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ArcheoBiblioBase: Archives in Russia: B-0Last update of repository: 16 March 2020
*Federal'noe arkhivnoe agentstvo Rossii (Rosarkhiv)
The Federal Archival Service of Russia, which is in charge of the administration of archival affairs throughout the Russian Federation, is the successor to analogous archival administrative agencies of the USSR and the RSFSR during the Soviet period, when archival administration underwent numerous transformations.
The decree “On the Reorganization and Centralization of Archival Affairs,” signed by V.I. Lenin on 18 June 1918, provided for the foundation of the Main Administration for Archival Affairs (GUAD or Glavarkhiv) under the People’s Commissariat of Education of the RSFSR (Narkomat prosveshcheniia RSFSR—Narkompros), the first state agency for direction of a centralized archival system in Russian history. Its principal functions were the management of the so-called Consolidated State Archival Fond (Edinyi gosudarstvennyi arkhivnyi fond—EGAF), a legal concept embracing the entire documentary legacy of the Russian Empire, and the formulation and implementation of unified state archival policies.
Archives were under the authority of Narkompros until 26 November 1921, when they were transferred to the control of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (VTsIK). Following the adoption of the new Constitution of the RSFSR, the “Regulation on the Central Archives (Tsentrarkhiv) of the RSFSR” (30.I.1922) established the Administration of Central Archives under VTsIK RSFSR (Tsentrarkhiv) to direct the archival system in the entire country. Its responsibilities included general administration, planning, and control of archival affairs throughout the RSFSR, and the direct administration of all central state archives in Moscow and Petrograd. At that time, the records designated for acquisition by state archives were limited to those of governmental institutions.
On 28 January 1929 the “Regulation for Archival Administration in the RSFSR,” decreed all RSFSR archival institutions to be under the authority of the Central Archival Administration of the RSFSR (TsAU RSFSR), under the direct control of the VTsIK Presidium. The new agency continued functions similar to those of Tsentrarkhiv, in terms of the general management of archival affairs throughout the RSFSR as well as the direct administration of all central state archives. At the same time the EGAF was renamed the State Archival Fond (Gosudarstvennyi arkhivnyi fond—GAF).
Later the same year, the central state archives of all-union significance became distinct from the archives of the Russian Federation. The regulation “On the Central Archival Administration of the USSR” (10.IV.1929) established the Central Archival Administration of the USSR (TsAU SSSR) under the All-Union Central Executive Committee (TsIK), which assumed the management of archives on the all-union level. Meanwhile, the Central Archival Administration of the RSFSR (TsAU RSFSR) became the general agency for the administration of Russian republic-level archives and subordinate regional archival administrations.
By 1935 there were five all-union archives under the direction of TsAU SSSR—the Central Archive of the Red Army (Tsentral'nyi arkhiv Krasnoi Armii—TsAKA), the Military History Archive (Voenno-istoricheskii arkhiv—VIA), the Central Photo, Sound, and Film Archive (Tsentral'nyi fotofonokinoarkhiv—TsFFKA), the Central Archive of the Trade-Union Movement (Tsentral'nyi arkhiv profdvizheniia—TsAPD), and the State Archive of Foreign Policy (Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv vneshnei politiki—GAVP). At the same time, however, a series of central state archives holding predominantly prerevolutionary records of an all-union significance remained under the direction of TsAU RSFSR—the Central Archive of the October Revolution (Tsentral'nyi arkhiv Oktiabr'skoi revoliutsii—TsAOR), the Central Archive of Revolution (Tsentral'nyi arkhiv revoliutsii—TsAR), the State Archive of the Feudal-Serfdom Epoch (Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv feodal'no-krepostnicheskoi epokhi—GAFKE), the Central Land-Survey Archive (Tsentral'nyi mezhevoi arkhiv), and the Archive of National Economy, Culture, and Life (Arkhiv narodnogo khoziaistva, kul'tury i byta), among others. This archival administrative organization remained until after the adoption of the Constitution of 1936. Following that, governmental organs were again reorganized with increased control of security agencies over the archives.
The logical implementation of this process was the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (Verkhovnyi Sovet SSSR) in 1938, whereby the state archives of the country were transferred to the control of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD SSSR). As a result, central and regional agencies of archival administration lost their independent status and were subordinated to central security organs. TsAU SSSR was transformed into the Main Archival Administration of the NKVD SSSR (GAU NKVD SSSR). Gradually, the most significant documentary complexes came under direct NKVD control and were organized into a new network of central state archives of all-union significance—TsGAOR, TsGAKA, TsGAVMF, TsGAKFFD, TsGIAL, TsGIAM, TsGVIA and its branch, TsGADA, and TsGLA SSSR. Added to the class of all-union level fonds were the records of central govermental institutions of the RSFSR and the network of central and regional archives in the RSFSR. The NKVD became a ministry (Ministerstvo vnutrennikh del—MVD) in 1948, and the archival agency name changed accordingly—GAU MVD SSSR. For the RSFSR, a republic-level Archival Administration was not reestablished until 1955, initially within the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the RSFSR (GAU MVD RSFSR).
The status of all-union archival administrative agency likewise rose again in 1960, when the Main Archival Administration was transferred from the MVD to the highest organ of state executive power, the Council of Ministers of the USSR (Glavnoe arkhivnoe upravlenie pri Sovete Ministrov SSSR—GAU pri SM SSSR or Glavarkhiv SSSR). In 1961 the Soviet government issued a new “Regulation on the Main Archival Administration and the Network of Central State Archives of the USSR,” whereby GAU SSSR became the all-union agency for direction of all aspects of archival affairs in the country—continuing the MVD model of a centralized command state agency. Until 1991 this agency—Glavarkhiv SSSR, controlled the administrative, financial, scientific-methodological, technical, and many other aspects of the work of state archives throughout the entire Soviet Union.
Paralleling the central authority, the Main Archival Administration under the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR (GAU SM RSFSR)—also reorganized in 1960—administered the central state archives of the RSFSR. Other state archives were administered by Glavarkhiv RSFSR through the archival administrations (or divisions—otdely) of the subordinate administrative-territorial divisions—republics, krai, and oblast' etc.
During the period of growing sovereignty for the union republics of the USSR, the Committee for Archival Affairs under the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR (Roskomarkhiv) was established on 5 November 1990—by decree of the Government of the RSFSR—on the basis of Glavarkhiv RSFSR, as the administration agency in charge of state archives throughout the Russian Federation. After the failure of the attempted coup in August of 1991, RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin issued decrees transferring all CPSU and KGB records to the jurisdiction of Roskomarkhiv. Two new state archives were founded in October 1991 for Communist Party records, one on the basis of the former Central Party Archive the Russian Center for Preservation and Study of Records of Modern History—RTsKhIDNI (see B–12) and a second on the basis of the working archives of the CPSU Central Committee, the Center for Preservation of Contemporary Documentation, predominantly for post-1953 CP records—TsKhSD (see B–13). Records of the KGB, however, still for the most part remain in separate agency archives (see C–6 and C–7).
According to a regulation of the RSFSR Council of Ministers of 12 October 1991, Roskomarkhiv took over the former all-union central state archives previously under the authority of Glavarkhiv SSSR, as well as all of its administrative functions, subordinate institutions and scientific-technical organizations, and financial and economic assets within the territory of the Russian Federation. The decreed reorganization was put into effect only in early 1992. At that time, the archival materials from the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee were transferred to the jurisdiction of the Archive of the President of the Russian Federation (see C–1).
Following the collapse of the USSR at the end of 1991, the network of Russian state archives was reorganized starting in January 1992. Roskomarkhiv’s administrative and archival jurisdictional functions with respect to the reorganized federal-level archives and additional, newly established archives were defined by executive regulation of 24 June 1992. These decrees confirmed the position of Roskomarkhiv within the Government of the Russian Federation as a federal organ of state administration charged with the execution of state policy in the sphere of archival administration. The June decree also confirmed the reorganized network of the then seventeen federal-level state archives under the direct authority of Roskomarkhiv, four of which bore the designation “centers,” although they functioned as archives.
A further presidental decree (signed by Yeltsin on 30 September 1992) reorganized Roskomarkhiv as the State Archival Service of Russia (Rosarkhiv), details of the rights and responsibilities of which were confirmed in an administrative regulation dated 22 December 1992. The “Basic Legislation of the Russian Federation on the Archival Fond of the Russian Federation and Archives,” which was enacted in July 1993, became the first normative, parliamentary-enacted archival law in the history of Russia, nullified now.
As of 14 August 1996, Rosarkhiv was renamed the Federal Archival Service of Russia, but as of the governmental reorganization of March 2004, it was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation as Federal Archival Agency (Rosarkhiv). In March 2016 Rosarkhiv was transferred to the jurisdiction of President of the Russian Federation. The most recent official regulations for archival use were issued in June 2013--"Order for the Use of Archival Documents in State and Municipal Archives of the Russian Federation," with amendments in December 2015 (available in Russian at http://archives.ru/documents/order-us...).
The current status of governmental and non-governmental archives in Russia, together with questions of their organization, acquisition, storage, registration, and use of records is based on the “Federal Law of the Russian Federation on the Archival Affairs of the Russian Federation” (no. FZ-125, 22 October 2004), and the “Regulation on the Archival Fond of the Russian Federation,” confirmed by presidential decree on 17 March 1994. These, together with the “Regulation on the State Archival Agency of Russia,” enacted at June 2004, designate Rosarkhiv as the executive agency of state policies with respect to archival affairs.
A directive in March 1999 reorganized the network of federal-level state archives under Rosarkhiv, which now stands at fourteen—the thirteen federal archives in Moscow and St. Petersburg and also the Russian State Historical Archive of the Far East—RGIA DV (Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Dal'nego Vostoka), which is now located in Vladivostok (formerly in Tomsk). First, the March directive combined the former Komsomol Archive—TsKhDMO with the former Central Party Archive—RTsKhIDNI (see B–12); the consolidated facility was renamed the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History—RGASPI (B–12). Secondly, the pre-1991 secret Special Archive (TsGOA) for captured records, which in 1992 had been renamed the Center for Preservation of Historico-Documentary Collections—TsKhIDK was consolidated with the Russian State Military Archive—RGVA (B–8). At the same time the Center for Preservation of Contemporary Documentation (predominantly for post-1953 CP records)—TsKhSD was rebaptized the Russian State Archive of Contemporary History—RGANI (see B–13).