Archaeographic Commission

Archaeographic Commission

The St. Petersburg Archaeographic Commission was established by an imperial decree in 1834. By this time, owing to the archaeographic expeditions of P. M. Stroev and Y. I. Berednikov, a lot of sources on the history of medieval Russia were already discovered and brought to St. Petersburg — first of all the acts kept in the monastic archives. The Archaeographic Commission was tasked with preparing scientific publications of the sources found. The long-term rewarding activity of the St. Petersburg Archaeographic Commission on studying and publication of historical sources has begun from this. Serial editions of the Archaeographic Commission later earned sizable reputation: The Enactments of the Archaeographic Expedition, Historical Enactments, the Complete Collection of Russian Chronicles (the series continues to the present day), the Russian Historical Library and others. Periodical edition entitled “Chronicle of events of the Archaeographic Commission” became a reference book in the field of the source studies and the methods of scientific description of sources, which published the research works of both the members of the Commission and Russian and foreign nonmembers scientists. Among the members of the Archaeographic Commission there were many globally renowned scientists: Pavel Mikhailovich Stroyev, Afanasy Fedorovich Bychkov, Alexey Alexandrovich Shakhmatov, Sergey Fyodorovich Platonov, Nikolay Petrovich Likhachyov and others. Their contribution to the development of source studies and archaeography was reviewed, among other sources, in publications of the Archaeographic Commission.

The efficient work of the Commission on publications was not interrupted even by the revolutionary events of 1917 followed by disruption. Only the total reorganization of Soviet science system in the 1930s of XX century led to the annulment of the Archaeological Commission: in 1931 the Commission was transformed into the Historical-Archaeological Institute, which was liquidated in 1936. Already in the postwar period, in 1956, on the initiative of Academic M. N. Tikhomirov, the Archaeographic Commission was restored in Moscow. Yet, this is another institution with currently ongoing activities.

The history of the St. Petersburg Archaeographic Commission has come to the end, but its significant scientific legacy, which has not lost its relevance and scientific value, remains today, since many evidences are published exclusively in the publications of the Archaeographic Commission. This source is unique because of the fact that for the first time, based on bibliographic indexes and stocks of the major libraries of Russia, all the editions of the St. Petersburg Archaeographic Commission, which are, apart from professional historians, also in demand of anyone interested in the history of Russia, have been collected at one place.

The sources for this collection courtesy of the Russian State Library, the State Archives of the Russian Federation, St. Petersburg State University, the State Public Historical Library of Russia, the Moscow Regional State Scientific Library named after N. K. Krupskaya, the Herzen Russian State Pedagogical University, the Tyumen Regional Scientific Library named after D. I. Mendeleyev, the Irkutsk Regional State Universal Scientific Library named after I. I. Molchanov-Sibirsky, the “Link of Times” Cultural-Historical Foundation of the Faberge Museum.

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