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ArcheoBiblioBase: Archives in Russia: B-3Last update of repository: 29 May 2018
Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi istoricheskii arkhiv (RGIA)
Access & Facilities
In terms of declassification, all fonds in the archive are now open for research.
In connection with transfer to the new building some fonds are not yet accessible for use, but the number of accessible collections is gradually being increased. A list of the unavailable collections is held in the reading room, at the pass bureau (biuro propuskov) and available on the website: http://www.fgurgia.ru/showObject.do?o.... Research could phone the archive for up-to-date information.
A reader’s ticket (propusk) is prepared in the RGIA Information reference center (1st floor, room 111). For registration and receipt of a propusk, prospective researchers must present an official application or letter of request (zaiavlenie) or (otnoshenie) from the organization with which they are associated, their passport, and a color photo (3 x 4 cm).
More details about access and working conditions in RGIA in Dissertational review of the Russian State Historical Archive, St Petersburg, Russia by Philippa Hetherington: http://dissertationreviews.org/archiv.... See also the British (BASEES) Guide edited by Samantha Sherry: Using Archives and Libraries in the former Soviet Union, Jonathan Waterlow, and Andy Willomott (2010), pp. 32–33, available electronically: http://www.basees.org.uk/down/UsingAr....
The main reading room has 120 individual places for users for work with the archival originals, special tables for viewing of graphic materials and documents of a large format, devices for work with microform, and computers. There is a small reading room for work with unique documents.
Currently one can order up to three files a day, with delivery two days later. A researcher may hold only six files at one time. (The order limit is attributed to a shortage of staff.)
See also the review coverage at:
Photograph, digital, microfilm, scanning, and xerox facilities are available. Reproduction of documents for commercial purposes requires a license agreement.
An electronic catalogue is available on the archive website.
The website has a list of all fonds and opisi within each fond with brief annotations at: http://www.fgurgia.ru/search.do?objec... and http://www.fgurgia.ru/search.do?objec..., thus updating and replacing the earlier typescript annotated register of opisi covering all fonds (b–146) with provisional printout (b–138).
Individual opisi within fonds have been scanned and can now be consulted on computers located in the separate reference room, but currently the opisi cannot be consulted from off-site. The electronic system also provides additional information about more recently declassified fonds, and also a list of fonds and opisi or parts thereof that remain closed to research.
Many prerevolutionary published inventories and guides to subsidiary parts of the archive have unpublished supplements. Of particular importance in the reference system are more than 5,000 prerevolutionary alphabetical and chancellery desktop registers, many of which can be used as directories of existing opisi (see b–146). A special register of these registers has been prepared linking them to current fond and opis' numbers. There are many thematic inter-fond indexes of opisi and groups of records covering several fonds, and there are special indexes of documents within some fonds.
A first automated database “Architecture and City Planning in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and their Suburbs” provides document-level references for these subjects (see Istoriia pamiatnikov arkhitektury i gradostroitel'stva Moskvy, Leningrada i ikh prigorodov: Katalogi arkhivnykh dokumentov. 12 vols. Moscow, 1985–1991).
At the end of the 1950s an extensive systematic card catalogue was started—which now has 2,210,422 cards—covering parts of approximately half the fonds in the archive. Its structure is explained in a special schema (published in rotaprint form in 1977) with 21 thematic groups and name indexes, and also ten prerevolutionary agency-produced card catalogues.
Researchers now have access to the unpublished 274 thematic short surveys covering holdings inmany fonds and more than 20 additional special thematic surveys for important fonds.
More detailed information about reference facilities is available electronically: http://www.fgurgia.ru/showObject.do?o....
An excellent reference library has its own reading room, which is accessible for researchers in the archive (see http://www.fgurgia.ru/showObject.do?o...). It is particularly rich in prerevolutionary official and internal agency publications, including laws, decrees, instructions, reports, and other reference publications, many of which remain in a single copy and are not available elsewhere (see b–174). The library includes collections from the Holy Synod, the archive and Heraldry Department of the Senate, the imperial chancellery, the libraries of the Ministries of Public Education, Communications, and Finance, and the private collections of V.D. Nabokov, G.I. Chertkov, and G.G. Gagarin, to name only a few. There are catalogues of the internal agency publications of the Russian institutions from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, whose fonds are kept in the archive; alphabetical and systematic catalogues of books in the Russian fond; an alphabetical catalogue of publications in European languages; and various other card catalogues.