State archive of Trans-Baikal Territory

The GAZK’s (State Archive of Trans-Baikal Territory) funds are listed in a digital format and are searchable by name on its website.  The archive covers the region around Chita, Nerchinsk, Sretensk.

Old Cita
Old Cita

“Yesterday was in Nerchinsk. Not a knockout of a town, but livable.” A.P. Chekhov

  • Surprisingly, the materials dating from the XVIII-XIX centuries have survived better than the most recent ones. It is explained by the paper used.  Paper that was used for records two hundred years ago was made from natural ingredients and it keeps the text very well.  The ink used for the most part is also quite resistant to fading.   At the beginning of the twentieth century the Revolution, WWI, Civil War and economical disruption in the country lead to use of tissue paper, scraps of newspapers and pieces of wallpaper.

    Old Nerchinsk
    Old Nerchinsk
  • The temperature maintained in the archive is no higher than 18 degrees and humidity is 50-55%. The storage completely excludes the possibility of damage to assets as a result of the communal accident.  In the evening, the vault is completely de-energized and sealed.
  • For restoration of records the archive uses materials that are not oxidizing the paper in order not to damage the text. The paper used is from pure cotton and is ordered from St. Petersburg.  The archive buys only cotton thread  and glue is cooked per a special recipe.
  • The archive now has more than 50 funds of personal origin. These are the documents of people who have made great contribution to the development of the region.

The most popular fund for family researchers is fund number 282 “Churches of Trans-Baikal region” for the period from 1722-1934.

In particular metrical books of Orthodox churches (1722-1925), common faith churches (1841, 1864, 1870-1875, 1880-1881), Jewish synagogues (1879-1922), Catholic churches (1843-1923). You will also find in this fund the marriage applications, inventories listings of Trinity Monastery (1868-1924), inventory listing of Chita Jewish Synagogue (1892).

However the fund is in a very poor condition.  The extradition of files from this fund to the reading room is prohibited.  Only archive’s employees have the access to this fund for research and use of documents.  Today this fund stands first in line for scanning.

Fund 31 covers Nerchinks mining plants for the period 1721-1919. In 1800s Nerchinsk acquired the importance from the influx of immigrants, mostly exiles, into eastern Dauria, the discovery of rich mines and the arrival of great numbers of convicts to the Nerchinsk katorga, and ultimately it became the chief town of Transbaikalia.

Fund 98 covers the meschanstvo of Chita for 1872-1910 years.

Fund 326 -the headquarters of the Amur Military District – 1915-1919 and much much more.

Sources and further reading:

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