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A Guide to Russian History Resources on the Web

Published: August 24, 2014 (Issue # 1825)



  • The Russian National Library offers everything from this lubok of mice burying a cat to the tsar's coronation menu.
    Photo: The Russian National Library

Battles and revolutions, triumphs and defeats, charismatic leaders and a people accustomed to never-ending change. Russia's history is complex and endlessly fascinating.

Luckily you don't need to dig into dusty libraries to dive into Russia's past — there's a wealth of historical material to explore on the web.

From the first blurry photographs to military records, from cultural artifacts to film clips, here are seven resources to get you started. Some of them even let you take their material and use it on your blog.

1. The Russian National Library

It may sound like an obvious choice, but this is actually a rare thing on the Runet: An official website with a high-quality English version. You'll find gems like a lubok of mice burying a cat or the mouthwatering coronation menu of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna. Leaving aside the website's dated design, browsing the 'Treasures' section alone should keep you occupied for a few hours.

2. British Pathé

Over 80,000 videos are freely available on the company's YouTube channel, and coverage of Russia and the Soviet Union accounts for a large segment of that number.

Since British Pathé used to be in the newsreel business, producing films on topical events to be shown in movie theaters, World War II features heavily — but so do scenes from everyday life and quirky off-beat stories.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Tuesday, Oct. 21


The Environment, Health and Safety Committee of AmCham convenes this morning at 9 a.m. in the organization’s office.


Take the opportunity to pick the brains of Dmitry V. Krivenok, the deputy director of the Economic Development Agency of the Leningrad region, and Mikhail D. Sergeev, the head of the Investment Projects Department, during the meeting with them this morning hosted by SPIBA. RSVP for the event by emailing office@spiba.ru before Oct. 17 if you wish to attend.


Improve your English at Interactive English, the British Book Center’s series of lessons on vocabulary and grammar in an informal atmosphere. Starting at 6 p.m., each month draws attention to different topics in English, with the topic for this month’s lessons being “visual arts.”



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