Mikhail Afanas'evich Bulgakov (1891-1940) is considered one of the leading prose, theater, and satire writers of the twentieth century. Born in Kyiv, then part of the Russian Empire and today the capital of Ukraine, Bulgakov spent much of his youth at the family home in apartment number 2 on the second floor of 13 Andriivs'kyi Descent in the city center, which the family rented from 1906-1919, and at the family dacha in Bucha, Kyiv province. Bulgakov was one of seven children born to his parents, Afanasii Ivanovich Bulgakov and Varvara Mikhailovna Pokrovskaia. He had four sisters (Vera, Nadezhda, Varvara, and Elena) and two brothers (Nikolai and Ivan). In his lifetime, Bulgakov was married three times; his wives were: Tatiana Lappa, Liubov Belozerskaia, and Elena Shilovskaia.
He was educated and worked for several years as a medical doctor. While living and working in the Caucasus, Bulgakov began writing creatively, starting with literary sketches and plays. In 1921, Bulgakov moved to Moscow. Today, Bulgakov is most famous for his satirical critiques of the Soviet Union, his perseverance as a writer through state censorship, and for his fantastical and memorable characters, particularly from his magnum opus, The Master and Margarita (published posthumously in 1966). Upon the fall of the Soviet Union, Bulgakov's former family residence in Kyiv was converted into a literary-memorial museum in his honor. Over the years, the museum has accrued a substantial collection of photographs, letters, and other objects relating to Bulgakov and the members of his family.
This digital collection is presented by the Mikhail Bulgakov Literary-Memorial Museum, part of the Museum of the History of Kyiv. The digital collection contains 400 items including 300 photographs, 66 objects of correspondence (letters and postcards), and other documents, such as diplomas, notes, and commendations that total 34 items. Of note are unique materials to the collection that depict life at the author's family dacha in Bucha; the author's extended family, particularly his mother's family, the Prokrovskiis; and the author’s first wife, Tatiana Lappa, and her family. The collection also contains several letters penned by Bulgakov (with accompanying transcriptions) and autographed photo-portraits of the author.
Users can navigate the collection by medium (e.g. "letter," "photograph," "document") or search by content. Users can search terms such as names (e.g. "Varvara Mikhailovna Bulgakova") or relation to the author (e.g. "mother"). In the case of items consisting of multiple images, such as letters, use the “Related Views” tab to access all the images for a single object in sequence. When using materials from the collection, please cite the Mikhail Bulgakov Literary-Memorial Museum in Kyiv.
View a presentation by Grace Mahoney and Brendan Nieubuurt about the Mikhail Bulgakov Digital Collection.
The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. Some materials may be protected by copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Mikhail Bulgakov Collection Help. If you have concerns about the inclusion of an item in this collection, please contact Library Information Technology.