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Allilueva, Svetlana, 1926-2011
Mildred Harford Correspondence with Lana Peters (Svetlana Alliluyeva)
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
1 box
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1


This collection contains letters, cards, photographs and clippings from Lana Peters (Svetlana Alliluyeva) to her friend Mildred Harford. After defecting from the Soviet Union, Peters lived a transitory life in the United States, at one point denouncing the west and returning to the USSR, and eventually retunring to the United States, where she died in 2011.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection contains five files of correspondence, clippings and photographs sent from Lana Peters (also known as Svetlana Alliluyeva, the daughter of Josef Stalin) to her friend Mildred Harford.

Collection Creator Biography:

Allilueva, Svetlana, 1926-2011

Lana Peters was born Svetlana Stalina, the only daughter and last surviving child of the Soviet ruler Josef Stalin. She changed her last name to her mother's (her mother was Nadezhda Alliluyeva) after her father died in 1953.

Svetlana Alliluyeva married twice in the Soviet Union (in 1943 to Grigory Morozov and in 1949 to Yuri Zhdanov) and had two children. Both marriages dissolved quickly, and she met the Indian Communist Brajesh Singh in 1963. After his death in 1967, Alliluyeva approached the United States embassy in New Delhi and stated her desire to defect from the Soviet Union. She lived in Princeton, New Jersey, assisted by former ambassador to the USSR George F. Kennan. In 1970, she married William Wesley Peters. Mr. Peters had been chief apprentice to the architect Frank Lloyd Wright and spent sometime in Scottsdale, Arizona, before divorcing and moving back to New Jersey.

In Princeton, Alliluyeva (now Lana Peters) met Mildred Harford, her daughter Olga's teacher. The two maintained a friendship via correspondence as Peters and her daughter moved to California, England, and in 1984, back to the Soviet Union where she publicly denouced the west.

In April 1986, they returned to the United States, with no opposition by the Soviet authorities. Peters died in Wisconsin in 2011.

Collection History


These letters were donated by Mildred Harford in January 2013 .


No materials were separated from this collection at the time of accessioning.

Processing Information

At the time of accessioning, photographs were put into mylar and letters were placed into archival folders. This collection was processed by Maureen Callahan in 2013. Finding aid was written by Maureen Callahan in 2013.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Mildred Harford Correspondence with Lana Peters (Svetlana Alliluyeva); Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1

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