the USCC, as a secretary of John J. Verigin and as a primary correspondent of the USCC with individuals or organizations dealing with the Doukhobors from 1970s to 2010s. In 1957, Popoff was a first Doukhobor to hold public office in BC as School Board Trustee in Grand Forks. In 1968, Popoff became a secretary of the Association of Canadians of Russian Descent and helped organized 70th Anniversary of Doukhobors in Canada. Besides being editor of Iskra for two years, Popoff published numerous works on the Doukhobor beliefs and translated various Doukhobor writings, including psalms, hymns, songs, letters and speeches from Russian to English. In relation to Doukhobor songs translation, Popoff collaborated with Kenneth Peacock of the National Museum of Man in Ottawa in order to preserve musical tradition of the Doukhobors. In addition, from 1970s to 1980s Popoff was involved with Selkirk College, BC and gave series of lectures and facilitated discussions on the Doukhobor philosophy and history. Moreover, Popoff edited and translated the proceeding of the Joint Doukhobor Research Committee Symposiums Meetings, 1974-1982 that were published by Selkirk College in 1997. In 1992, he complied and published a collection called Stories From Doukhobor History containing translated articles about the Doukhobors meant to be used as teaching curriculum for children at the Sunday school meetings of the USCC. In 1999, during the Conference on the Doukhobor Centenary at the University of Ottawa, Popoff was awarded with the Institute of Canadian Studies Award for Outstanding Achievement in Canadian Studies.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This sous-fonds consists of personal archive of Eli A. Popoff and contains personal, administrative, teaching, and creative records created and collected by Eli A. Popoff during his lifetime as member of the Doukhobor community and the USCC, his work as the editor of Iskra newsletter and his work on the Executive Committee of the USCC. The records in this sous-fond span from 1895 to 2019, but majority of the records cover years from 1950-2014. These records document various Doukhobor cultural and religious practices and events, the work of the USCC committees, conventions, and symposiums, peace related conferences attended by Popoff and other Executive Committee members, organization of various project to promote the Doukhobor culture and traditions, including teaching Doukhobor history at Selkirk College, preparing Sunday School curriculums and compiling and translating Doukhobor hymns and songs and many others writings. The documents include correspondence with individuals and organizations within the Doukhobor community and outside of it as well as writings, publications, ephemera and other related records. . A part of the records consists of correspondence with various Soviet organizations and Russian individuals who were particularly keen to recruit Doukhobors during the Cold War years as well as anti-Vietnam war material, including correspondence regarding conscientious objectors and the rise of the peace movement in Canada and abroad.
This sous-fonds consists of eight main series (some containing sub-series): 1: Writings; 2: Iskra; 3: Teaching records; 4: Songs texts records; 5: USCC records; 6: Correspondence; 7: Publications, clippings, ephemera; 8: Audio-visual records; 9: Personal records.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Records have been acquired from Eli A. Popoff via bookseller Steven Lundsford in three accessions from 2018-2019 (2018-063, 2019-005, 2019-019)


Records in this sous-fonds have been arranged by the archivist. The original order of documents within the files was maintained without imposing chronological order. Names of the original folders were maintained as found with added clarification based on the content when needed.

Language of material

  • English
  • Russian

Script of material

  • Cyrillic

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No known restrictions

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A file list is also available

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

This sous-fonds includes number of books and publications containing annotations by Popoff that were cataloged and could be found in the library online catalog.

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Further accruals may be possible

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Physical storage

  • Archival box - standard: MsC 121-Box 105-172