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Richard Pierce (historian)

Richard Austin Pierce was an American historian and publisher who specialized in the Russian era of Alaska's history. He was involved in the publishing of more than 60 volumes on Alaska's history, in the capacity of author, translator and publisher, was considered one of the foremost authorities on Russian America. Pierce was born in California, he received his bachelor's degree in anthropology at University of California and served as a sergeant in Europe in the United States Army during World War II. After the war Pierce took a course in the Russian language in pursuit of a civil service job and touring the region after World War II, he returned to Berkeley and earned his master's degree in 1952 and his doctorate in 1956, both in history. He was awarded Fulbright fellowships in 1953 and 1954. In the mid-1950s he travelled to Finland for the first time, in order to acquaint himself with the Slavica collection of the Helsinki University Library, which has one of the best collections of Russian literature and Russian journals outside of Russia and the former Soviet Union.

During that first visit to Helsinki he met his wife to be, a native of Kingston upon Hull, working for Effoa, whom he married during the following winter. Effoa had a shipping line from Helsinki to Kingston upon Hull at that time. Incidentally, Pierce would write an article on the founder of Effoa, Lars Krogius, as the latter had served as a captain on Russian-American Company ships from 1852 to 1863. Pierce and his wife were regular visitors to Finland since that time until their last visit in 2000. Pierce was appointed a position at Queen's University, Ontario in 1959 and served there until 1988, he took a position at University of Alaska, Fairbanks from 1988 to 1998. During the latter tenure he had three homes, one in his native California, one in Kingston, one in Fairbanks, the latter in the Rainey-Skarland Cabin, “a veritable who’s who of northern researchers including Ivar Skarland, Helge Larsen, J. Louis Giddings, Frederica de Laguna and Henry B. Collins and Otto W. Geist.”Some books, such as Voyage to America, 1783–1785 by Grigoriĭ Ivanovich Shelikhov, required decades of work.

This book originated in 1958, with a letter received from Hector Chevigny, author of the popular Alaskan historical works Lost Empire, on N. P. Rezanov, Lord of Alaska, on Alexander Andreyevich Baranov. Chevigny had planned to write yet a third book on another notable person in the history of Russian America, Grigoriĭ Shelikhov, until loss of eyesight forced him to lay the project aside. Pierce described his cooperation with Chevigny in the following way: Another book, a result of decades of work was Pierce's Russian America, 1741–1867, A Biographical Dictionary, published in 1990. In April 2001, he along with fellow anthropologist and historian and close colleague Lydia T. Black, historians Barbara Sweetland Smith, John Middleton-Tidwell, Viktor Petrov, was decorated by the Russian Federation with the Order of Friendship Medal, which they received at the Russian consulate in San Francisco. “He was an absolute pioneer in Russian Alaska history, its premier archivist and one of its premier researchers and scholars,” said Jennifer Collier, executive editor of the University of Alaska Press.

In 1972 Pierce set up his one-man publishing house. He chose the name from the nickname of Kingston, the “Limestone City”, which has its origins in its many limestone buildings, he published books on Alaska's history, but on Ukrainian and African and other topics, as well as books dealing with Kingston's history. Russian Central Asia, 1867–1917: A Study in Colonial Rule. Series: Russian and East European studies. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1960. ISBN 978-0-520-01013-0. Soviet Central Asia: A Bibliography. Three volumes, 1: 1558–1866. Berkeley, California: Center for Slavic and East European Studies, University of California. 1966. Rezanov Reconnoiters California, 1806. A new translation of Nikolai Rezanov’s letter, parts of Lieutenant Khvostov's log of the ship Juno, Dr. Georg von Langsdorff’s observations. Book Club of California, 1972. Xix, 73 p. Printing: 50 copies. Alaskan Shipping, 1867–1878. Arrivals And Departures at the Port of Sitka. Materials for the Study of Alaska History no. 1.

1972. 72 pp. illustrated. Shipping at the end of the Russian regime and during the first decade of American rule. LCSH: Ship registers—Sitka, Alaska; this book does not have an ISBN number. Printing: 250 copies. Russia's Hawaiian Adventure, 1815–1817. 1976. Xvii, 245 p. maps, maps, index. Materials for the Study of Alaska History no. 8. Reprint of the 1965 edition from University of California Press. ISBN 0-919642-68-3 ISBN 0-919642-69-1. Builders of Alaska: The Russian Governors, 1818–1867. Alaska History no. 28. 1986. Biographies of Alaska’s 13 forgotten governors, from Hagemeister to Maksutov. 53 pp. illustrated. ISBN 0-919642-07-1. Russian America, 1741–1867, A Biographical Dictionary. Alaska History no. 33. 1990. Data on over 600 Russian and foreign statesmen, explorers and skippers, Native leaders and women. 560 pp. illustrated. ISBN 0-919642-45-4. Pierce, Richard A.: New Light on Ivan Petroff, Historian of Alaska. The Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Vol. 59, No. 1, pp. 1–10. Pierce, Richard A. and Alexander Doll: Alaskan Treasure.

The Alaska Journal, 1: 2–7. 1971. Pierce, Richard A.: The Russian-American Company Currency. In: Barbara Sweet

Mihail Dragomirescu

Mihail Dragomirescu was a Romanian aesthetician, literary theorist and critic. Born in Plătărești, Călărași County, he completed primary school in his native village in 1881, followed by Bucharest's Gheorghe Lazăr Gymnasium and Saint Sava High School from 1881 to 1889, he obtained a degree from the University of Bucharest's literature and philosophy faculty. His published debut came that year, with a prose poem in the Junimea-affiliated Convorbiri Literare. A student of Junimea founder Titu Maiorescu's, he took part in the 1890 establishment of the Cultural League for the Unity of All Romanians, he was an editor at Convorbiri Literare from 1895 to 1906. Near the end of his tenure there, Junimea was undergoing a serious crisis marked by numerous differences on principle, exacerbated by the 1905 premiere of Ronetti Roman's play Manasse; the culminating point came when Dragomirescu quit his former colleagues to found a new critical school revolving around Convorbiri magazine, which he established in 1907, which appeared as Convorbiri Critice from 1908 to 1910.

Promoting an aesthetic purism, he adopted a set of Maiorescu's ideas while incorporating his own opinions to develop an original critical worldview. At its core, this held that the essence of art lies in the soul, or more in a form of its activity, through which reality is transformed by a sincere and ordered imagination upon the intervention of an intellectual factor, he headed Falanga magazine in 1910 and from 1926 to 1929. In 1895, he became a substitute professor at his alma mater, rising to full professor in 1906 and remaining until his retirement in 1938, he founded the Literature Institute in 1922. In 1938, he was elected an honorary member of the Romanian Academy. Dragomirescu's first book was the 1895 Critica "științifică" şi Eminescu. In two works, Știința literaturii and Dialoguri filosofice. Integralismul he set forth his "theory of the masterpiece" and his critical framework, known as "aesthetic integralism". Remaining an intellectual heir to Maiorescu, an adherent of what critic Dan Mănucă labels neo-Junimism, he anticipated structuralism at a time when determinism and historicism were both experiencing a decline in Europe.

His first wife was Adelina Poenaru: although her mother and sister were against the union until around 1897, Maiorescu intervened with the Poenaru family, whom he knew well, the wedding took place in 1898. The couple and argumentative, divorced after fifteen years of marriage. Adeline became paralyzed soon following a botched anesthesia, his second wife Laura, a native of Craiova, was a translator of German plays and poems. Dan Mănucă, "Sistemul estetic al lui Mihail Dragomirescu", in Anuar de lingvistică și istorie literară, vol. XVIII, 1967, pp. 105 -- Intimitatea amfiteatrelor. Ipostaze din viața privată a universitarilor "literari", Editura Limes, Cluj-Napoca, 2010. ISBN 978-973-726-469-5.