Russian voyages around the world in the first half of 19th century

Russian voyages around the world in the first half of 19th century

The first Russian voyage around the world led by Ivan Krusenstern and Yuri Lisyansky started on August 7 (June 26 Old Style) 1803.

Soon their traditions were followed by Otto von Kotzebue, who was one of the pupils of Ivan Krusenstern and took part in the first voyage as a cabin boy-volunteer. With the assistance of his teacher, Otto von Kotzebue led the second Russian voyage around the world (1815 – 1818) on board Rurik brig. During 1823 - 1826 Otto von Kotzebue was entrusted with the command of another circumnavigation of the globe on board Predpriyatiye sloop. During the voyages he discovered a lot of islands in the Pacific Ocean, as well as a strait to the south-east of the Bering Strait (later it was named after the navigator).

 Another member of the first circumnavigation – Faddey Bellingshausen – led a new voyage in 1819. Together with Mikhail Lazarev on Vostok and Mirny sloops they undertook the Antarctic expedition (1819 – 1821). On July 28 (16), 1819 a new continent – Antarctica - was discovered. Thus the long-lived myth that the continent didn’t exist or couldn’t be reached was dispelled. Dozens of isles were discovered, too. It was one of the hardest and momentous voyages around the world.

The voyage in 1826–1829 was under the command of Mikhail Stanyukovich and Fyodor Litke on board Moller and Senyavin sloops respectively.  Mikhail Stanyukovich was to describe the coast of western America (to the east of the Bering Strait) and the eastern sector of the central part of the Pacific Ocean. Fyodor Litke was charged with exploring the western sector of the central part of the Pacific Ocean and the coast of Asia (from the Bering Strait to Sakhalin). The importance of discoveries of the latter was greater, though formally Fyodor Litke was subordinate to Mikhail Stanyukovich. Apart from the geographical significance, that expedition made considerable contribution to the study of biology, zoology and ethnography.

The collection timed to coincide with 215th anniversary of the first Russian circumnavigation of the world, provides access to research works, archival documents from the Foreign Policy Archive of the Russian Federation and the Russian State Historical Archive, video and visual materials. The collection comprises general geographical studies on voyages around the world, works of members of the first expedition: Ivan Krusenstern, Yuri Lisyansky, Nikolai Rezanov, Fyodor Shemelin, members of other voyages as well: Otto von Kotzebue, Faddey Bellingshausen and Fyodor Litke. The collection spotlights the archival documents: instructions and letters given to the expedition members, materials which focus on publication of research works of participants. A separate section provides an insight into the service and scholarly work of expedition members after the voyages. The collection also contains images of monuments to Ivan Krusenstern and Mikhail Lazarev.