Author(s): Kathleen Beger (2018) – last update: 2018-08-01
The Российский государственный архив социально-политической истории (РГАСПИ) / Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv sotsial’no-politicheskoi istorii / The Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History (RGASPI) in Moscow was established in 1999 by merging the former Российский центр хранения и изучения документов новейшей истории (РЦХИДНИ) / Rossiiskii tsentr khraneniya i izucheniya dokumentov noveishei istorii / Russian Centre for the Preservation and Study of Documents of Most Recent History (RTsKhIDNI) and the Центр хранения документов молодежных организаций (ЦХДМО) / Tsentr khraneniya dokumentov molodezhnykh organizatsii /Centre for the Preservation of Documents of Youth Organizations (TsKhDMO).
The RGASPI holds 691 fonds, covering the period from 1619 to 2005 and containing more than two million items, among them 182.500 photographs, 1.300 audio documents and 140.000 items/objects of museum material. The archival records of RGASPI can be divided into three thematic fields: documents on the social and political history of Western Europe (17th – beginning of the 20th century), documents on the political and social history of Russia and the Soviet Union (end of the 19th – beginning of the 21st century) as well as documents on the history of the international socialist and communist labor movement (1860s – end of the 1980s). Each field contains fonds and collections on political parties, social movements, organizations and institutions as well as personal bequests of theorists and leaders. With regard to the Soviet period, RGASPI includes a tremendous amount of documents on the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and the Komsomol, the personal archive of Vladimir Lenin, as well as personal papers of other major communist and socialist leaders, e.g. Nikolai Bukharin, Feliks Dzerzhinskyi, Lazar Kaganovich, Mikhail Kalinin, Lev Kamenev, Sergei Kirov, Georgy Malenkov, Anastas Mikoyan, Vyacheslav Molotov, Georgii Plekhanov, Iosif Stalin, Lev Trotskyi and Grigoryi Zinoviev.
Российский государственный архив социально-политической истории (РГАСПИ) / The Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History (RGASPI)
ул. Большая Дмитровка, 15 /
Bolʼshaya. Dmitrovka, 15
125009, Москва /
Российская Федерация /
Archival information: Tel.: +7 (495) 694-51-12, Fax: +7 (495) 692-90-17
Office Hours: depend on the opening times of the respective reading room (see below)
How to find the Archive sites
The archive has two reading rooms:
The reading room at ul. Bol’shaya Dmitrovka 15 is located in the very city center of Moscow and can be reached by metro (stations “Okhotny Ryad”, “Pushkinskaya”, “Chekhovskaya”, “Tverskaya” or “Kuznetsky most”).
The reading room at ul. Profsoyuznaya 82 is located in the southeast of Moscow and can be reached by metro (station “Profsoyuznaya”).
How to plan and to prepare a visit
In order to get entry into the reading rooms, you do not have to write an email or a letter in advance. You can enter the building at ul. Bol’shaya Dmitrovka 15 or at ul. Profsoyuznaya 82 and make a call to the reading room. In both buildings, there is a stationary telephone with a list of different numbers for the different reading rooms. Then, an employee will get in contact with you and let you in. You need your passport to get a “propusk” (permit) to enter the archive.
Please note that each reading room has its own propusk system. In the reading room at ul. Bol’shaya Dmitrovka 15, you will get a propusk for the whole period of your research stay. In contrast, at ul. Profsoyuznaya 82, you have to ask for a new propusk each day you want to work there. When you enter the building, you have to go to the main desk (left door), where the employee issues you the propusk, noting your name and the time of your arrival. When leaving, you have to hand over the propusk to an employee of the archive who notes your time of leaving. Before leaving the building you have to hand over your propusk to the police officer at the entrance. In both reading rooms, you always have to bring your passport with you, especially at ul. Profsoyuznaya 82.
In order to gain access to the archival sources in the reading rooms, you need to obtain a propusk (permit) to the archive. To receive it, you should bring your passport with you as well as an official letter of introduction (otnoshenie) from your institution addressed to the director of the archive (currently: Сорокин Андрей Константинович / Sorokin Andrey Konstantinovich). The letter should consist of your personal data, your institutional/working position, the topic and the timeframe of your study as well as the purpose of visiting the archive.
The archive has two reading rooms:
Читальный зал (общий) / Reading room (general)
ул. Большая Дмитровка, 15, 5 этаж /
Bol’shaya Dmitrovka, 15, 5th floor
Tel.: +7 (495) 694-40-34
Office hours: Monday: 12:00 – 20:00, Tuesday and Thursday: 11:00 – 17:00, Wednesday: 10:00 – 18:00, Friday: 9:30 – 16:30 (closed every last Friday of the month)
Читальный зал документов молодежных организаций / Reading room for working with documents on youth organizations
ул. Профсоюзная, 82, 2 этаж (ст. метро «Калужская») /
ul. Profsoyuznaya, 82, 2nd floor (Metro station “Kaluzhskaya”)
Tel.: +7 (495) 718-69-85
Office hours: Monday – Thursday: 10:00 – 17:00, Friday: 10:00 – 16:00 (closed every last Friday of the month)
The reading room at ul. Profsoyuznaya 82 is very small, offering only five working spaces.
There are power sockets to charge electronical devices.
Before working with the archival documents the reader has to sign a document (anketa) that confirms that he/she has become familiar with the archive’s regulations and rules.
You are allowed to work with a maximum of ten files at any single time. Taking photographs on your own is not allowed and not recommended. Copies can be obtained for a fee. See the pricelist online http://rgaspi.org/services/pricelist/. Ordering new files takes about 2-3 days.
Archive Databases & Online Finding Aids
There is list of all the fonds and collections RGASPI holds. See http://rgaspi.org/funds/spisok_opisei/. However, more detailed information about the fonds is only available in the reading rooms (finding aids).
- In both reading rooms it could be very cold in winter. Bring a warm sweater with you!
- In the reading room at ul. Profsoyuznaya 82 it is possible to get a hot tea and some cookies as the archival staff is very friendly. There is also a canteen on the first floor of the building.