Skip to main content

Henriette Derman: LS Alumna, Crusader, and Political Prisoner: Home

Henriette Derman

Henriette Derman

Timeline of Derman's Life

  • August 8, 1882 - Henriette Abele was born in Riga, Latvia
  • 1905 - Henriette married Vilis Derman
  • 1914 - The Dermans emigrated to the United States
  • 1916 - Derman enrolled at Simmons College as a 'special condition' admit
  • 1917 - Derman completed her course work at Simmons College
  • 1917-1921 - Derman worked at the Library or Congress
  • 1921 - Gave a talk at the Library Institute in Moscow on "Librarianship in America"
  • 1922 - Joined the cataloging committee at the Library Institute in Moscow
  • 1924 - Derman organized the first All Russian Library Congress
  • 1930 - Became the founding director of the Moscow Library Institute
  • 1937 - Vilis Derman [husband] was arrested
  • 1938 - Derman was arrested and imprisoned in a labor camp at Vorkuta
  • January 18, 1954 - Derman died in Vorkuta




Source: The Origin of Soviet Education for Librarianship

Who is Henriette Derman?

Henriette Derman, a Russian immigrant, completed her studies at the Simmons library school in 1917. Upon returning to Russia, Mrs. Derman helped modernize the Soviet library system, becoming one of the most important figures in the development of modern Russian librarianship.

In 1938 which was the end of Stalin's repression, she was arrested and sent to a prison camp where she died in 1954.

The purpose of this library guide is to provide information on Derman's career in the United States and in Russia, on life in Soviet Russia while Derman was imprisoned, and to give you a chance to meet and learn more about Henriette Derman.


Derman was born in Riga, Latvia.

Henriette Derman Internation Project

The Henriette Derman International Project symbolizes the coming together of two nations in a shared celebration.