In the first week of July 2016 (from July, 4 till July, 8) Scientific and historical archive of Saint Petersburg Institute of History of the RAS (SPbIH) received a group of students from the Institute of history, political and social sciences of Petrozavodsk State University (PetrSU).
More than a decade ago docent (associate professor) of PetrSU Candidate of Sciences in History Irina Aleksandrovna Chernyakova, who had finished post-graduate course at Leningrad branch of the Institute of History of the USSR, stated a problem for coming years, to train a new generation of professional historians specializing in the history of Karelia of the Modern era, who had to possess all the expertise and skills to study written documents of the past.
In order to fulfill this task I.A. Chernyakova regarded it crucial for students of the Faculty of history of PetrSU to get the skills to read Russian script of 16th-17th centuries (skoropis) and to study documentation of this period. She regarded study of the documents of the archival fund “Olonetskaya voevodskaya izba (1649—1702)” as a gateway which should help students to assess their potential and aspiration in profession.
This year the most successful students, who had finished the course on Russian paleography, arrived in Saint Petersburg to study different types of the original documents composed by people of Olonets region around 350 years ago. For the first time students were able to see originals and to study how to distinguish and discern one kind of statement from another.
Practical training was combined with lectures on history of the Archaeographic Commission, scholarly and collector’s activities of academician N.P. Likhachev, problems and methods of contemporary archaeography, Russian and foreign manuscripts from the funds of Scientific and historical archive of Saint Petersburg Institute of History of the RAS, Latin paleography and West-European sigillography. The lectures were delivered by D. Sc. in History Z.V. Dmitrieva, Cand. Sc. in History T.A. Bazarova, Cand. Sc. in History A.V. Chirkova, Cand. Sc. in History M.E. Proskuryakova, Cand. Sc. in History E.I. Nosova, while practical training has conducted Cand. Sc. in History M.E. Proskuryakova.
Special attention should be paid to high level of commitment of students sustained from year to year when some of them who have undergone this workshop come again to study documents of the 17th century in the frame of personal curriculum. One may suppose that some years later they will reinforce a group of scholars studying the history of Karelia.