Preliminary results of the conference “Alexander I. The tragedy of the reformer…”

alex24708720The conference which took place on September 15-16, 2015 at SPbIH of the RAS aimed to determine the role of the reformatory efforts of the power and society of the first quarter of the 19th century for the historic development of Russia. The main feature of this event was its originality as the first scientific forum in post-Soviet Russia especially dedicated to the reign of Alexander I.

This conference for the first time made it possible to gather the leading Russian specialists in order to discuss different issues concerning this period paying special attention to the peculiarities of modernization of the Russian empire in the first quarter of the 19th century and to the study of the reforms. This event has become a continuation of series of scientific forums on the history of the Russian reformative tradition that took place a.o. in Saint Petersburg in 2000, 2003 and 2006.

The Exhibition of the Documents from Scientific and Historical Archive of SPbIH of the RAS

Фото 2The exhibition “Alexander I and Russian society of the first quarter of the 19th century”. Its opening was timed to the all-Russian scientific conference “Alexander I. The tragedy of the reformer: people and the destiny of the reforms, the reforms and the destiny of people”. More than fifty original documents from the archival collection are represented at this exhibition. Autographic letters by Napoleon I, M.I. Kutuzov, M.B. Barklai-de-Tolli, A.A. Arakcheev, M.M. Speranskii, N.N. Novosiltsev, M.N. Muraviov, G.R. Derzhavin and D.V. Davydov are among the exhibits. The visitors may also get acquaintance with the documents on the life of Alexander I and on the reforms and activities of governmental bodies.

The exhibition has been prepared by responsible archivist of the Russian section, research fellow Julia Fomina and research fellow, Cand. of Sc. in History Maria Proskuryakova with the aid from research fellow Cand. of Sc. in History Yekaterina Nosova and restorer Yelena Pakhalova.

The exhibition will be opened until October 9, 2015.

New books

novg-sb-15The publishing house of the Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod state university issued new books:

Novgorod historical articles (Novgorodskii itoricheskii sbornik). Issue 15 (25). Velikii Novgorod, 2015.
This issue includes articles and materials on the history and cultural development of Novgorod and its region in 12th-20th centuries. The problems of social and political relations, religion, administrative division, archaeology, historiography and Old-Russian architecture are discussed in this book. It also includes the publications of different old researches on the history of ancient Russian town.

Issue 15 is devoted to memory of academician Boris Vasilievich Ananich.



pravda-rusM.B. Sverdlov. Pravda Russkaya. The history of the text. Velikii Novgorod, 2015.

It presents a second edition, revised and enlarged of his early book “From Zakon Russkii to Russkaya Pravda” first published in Moscow in 1988. This new edition is dated to the 5th International scientific conference “Novgorodica-2015. From “Pravda Russkaya” to Russian constitutionalism”.

The scholar analyses the texts of Kratkaya Pravda (the Short Edition) and Prostrannaya Pravda (the Extensive edition), compares them with German legal codes what makes it possible to reconstruct the structure and contents of the state law of 10th century Russia and to trace the development of this law code in 11th and 12th centuries.


kovalenko-novgorPublishing house “Lomonosov” in the book series “History. Geography. Ethnography” issued a new book by G.M. Kovalenko “Velikii Novgorod in foreign writings. 15th-beginning of the 20th century.” Moscow, 2016.

Velikii Novgorod being at the intersection of trade routes from ancient times drew attention of Europeans. Until the beginning of 18th century Europeans knew about this town more than about any other Russian towns except maybe Moscow and this information was presented in numerous works. They were usually biased, paid special attention to cultural differences and everything exotic what was regarded as usual for such a barbaric nation as Russians. Nevertheless it is important that foreigners noticed social phenomena, what makes it possible to imagine everyday life of Russian people of the past.

Of blessed memory

l_syarovSaint Petersburg Institute of History has suffered a hard and unexpected loss. On September 14, 2015 we got information that one of the most outstanding scholars of SPbIH Sergey Viktorovich Yarov suddenly died in the age of 56 years. Sergey Viktorovich had been working in the Institute since 1988. Several scientific works recognized by both scholars and ordinary readers had been published by him in this period.

Sergey Viktorovich Yarov spent a lot of time working with post-graduate students and young scholars; he greatly contributed to their professional growth and development.

His devotion and capacity for work are to be remembered in perpetuity. Let the memory of this remarkable scholar, gifted pedagogue and extraordinary person live on forever.

 New book

kn-dekabrThe collection of articles and materials “The Decembrists: Topical course of studies” (“Dekabristy: Aktualnie napravleniya issledovanii”) composed by P.V. Il’in was published by Nestor-Istoria publishing house.

The book includes the articles by contemporary scholars on urgent issues concerning the history of the Decembrists. The papers touching upon the problems of the Decembrists’ of the ideas of European liberalism, of native tradition of palace revolutions, of Alexander I policy influence on the Decembrists are included in this collection.

Special attention is paid to study of secret societies, analysis of their leaders’ political activity, little-known personalities of the Decembrists and to attitude of society towards the Decembrists.

Background materials including complete information on topography and chronology of the Decembrists’ imprisonment in the Peter and Paul fortress based on the archive materials and unique information about the Commandant’s house of the Peter and Paul Fortress. The collection of articles concludes with the section on the Decembrists’ historiography issues.

The book is addressed to the specialists in the history of the 19th century Russia and to everyone interested in the Russian history.

The publication is done with the financial support of the Federal Agency on Press and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation within the framework of the Federal task-oriented program “The culture of Russia (2012-2018)”.

All-Russian Scientific conference

prog-alexSeptember 15-16, 2015 at Saint Petersburg Institute of History of the RAS (SPbIH) will be held the All-Russian conference “Alexander I. The tragedy of the reformer: people and the destiny of the reforms, the reforms and the destiny of people”. The conference is organized by Saint Petersburg Institute of History of the RAS and by International D.S. Likhachev charitable fund.

The opening of the conference will take place on September 15 at 10.30 a.m. in the conference hall of SPbIH (Petrozavodskaya str., 7; Chkalovskaya metro station).

The reading hall of the institute archive will be closed for visitors on September, 16 due to the conference meetings.