Detailed directory to Russia’s vast archival holdings

ArcheoBiblioBase (ABB; is an Open Access Internet directory and bibliographic information system for archives in the Russian Federation. Founded by Dr. Patricia Kennedy Grimsted, an Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University, and an Honorary Fellow of the International Institute of Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam, the extensive ABB directory is based on printed directories prepared under her supervision in collaboration with the Federal Archival Service of Russia (Rosarkhiv) and the State Public Historical Library (GPIB), Moscow, published in Russian and English.

Hosted by East View Information Services since February 2020, the ABB website database currently displays data of nearly 430 archives and manuscript repositories of the Russian Federation (with an additional 87 administering agencies) for which coverage has recently been updated.

Moscow and St. Petersburg coverage currently extends to over 250 federal, local state and non-state repositories, including libraries, museums, academic, research, and educational institutions. Basic listings also extend on about 180 regional state archives throughout the Russian Federation outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg, together with available guides and other reference listings.

Data for individual institutions and their various divisions includes their history (with all of their previous names and acronyms), and brief characterization of holdings. Notes about access provisions and working conditions in each repository augment researcher-orientation. Data about reference facilities include annotated listings of guides and specialized finding aids (total over 8,000 records), with links to available digitized editions.

ABB coverage should alert researchers in all disciplines to the wealth of archival holdings of all types and historical periods. As ABB online coverage expands to a wider range of repositories, governmental and non-governmental, this directory with accompanying bibliography of reference aids significantly opens “intellectual access” for research opportunities in Russia.

Archives Covered in the ABB Database

Moscow and St. Petersburg

  • The current fifteen federal archives administered by the Federal Archival Service of Russia
  • Archives of major federal agencies with the right to the long-term retention of their own records
  • Local municipal and oblast archives in Moscow and St. Petersburg (Leningrad Oblast)
  • Archival holdings of Academies, Universities, and Research Institutes
  • Archives of non-governmental/independent institutions
  • Archival and manuscript holdings of major libraries
  • Archival and manuscript holdings of selected major museums

Russian Federation

  • Regional State Archives (outside Moscow and St. Petersburg)

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