oldest and one of the most unique Archives in Russia is the Archive of
the Geographic Society in Russia. This archive was founded in 1845 the
same year the Russian Geographic Society was formed. The Russian Geographic
Society provides a great resource for writers and researchers of history,
ethnography and other related subjects.
This archive holds
more than 60,000 files. About 13,000 of them contain ethnographic collections
with materials about different countries and continents such as, China,
Japan, Mongolia, Australia, America, and others, as well as different
provinces of the Russian Empire. These collections were compiled from
materials taken by travelers, voyages by members of the Geography Society,
their travel notes, designs, photos, maps and ethnography objects.
ethnography and everyday life of persons in the provinces of the Russian
Empire were developed as a result of several projects organized by this
Society. In 1848, 7,000 copies of a questionnaire were sent to different
locations of Russia. Local literate people (e.g. teachers, priests, physicians,
etc.) answered the questions concerning the following subjects: outward
appearance; language; households; particularities of the local social
everyday life; intellectual and moral capabilities and education; popular
legends and memories.
A program for gathering
information about popular superstitions in Southern Russia was initiated
in the year 1866. In 1977 there was a collection of popular juridical
customs. In 1858 the Society gathered information on wedding ceremonies
of Russians and non-Russians in the Eastern regions of the Russian Empire.
These Archival collections are compiled according to provinces and also
differentiated by locations - Caucasus, Middle-Asian Russia, Siberia,
Belorussia, Poland and Finland, etc..
One of the many interesting
collection of documents is the 1769-1862 project concerning the Russian
American Campaign. This Russian trade association existed in the years
1799-1868 and was engaged in opening up Alaska, part of Northern California
(Fort Ross) as well as the Aleutian Islands which were opened by Russian
voyagers and was included in Russia up to the sale to the United States
in 1867. In the years 1799-1861 these territories were rented by the Russian-American
campaign. The Campaign, supported by the Russian government, founded many
settlements and organized 25 expeditions, 15 of these were around the
There are travel logs
and travel, business correspondence, plans and maps of the cities, waterways,
islands as well as portraits of leaders of the campaign. In addition,
this collection contains documents about American residents on the territory
occupied by the Campaign.
The following are
examples of documents to be found here:
Opinion of the Board
of the Russian-American Campaign concerning Creoles residing in the colonies;
the children of the Russian merchants and female-islanders;
Registers of persons
residing in Russian-American colonies;
Lists of civilians
on Russian ships; civil ranks served in the colonies; and
In addition, the Archive
holds a number of personal Fonds of Russian travelers.
examples of searches Blitz has undertaken for clients using the Geographic
Society are the following: a general study of Russian History and prominent
Russian figures such as the voyage of Grand Duke Aleksei Aleksandrovich
Romanov to the US; an investigation of the Far East on the eve of the
Revolution; a study of Russian philosophy circles of the 1920’s;
a study of letters from the Princess Yusopova; uncovering a photo collection
of members of the Imperial Family; research on two Italian musicians in
Russia; a study on the American steamship “Savannah”; etc…
These have been quite interesting and informative searches.
Based on the above
materials, BLITZ may complete a special research on a personal or general
scholarly subject in addition to information found in publications or
materials of other Archives.