Perhaps best known for their radical politics, students had held a series of nationwide strikes and protests between 1899 and 1904, and in the autumn of 1905 they turned the universities into crucial sites of revolutionary activism. Although with the rise of mass movements and political parties, students could no longer claim to be agents of revolution, the
studenchestvo remained one of the most politically active and socially engaged groups in Russian society, despite the attempts by the government to suppress such activism. At this time, both the number of students and the range of higher educational institutions expanded radically, thus meeting and feeding the growing demand for trained specialists – teachers, lawyers, agronomists, engineers, doctors. New opportunities also developed for women and minorities, especially Jewish men and women, as legal restrictions on access to higher education began to be rolled back. Between 1905 and 1917, therefore, the world of higher education formed a microcosm of Russia’s educated society.
With the collapse of censorship during the revolutionary years (1905-06) and the relative freedom of the press in the subsequent years, students published scores of newspapers and journals as well as volumes of collected articles. While the newspapers were usually short-lived, often due to external political pressure, these sources provide unique access to the heterogeneous world of the university, including academic and scholarly currents as well as the activities of the hundreds of student groups that proliferated in this period. Taken as a whole, this collection offers a cross-section of Russia’s student press, including publications from both capital and provincial cities, and from both the extreme left and the extreme right. Because the titles of publications are repetitive, they have been grouped into a series of overlapping sections so as to highlight particular thematic issues.
I. Provincial and Capital Worlds The student press provides a new and largely untapped source for urban history, both of the two capital cities – St. Petersburg and Moscow – and of provincial cities. Universities and other institutions of higher education were important cultural and political landmarks in Russia’s cities, sites not just for learning but also for social interaction and political conflict. Indeed, students participated in the everyday life of their cities, often living in poor areas, frequenting theaters and other forms of entertainment, and sometimes becoming active with local workers. All of the publications in the collection have consequently been organized according to place of publication: St. Petersburg, Moscow, and provincial cities. Most important among the provincial cities are those in Ukraine, especially Odessa, Kiev, and Kharkov.
II. Politics in the Academy Since the 1860s, students had possessed the reputation for political radicalism, and these currents remained highly important after 1905. In addition to two national strike movements (1908, 1911), progressive students continued to comment on and participate in national politics, whether leading a movement against the death penalty in 1910 (in commemoration of Lev Tolstoy) or protesting the Beilis case in 1913 (the prosecution of a Jewish man accused of the ritual murder of a Christian child). Less well known but extremely important was the rise of a conservative movement, which included both moderate and extreme nationalist, anti-Semitic groups. The student press thus provides a vital source on Russia’s political life – both inside and outside the Academy, including the development of organizations and ideologies ranging from the far left to the far right. Many of the collection’s titles have been organized into two sections according to their general political perspectives, namely left of center and right of center.
III. World War I World War I currently forms one of the most important and active topics of historical research, and the student press provides a largely untapped source. These publications illuminate, firstly, debates about patriotism, nationalism, and nationalist currents (including anti-Semitism and anti-German sentiment); secondly, the specific activities of Russia’s students in the war effort (charitable work, war industries, the military); thirdly, the social and economic world of Russia’s home-front, including the transformation of the universities and the influx of female students; and, fourthly, the political run-up to the revolution of 1917.
IV. Particular Groups The collection includes three sections focused on specific groups, namely Christian, Jewish, and female students. Though only one title was explicitly Christian in orientation, this newspaper was extremely long-lived and provided a lively forum for discussion and debate. Jewish students produced a variety of newspapers and collections, many of which were long-lived, and they discussed diverse issues, including current events, anti-Semitism, relations with non-Jewish students and political movements, and the conflict between Zionism and socialism. Finally, some titles were produced either solely by female students or by students at co-educational institutions. This section also contains two surveys of female students in St. Petersburg. It should be noted, however, that almost all general student publications contained numerous contributions by female and Jewish students and discussed issues relevant to these groups.
V. Questionnaires and Surveys In Russia, the early twentieth century witnessed a vogue for conducting statistical surveys, and these formed an important precursor of later attempts under the Soviets to gauge the behavior and values of target groups. Many of the surveys focused on students, and these sources provide important information on students’ social, economic, sexual, and political lives, including particular groups such as Jewish and female students. In addition, they will be of interest to scholars working on the history of the social sciences and statistics.
VI. Critical Collections These publications represent some of the most interesting titles in the collection, in part because publishing a volume or series of volumes was easier than producing a newspaper under the pressures of censorship. Most of these titles, which span the political spectrum, include literary works, commentary on artistic and literary currents, whether the social role of literature or modernism in the arts, and contributions to all the major political and social issues of the era. Almost all titles include numerous pieces written by female students.
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London Library catalogue
Approximately 690,000 catalogue cards of approximately 175,000 items on Oriental and African studies added between 1978 and 1989 to the holdings of the SOAS Library. This card catalog is subdivided into the following parts: title catalog, subject catalog, Chinese catalog, Japanese catalog, language index, manuscripts catalog.
The Socialist Revolutionary Party I Inventory of the archives of the Partija Socialistov-Revoljucionerov, (1834-) 1870-1934
With this publication IDC Publishers wants to draw your attention to a most interesting collection that has been microfilmed by the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam (IISH). If you want us to keep you informed please contact IDC Publishers and additional information will be sent to you as soon as possible.
Partija Socialistov-Revoljucionerov The
Partija Socialistov-Revoljucionerov (PSR) was formed as the result of the unification of various groups of neo-populist tendency which had been formed in the 1890s in Russia and in emigration. In its early years it was a small, heterogeneous party, with an émigré leadership and underground membership in Russia. After “Bloody Sunday” it expanded into a mass movement. It was only then that its first congress took place, technically the founding congress. This congress discussed the draft organizational rules and approved of them as provisional rules.
The highest organ was the All Party Congress, to be convened by the Central Committee or the Party Council. Between congresses the Party Council was the highest organ. The Central Committee (CC) was elected by the Party Congress and augmented by co-option. Its composition fluctuated as a result of arrests. The Combat Organization functioned within the Party as a semi-autonomous body. Its terrorist activities were directed against representatives of state power. In November/December 1906 an Organizational Bureau was set up to coordinate the CC activities and to improve communication between party leaders and local organizations. Some special commissions of the CC were: the Military Bureau (for agitation and propaganda work among soldiers and sailors), the Commission for Peasants, and the Transport Committee (for the distribution of literature). Russia was split up into thirteen regional associations. The Organization Abroad constituted the fourteenth region. It was founded in 1903 and until 1905, with the party operating underground, it acted de facto as the most important party body. After 1922 it was the only body left.
The archive The archive consists of three groups of documents: The populist legacy (including the
Fonds Lavrov), the party archive up to 1917, and the party archive after 1917. The second group is by far the biggest, and the years 1905-1907 by far the richest. The archive is incomplete. Papers from other provenance were added to the collection (inv.nrs. 1045-1102), as for example in the case of an owner, who went back to Russia illegally and left them with the party. Some documents were damaged and the archive was disorganized due to the constant moving. In the late sixties Boris Sapir listed the notices he found on the envelopes and other packing materials. In 1983 Marc Jansen removed the documents from after 1917 and described them. For practical reasons they were preserved as a separate group. His list constitutes a part of this inventory in modified form.
Among the documents discovered was a classification scheme, drafted by S.N. Sletov in 1909 (in inv.nr. 598). There were also lists and draft lists, of which the numbers were found to match the numbers on documents, scattered all over the collection. It was decided to reunite lists and documents, wherever useful, as for instance in inv.nrs. 303-513. By using their own (draft) lists may explain why e.g. in inv.nrs. 706-711 the Second State Duma figures before the First one.
An important part of the collection is the group of documents from the regional and local committees in Russia (inv.nrs. 303-513.). They are (handwritten and processed) leaflets, resolutions, financial reports, reports on literature, notes, letters, rules, draft rules, reports of activities, circular letters, declarations, a single issue of a paper or a pamphlet, and in a much lesser degree: minutes of meetings, questionnaires, programmes. The last three types of documents are mentioned explicitly. The bulk of this part, however, is made up of leaflets.
Classifying the letters was a difficult, if not impossible, job. Many are without sender, without date, many without addresses. Some are in code. More often they were obviously meant for “Paris”, where Znamja Truda (1907-1914) and the Transport Committee used post office boxes. But then, were they meant for the Central Committee, for Znamja Truda, for the Transport Committee, or for the three of them? Some letters did not give us any clue how to classify them. They are to be found in inv.nrs. 752-770. The same was true of quite a few manuscripts. They are to be found in inv.nrs. 771-839.
Two concordances are appended to the inventory. The first one establishes the relationship between the numbers Boris Sapir used and the present numbers. The second one does the same between the numbers Marc Jansen used and the present numbers. In previous years the archives of the PSR were referred to as
narodni' eskoe dvi' enie. In the inventory the international transcription has been used. Originally the collection contained a larger amount of printed documents, but they have been incorporated into the IISH library. A small amount of photographs are now in the IISH Audiovisual Department. The term "cover" is used in the inventory to refer to groupings of 2-13 items, and the term "folder" for groups of more than 13 items. The present metrage (23.25 meters) differs from the one given in the "Guide to the International Archives and Collections"(1989). This is due to packing the documents in boxes rather than in the portfolios used previously.
There are no restrictions to consultation of the archive.
Socialist Revolutionary Party II Serials and monographs
Works written by and about well-known leaders of the Socialist Revolutianary Party, as well as publications dealing with the party itself. Among the authors, you will find the names of Chernov, Spiridonova, Grecian, Savinkov, and many others. Furthermore, this collection contains prominent journals and newspapers published by the Socialist Revolutianary Party in Russia and abroad.
35 serials and 45 monographs.
Ethiopica Sources on the history of a remarkable culture
183 titles concerning Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa, and Somalia. Subjects include travel, history, literature, and linguistics (Ge'ez, or Ethiopic, Amharic, and other languages). This collection also includes manuscript catalogues and bibliographies.