Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts

Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts otherwise known in abbreviated form as RGADA is located in Moscow (Российский государственный архив древних актов – РГАДА)

RGADA keeps the documents:

  • for the period from XI to the early XX centuries
  • for High, Central and local government of the Russian state and the Russian Empire, which existed before the administrative reforms of the late eighteenth-early nineteenth centuries ( excluding Admiralty, Foreign  and Military Boards)
  • of Survey institutions in Russia XVIII- early XX centuries
  • of State and public figures
  • of Scientific and Cultural Organizations
  • from the local-patrimonial, ancestral and monastery archives
  • collections of written monuments of history, culture and the life of Russian and other people of the Russian empire,
  • collection of domestic and foreign manuscripts and rare books from XV-XIX centuries.

On the archive’s website there is a very interesting database – Electronic catalog “History of Architecture and Urban Development of Moscow, St. Petersburg and suburbs”.  You can find a history of the house, where your ancestors lived or owned, by doing the search using the surname, street name, the name of the structure or owner’s name.

I have tried the database by typing the surname of the famous noble family Pashkov and received about 10 entries – most of which were the requests to build a specific house/ make the changes to buildings/photographs.  The exact fund references are provided so if you are interested in getting information, you can easily do so.

If your ancestors lived in Moscow and St Petersburg, it is worth testing this database.

The archive’s website also has an annotated register of inventories – 5090 inventories to be exact. You can do the search of each inventory.

But the most interesting and important for family researchers’ news is that the archive is currently performing the scanning of the original documents from fund #350. The project involves the digitization and creation of an electronic inventory of the fund, which stores “Landratskie books and census tales”.

Landratskie booksЛандратские книги” in Russian – a special census conducted in a number of provinces under Peter I in the period 1715-1717.

Census tales are otherwise known as “revizskie skaski” – “ревизские сказки” in Russian

The Fund #350 has original census materials in Russia for the period from 1707 to 1774.  At present the archive closed the issue of documents from this fund due to digitization project being carried out. The access to electronic version of fund №350 will be available when visiting archives in Moscow ( access due to open in 2014 as per the article).  The archive is also planning to set up a special website which will be accessible to everyone around the world. Here we have to give an archive a bit  of time.

As the article claims, the digitization of the fund will help to solve several problems at once: will make sure the safety of the original documents, improve the systematization of genealogical information, facilitate the work of archivists and cut the time searching for information.

Great staff.  I am curious at how many people with Russian ancestry managed to get the vital records evidence up to 18th century?

Nearly forgotten to mention that the archive’s website also has very old maps of various towns and villages of Russia.

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