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| link1=[[Russia Genealogy|Russia]]
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== About Archives ==
Archives collect and preserve original documents created by organizations such as churches or governments. Libraries generally collect published books, maps, microfilms, and other sources. This section describes major repositories of Russia’s genealogical and historical records. When you need the address of an archive or library, look in this section.
The problem remains that many of these records are handwritten in the old Russian alphabet. You will need language skill depending on the area you research. Primarily you will need to know Russian. Other major languages of the records are Polish, German and Latin. You will need to determine the proper spelling of place names and determine the correct place if there are locations with the same name. Needless to say, these records are very difficult to read and translate. Unless you are skilled in reading old Russian, this is a good reason to use a local research service such as [ BLITZ].
== Archives ==
Russian State Historical Archive, St. Petersburg
Central Archive of Ancient Acts, Moscow
== Types of Records ==
Some of the types of records that can be accessed in the archives of the former Soviet Union are listed below:
Call number is => '''947 J57d'''
'''''Archives of Russia:<nowiki>''</nowiki>''''' '''''A'''rcheo'''B'''iblio'''B'''ase: Archives in Russia ('''ABB''')''
[ ''A Directory and Bibliographic Guide to Holdings in Moscow and St Petersburg'']
All of the archives listed &nbsp;are described in more detail with a full bibliography of their published guides and finding aids in the ABB printed directory, Archives of Russia: A Directory and Bibliography Guide to Holdings in Moscow and St Petersburg. (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2000). The English edition is considerably expanded from the Russian-language edition, Arkhivy Rossii (Moscow, 1997).
== Archival Terminology ==
During the period of Soviet rule, archives centralized and preserved a vast holding of church and vital records dating from 1721-1917. Access had now been granted to this material though the degree of availability varies from archive to archive.
''akt'' official document, act<br>''aktovaia kniga'' register<br>''delo'' basic classification unit<br>''edinitsa khraneniia'' storage unit, smallest unit of a fond<br>''fond'' basic organizational grouping in an archive<br>''gramota'' a deed, charter, official document<br>''list'' folio, leaf, sheet<br>''opis’'' subunit of a fond, series; or finding aid<br>''putevoditel’'' finding aid to an archive<br>''rukopis’'' manuscript<br>''sbornik'' collection (misc.)<br>''sobranie'' collection (artificial)
== Genealogy/Family History ==
Regretfully, IISH ([ International Institute of Social History], Amsterdam) is not able to handle family history and/or related genealogical inquiries. Furthermore, it should be noted, that neither the Federal Archival Agency nor many Russian archives are staffed or equipped to answer extensive genealogical inquires of a "family history" nature, although some archives have been improving services in this regard. Unless the exact archive involved has already been identified, family-history inquiries should normally be addressed directly to more specialized genealogical services, many of which are listed and described in the Resource Guide on the website of the Federation of East European Family History Societies ([] ). Genealogical inquiries and family history in Russia can be performed reliably through Russian Society of Historians and Archivists&nbsp; (ROIA) (e-mail: []&nbsp;; fax: [7-095] 245-09-45) in Moscow.&nbsp; Information and appropriate questionnaires are available at the "Arkhivy Rossii" website.
=='''Writing to an Archive'''==
Do not assume that archive employees will be able to speak and/or read English. As a general rule of thumb, you should write your request in the language of the archivist - for example, if you are writing to an archive in Russia, you should write your request in Russian. If you are writing to an archive in Ukraine, you should write your request in Ukrainian or Russian (or both!). You can include a copy of your letter in English below the Russian translation. If the archive writes back in English, you may correspond in English.
You do not have to speak Russian in order to write to a Russian archive. In general, online translators such as [ Google Translate] can be useful as long as you use short, simple, and concise sentences. Complex ideas or flowery words can be difficult to translate. You may want to follow the general outline below and fill in the blanks with information specific to your situation. Some of the blanks require you to put words in genitive or prepositional case. To learn more about this, please see the [[Russia "How to" Guides|Reading Russian Documents: Deciphering the Handwriting and Understanding the Grammar]] "How to" guide.
{| class="wikitable"
|+Archive Research Request Template
|'''[1] Директору архива''' [Archive Initials]
'''[2] От''' [Your full name and contact information]
'''[3] Заявление'''
'''[4] Добрый день!'''
'''[5] Прошу Вас мне помочь в генеалогическом поиске.'''
'''[6] Мой''' [relationship* - grandmother, great-grandfather, etc.],
'''[7]''' [full name of ancestor in both Russian and German], [religion (in genitive case)**] '''вероисповедания,'''
'''[8a] ''родился''''' (if your ancestor was female, use '''''родилась''''' instead)
'''[8b] ''женился''''' (if your ancestor was female, use '''''вышла замуж''''' instead) [name of spouse (in genitive case)]
'''[8c] ''умер''''' (if your ancestor was female, use '''''умерла''''' instead)
'''[9] в''' [name of colony/parish in both Russian and German (in prepositional case)],
'''[10] в''' [date of birth, marriage, or death],
'''[11] Прошу, используя имеющиеся в Вашем архиве метрические книги''' '''в'''
[fond and opis number if available, and/or any other additional information],
'''сообщить мне сведения'''
'''[12a] о ''его''''' (if your ancestor was female, use '''''её''''' instead) '''родителях.'''
'''[12b] o ''его''''' (if your ancestor was female, use '''''её''''' instead) '''браке.'''
'''[12c] o ''его''''' (if your ancestor was female, use '''''её''''' instead)
'''[13] Пожалуйста, пришлите мне копии имеющихся документов.'''
'''[14] Оплату гарантирую.'''
'''[15] С уважением,'''
[Your full name]
|'''[1] To the Director of the Archive''' [Archive Initials]
'''[2] From''' [Your full name and contact information]
'''[3]''' '''Statement'''
'''[4] Good day!'''
'''[5] I request your help in my genealogical search.'''
'''[6] My''' [relationship - grandmother, great-grandfather, etc.],
'''[7]''' [full name of ancestor in both Russian and German], [religion (in genitive case)] '''religion,'''
'''[8a] was born'''
'''[8b] was married to''' [name of spouse (in genitive case)]
'''[8c] died'''
'''[9] in''' [name of colony/parish in both Russian and German (in prepositional case)],
'''[10] on''' [date of birth, marriage, or death],
'''[11] Please use the metrical books available in your archive in'''
[fond and opis number if available, and/or any other additional information], '''to locate proof of'''
'''[12a] his/her parents.'''
'''[12b] his/her marriage.'''
'''[12c] his/her death.'''
'''[13] Please send me a copy of any available documents.'''
'''[14] I guarantee payment.'''
'''[15] Respectfully yours,'''
[Your full name]
|}<nowiki>*</nowiki>Common relationship words include:
{| class="wikitable"
|+Relationship Vocabulary
|great (repeat as many
times as necessary)
|}<nowiki>**</nowiki> If your ancestor was Evangelical Lutheran, use '''eвангелического-лютеранского''' for the religion in genitive case. If your ancestor was Roman Catholic, use '''pимского-католического''' instead. If you are looking for Jewish records, use '''еврейского'''. For Mennonite records, use '''меннонитов'''.
For additional help writing a research request, you may want to consider reading [ the article "Как сделать правильный запрос в архив о предках"].
===Archive Research Request Example===
'''Директору архива ГАВО'''
'''От Джейн До (Jane Doe),'''
Добрый день!
Прошу Вас мне помочь в генеалогическом поиске. Мой предок, Иоганн Шмидт/Johann Schmidt, eвангелического-лютеранского вероисповедания, родился в Гречинной Луке/Валтере/Walter, в 1 января 1860 г. Прошу, используя имеющиеся в Вашем архиве метрические книги в ф. 176, о. 1, ед. хр. 4, чтобы, сообщить мне сведения о его родителях. Пожалуйста, пришлите мне копии имеющихся документов. Оплату гарантирую.
С уважением,
Джейн До (Jane Doe)
=='''Visiting an Archive'''==
In some cases, it may be necessary to visit an archive personally to obtain the desired record. Visiting an archive is not something that you can plan at the drop of a hat - it takes planning and preparation. '''Before''' you purchase airfare and plan your trip, be sure to contact the archive to see if they will be open during the time you plan to visit.
Getting the most out of your archival research trip takes careful planning and preparation. Below you will find some tips to help you as you prepare to visit an archive.
*'''Contact the Archive:''' Inform the archive of the dates you plan to visit the archive and what materials you would be interested in viewing. You may need to set up an appointment with the archive or the Читальный зал, or the reading room. Archivists will generally bring documents and archival manuscripts to the reading room for visitors to use. Be sure to know what the reading room hours are so that you can maximize your research time.
*'''Apply to Visit the Archive:''' In some cases, you must submit an application to obtain a reading card and access to the archive. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few months, so be sure to ask the archive about the process well in advance. Applicants are typically asked to provide contact information, forms of identification, reasons for visiting the archive etc.
*'''Plan Ahead:''' Planning ahead will help you get the most out of your experience. Examine putevoditeli and opisi ''before'' your visit so you know the fond and delo number. Knowing these "call numbers" will allow the archivist to quickly retrieve your desired records and you won't have to waste your or the archivist's precious time looking for its location within the archive.
*'''Schedule Time for the Unexpected:''' Give yourself some buffer time in case of travel complications, unexpected archival closures, or for new discoveries that lead you in a different direction than you had originally anticipated.
*'''Review Guidelines:''' Be sure you understand the archive's policies regarding their materials. Inquire if there any limits to the number of documents you can view each day, or if materials can only be requested as specific times. Also ask what kind of fees are necessary for photocopies, scans, or photography. You may also wish to ask if there are charging stations or internet access available. Knowing the policies in advance also helps you know what to pack for your visit. Commonly restricted items include pens, food/drink, coats and large bags. In some archives, electronic devices may not be permitted, so be sure to remember to pack pencils and a notebook.
*'''Create a Template to Organize your Notes:''' Keeping a research log is an important step in research and helps you stay organized. Prepare a template ahead of time to help you keep track of what you have looked at (fond, delo, information found on record etc.). Be sure to save a spot to cite your sources.
*'''Travel:''' Before booking your airfare or travel arrangements, be sure you are aware of any visa requirements. Be sure your passport is up to date.
*'''Transportation:''' plan out in advance how you will get to the archive. You can use services like [ Google Maps] or [ 2ГИС] (for Russia) to help you navigate public transportation. If you plan on driving to the archive, be sure to find out if there is parking available at or near the archive.
===Other Helpful Links===
=== Other Helpful Links ===
*[ Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family Uncovering the secrets of finding family and records in the former USSR]
[[ru:Россия Архивы и библиотеки]]
[[Category:Russia]][[Category:Russia Archives and Libraries]]
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