Ivan Il'in, who left Russia in 1922 because of his opposition to the Bolshevik revolution, died in 1954 and left behind 102 boxes of manuscripts and letters. They have been kept at Michigan State for the past four decades.
On Monday, a delegation from the Russian government gathered in the special collections reading room at Michigan State's main library to retrieve the notebooks, letters, photographs and sketches.
"We're very pleased to have had the opportunity to preserve these papers," Clifford Haka, director of Michigan State's library system, told the Lansing State Journal. "I think we're even more pleased to see them returned to where they should be."
The papers were brought to the university by Russian language professor Nikolai Poltoratzky. He obtained them after Il'in and his wife died without heirs, the AP reports.
Il'in was a political and legal philosopher and one of Russia's more important commentators on the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, according to Philip Grier, a professor at Dickinson College and a scholar of Il'in's work.
Though communist leader Vladimir Lenin, who had an interest in Hegelian philosophy, apparently intervened on his behalf in the years after the revolution, Il'in was exiled to Berlin.
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