Navigating Northeast Asia in Vladivostok: A Review of the Russian State Historical Archive of the Far East

Posted on Oct 31, 2013

Navigating Northeast Asia in Vladivostok: A Review of the Russian State Historical Archive of the Far East (Российский Государственный Исторический Архив Дальнего Востока), Vladivostok, Russia

The Russian State Historical Archive of the Far East (RGIA DV) is a treasure trove for historians of Northeast Asia and the Russian Far East. But preparation, perseverance, and patience are needed. The archive is located in Vladivostok, which was founded in 1859 as the eastern outpost of the tsarist state and became a military and administrative center for the region. The vast majority of the collections, or fondy, hold documents of various governmental institutions in the Priamur and Primorsk territories from the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries; other fondy cover the mid-nineteenth century and early Soviet period. During a period of over nine months in 2005-6, I perused documents that offered international, regional, and local perspectives on Korean migrants in the Russia-Korea borderland at the turn of the twentieth century, the topic of my dissertation. I hope this review will be useful both for historians of Russia and East Asianists who find themselves crossing into Russia but are less familiar with the practicalities of working in archives there.

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Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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