ArcheoBiblioBase, a Moscow-based directory of Russian archives and archival repositories, in cooperation with Rosarkhiv, the Federal Archival Service of Russia.

Russian Archival Directory Published in Moscow and Launched on the Internet

By Patricia Kennedy Grimsted

[For a more detailed coverage of this item see]

The first comprehensive directory and bibliography of archival holdings in over 260 repositories in Moscow and St Petersburg was published in Moscow on 11 April 1997.

The printed volume represents output from the bilingual archival directory and bibliographic database known as ArcheoBiblioBase (ABB), which is now maintained under the jurisdication of the State Archival Service of Russia (Rosarkhiv), in cooperation with the State Public Historical Library (GPIB), the Historico-Archival Institute of the Russian State University for the Humanities (IAI RGGU), and the St Petersburg Branch of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences (PFA RAN).

The day before the ceremony, a new Web page with abbreviated listings for the federal archives under Rosarkhiv and the state municipal and oblast-level state archives in Moscow and St Petersburg was launched on the Internet from the IREX-sponsored OpenWeb server at the Historical Library.

The directory we are presenting in printed form should not be considered a final text, but rather an interim step. Printed directories are too rapidly overtaken on the information highways of cyberspace. Many of our descriptions and phone numbers are already out of date. There are more new archives and additional museums that are not included. The bibliography of finding aids, especially for some large repositories, is far from comprehensive. It does not even include all the listings from my 1972 directory. If it were complete, we would have a volume half again the size, and the cost of printing would have been prohibitive. Our work is not finished.

ABB needs to keep track of all types of reference developments, to provide immediate bibliographic and distribution information about new reference aids, wherever they may be published. Public feedback from users and regular updated data from individual repositories themselves are needed. Copies of all of the publications listed need to be available for public consultation in major libraries throughout Russia. More of those need to be available electronically or in microform so they can be consulted throughout the Russian Federation and abroad. We need to add information about new accessions, lists of newly declassified fonds, and major new documentary publications. Our next step for ArcheoBiblioBase should be both CD-ROM and a more complete on-line Internet format. But for all that we need funding for assistants, technical support, and administrative expenses to extend our coverage.

ARKHIVY ROSSII: MOSKVA -- SANKT-PETERBURG: Spravochnik-obozrenie i bibliograficheskii ukazatel'.

Compiled by Patricia Kennedy Grimsted, Lada Vladimirovna Repulo, and Irina Vladimirovna Tunkina. Edited by Mikhail Dmitri'vich Afanas'ev, Patricia Kennedy Grimsted, Vladimir Petrovich Kozlov, and Vladimir Semenovich Sobolev.

Sponsored by the State Archival Service of Russia (Rosarkhiv), the State Public Historical Library (GPIB), the Historico-Archival Institute of the Russian State University for the Humanities (IAI RGGU), and the St Petersburg Branch of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences (PFA RAN).

Moscow: "Arkheograficheskii tsentr," 1997. 1070 pages.Tel.: (7-095) 245-83-55; Fax: (7-095) 245-30-98; E-mail:

Available abroad through "Mezhdunarodnaia kniga"

Distributed in the USA by Kamkin and Panorama.

Distributed in Europe by Kuban & Sagnor.

The directory provides a general description of holdings and lists general guides and other more specialized finding aids for over 260 repositories in Moscow and St. Petersburg with close to 3,000 annotated bibliographic entries. The initial general bibliography of archival reference literature (Part A) includes relevant directories, specialized guides to sources for subject-area research from history and literature to science and Oriental Studies. Subsequent parts (Parts BD0H) describe federal and local state (including former CPSU) archives; archives of the President, major ministries (Foreign Affairs, Defense, Internal Affairs, among others), security services (FSB and SVR, i.e., former KGB), and other specialized federal agencies (geological, geodesic, book chamber, and feature film archives, etc.) ; holdings under the Russian Academy of Sciences, other academies, and universities; independent archives (such as Memorial, the People's Archive, the Sakharov Archive, trade unions, and religious institutions, etc.); and the archival holdings in 20 major libraries and 120 museums.

A basic reference work for those using traditional state and CPSU records, medieval manuscripts, and personal papers, this volume also provides a starting place for those trying to locate manuscript maps, folk songs, motion pictures, genealogical data, technical documentation, and architectural drawings, among other sources.

Entries for individual repositories include names (and all previous names) in Russian and English, addresses (including e-mail and fax), transportation, major staff, institutional history, surveys of holdings, access, working conditions, reference facilities, and a bibliography of related finding aids. The Russian edition has separate name, geographic, institutional, and author/compiler indexes, as well as an index-correlation table linking previous and present repository acronyms with current names of archives.

ARCHIVES IN RUSSIA: A Directory and Bibliographic Guide of Repositories in MOSCOW and St PETERSBURG.

English-language edition edited by Patricia Kennedy Grimsted; with a preface by the Russian Editor-in-Chief, Vladimir Petrovich Kozlov (Armonk, NY, and London: M.E. Sharpe Publishers, fall 1997 -- forthcoming)

CONTACT for M.E. Sharpe Fax: (1-914) 273-2106, Tel.: (800) 541-6563, E-Mail:

ArcheoBiblioBase On Line:

Brief coverage from the ArcheoBiblioBase database, presently covering only very limited data from parts of the published directory is now available on the Internet.

Brief Russian-language coverage from the Russian-language ABB datafiles:

Part 1, "Federal Archives under Rosarkhiv", AND Part 2, "Municipal and Oblast-Level State Archives in Moscow and St. Petersburg", available from the OpenWeb server in Moscow, at the State Public Historical Library (GPIB) accessible in both Windows and KOI-8 format:


The Russian version requires a Cyrillic font for Windows or the KOI-8 font (also available in a Macintosh version), which can be downloaded from several Internet sites.

Updates of basic data about the repositories will be added regularly when available. Plans call for expansion of the ABB Internet coverage to include other archives and libraries, short summaries of history and holdings, updated working hours and temporary closings, newly published guides, lists recently declassified fonds, and other data from ArcheoBiblioBase, as soon as funding and staff assistance can be found.

Brief English-language coverage: Archives in Russia -- ArcheoBiblioBase On Line

An English version of the ABB Web page, starting in mid-April 1997, has been established and is being maintained (with regular updating) by the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam at the IISH Web site:

The data presented is already being relayed by several other servers, including IREX.

Forthcoming of related interest:

Archives in Russia Five Years After: "Purveyors of Sensations" or "Shadows Cast to the Past?"

Patricia Kennedy Grimsted

International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, 1997; IISG Research Paper, no 26,

in collaboration with the Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) Washington, DC, 1997

Available ca July 1997, ca 200 p. A Russian-language version is forthcoming in Moscow, Fall 1997.


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Last updated 9 April 1998