Leniniana Collection

Tapestry commemorating the 100th anniversary of Lenin’s birth, [after 1970]

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  • 2,183 pins
  • 288 posters
  • 55 postcards
  • 41 medals
  • 34 sculptures
  • 50 bookplates
  • 49 flags
  • 9 bank notes: rubles, various denominations
  • 65 coins: kopeks, various denominations
  • 17 film reels : 35mm black and white, and colour
  • 9 audio recordings : 33 rpm and double 33 rpm records
  • 7 textiles: 2 embroidery, 2 cross stitch, 3 woven, 2 t-shirts
  • 6 paintings: oil on canvas and other media
  • 1 newspaper
  • 2 wooden nesting dolls
  • 2 cigarette packages
  • 1 mask: plaster
  • 2 plates: porcelain
  • 1 wrist watch
  • various stamps: 46 envelopes, 4 albums, 1 folder and 1 framed stamp

Scope and Content:

The collection consists of more than 800 items featuring the image of Vladimir Ilych Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union. There is a variety of media, including paper, textile, bronze, alloy, gold, clay, wood, porcelain, stone as well as books, posters, postcards, and 35mm black and white film. The collection was assembled between 1989 and 2003 in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Vilnius and Kaliningrad. The items in the collection have been arranged in the following series:

  • Documentary Films
  • Posters
  • Postcards
  • Books and Periodicals
  • Records
  • Pins
  • Bookplates
  • Paintings
  • Rugs and Embroidery
  • Postage Stamps
  • Notes, Coins and Commemorative Medals
  • Sculptures
  • Reliefs
  • Flags


To view clips and written summaries of the movies in the collection, click on one of the images below.

Administrative History/ Biographical Sketch

Dr. Ron Vastokas taught anthropology at Trent University from 1965-1996, where his research interests ranged from visual anthropology (film and video), culture and communication, minority groups, East European post-communist development, Aboriginal rock art and Great Lakes area archaeology. He played an active role in several government organizations, including serving as the Director of the Ontario Heritage Foundation; Director of the Cultural Properties Export and Import Act Review Board, Secretary of State, Canada; and leader of the Vilnius Program for the Government of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs’ Canada Baltic Assistance Program. From 1989-2003, he worked with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) as a consultant and teacher in post-Soviet Eastern Europe. During his time spent in the Baltic States with CIDA, he became fascinated with the image of Lenin, “the ‘father’ of the USSR as he was conceived as presented by the state to its citizens during the last decade of its disintegration, generally designated as perestroika.” His goal in collecting Lenin imagery was anthropological in approach, not simply “to document a momentous period in history, but to gather palpable evidence that the omnipresent, powerful, and revered image of this superhuman [Lenin], sometimes given godlike attributes, ranked as sacral art, to say nothing of its immediate and ubiquitous significance as political propaganda.”

Source of Acquisition

In 2007, Ron Vastokas donated the collection to Ryerson University Library Special Collections.


The fonds comprises the following accessions: 2008.001. No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

Special Collections has a postcard with the image of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin from another donation. Item # 2008.010.001.

Finding Aids

Series List / Item List available online