Санкт-Петербургский филиал Архива РАН

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Санкт-Петербургский филиал Архива РАН

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Archives of the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian Academy of Science

Other form(s) of name


Contact area



Street address

Университетская наб, 1
University Embankment, 1


Sankt Petersburg


Country name


Postal code



+7 812 323-08-21


(812) 328-05-12


Description area


Established in 1728, the first scientific archive in Russia served as a repository for documentation of the Conference (General Assembly) of the Imperial St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences and its Chancellery. In 1922 the archive was expanded to house all Academy records and named the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences. After the archival reform within the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1931, which immediately followed the so-called "Academy Affair" (akademicheskoe delo) (1929-1931), the archive accessioned many personal papers of Academy members, as well as of other scientists and scholars associated with the Academy. These were previously held in the Manuscript Division of the Library of the Academy of Sciences (BAN) and other Academy institutions, most of which no longer had the right to preserve documents on a permanent basis.
After the Academy moved its headquarters to Moscow in 1936, a Moscow branch of the archive was established. The Moscow branch became the central Archive of the Academy in 1963, while the Leningrad archive remained a Division. Since 1991 it has been known as the St. Petersburg Branch of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences with the preferred acronym SPbB ARAS. In December 2004 St. Petersburg Laboratory of Scientific-Applied Photography and Cinematography of the Russian Academy of Sciences (LAFOKI)
was abolished, and its fonds (mostly administrative and personnel records and photograph archive) were transferred to the St. Petersburg Branch of the Archive RAN. During the Soviet period, institutes under the Academy of Sciences in Leningrad were required on a regular basis to transfer their records designated for permanent retention to the Leningrad Branch of the Archive of the Academy of Sciences. However, with the lack of RAN archival storage facilities in Leningrad, no records after 1973 were transferred, and in some institutes earlier records, even those already formally designated for transfer, physically remain in the producing institution.

Первый научный архив России основан 17 января 1728 г. (н. ст.) по указу царя Петра II Алексеевича как хранилище документов Конференции (Общего собрания) и Канцелярии Конференции АН. В 1922 г. стал общеакадемическим и получил название Архив РАН, в 1925 г. постановлением СНК СССР признан научным учреждением. После реформы архивного дела в АН СССР, последовавшей сразу за «академическим делом» (1929-1931), в архив поступило значительное число документальных материалов членов АН и других ученых из Рукописного отдела БАН и ряда научно-исследовательских учреждений, большинство которых было лишено права постоянного хранения документов. В связи с переездом центрального аппарата АН СССР в Москву в 1936 г. было создано Московское отделение Архива. В 1963 г. дирекция Архива АН СССР была также переведена в Москву и ленинградская часть архива была преобразована в отделение. В 1991 г. отделение получило статус филиала, в который с 1987 г. вошла общеакадемическая Лаборатория консервации и реставрации документов.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies



Total: 778 fonds and archival collections (razriady) - 486 813 units, 18th c.-2012 (some documents 16th-17th cc.) institutional fonds-199 (152 673 units); personal fonds-563 (240 225 units); sound recordings-73 units (1958-1973); archival collections 16 (93,915 units) (1554-2012)

The archive retains documentation (dating until 1932) of the Academy central administration, namely the Conference of the Academy of
Sciences (1724-1932), its Chancellery and Commissions (1725-1803), the Chancellery and its Administration (1804-1928), chancelleries of the
Academy President and Vice-President (1818-1886), Secretariat (1927-1939), the Secretariat and Chancellery of the Presidium (1939-1959), the
Administrative Committee of the Administrative Division (1803-1948), and the Secret Division (Sekretnaia chast') (1922-1938). Among other records
are original minutes of meetings of the General Assembly and Academy divisions and sections, supplements to the minutes, scientific
correspondence, and various scientific and administrative documentation. The archive also preserves the records of the Russian Academy of
Sciences (1783-1841), which later became a part of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences as the Division of Russian Language and Literature
Documentation materials of the eighteenth through twentieth centuries results from the work of scientific and auxiliary institutions of the Academy
of Sciences, including fonds from the Library, Archive, Publishing House, Printing Press, Book Kiosk, the Botanical Gardens, the Main Astronomical
Observatory in Pulkovo, and others. There is a wide range of documentation from different departments and offices (drawing, engraving, and instrumentation, among others) dating back to the eighteenth century. There are also records of the Academy research expeditions (18th-20th cc.) in Russia and other parts of the world. The archive also preserves fonds of museums, beginning with the Kunstkammer and its various specialized successor scientific repositories established in the early nineteenth century-the Museums of Anthropology and Ethnography, Geology, Zoology, and Mineralogy, among others.
The evolution of science and scholarship from the end of the nineteenth through the first third of the twentieth century is recorded in fonds of
various committees, commissions, and associations-the Archeographic Commission, the Byzantine Studies Commission, the Commission for Study of
the Natural Productive Forces (Komissiia po izucheniiu estestvennykh proizvoditel'nykh sil) (1915-1930), and the Commission for Study of Tribal
Structure of the Population of the USSR (Komissiia po izucheniiu plemennogo sostava naseleniia SSSR) (1917-1930), among others. In addition, the archive retains fonds of the St. Petersburg/Leningrad-based scientific research laboratories and institutes, which grew out of these committees, commissions, and associations-the Institutes of Astronomy, Physico-Technical (see E-33), Geomorphology, Chemistry, Demography, and Petrography, among others, as well as the Institutes of Russian Literature (Pushkinskii Dom) (see E-28) and Oriental Studies (Asiatic Museum) (see
E-30), and other institutes in the humanities and social sciences.

Документы XVIII – XX вв., отложившиеся в результате работы научных и научно-вспомогательных учреждений АН, представлены фондами Библиотеки, Архива, Издательства, Типографии, Книжной лавки, Ботанического сада, Главной астрономической обсерватории в Пулково, департаментов и палат (рисовальной, гравировальной, инструментальной и пр.), существовавших в XVIII в. в составе Петербургской АН, а также материалами академических экспедиций XVIII – XX вв. не только по территории России, но и по многим регионам мира. Имеются фонды музеев, начиная с Кунсткамеры, и созданных на ее основе в начале XIX в. специализированных научных хранилищ – музеев антропологии и этнографии, геологического, зоологического, минералогического и др.

Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

Files can be ordered in advance in MWTh 10:00-17:00, usually not more than five files at one time. Orders are normally delivered within 3 days.
Limited space is available in the archival reading room.

Access conditions and requirements


Almost all of the holdings have been declassified. Access should be requested by official letter to the director from the researcher's sponsoring
institution or a personal letter with indication of the subject and aim of research. Starting in March 1998, the archive was forced to close as a result
of budgetary deficiency from RAN. Nevertheless, efforts are being made to accomodate a limited number of researchers on an emergency basis
(especially those from abroad) by special arrangement with the director.

Services area

Research services

Central Catalog of Fonds

Opisi of processed fonds are available in the reading room. There are card catalogues covering documents on the history of Academy institutions, expeditions, Academy prizes and awards, and individuals. There are also thematic-subject card catalogues and typewritten indexes to the various collections (razriady).

Reproduction services

Xerox copies can be made.

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion



Maintenance notes

Andrei Zamoiski, FUB

Access points

Access Points

Primary contact

Университетская наб, 1 University Embankment, 1
Sankt Petersburg
RU 199034