Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Lockhart, R. mss., 1906-1969, consist of the correspondence, writings and memorabilia of Sir Robert Hamilton Bruce Lockhart, 1887-1970, diplomat and writer.

After a brief stint as a rubber planter in Malaya, Lockhart joined the British Foreign Office and was posted as vice-consul to Moscow in 1912. He was named head of a special mission to the Bolsheviks in 1918 where he was soon arrested and imprisoned in the Kremlin, and later condemned to death, for the attempted assassination of Lenin. He was exchanged for the Russian Maksim Maksimovich Litvinov and returned to the diplomatic service, this time in Czechoslovakia and Central Europe, where he began his acquaintance with Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, Jan Garrigue Masaryk and Edvard Beneš.

Lockhart also spent much of his time writing and publishing under a variety of pseudonyms even before the First World War. By 1929 he had retired from diplomacy to work full time as a journalist for Lord Beaverbrook's Evening Standard. His Memoirs of a British Agent, published in 1932, was based on his Russian experience and became a best seller.

During World War II Lockhart became Director-General of the Political Warfare Executive, coordinating all British propaganda against the enemy. The collection includes correspondence about these activities and samples of the propaganda used. After the war he left government service and resumed his writing career as well as lecturing and broadcasting; he had a weekly BBC broadcast to Czechoslovakia for over ten years. His writings were largely based on his interest and experiences in Malaya, Russia, and Czechoslovakia, and on his Scottish background.

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Correspondence; II. Writings; III. Foreign Office materials; and, IV. Miscellaneous. The correspondence is arranged chronologically, except for the eight folders of letters from Moura Budberg, Lockhart's Russian mistress. The writings are divided into books, articles, and lectures and are filed alphabetically within those divisions.

Among the miscellaneous materials are Russian safe-conduct passes, examples of Allied propaganda during World War II, a rose form Jan Masaryk's grave, postcards and photographs, and Russian internal bonds issued by the Kerensky government.

A box and folder list is available. A list of correspondents is available in the Library.

Purchase. Bart Auerbach, Ltd., New York, New York. 1986

Collection size: 3,500 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.