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Microform Collection: Intercepted Letters of the Russian Revolutionaries, 1883-1917

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Intercepted Letters of the Russian Revolutionaries, 1883-1917 from the Special Department of Police

Published by Primary Source Microfilm

From the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF)

This key collection of intercepted correspondence covering the period from 1906 to the Revolution offers unique insights into the logistics, organization and temperament of the socialist uprising and of the police efforts to infiltrate and thwart insurrection. Researchers will be able to explore crucial details of theory, planning and influence from original, previously unseen letters that were intercepted and analyzed by the Department of Police, the central agency of the state police in the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Offering some 1,306 file units, this fascinating collection features letters from individuals representing all social classes, party affiliations and social status, such as:

  • Members of various parties--Social Democrat, Socialist Revolutionary (SR), Constitutional Democrat (KD) and anarchists
  • Black hundreds' organizations
  • Liberally inclined social figures
  • High-ranking officials and statesmen
  • Representatives from the administration
  • Ministers, bureaucrats, and clergy

In addition, the collection contains ciphered letters and their deciphered text, originals of letters written with invisible ink, tables for deciphering letters, original envelopes in which legal and illegal literature was sent, totally and partially copied letters and journals of incoming and outgoing correspondence, allowing scholars to reconstruct letters that no longer exist.

Offering fresh, raw opinions from all walks of Russian society, this collection lets researchers delve deeper than ever possible before into the culture, attitudes and politics that shaped this epoch -- the revolutionary uprisings of 1905-1907, Stolypin's reforms, the events in the Lena river basin, the dissolution of the State Duma, Azef's treachery, World War I and the events leading to the February Revolution of 1917. Casting new light on the on the activities of many sectors of Russian society, these letters will allow innovative research into the:

  • Moods in the army and the navy towards critical political events
  • Underground political movements of professionals, peasants and students
  • Changing outlook of the urban and rural population
  • Activities of various parties and organizations
  • Preparations for party congresses and conferences
  • Legal and illegal press organs
  • Role and influence of the State Duma.

Scope: 175 reels

A published guide to the collection is in the Microtext Reading Room under the call number Z2519.I58 1998 (LC)+ (Oversize).

Sterling Library's hours of operation
LOCATION: SML, Microform (Non-Circulating)
CALL NUMBER: Film B18840