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Russian Archive Guides for Biographical Research

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Lichnye arkhivnye fondy v gosudarstvennykh khranilishchakh SSSR. Ukazatel’.

Kolosova, E. V.; Gerasimova, IU. I. Moskva: Biblioteka imeni Lenina, 1962-63,1980.
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 025.171 R969l v.1-2; Oak Street Facility v. 1-3

This set can help you figure out in which Soviet archive the personal papers of an individual may be held. The list of archives included appears at the end of volume 2 and spans more than 10 pages. The entries are arranged alphabetically by surname of the individual in volumes 1 and 2. There are indexes for names, places, organizations, and general subject. Entries include the full name and birth and death dates for the figure, a brief description of their career or significance and the archival fond citation. The third volume has a similar arrangement with similar indexes, but it includes archives and museums that did not contribute information to the first 2 volumes, collections that were obtained after the publication of the first 2 volumes in 1962, and corrections to the original set. See the entry below on the writer, Mikhail Zagoskin.

entry on the writer, Mikhail Zagoskin


Dokumenty po istorii i kul’ture evreev v arkhivakh Moskvy. Putevoditel’.

Kupovetskii, M. S.; Starostin, E. V.; Web, Marek. Moskva: RGGU, 1997. 502 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) and Main Stacks 909.04924047 D685

The first in a series of guides about Jewish historical records in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, this guide covers resources held in Moscow that span the Middle Ages up to 1991 including collections on Jewish communities, associations, political parties, movements and personal papers. Also described here are government papers that relate to Jewish matters. What is useful about this guide for biographical research are the descriptions of the personal collections and the name index that leads you to collections of a more general nature. The descriptions of the personal collections provide basic biographical information as well as historical significance about the individual before they elucidate the holdings of the collection itself. See the brief collection description for S.Z. Galkin shown below. In addition to the name index, there is an index for organizations and periodical publications and a detailed table of contents. Read the introduction to learn more about difficulties in finding archival materials in Russia relating to Jewish matters.

collection description for S.Z. Galkin

See also Russkie geografy i puteshestvenniki. Fondy arkhiva Geograficheskogo Obshchestva which serves as another good example of how archive guides provide biographical information.