Problems of safety of archival documents in Moscow Provincial Archive of old cases

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Gorshkov D.I., Zhukovsky, Russian Federation

Problems of safety of archival documents in Moscow Provincial Archive of old cases


The documents of the Moscow Central State Archive allowed us to delve into the history of Moscow Provincial Archive of Ancient Documents, the issues of preservation of the documents on Moscow history especially those concerning the Patriotic War in 1812. The work introduces unpublished sources on the history of one of the largest and oldest regional archives for scientific use. The article describes the key moments related to the preservation of the documents: the destruction of the materials due to explosion of the Arsenal in 1812, inappropriate storage conditions in Moscow Provincial Archive of Ancient Documents, and the constant practice of sending undocumented cases to the archive. Unheated damp rooms of the towers of the Kremlin and Kitai Gorod destructed many priceless pieces. By the beginning of the XX century about 150,000 documents out of 1,800,000 stored had been lost or destructed by dampness. We have paid particular attention to the period of governance of Governor-General Prince Dmitriy Golitsyn and Governor Vladimir Dzhunkovsky who attempted to improve the conditions of the archival work in the capital and developed a new construction project. The article researches into the activity of the Commission on review and destruction of the ancient documents of the Province Archive. The analysis of the work of Province Archive on preservance of the documents clarifies that the inappropriate storage conditions had led to their mass destruction. The documents in most cases were not listed so it was impossible to recover which materials and documents had been destructed.


Аrchive development, documents, the Moscow provincial archive, the Patriotic War of 1812

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About the authors

Gorshkov Dmitriy Igorevich, senior research associate, Pushkin's state historico-literary memorial estate, Zhukovsky, Russian Federation, 8-903-726-74-09, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

You can read completely article in the russian historic-archival magazine “The Herald of an Archivist”. Read more about terms of subscription here.

Полностью материал публикуется в российском историко-архивоведческом журнале ВЕСТНИК АРХИВИСТА. Ознакомьтесь с условиями подписки здесь.