And so, on an October morning in 1966, Suzanne and I walked into Yale’s Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscript Library. We met Miss Wynne and filled out the required forms. Soon, from behind closed doors, a small, rolling table was wheeled in, laden with six fat albums in cloth and leather, all peeling and cracking at the edges. We opened the first album. Here were photographs of an Edwardian family in the lighter moments of life. But, incredibly, they were not just any Edwardian family; they were the Russian Imperial family, which a few years later would be obliterated in the revolution that obliterated so much of the life and culture of Old Russia. Turning the pages, we found hundreds of pictures, collectively confirming the millions of words I had read about the life of this couple and their children. It was an extraordinary collection: the most complete set of intimate photographs of the Imperial family to survive the holocaust of the revolution. Not only had most images of this kind been lost, scattered, or confiscated during the revolution itself, but afterwards there were stories of attempts by Soviet agents to locate, remove, and destroy from all public and commercial archives any photographs depicting the last Tsar and his family as normal human beings whose faces and activities might arouse a shred of interest or sympathy.
The Romanov Family Album - Introductory text by Robert K. Massie