The first issue of ‘Vedomosti’ published

22 May 1711

On May 11 (22), 1711 St. Petersburg print shop published the first number of ‘Vedomosti’ (Bulletin) newspaper.

Before Peter the Great reign, from 1621 in Russia had been issued Vestovye Pisma or Kuranty – the first Russian handwritten newspaper representing translations and extracts from modern European papers. ‘Kuranty’ had been published irregularly, as the material accumulated, and was intended only for Tsar and his retinue.

In December of 1702 Peter I signed the decree ‘On printing newspapers in order to provide information on foreign and domestic events’. A few days after that, was issued ‘The Journal or day by day description of Noteborg siege’. This ‘Journal’ was the first edition to brief the public on political events. On January 2 (13), 1703 in Moscow was published the first number of the first Russian newspaper titled ‘Vedomosti (bulletin) on military and other affairs deserving to be known and remembered which have taken place in Moscow state or neighboring countries’. Originally the paper did not have a particular title and was called either ‘Moscow Vedomosti’ or ‘Russian Vedomosti’ and sometimes ‘Kuranty’ in the old manner. The paper did not have a constant format, regular circulation or strict periodicity of issue.

In 1711 ‘Vedomosti’ started to be issued in Petersburg. It contained materials on military affairs, issues of technology and industry, production of artillery guns, fleet construction. A significant part of publication covered the victories of the Russian army. Along with military subject matter ‘Vedomosti’ also reflected the problems of civil life: foundation of a new capital – St. Petersburg; construction of cities and fortresses; trade development. Among the sources of information had been official documents, ambassadors’ reports, materials from offices and departments.

‘Vedomosti’ was the official edition. Peter I himself contributed to its preparation. He selected the material for publication, verified the quality of translation, corrected the proofs. In 1719 under the Tsar’s order Boris Volkov was made responsible for ‘Vedomosti’ edition in Petersburg along with one of the best translators of the age Yakov Sinyavich.

A great importance was attached to the design of the paper. Even the first editions generic pages were presented the gravure of Mercury – the patron of trade and information. Mercury was depicted soaring over Neva with Peter and Paul Fortress in the background. ‘Vedomosti’ readers were mostly the representatives of nobility, officialdom, departments’ employees obliged by the Tsar to acquire books and papers.

From 1727 it was the Academy of Science that had been charged with ‘Vedomosti’ printing; from 1728 to 1914 the paper had been published under the title of ‘St. Petersburg Vedomosti’.

The issue of ‘St. Petersburg Vedomosti’ stopped in 1917.

After the Revolution of 1917 the issue of “St. Petersburg Vedomosti” stopped. In 1991 its publication recommenced.

Today “St. Petersburg Vedomosti” is the major daily paper in the North-West region of Russia.


Lit.: Петровские Ведомости. М.; СПб. 1703-1917 гг.; Есин Б. И. История русской журналистики (1703-1917). М., 2000; История «Санкт-Петербургских ведомостей» [Электронный ресурс] // Санкт-Петербургские ведомости. 2014-2019. URL:; История русской журналистики XVIII-XIX вв. / Под ред. проф. А. В. Западова. М., 1973; Кузьмина В. Д. Возникновение периодической печати в России и развитие русской журналистики в XVIII в. М.,1948; Русская периодическая печать: справочник / Под ред. А. Г. Дементьева, А. В. Западова, М. С. Черепахова. М., 1957-1959; Сборник материалов к изучению истории русской журналистики. М.,1952; Томсинский С. М. Первая печатная газета России. Пермь, 1959; Чеботарев А. М. «Санкт-Петербургские ведомости» —основной канал распространения рекламной информации о книгах в 20-е годы XVIII века // Библиотека в контексте истории: материалы 8-й международной научной конференции, Москва, 5-6 октября 2009 г. М., 2009; Шерих Д. Ю. Голос родного города: Очерк истории газеты «Санкт-Петербургские ведомости». СПб., 2001.


Based on the Presidential Library’s materials:

Science, Education, and Culture // Peter I (1672–1725): [digital collection].