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ArcheoBiblioBase: Archives in Russia: B-2Last update of repository: 31 May 2017
Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv drevnikh aktov (RGADA)
Total: 1,383 fonds, 3,313,000 units, 11th c.–1917
institutional fonds—2,284,353 units; personal papers—222,445 units; MS books—12,597 units; scientific-technical documents—792,405 units
The annotated register (reestr opisei) available electronically on the website of the archive: http://rgada.info/poisk/index.php?fun....
RGADA retains documents dating from the eleventh through the beginning of the twentieth century, consisting of the records of central and regional agencies of the Russian state and Empire up to the time of the administrative reforms of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (with the exception of the records of the Admiralty, Foreign, and Military Collegia). RGADA also holds the fonds of central land-survey agencies of Russia from the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries; personal papers of state and public figures, men of science and art; archives of major landowners and gentry families; records of monasteries and other religious institutions; collections of historical documents and manuscript books; and collections of Russian and foreign incunabula and early printed and rare books dating from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries.
The most valuable RGADA holdings is the collection of earliest documents that had been brought together in the nineteenth century in the Early Repository of Charters and Manuscripts. It includes fragments (approximately 400 units) of the archives of Grand Dukes and vassal princes, the archives of Novgorod the Great and Pskov, the Grand Duchy of Muscovy, and the so-called Tsar’s Archive of the sixteenth century. The 1264 charter of agreement of Novgorod the Great with Grand Duke of Tver and Vladimir, Iaroslav Iaroslavich is considered to be the earliest document in this collection. Besides treaties, religious, contractual, and other charters, there are manuscript texts of feudal laws (11th–17th cc.): “Russkaia Pravda” (Russian Justice), the 1497 “Sudebnik” (Judicial Codex) of Ivan III (the only copy known to scholars), the 1550 “Sudebnik” of Ivan IV, and also the original roll (stolbets) of the 1649 “Sobornoe Ulozhenie” (Council Code of Laws).
Records of the central administration in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are found in the fonds of personal chancelleries of monarchs—the Prikaz of Secret Affairs (Prikaz tainykh del), the “Cabinets” (offices) of Peter I (1694–1727), Catherine II (1762–1796), and Paul I (1796–1801); the Chancelleries of State Secretaries, the Nearest Chancellery (Blizhniaia Kantseliariia) (1699–1718), the Supreme Secret Council (Verkhovnyi tainyi sovet) (1726–1730), the Governing Senate (Pravitel'stvuiuschchii Senat) (1711–1917), and agencies under the Senate and Synod. Records of organs for state security, investigation, and control are found in the collected files (razriady) of the State Archive of the Russian Empire—the Preobrazhenskii prikaz (1686–1729), the Secret Chancellery (Tainaia kantseliariia) (1718–1726), the Secret Section of the Senate (Tainaia ekspeditsiia Senata) (1762–1801), and secret investigatory commissions from the nineteenth century.
Records of central governmental agencies for branch and territorial administration are represented in the fonds of almost all the prikazy dating from the sixteenth through the early eighteenth century—the Ambassadorial or Foreign Affairs (Posol'skii), Apothecary (Aptekarskii), Landowner Affairs (Pomestnyi), Large Profits (Bol'shogo prikhoda), Large Treasury (Bol'shoi kazny), Little Russian [Ukrainian] (Malorossiiskii), Siberian (Sibirskii), and State Officers (Razriadnyi) prikazy, and those for the Court and local agencies (dvortsovye and chetvertnye prikazy).
The management of industry, manufacturing, and trade in the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, and the financial policy of the Russian government, are recorded in the fonds of prikazy and collegia (Mining, Chamber, Commerce, and Manufacturing), fonds of the Main Magistrate, customs offices and chancelleries of the eighteenth century, and also in the fonds of gentry families who owned plants, factories, and mines.
Records of the activity of institutions of local administration during the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries are concentrated in fonds of the prikaznye, gubnye and razriadnye izby, guberniia, provincial and uezdnye (voevodskie) chancelleries; in the fonds of administrative agencies for specific segments of the population (court, state [kazennye], and “economic” peasants, one-yard owners [odnodvortsy] and colonists), and for state forests and mines. Agrarian relations are reflected in the fonds of the Votchinnaia kollegiia, and the Pomestnyi and Razriadnyi prikazy.
Among monastic records are fonds of the Trinity-St. Sergiius Monastery (Troitse-Sergieva Lavra) and the Solovetskii Monastery, with documents regarding land ownership, peasant administration, construction of cathedrals, and other matters.
Multi-faceted data on the geographic, environmental, demographic, and economic development of different regions and specific localities of the Russian Empire are found in census and land-survey books (pistsovye, perepisnye i mezhevye knigi) of the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries, the fond of the Pomestnyi prikaz, eighteenth-century population “revision” records, and fonds of central land-survey agencies from the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries (the Land-Survey Chancellery, the Chancellery of the Director in Chief of the Land-Survey Corps) that compiled general, specialized, and special cost-ratio land-survey records.
Another noteworthy complex in RGADA consists of fonds of the imperial court institutions, including the Main Court Chancellery (Glavnaia dvortsovaia kantseliariia) and its various offices (1721–1786), and the Ministry of the Imperial Court.
Documentation of the Posol'skii, Sibirskii, and Malorossiiskii prikazy, of the Senate, and of the sectional files (razriady) of Gosarkhiv, widely illustrate Russia’s relations with foreign countries, communications among different nationalities within the Russian Empire, and the history and culture of those peoples.
Many monuments of Russian culture are to be found in the fond-collections of Gosarkhiv and MGAMID, the Armory Palace (Oruzheinaia palata), and the Court Archive (Dvortsovyi arkhiv), in the manuscript book collections from the manuscript divisions of the libraries of MGAMID and of the Synodal Press, and in the collections of F.F. Mazurin, Prince M.A. Obolenskii, and the Sarov Monastery (Sarovskaia pustyn')—for example, the early Slavonic eleventh-century manuscript “Savvina kniga” (the book of Saint Savva) from the library of the Moscow Synodal Press, the first chronicle of St. Sophia Cathedral (Sofiiskaia pervaia letopis') in a fifteenth-century copy, the sixteenth-century Chronicle of Nikon (Nikonovskaia letopis'), and other early Rus' chronicles in copies of the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries. In RGADA manuscript collections are to be found a wide array of secular and ecclesiastical literary works in Russian and other Slavic languages and in translation—writings of Maksim Grek, Iosif Volotskii, Prince A.M. Kurbskii, Archpriest Avvakum, in addition to manuscripts in Greek and Latin, Western European, and Oriental languages.
Personal and family papers of the most important landowners, businessmen, and state officials of prerevolutionary Russia—the Bobrinskii, Demidov, Gagarin, Golitsyn, Goncharov, Iusupov, Panin, Sheremetev, Shuvalov, and Vorontsov families—include materials relating to private land ownership, trade and manufacturing, domestic and foreign policy, science and culture, thus characterizing official and social activities of the ruling elite.