Fonds MsC-243 - Stephan S. Sorokin fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Stephan S. Sorokin fonds

General material designation

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

Parallel title

Stefan S. Sorokin fonds

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1897-2004, predominantly 1949-1984 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

92 cm of textual records
6 video cassettes : VHS
2 optical discs : DVD
5 audio reels : 1/4" tape
8 prints : b&w
1 photograph: col. print
19 photographs: b&w print
ca. 640 photographs : b&w negatives

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Stephan S. Sorokin was born in Ukraine in 1902 and died in Spokane, Washington in 1984. He came to Canada in 1949 as a traveling evangelist. When Sorokin arrived in Canada the Doukhobor community was experiencing quarrelsome split between the Orthodox Doukhobor and the Sons of Freedom. The Sons of Freedom were engaged in acts of civil disobedience that included arson and nude protests for both of which many were arrested. Sorokin preached against violence, visited prisoners and promoted reconciliation. Consequently, he became accepted as a leader of the Sons of Freedom and displaced John Lededoff in that role despite not having Doukhobor background. He organized the Sons of Freedom faction into the Christian Community and Brotherhood of Reformed Doukhobors (CCBRD).

In search for a new “Promised Land” for the Reformed Doukhobors, in 1952, Sorokin, sponsored by his followers, traveled extensively to South America and took up residence in Uruguay where he lived for the next seventeen years and only visited his flock occasionally. While living in Montevideo, Uruguay, Sorokin send many letters and spiritual messages to his followers preaching against violence and encouraging peaceful resolutions and abandonment of more controversial practices. Nevertheless, some violence and civil disobedience continued. Sorokin’s correspondence is often signed with or addressed to with a term of endearment “Dyadya,” Russian for uncle. Sorokin’s was also given spiritual title “Iastrobov” (Hawk), a title of the missing Peter P. Verigin Jr., as some believed Sorokin was the missing Verigin, even though Sorokin himself denied that.

Sorokin wrote and published a book Tri dnia i tri nochi v zagrobnoi zhizni [Three days and three nights in the afterlife] in Crescent Valley, B.C., in 1950.

Sorokin married Ann Koftinoff in 1959 who relocated to Uruguay to live with him. They had two children Nicolas and Sonya. In 1969, Sorokin returned to British Columbia and continued leading the Reformed Doukhobors until his death in 1984.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds consists of personal archive of Stephen S. Sorokin that includes incoming and outgoing letters from around 1949 until his death in 1984 many of which were sent from Montevideo, Uruguay where Sorokin lived for thirt- two years. This fonds also includes many original writings and spiritual messages addressed to the Doukhobor communities, the CCBRD and the Sons of Freedom. Records in this fonds also include draft of Sorokin’s book Three Days and Three Nights published in 1950, clippings and publications related to the Sorokin’s life and his leadership of the Doukhobor community. In addition, this fonds contains Sorokin’s personal files of passports and identity documents, number of original photographs taken during his visit to British Columbia villages in 1950s and recordings of his speeches and Doukhobor singing during that visit. It also contains court records relating to Sorokin’s filing a defamation suit against Trail Times’s journalist. Additional materials include audio and video recordings of Krestova Youth Choir performances during the Expo 1986.
This sous-fonds consists of six main series: 1: Correspondence; 2: Court records; 3: Writings; 4: Personal records; 5: General records; 6: Audio-Visual records; 7: Photographs from Sorokin’s visit.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Records have been acquired via bookseller Steven Lundsford in one accession in 2017 (2017-002).


Records in this 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
  • Spanish

Script of material

  • Cyrillic

Location of originals

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Restrictions on access

No known restrictions

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Finding aids

Printed inventory is also available

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

Doukhobor Collection MsC 121

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Further accruals are possible

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Rules for Archival Description (RAD)



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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

February 11, 2022 / Ewa Delanowski

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


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Physical storage

  • Archival box - standard: MSC 243-Box 1-12