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Page history last edited by Paul Keenan 14 years, 2 months ago

Archive: RGANI (Russian Government Archive of Contemporary History, Rossiskiy Gosudarstveniy Arkhiv Noveyshey Istorii)

Location: 103132, Moscow, ul. Il'inka (formerly ul. Kuibysheva), 12, entrance 8

How to get there: Take the metro to either Kitay-gorod or Lyubanka. Head in the direction of Red Square. 

Language: Russian

Getting started: If you are a foreigner and want access to this archive, send a letter at least two months in advance. This letter should outline your project but not be too specific – don’t give them an excuse to deny you access to a document. The letter should be in your best Russian and should be printed on official stationery. A letter from your supervisor may also be helpful. (This does not have to be in Russian, but it may help if you mention the attachment in your own letter.) Your letter should also include the dates you plan to visit. It is worth it to call ahead (206-38-15) to check if they have received your letter and to confirm that a “pass” will be ready for you on the day you plan to start working. 

Opening Hours: Technically 9:30-5:30, but by 4pm they will be ushering you out.

General working conditions: The archive is in an old party building. The reading room is clean and has a very dignified feel to it but is not very well lit. The desk lamps help somewhat. You will also have to get used to the phones ringing. There are on-site microfilm machines for viewing documents that have been transferred to microfiche. 

Consultation: Fifteen files at a time. There is a limit to how long they will let you hold them – consult the archivist on your first day.  

Policy on technology: Essentially no technology is allowed. Although it may be possible to arrange something, I did not see anyone manage to get around the rules (unlike GARF, where the rules seem rather flexible.) 

Photocopy policy: Unless your university happens to be very generous, I wouldn’t count on making photocopies here: they’re $2 a page for foreigners.

Particularities: There is a very nice subsidized cafeteria in the building. It serves Russian staples like kasha, kotleti, etc. and it’s much cheaper than the café for tourists across the street. 

You will need to be escorted into and out of the building. There is a phone that you can call the archive from as soon as you enter the building. The phone number for the archive reading room is 206-38-15.  

How to apply for classified files: As with everything else, your point of contact will be the reading room personnel. Although I did not have to go through the process myself, I got the impression that you would have to petition them in writing and then wait for a response. In June, when I inquired about a certain file, I was told that my letter wouldn’t get reviewed until October. Cultivating good relations with the staff may help some.  

Contact name in case of questions regarding classified files: 

Director: Natal'ia Georgievna Tomilina (tel. 206-50-06)

Deputy Director: Mikhail Iur'evich Prozumenshchikov (tel. 206-32-86)

Deputy Director: Vladimir Viacheslavovich Sakharov (tel. 206-27-47)

Head of Information Division: Irina Viacheslavovna Kazarina (tel. 206-29-53)

Head of the Reading Room: Liudmila Ivanovna Stepanich (tel. 206-38-15) 

This archive was formerly known as: 

  • 1991-1999 - Tsentr khraneniia sovremennoi dokumentatsii (TsKhSD)

    [Center for Preservation of Contemporary Documentation] 

  • 1921-1991 - Tekushchie arkhivy TsK KPSS

    [Current Archive of the CPSU Central Committee] 

Etc: They seem to actually like younger researchers better here. In any case, don’t be too pushy, take an interest in whatever the archivists want to chat about, and maybe bring flowers at some point. Don’t be afraid to join them for tea in the cafeteria. 

Places to Stay: Housing can be reasonably priced if you sublet. I was able to rent a full one bedroom a place for $100 a week at “Sportivnaya” (that’s near the stadium, across from Sparrow Hills, formerly Lenin Hills.) If you can split this with someone else doing research there, even better. To get something like this, however, you will have to draw on your connections – the apartments advertised in the papers and online are generally intended for business people and are consequently far more expensive. 


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