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Kim Philby - Mikhail Lyubimov Collection

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS464

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The Kim Philby - Mikhail Lyubimov Collection contains 12 letters from Kim Philby to Mikhail Lyubimov. The letters were sent from Moscow to Copenhagen. In the letters, Philby thanks Lyubimov for sending many packages with presents to Philby. Moreover, Philby touches on his travel plans, especially to the Crimea. Also, Philby makes a reference to his autobiography "My Silent War" and to celebrating his 16th anniversary of living in the Soviet Union. In addition to the letters from Philby to Lyubimov, there are three letters from Lyubimov to Philby. The Philby - Lyubimov Collection is stored in one small archival box (0.25 linear feet).


  • 1977 - 1980

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical note

Harold Adrian Russel "Kim" Philby (1912-1988), the son of Middle East expert Harry St. John Bridger Philby and Dora Johnston, was born in India in 1912. In 1929, Kim Philby entered Trinity College at Cambridge University. Soon he became a socialist and met Donald Maclean and Anthony Blunt. Thereafter, he became a communist but never joined the party. In 1933, Philby went to Vienna, Austria, where he helped smuggle socialists and communists out of the country. He married Alice Friedman, also a communist, in 1934. In London, the Soviets approached Philby about becoming an agent, and he agreed. In 1940, Philby joined MI6, and in 1949, he was posted to Washington, D.C. to serve as the British liaison to the CIA and FBI. In that role, unbeknownst to his superiors, he provided Moscow with sensitive information. In 1951, Maclean was exposed as a spy, thus Philby was watched closely. In 1956, Philby was posted to Beirut, Lebanon. In 1963, Nicholas Elliot, a former Secret Intelligence Service station commander, accused Philby of being a spy. In response, Philby fled for Russia on a Soviet freighter. In Russia, Philby worked for the KGB. His autobiography, "My Silent War," was published in 1968. Kim Philby died on May 11, 1988, in Moscow. [Source: "The Cold War, 1945-1991: Leaders and Other Important Figures in the United States and Western Europe" Ed. Benjamin Frankel. Detroit: Gale, 1992.] Mikhail Lyubimov, associate of Kim Philby, is a former KGB officer, novelist, and lecturer. It was while he was working in the KGB Foreign Intelligence Directorate in Moscow that Lyubimov met Kim Philby in 1975 ("The Private Life of Kim Philby," p. 271). Lyubimov was to work with Philby, a defector from the West, to make it more attractive for other defectors to go to Russia. Philby also enjoyed visits by Lyubimov on public holidays ("The Private Life of Kim Philby," p. 41). After Lyubimov was stationed in Denmark, he and Philby corresponded regularly. In 1958, Lyubimov had been posted to Finland for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1959, he undertook Intelligence Training School near Moscow. He performed espionage work in Britain from 1961 to 1964, when he was kicked out of the country. In 1974, Lyubimov became Deputy Chief of the Anglo-Scandinavian Department. He retired from the KGB in 1980. Lyubimov writes of his acquaintance with Philby and of Philby's life in "The Private Life of Kim Philby." [Source: "The Private Life of Kim Philby: The Moscow Years." By Rufina Philby, Mikhail Lyubimov, and Hayden Peake. New York: Fromm International, 2000.]


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

Acquired from Mikhail Lyubimov. ; Status: Open. Provenance: Acquired from Mikhail Lyubimov. Processed by Scott S. Taylor, January 2005.

Kim Philby - Mikhail Lyubimov Collection
Scott S. Taylor. Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057