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Arts & Humanities Research Council
British Academy

Russian & Ukrainian Archives Guide

Photo by Andy Willimott


Welcome to this guide to using archives in Russia and Ukraine, focusing on the major archives and research libraries in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kyiv, and including local archives in Tver and Saratov.

We recommend starting by reading our brief introductory note on what to bear in mind when planning an archive visit:

Then skip ahead to our individual archive pages for in-depth information about the archives you are interested in:

There follows a must-read section on the structure of the archives – essential to get your head around these often complex institutions – and a list of key, archive-specific vocabulary in both Russian and Ukrainian.

We have also included a sample letter, which you may wish to use when you register, and finally, notes on applying for a visa to study in Russia.

Photo by Jonathan Waterlow

Get in touch

We have tried to make the guide accessible and as up-to-date as possible. In this we rely on the contributions of the many researchers like yourself, who visit the archives and may be able to give us the latest information. If you have something to add – or notice a correction needs to be made – please help us pass it on to colleagues by using the comment box at the bottom of the relevant archive page, or get in touch via our online form. If you know about an archive that isn't currently covered, and would be willing to write a contribution to the guide, please get in touch:

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made the guide possible:

We hope you enjoy using the guide and wish you every success in your research.

Best wishes,

Andy Willimott, Samantha Sherry and Jonathan Waterlow