Written: Written in the second half of October 1912
Published: First published April 21, 1960, in the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda No. 95. Sent from Cracow to Capri. Printed from a typewritten copy certified by Maxim Gorky.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, , Moscow, Volume 43, pages 304b-305a.
Translated: Martin Parker and Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2005). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
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I had hardly posted my previous letter when I received yours about the library. The plan to collect material on the history of the revolution is magnificent. I welcome it with all my heart and wish it success.
As for Bebutov, he told me when I met him in May in Berlin that he had given the library to the Vorstand (the C.C. of the German Social-Democrats) in such a way that he could not take it back. I have his letter saying that this library was to be donated to the Social-Democratic Party when it was united, etc. I’m afraid that means there’s nothing to be done. But all the same you ought to try to get in touch with Bebutov.
 A typewritten copy of the present letter verified by Maxim Gorky was preserved among the personal papers of V. A. Desnitsky. It was written in reply to a project sent by Gorky for the collection of material on the history of the revolution. Gorky wrote about this project to V. V. Veresayev on October 8 (New Style), 1912 (Maxim Gorky, Collected Works, 30–volume Russian edition, Vol. 29, p. 255).
Gorky proposed to acquire for a museum the library and archives collected by Prince I. D. Bebutov, a Social-Democratic sympathiser. Bebutov had willed the collection to the R.S.D.L.P. and turned it over for safekeeping to the Executive (C.C.) of the German Social-Democratic Party. Through the editor of the St. Petersburg journal Sovremennik, Gorky got in touch with Bebutov, who replied that he did not object to his library being transferred to a reliable institution, but the final decision was left until a personal meeting.
What happened afterwards to the Bebutov library is not known.