Online Finding Aids
This section contains links to digital finding aids and other types of referential materials published by over 200 post-Soviet archives, including central archives in Moscow and the capitals of former Soviet republics, provincial-level archives, and, in some cases, municipal and ministry archives. Many archives have digitized the opisi of their fonds and/or published online guides (putevoditel’) to the fonds. Some archives have created digital archival information systems or digital archives, where users can search for documents using various finding aids and indexes, as well as read digitized records. Less digitized archives may have fonds lists or fonds overviews available on their websites. In addition to the finding aids presented here, you may find more referential materials on archives’ websites, which are often under “Fondy” or “Nauchno-spravochnyi apparat (scientific-referential apparatus)”.
In the future, this section will be supplemented with access information on all former KGB archives and other special archives.
You can browse archives by country or find archives on the map below.
Archives on Map (226 total)
1. Many archives' websites are available in multiple languages. In that case, the best practice is to view the official-language version of the website, which always presents the most information. You can always try translating wesbpages using Chrome or other browsers.
2. Some Russian official websites have been blocked from access via US IP addresses. In that case, we have attached the downloadable files of archival guides to the items, if available.
3. For Russian archives, if you can't find appropriate digital finding aids via our guide, you may refer to the digitized guides to Russian archives of the "Access to Russian Archives" project, or the "Archival Fond of RF" section on the "Archives of Russia" portal. You may also find information that dosen't exist in our guide through ArcheoBiblioBase, an Internet directory and bibliographic information system for archives in the Russian Federation.
4. Many archives under Russian state agencies have not published their finding aids or other referential materials online. If you need to resort to these archives, you could consult this page for contact information.
5. Suggested printed bibliographic guides to former Soviet archives:
Archives of Russia: a directory and bibliographic guide to holdings in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Edited by Patricia Kennedy Grimsted. Armonk, N.Y., M.E. Sharpe, 2000.
Archives and manuscript repositories in the USSR, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Belorussia. Patricia Kennedy Grimsted. Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, 1981.
6. For Soviet archival materials in the United States, you could consult The Russian Empire and Soviet Union: A Guide to Manuscripts and Archival Materials in the United States, developed by the University of Illinois Library. Please also look over the "Other Bibliographic Resources" page on this website, where you can find links to bibliographic guides to Russian and Eurasian collections outside of the former Soviet Union. Large collections in the United States include those at the Harvard Library, the Hoover Institution, the Yale University Library, and Columbia University Libraries.
7. Suggest online finding aids that we missed via the Contact & Contribute page!