Russia 1796-1917

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EuroDocs > History of Russia: Primary Documents > 1796-1917


Up to Paul I (8th century-1796)

Related documents.
(8th century - 1831; Russian facsimiles)
Collection of Russian Literature.
(Russian)
Various decrees, letters, accounts, and other documents relating to Austria-Russia union.
(1759-1887; Russian translations and transcriptions)
Battle plans, discussion of troops and weapons, personal letters from generals to empress.
(1784-1800; modern Russian translation)
Documents related to the Russian Church and Native Alaskans]
(1784-1915; Old Russian facsimiles)

Paul I (1796-1801)

Orders and letters of the emporer.
(1796-1801; commentaries, transcription in modern Russian)
Complete collection of Paul I's laws from 1796-1797. Ability to search by law number and navigate pages.
(6 November 1796-31 December 1797; pre-Soviet Russian facsimile)
Forbade peasant labor on Sundays.
(5 April 1797; Russian facsimile and transcription)
Paul I outlines succession rules. This act lasted until the end of the monarchy in 1917.
Modern Russian translation also available here.
(7 April 1797; Old Russian transcription, modern Russian translation)
(June 30, 1797; Russian transcription)
Maps of Napoleonic war, Crimean war, Russo-Turkish war, and Russo-Japanese war.
(1799-1904; commentaries, maps, facsimiles in Russian)
Military actions, marches, and orders regarding Circassian people.
(1800-1914; Russian transcription)
Russian publications provided by the University of Illinois. Divided into categories:
(English, Russian)
Letters, orders of Emperor, manifestos, treaties, and other documents regarding international relations of Russian Empire.
(1800-1809; commentaries, images, transcription in Russian)
(1801; images, modern Russian transcription)
Article incorporates quotes from pertinent documents, testimonies, and memoirs about the murder of Paul I.
(1801; commentaries, modern Russian transcription)

Alexander I (1801-1825)

Paul I's eldest son, Alexander I, takes the throne.
(12 March 1801; Old Russian facsimile, modern Russian transcription)
Legal act establishing Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Public Education. Also reaffirms existing ministries.
(8 (20) September 1802; Old Russian facsimile, modern Russian transcription)
Articles discuss conditions of release of peasants and rights of both peasants and landlords.
(1803; Russian transcription)
Includes photo facsimiles of treaty.
(14 May 1805; Russian facsimiles; English translation)
Economic, political, ethnographical discussion of Kamchatka .
(1806-1807; Russian commentaries and transcription)
(January 26-27, 1807; Russian transcription)
Description of capture of Anapa fortress in Russian-Turkish war of 1806-1812.
(May 11, 1807; image, Russian transcription)
Speranskiy wrote this because of the order of Aleksandr I.
(1808; Russian transcription)
Alexander I declares Finland part of Russia without waiting for the end of the 1808-1809 Russia-Finland War.
(5 (17) June 1808; Old Russian facsimile, modern Russian translation)
Treaty between Sweden and Russia.
(September 17, 1809; French)
Treaty ending war between Britain and Russia.
(August 17, 1812; English)
Documents discuss Russian relations with Napolean before war and at beginning of war.
(1808-1812; Russian transcription)
Letters, orders of Emperor, manifestos, treaties, and other documents regarding international relations of Russian Empire.
(1810-1819; commentaries, images, transcription in Russian)
Order outlining the establishment of the state council in Russian Empire.
(January 1, 1810; facsimile, transcription in Russian)
Treaty ended war of 1806-1812 between Russia and Turkey.
(16 (28) May 1812; Old Russian transcription, modern Russian translation)
Online archive about the Russian war against Napoleon. Divided into sections:
(18th and 19th centuries; Russian)
Structure of Russian Army, list of its members.
(1812; Russian transcription)
Manifestos, orders, and military correspondence.
(1812 - 1813; Russian transcription)
(1812 - 1813; Russian transcription)
Document includes quotes from memoirs of Moscow occupation and exit.
(1812; image, Russian translation)
Manifesto marks the end of Russia's war with Napoleonic France, also known as the War of 1812.
(25 December 1812; Old Russian facsimile, modern Russian transcription)
(1812; images)
(1812; Russian transcription)
(1813; images)
Treaty between Russia and Persia.
Lead to inclusion of modern Azerbaijan, Daghestan, and Eastern Georgia in Russian Empire.
(12 October 1813; Russian transcription)
Suggestions for taking Constantinople from Ottoman Empire.
(1815-1816; Russian transcription)
Detailed information about inspection.
(1819; commentaries, transcription in Russian)
Letters (both personal and political), memoirs, orders of Emperor, and documents of Decembrists and other social societies.
(1820-1829; commentaries, images, transcription in Russian)
Pavel Pestel's criticisms of government and proposals for division of government power.
(beginning of 19th century; commentaries, Russian)
Images of leaders of various sociopolitical movements.
(1820s - 1880s; images)
Political documents, letters and decrees.
(19th century; English translation)
Draft of constitution by Pavel Pestel. Outlined policies for Southern Society of the Decembrists.
(1824; modern Russian translation)

Nicholas I (1825-1855)

(December 3, 1825; Russian facsimile)
Manifesto of Nikolai I as well as his personal letter to political figures describing Decembrist revolt.
(1825; Russian transcription)
Charter was called "cast iron" and forbade criticism of the government, proposals for reforms, and discussion of foreign policy issues.
(10 (22) June 1826; Old Russian transcription, modern Russian translation)
Two depiction of factory where Decembrists were exiled.
(1826; image)
Orders and responsibilities for gendarmerie.
(1826-1827; French and Russian transcription)
Treaty was the result of 1826-1828 war between Russia and Persia. As a result, Persia ceded control of territory in the Caucuses to Russia.
Modern Russian translation also available here.
(10 (22) February 1828; Old Russian transcription, modern Russian translation)
Site contains a document from the Russo-Turkish war: orders and reports of the captain and awards to the officers of brig Mercury.
(May 18, 1829; images, transcription in Russian)
Turkish document describes bravery of Mercury captain and crew in Russo-Turkish war.
(May 27, 1829; Russian transcription)
Treaty determines borders and territories between the two empires.
(2 (14) September 1829; Old Russian transcription, modern Russian translation)
National minority policies of the Emperor.
Letters (both personal and political).
(1830-1839; commentaries, images, transcription in Russian)
(1830-1839; Russian facsimiles)
Book offering an inside view of Tobol'sk, considered the founding city of Siberia.
(1830; Book facsimile)
National anthem of the Russian Empire. Adopted in 1833 until 1917.
(Russian with English translation; 1833)
Album of 32 original watercolors depicting scenes of everyday life and various historical themes in Tobol'sk Province.
(19th century; facsimile paintings)
Digital collection of rare books, maps and manuscripts from the exploration of Siberia and the North Pole region.
From the Asch-collection of Goettingen State and University Library.
Browse the collections.
(Facsimiles)
Documents an 1837 expedition through southeast Europe and the southern Russian Empire.
Information on geography, history, archaeology, and people and cultures of the region.
(1837; French facsimile)
Documents discuss immigration of Orthodox people from Turkish lands to the Russian Empire.
(1837- 1838; commentaries, transcription in Russian)
Observations of Circassian people and culture.
(1837; English facsimile)
  • Journal of a Circassian residence, 1837-1839
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Published 1840. Letters accounting stay in Circassia.
(1837-1839; English facsimiles)
(1840-1849; Russian facsimiles)
National minority policies of the Emperor.
Letters (both personal and political).
(1840-1849; commentaries, images, transcription in Russian)
Letters of the revolutionist-anarchist.
(1849-1861; Russian transcription)
Primary source posters of Russian cultural, social and political history.
Russian interface; also available in German.
(1850-2004; images)
Transcaucasian policies of Emperor.
Manifestos and international treaties.
Letters (both personal and political).
(1850-1859; commentaries, images, transcription in Russian)
(1850s - 1870s; images)
Manifesto written in a time of economic pressure from England and France.
(14 June 1853; Old Russian transcription, modern Russian translation)
Diaries and letters from the English side of the war.
(21 September 1854 - 19 October 1855; English transcriptions)

Alexander II (1855-1881)

Treaty ending the Crimean War.
Agreement between Austria, France, Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, Sardinia, and Turkey about peace, borders, war prisoners, and trade between countries.
Includes agreements about Black Sea and Danube use as well as territorial changes.
Modern Russian translation also available here.
(30 March 1856; Old Russian transcription; modern Russian translation)
Petition of Tolstoy to Emperor for protection of old Russian monuments.
(August - September 1860; images, commentaries, translation in Russian)
Documents of social and political changes in Empire, cases of gendarmerie against regime, and letters (both personal and political).
(1860-1869; commentaries, images, transcription in Russian)
(1860-1869; Russian facsimiles)
In this manifesto, Alexander II frees the serfs of Russia.
Modern Russian translation also available here.
English translation available here.
(19 February 1861; Old Russian facsimile, modern Russian translation)
(1 January 1864; Old Russian transcription)
(20 November (2 December) 1864; Old Russian transcription)
Did away with 1857 censorship laws.
(6 April 1865; Old Russian transcription, modern Russian translation)
Conditions of the sale, territories, and life of Alaskan inhabitants.
(June 20, 1867; Russian)
International treaties and documents regarding judicial system, military situation
(1870-1879; commentaries, images, transcription in Russian)
Programs, manifestos, proclamations, letters, and cases of revolutionary organizations.
(1870-1880; facsimiles, transcription in Russian)
(16 (28) June 1870; Old Russian transcription)
Gorchakov discusses Russia's role in the Black Sea region, Moldavia, and Wallachia.
(19 (31) October 1870; modern Russian translation)
Previously the "noble gentry" was excused from military service.
(1 (13) January 1874; Old Russian facsimile)
Image of Optician’s shop in Saint Petersburg.
(1877; images)
Information about beginning of the war.
(April 12, 1877; image, commentaries, transcription in Russian)
(1877-1878; images, facsimiles, commentaries, transcription in Russian)
Book contains information about Russian-Turkish war and Russian army.
(1877- 1907; transcription in Russian)
Information about political situation in Russian Empire.
(1877-1917; commentaries, transcription in Russian)
Ended Russian-Ottoman war of 1877-8.
Serbia, Romania, and Montenegro receive independence from the Ottoman Empire (previously had autonomous status).
Bulgaria, Bosnia, and Herzegovina gained autonomy.
Turkish troops withdraw from Bulgaria and Russia.
English translation available here.
(19 February (3 March) 1878; modern Russian translation)
(June, 1879; image, transcription in Russian)
Documents of investigation, interrogation, and testimony of anti regime movements.
International treaties.
(1880-1889; commentaries, images, transcription in Russian)
Document says that Narodnaya Volya members will continue to act against the Emperor until they reach their goal.
(February 7, 1880; image, transcription in Russian)
Alexander II created the Guard of Public Order as a reaction to terrorist attacks by Narodnaya Volya.
(12 February 1880; Old Russian transcription, modern Russian translation)
Newspaper article published after the execution.
(November 5, 1880; commentaries, image, transcription in Russian)
Conditions for Russian people in the Iliyskiy District, which goes under Chinese government rule.
(24 February 1881; transcription in Russian)

Alexander III (1881-1894)

Discusses murder of Alexander II in March 1881.
(1 March 1881; image, commentaries, transcription in Russian)
Narodnaya Voyla's requirements and ultimatym for Alexanders III's governance of Russia.
(10 March 1881; image, commentaries, transcription in Russian)
Alexander II was killed on 1 March 1881.
(29 April 1881; Old Russian transcription, modern Russian translation)
Account by Ilya Surguchev, who grew up with Nicholas II, and wrote this account near the end of his life.
(1881-1917; modern Russian transcription)
Agreement between European powers on the partition of West Africa.
(February 26, 1885; English)
Poll tax had been collected since Peter I.
Exception of Siberia, which would be subject to the poll tax until 1899. Also exceptions of Altai district, the Yakutsk region, Kirensk district, Turukhansk region, Narym region, Berezovsky disctrict, and Surgut district.
(14 June 1885; Old Russian transcription, modern Russian translation)
Set procedures for hiring and firing workers. Forbade paying workers with anything other than money and vouchers that employees could use in employer's shop. Forbade charging workers for medical care, use of workshops, and production machinery.
Allowed employers to collect fines from workers for misbehavior.
Set punishment for organizing a strike at up to one year and fourth months in prison, and participation from 4 to 8 months.
Old Russian transcription also available here as a PDF.
(3 June 1886; Old Russian transcription, modern Russian translation)
Russian Minister of Education Count Ivan Davidovich Delianov recommends conditions that exempt institutions of secondary and higher education from admitting the children of "coachmen, footmen, cooks, laundresses, small shopkeepers and similar people" with the exception of particularly brilliant children from parents of these occupations. The intention was to limit the education of population groups driving the revolutionary movement.
Modern Russian translation also available here.
(18 June (1 July) 1887; modern Russian translation)
Account of close friend of Tsarina Alexandra, Nicholas II's wife. Part II includes Dehn's account of the 1917 Revolution, in which she was with the Tsarina.
Lili Dehn includes correspondence written by her and Tsarina Alexandra during the 1917 Revolution.
(1888-29 November 1917; English translation)
(1897; Russian)
Treaties, policies, political party programs, manifestos, letters, and ambassadors' messages.
(1890-1899; commentaries, images, transcription in Russian)
Illustrated guide of the Great Siberian Railway. Includes history of Siberia, information about construction of the railroad, and a list of cities and towns along the route.
(Late 19th - early 20th centuries; Book facsimile)
Documents, testimonies, and maps from the construction.
(1891-1916; Russian facsimiles)
Original pictures from the construction.
(1891-1916; commentaries, facsimiles in Russian)
Tsarist Russia in the photos of Maxim Dmitriev.
Lots of photographs from the Nizhny Novgorod.
(1891-1904; photos, Russian interface)

Nicholas II (1894-1917)

Account by Ilya Surguchev, who grew up with Nicholas II, and wrote this account near the end of his life.
(1881-1917; modern Russian transcription)
Tsarist Russia in the photos of Maxim Dmitriev.
Lots of photographs from the Nizhny Novgorod.
(1891-1904; photos, Russian interface)
(1894; images)
Diary entries (with notes clarifying old language) from 1894-1896, 1904-1907, and 1913-1916.
Also available as a PDF here.
Transcription available here for 1894-1906 (includes Old Russian, French, and German entries).
Also see Nicholas II's Nicholas II's 1918 diary.
(1894-1916; modern Russian translation)
Site includes large selection of primary source documents, including investigation documents regarding the murder of the Romanovs, diaries and letters, and eyewitness accounts of palace life from the last days of Nicholas II's reign.
The site also includes a large selection of photos of the palace from Nicholas II's era.
(1894-1922; photos, English interface and translations)
(1894-1899; Russian transcription)
Manifesto of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Removes local legislation from Grand Duchy of Finland.
(15 February 1899; English translation)
(1899-1905; Russian transcription)
Letters, orders, manifestos, and court cases from the period.
(1900-1910; Russian transcription)
Memoirs and links to genealogical information on White Guard members.
(1900-1991; Russian transcriptions)
The Eastern European Collection brings together, in digital form, primary and secondary materials relating to the study of this region including its history, literature, language, political science and more.
Search the full text or browse the collection.
(19th - 20th centuries; Book and journal facsimiles)
Letters and other various documents from 20th century Russia.
(20th century; Russian transcriptions)
Firsthand account of Henry Labor about his family moving to the Volga region during the time of political turmoil between Nikolai and the Communists. Mr. Labor immigrated to America in 1934.
Mr. Labor includes an account of life under the Soviet regime.
(Early 20th century; English translation)
Responsibilities of employers and rights of workers.
(June 2, 1903; Russian transcription)
Compiled by Alpha History.
(1903-1930; English translations)
Written by Boris Savinkov, memoirs discuss terrorist actions in Europe.
(1902-1909; Russian transcription)
Video of sea battle.
(1904-1905; Russian facsimiles)
Collection of illustrated journals from the early twentieth century.
(1904-1917; Russian facsimiles)
(February 1904 - September 1905; English translations)
(February 1904 - September 1905; Russian transcriptions)
Nicholas II's diary entries from 1905-1918. Includes notes clarifying old Russian language.
Available in Old Russian here.
English translation of selected 1917 entries available here.
(1 January 1905-30 June 1918; modern Russian translation)
First document from the revolution of 1905-1907, petition a result of Bloody Sunday.
(22 January 1905; Old Russian facsimile, modern Russian translation)
Testimony of worker about the demonstration.
(22 January 1905; Russian facsimile)
Czar Nicholas' response to attempted revolution.
(August 19, 1905; English translation)
Treaty signed at the end of the 1904-1905 war between Russian and Japan, which Russia lost.
(23 August (5 September) 1905; Old Russian transcription, modern Russian translation)
Divided power between czar and State Duma, making a Russia a constitutional monarchy. Russia's first constitution.
(17 (30) October 1905; Old Russian newspaper facsimile, modern Russian translation)
Manifesto includes new social changes. English translation available here.
(October 17, 1905; Russian facsimile)
Color photographic surveys of the vast Russian Empire.
Digitized from the Library of Congress
"Frequent subjects among the 2,607 distinct images include people, religious architecture, historic sites, industry and agriculture, public works construction, scenes along water and railway transportation routes, and views of villages and cities."
(1905-1915; searchable database of facsimiles)
An account by a lady-in-waiting and close friend of Tsaritsa Alexandra Fyodorovna.
Account also available here.
Her 1917 interrogation is available here.
(1905-1917; English translation)
(20 February (5 March) 1906; Old Russian facsimile, modern Russian translation)
Declaration made by former members of disbanded First State Duma.
(July 22, 1906; Russian)
English translation, including migration statistics, available here.
(9 November 1906; Old Russian transcription, modern Russian translation)
Agreement between England and Russia about Persia.
(1907; English transcription)
Consolidating Russian control.
Also available in French.
(30 June 1910; English translation)
(1911; Old Russian transcription)
Mnahem Beilis was a Jewish man wrongly accused of murder as a result of antisemitic policies in Russia.
(1911-1913; modern Russian translation)
(1912; images)
Video of battles and Russian Army troop images.
(1914-1916; Russian facsimiles)
Compiled by Alpha History.
(1914-1917; English translations)
Published in 1919.
(1914-1917; English edition)
Documents include facsimiles of letters, military IDs, orders.
Ability to search the archive.
Also includes photos, stories about specific individuals.
(1914-1917; photos, Russian facsimiles)
Include previously unpublished private and military photos from a German officer's collection.
Photos include background information.
(1914-1917; Photos, English interface and captions)
Include previously unpublished private and military photos from a German officer's collection.
Photos include background information.
(1914-1917; Photos, English interface and captions)
Documents events from before Sarajevo until after Versailles.
(pre-1914 - post-1918; translations and transcriptions)
Expansive resource.
Treaties, orders, and other World War I documents.
(1914-1918; images, commentaries, transcription in Russian)
A collection of primary documents from the Internet Modern History Sourcebook.
(1914-1918; transcriptions and translations)
"The Rainbow Book:" German White Book, Austro-Hungarian Red Book, English Blue Book, French Yellow Book, Russian Orange Book, Serbian Blue Book and Belgian Grey Book: The Negotiations Leading to War.
Ed. Max Beer (Bern: Wyss, 1915)
A chronological combination of significant documents from the diplomatic archives of the various belligerent countries.
(29 June - 4 September 1914; facsimile of 2nd edition)
(20 July (August 1) 1914; Old Russian facsimile, modern Russian translation)
First-hand account of Nicholas II during WWI from 1914-1917 from Hanbury's diary entries.
(August 1914 - 22 April 1917; English translation)
(1 August 1914-November 1918; images, Russian facsimiles)
Includes clarifying notes with historical background.
(21 September 1914 - 7 March 1917; English translations)
Excerpts provide insight to Nicholas II's level of political influence and power from 1915 to 1917.
(12 May 1915 - 17 February 1917; English translations)
Photos of the family and their servants.
(1916; photos)
(1916; Russian facsimile)
Testimony of General Denikin regarding Brusilov (Lutsk) Offensive in World War I.
(1916; image, transcription in Russian)
(1916; image, facsimile in Russian)
Notes from the assassination, which Yusupov helped plan. Notes were published in 1926 from Paris about the 1916 assassination.
(30 December 1916, published 1926; Russian transcription)
Account of close friend of Tsarina Alexandra, Nicholas II's wife. Part II includes Dehn's account of the 1917 Revolution, in which she was with the Tsarina.
Lili Dehn includes correspondence written by her and Tsarina Alexandra during the 1917 Revolution.
(1888-29 November 1917; English translation)
(2 January 1917 - 30 June 1918; modern Russian translation)
(February-October 1917; Russian transcription)
Discusses inability to suppress uprising.
(March 1, 1917; Russian facsimile)
Discusses inability to suppress uprising.
(March 1, 1917; Russian facsimile)
Account of the turbulence of the last days in Nicholas II's Romanov Imperial court. Written by Count Paul Benckendorff, minister to Nicholas II.
First-hand account, also includes photographs of subjects mentioned.
(1917; photos, English translation)
Act of abdication as a result of uprising.
(2 March 1917; Old Russian transcription, modern Russian translation)
(3 March 1917; Russian facsimile)
Signed by Russian officials following the abdication of Nicholas II.
Also available in Russian.
(20 March 1917; English translation)
(1917; images)
Compiled by Alpha History.
(March 1917-November 1917; English translations)
(May 1917; images)
Interrogation conducted by the provisional government.
Anna Vyroubova was a lady-in-waiting and close friend of Tsaritsa Alexandra Fyodorovna.
Vyroubova wrote a memoir, "Memories of the Russian Court".
Memoir also available here.
(6 May 1917; English translation)
Interrogation conducted by the provisional government.
Count Frederiks or Freedericksz was the imperial household minister under Nicholas II from 1897 to 1917. His duties included administration of Nicholas II's family's personal affairs and living arrangements and awarding of Imperial honors and medals.
(2 June 1917; English translation)
Last letter Nicholas II got by his mother.
Dowager Empress Marie tells Nicholas II how his relatives are faring and complains her current ordeal. She "live[s] only in [her] memories of the happy past and tr[ies] as much as possible to forget the present nightmare."
(21 November 1917; English translation)

EuroDocs > History of Russia: Primary Documents > 1796-1917


EuroDocs Creator: Richard Hacken, European Studies Bibliographer,
Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA.
Feel free to get in touch: Hacken @ byu.edu
With special thanks to Natalya Georgiyeva and Marren Haneberg for their help with this webpage.