Memorial halls of the outstanding scientist and collector N.P. Likhachev opened in the State Hermitage museum

Залы памяти выдающегося ученого и коллекционера Н.П.Лихачева открылись в Государственном Эрмитаже

On December 10, 2022, the State Hermitage Museum opened a new permanent exhibition “Ancient writings of the Near and Middle East” in the gallery, which was named “Memorial Halls of the outstanding collector Nikolai Petrovich Likhachev”.

Likhachev’s collections were kept in his house on Petrozavodskaya Street, where St. Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences is now located. The scientist’s dream was to create a museum of writing. For some time such a museum existed, and Nikolai Petrovich himself was appointed its director. However, the end of the life of the “collector of a fabulous scale” is tragic – in 1930, N.P. Likhachev was repressed for the Academic case, the museum was closed, and the collections were distributed among several scientific institutions in Leningrad. A significant part of the collection ended up in the State Hermitage.

After the first acquaintance with the new exposition, the Director of St. Petersburg Institute of SHistory of the RAS Alexey Vladimirovich Sirenov noted:

It is significant that now they are paying special attention to N.P. Likhachev – a large exhibition dedicated to the Likhachev family, there is academic award for source study and auxiliary historical disciplines – in 2022 was the first award, now a wonderful permanent exhibition has opened in the Hermitage in the halls of the memory of Nikolai Petrovich, and we are opening Paleographic room of academician N.P. Likhachev, where Western European and Russian materials from his collection will be presented . Thus, both Nikolai Petrovich himself and his collection “sound”, we remember this, and this, of course, is our debt of memory to the great scientist, undeservedly overlooked by posterity.

For the preparation of the exposition, the archive of St. Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences provided a digital copy of the graphic portrait of N.P. Likhachev created in 1922 by the famous artist of Russian emigration V.D. Falileev.

The Hermitage owes many monuments of the Ancient East, as well as other parts of its collection, to N.P. Likhachev. In the four halls of the gallery (Nos. 85-88), next to the expositions of the Ancient East, there are written monuments of Egypt, Mesopotamia and other countries of the Near East, covering the period from the 4th millennium BC to the 4th millennium BC. until the end of the 1st millennium AD. Exhibits in this case are considered not as a source of historical information, but from the point of view of language, graphic forms of writing and pre-literate forms of information transfer, genres and appearance of documents. Getting to know the exposition requires work and concentration, but it provides an opportunity for an inquisitive visitor to learn a lot and get a taste of history.

Director of the State Hermitage Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky emphasized that

The Hermitage keeps the memory of Nikolay Likhachev all the time. There was a famous exhibition “Only letters sound”. We know him and remember him, therefore, when we began to prepare a new permanent exhibition, it became obvious that these halls should be dedicated to the memory of Nikolai Petrovich, and this will somewhat change the appearance of the exhibition. This exhibition is dedicated to a person, and not in general to a school-didactic topic about what writing systems are. But on the other hand, this is a story about the greatest invention of mankind. Now it is an exhibition connected with a special meaning. He collected various samples of writing, wanted to create a museum of writing, and now the topic of writing is very relevant in the world, when the world has forgotten how to read and write slowly.

Field Office of Prince Menshikov

Походная канцелярия князя Меншикова

The collection of business and personal documents of A.D. Menshikov, which made up his field office, has a very difficult history – they were either divided into parts, then they were again combined into one complex, they were prepared for printing and put aside, then they were considered lost. Cand.Sc. in History T.A. Bazarova in the program “Archival history” on the radio “Grad Petrov”:

… at the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th century, a lot of work began on the description of the Menshikov papers. At the same time, the principles of this publication were developed … Indeed, a real scientific publication was being prepared, where there would be notes and comments, and previous publications were indicated, but, unfortunately, it so happened that in 1904, when even proofreading of this edition, work stopped.

Now my colleagues and I, under the leadership of Evgeny Viktorovich Anisimov, are working on the publication of materials from this fund. It must be said that the fund contains more than 8,000 items of storage, and such a huge amount of material for a long time, as it were, prevented starting such a purposeful publication. But we decided to start anyway … As they say, the eyes are afraid, but the hands are doing. And we are now engaged in the introduction of these sources into scientific circulation. Our publication, the first volume, I hope not the last, will include materials from 1703 to 1705.


Aired October 31, 2022.

Publication of documents

The publishing house “Aurora” issued a collection of documents “Leningrad on the eve of the Great Patriotic War. 1938–1941”. Ed. by A.I. Rupasov. St. Petersburg, 2022.

The proposed edition of archival documents covers the history of Leningrad during the period immediately preceding the Great Patriotic War (October 1938 – June 1941). This practically unexplored period is very important not only because the documents show the detrimental effect of even the “imperceptible” Soviet-Finnish war on the infrastructure and population of a large city located close to the front line. Many of the problems of 1938-1941, reflected in the published documents, make it possible to better understand the besieged existence of Leningrad, assess the readiness of city services for the most difficult trials, and the ability of the leadership to respond to the challenges of history. The publication may be of interest both for specialists and for everyone who is interested in the problems of the history of Russia in the 20th century.

The diploma of Emperor Otto I the Great – the virtual exhibition

Диплом Оттона I Великого в собрании архива СПбИИ РАН - виртуальная выставка

Otto I the Great was born on November 23, 912. The Holy Roman Empire founded by him lasted almost a millennium. The diploma of Emperor Otto, presented at the virtual exhibition, clearly demonstrates that such stability cannot be achieved through weapons alone, but relies primarily on the support of the citizens of the state, with whom a wise ruler must be able to negotiate and respect their interests.

In 936, the young Otto inherited from his father the Duchy of Saxony and the German Kingdom. By 941, by skillful diplomacy and force of arms, Otto had consolidated and expanded his influence throughout Germany. The Wends (Slavs) and Magyars (Hungarians), whom Otto actively converted to Christianity, remained a constant threat. In the church itself, he began a gradual reformation aimed at subordinating the clergy to the secular government. In 946, Otto helped the Carolingian dynasty to stay in power in France, and in 951 he made his first campaign in Italy. In Pavia, Otto was crowned with the iron crown of the Lombards and proclaimed king of Italy, as once Charlemagne. Unrest in Germany forced Otto to return home. But then in 961, he began the Second Italian campaign, aimed at strengthening his power over central Italy, and just a year later in Rome Pope John XII met Otto and crowned him as emperor. The kingdoms of Germany and Italy under Otto I were united to form the Holy Roman Empire. Otto spent his remaining years establishing order in his new state and trying to improve relations with Byzantium, which challenged his rights as emperor and his expansion into the south of the Italian peninsula. Otto the Great died on May 7, 973.
The diploma of Otto I, stored in the archives of St. Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Archive of St. Petersburg Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences, WES, collection 24, box 459, item 13) is dated April 18, 969. The history of its acquisition is extremely vague. Prior to its discovery in Leningrad, the original diploma was considered lost. It is known that for some time the document was kept in Parma, since in 1792 it was published according to the original, which was in the local episcopal archive. However, by the time of its reprint in the Monumenta Germaniae Historica in 1879–1884, the diploma had mysteriously disappeared. Thus, it can be assumed that in the collection of N.P. Likhachev, the document came, probably, at the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th century.
The document is a horizontal sheet of parchment 41.4 cm high and 56.4 cm wide. The text itself is almost intact, but the appearance of the letter leaves much to be desired. The parchment is stained in several places, and tears are visible on the fold lines. In place of the seal, only a diamond-shaped hole and a round imprint remained.
In his charter, the emperor Otto, who was in Calabria, confirms the rights of his loyal subject Ingon and his heirs to land holdings throughout Italy, including those in Lomellina, Piombino, Milan, Pavia, Piacenza and Parma. Although the confirmation of rights by the monarch is one of the most common types of public act, this charter is distinguished by the fact that a special formula is included in the section on the non-interference of the judiciary and other authorities in matters of land rights, informing the jurisdiction of Ingon only to the emperor. In the documents of the 9th-11th centuries, the right of jurisdiction to the emperor is quite rare.
It is difficult to overestimate the value of documents like this. The Holy Roman Empire lasted for almost a millennium, from 962 to 1806, and at its height, under the reign of Charles V of Habsburg, covered most of Europe and the colonies in America. The diploma of Emperor Otto clearly demonstrates that such stability cannot be achieved through weapons alone, but relies primarily on the support of the citizens of the state, with whom a wise ruler must be able to negotiate and respect their interests.

In preparing the exhibition, an article was used: Anninsky S.A. Diploma of Otto I (969) in the collection of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR // Auxiliary historical disciplines. Coll. of articles. M.; L., 1937. Pp. 141-160.

The exhibition was prepared by N.B. Sredinskaya and I.D. Travin

Collection of articles

The publishing house “Nauka” issued a collection of articles timed to the seventy-fifth birthday of Evgeny Viktorovich Anisimov “Man and Power in Russia in the 17th-18th centuries”. Ed. by P.V. Sedov and A.A. Selin. St. Petersburg, 2022.
The articles included in this book examine the history of Russia in the 17th-18th centuries. The collection consists of articles by friends, colleagues and students of E.V. Anisimov. This volume explores the problems of the relationship between power and society, the state and the individual, the history of the royal court, the Church and the social history of the Russian state.

The 9th Belyaev Readings

The 9th Belyaev Readings, organized by the All-Russian Pushkin Museum and St. Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, will be held on November 10, 2022. This year, the theme of the Belyaev Readings is “Idol on a Bronze Horse” in a historical retrospective”. The conference examines the image of Peter the Great in creative work of A.S. Pushkin, combining the research efforts of Pushkinists and historians from Moscow, St. Petersburg and other regions of Russia.
The agenda of the Readings (in Russian).

All-Russian Scientific and Practical Conference “The Likhachevs. Life as a Service to the Fatherland”

«Лихачевы. Жизнь как служение Отечеству» - научная конференция

On November 9–10, 2022, the State Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan will host the All-Russian Scientific and Practical Conference “The Likhachevs. Life as a Service to the Fatherland”, timed to the 196th anniversary of the birth of Vice Admiral of the Russian Navy and public figure Ivan Fedorovich Likhachev (1826–1907), the 190th anniversary of the collector and researcher Andrei Fedorovich Likhachev (1832–1890) and the 160th anniversary of the collector, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Nikolai Petrovich Likhachev (1862–1936).

The organizers of the conference are the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Tatarstan, the State Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan, St. Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Central Naval Museum named after Emperor Peter the Great, the State Hermitage Museum, the State Russian Museum, the National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan.

At the scientific forum, it is planned to discuss subjects that reveal the significance of the Likhachev family in the history of Russia, their activities, scientific research, and ministry. Among the sections of the conference are researchers from the St. Petersburg Institute of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Conference program.