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Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences

Copyright © 1998-2017 Blitz, all rights reserved

The Archives of the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences developed from the Archeographical Committee of the Ministry of Public Education.

The Committee was created in 1834 as a temporary institution intended for the collecting, sorting, describing and publishing of ancient documents found during archeographical expeditions which were led throughout Russia by Academician P. M. Stroev between 1828 and 1834.

A permanant Archeographic Committee was established in 1837 for the purpose of periodically publishing sources from ancient times to 1700. On January 1, 1922 the Committee became part of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1926 it was united with the Permanent Historic Committee of the Academy of Sciences. In 1968 the Committee became the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of History and is now the St. Petersburg branch of the Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

These archives consist of two sections, the Russian section and the Western European section


The Russian section contains materials reflecting all aspects of the socio-economic, political, military and cultural history of the Russian state between the 13th and 20th centuries.

The Western European section of the Archives contain extremely rare and valuable manuscripts dating back to the 6th century. These holdings include official documents and letters from well known people from England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and other countries, most of which were acquired from the famous scholar and collector N. P. Likhachev.

In the Russian section of the archives there are one hundred and twenty three collections consisting of twelve thousand three hundred and forty entries including over seven hundred manuscript books. The collection is extremely diverse and contains many original manuscripts. The following types of materials are held by the Archives:

  • Documents from the archives of various provincial and gubernia governments and other local institutions in the northwest region, upper and lower Volga regions, Urals and Siberia 

    Archives of various monasteries and religious institutions

  • Charters and Ukazes (Decrees) of many Russian rulers including Ivan the Terrible, Perter the Great and Catherine 
  • Correspondence and materials from many of the associates of the Tsars
  • Deeds of purchase dating from the 15th century
  • Polish "universals" dating from the 16th century
  • Documents of military institutions which portray the turbulent times during Peter the Great's reforms
  • Fonds of the Society of Russian History and Antiquities (1826-1830) and the Russian Historical Society (1866-1917)

Fonds of the Russian Genealogy Society (1890-1923)

Family and personal fonds from the 16th to 19th centuries representing all social strata of Russian society

The Russian Baltic Information Center - Blitz, located in St. Petersburg, has published a the following finding aid to the archives of the St. Petersburg Branch of Institute of HIstory:

Pobedimova, G.A. et al, Fondy i kollektsii Arkhiva, Kratkii spravochnik, Rossiiskaia akademiia nauk institut rossiiskoi istorii Sankt-Peterburg filal, Sankt-Peterburg: Blits 1995, In Rusian with introduction in English, ISBN 5-86789-014-7, Paper cover, 48 pages, US$12.95 plus US$3.00 shipping and handling.

Blitz also sells many books (in Russian) by the Institute of History based on research in this archive as well as other archives. Some books have a large indexes to names. A free catalog is available on request -- please send an SASE to a U.S. address or two IPRC for a Canadian or Overseas request.

Requests for books and inquiries about archive holdings and archival research can be directed to:

Russian Baltic Information Center - Biltz
907 Mission Ave
San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel: 415-453-3579
Fax: 415-453-0343

We accept Visa and MasterCard (by postal service, (but not by eMail as yet)

The Russian Baltic Information Center - BLITZ in St. Petersburg conducts genealogy searches using the RGIA as well as others archives of St. Petersburg, Moscow and former republics of the USSR. BLITZ provides reports of its findings with references to the archival documents, Xerox copies of archival documents including coats of arms, and translations into English.

Genealogy Search Order Form

W. Edward Nute, Coordinator
Russian-Baltic Information Center - BLITZ
907 Mission Ave, San Rafael, California, 94901
Telephone: 415-453-3579
FAX: 415-453-0343
eMail address: