Russian Documentary Global History With The Use Of Regional Archives


The research has studied certain provincial bureaucrats in order to create an image of Russian province bureaucracy and how they joined the public administration system during two historical periods of the Russian empire of the XIX century and the Soviet state until the middle of the XX century. The article raises a problem concerning the current state of Russian bureaucracy research from the early XIX century until the middle of the XX century with the use of the Regional archives of the Republic of Bashkortostan. The research part of the article raises three main issues connected with the problem definition: analyses of provincial bureaucracy genealogy; research of Orenburg governorate bureaucracy personal documents; revealing the specificity of new national elite personnel policy in the USSR. Research methodology is based on new local history or total microhistory with the use of Republic of Bashkortostan regional archives. The conclusion states all possible ways of further research connected with bureaucracy as of all-Russian process, where one of the Russian regions is used as an example of how the government policy influenced every social level from the XIX century until the middle of XX century. Research of developing soviet bureaucracy’s genealogy is one of the promising areas of modern locally-historical studies. A study indicates that still there are plenty of insufficiently explored things among provincial bureaucracy’s history of mid-level and especially low-level, including important aspects related to the sociocultural features of provincial bureaucracy.

Keywords: Bureaucracygenealogynew local historynobilityregional archives of the Republic of Bashkortostanstaff protectionism


Searching for ways to advance modern historical studies, which are developing in two main paradigms of global and local human history’s parts, have helped to come to the common point called interdisciplinary study of human science. That means not only particular methods of humanitaristics are being utilized, but also various methods of history itself concerning two pointed areas. Bearing in mind contemporary trends of searching documentary material about forming a human being on basis of mundanity’s developing problems of historical figures that did not play a decisive role in global processes but did exist in their context, this article is supposed to give consideration to Russian history of the XIX – first half of XX centuries with the use of local materials of the republic of Bashkortostan’s Regional archive and some others (Arhivy Bashkortostan, 2019).

Russian historiography usually classifies regions history and especially the history of certain people from provincial societies as local history. But developing methods of work with archival material, and rejection of primitive narrative history in the form of chronological sequence of events, have changed the status and value of regional archival subjects for historical studies on problematic not only at local level, but also at the global one, which is higher than the pointed one.

The first decade of the XX century saw many significant events which deeply affected Russian regions and their new power vertical. All the problems connected with research of bureaucracy as a political system have not interested our historians until the end of the XX century.

Modern Russian historiography has faced the fact of the need for in-depth searches of archival documentary material, the use of an interdisciplinary approach to its interpretation. The main goal of this is to study one of the most private bureaucracy’s estates of the past and modern history of Russia.

Problem Statement

The problem raised in the research is development and activities of Russian bureaucracy. This problem is quite new for Russian historiography. The first study of Russian bureaucracy history has been made by P. Zayonchkovsky, soviet scientist (Zayonchkovsky, 1978). Other studies have been made in the end of the XX century. We should note that the study subject of Russian historians has been the bureaucracy in Central Russia governorates (Ivanov, 1998; Shepelev, 1999). Since the beginning of the XXI century, the spectrum of Russian officialdom’s history studies has substantially extended on the backs of the local problems to procure dissertations for getting the Master’s degree (Pavljuk, 2001; Poskachey, 2006; Semin, 2016; Tokmakova, 2011), and also new works that were dedicated to the domestic life of the Bashkir official from the first half of the XIX century (Tagirova, 2017).

This article raises a problem of bureaucracy research with the use of the Republic of Bashkortostan regional archives for two chronological periods. Since all recent local studies based on microhistory and everyday life history are connected with historical figures not mentioned in classic history that being taught in schools, we have stated that, firstly, the problem of a comprehensive study of the "little" man from the provincial state apparatus of the Russian Empire in the XIX century. Secondly, during the formation of the Soviet system, the possibility of a social breakthrough for the humans from the "bottom" by creating national and intellectual bureaucratic elite on the ground, in the former provinces of Russia in the first half of the XX century has been opened.

It is commonly known that bureaucracy has officially become a social group in the XVIII century. In the end of this century a professional bureaucracy has been formed. It specialized in different areas and levels of government control. The main documents for studying genealogy of bureaucracy in Russia from the XIX until the early XX centuries are official lists (records of service) and bureaucrat’s personnel files (Genealogicheskaja informacija v gosudarstvennyh arhivah Rossii, 2019). There are also others sources of additional information: Rodoslovnye dvoryan Orenburgskoj gubernii; Zhurnaly zasedanij Orenburgskogo, 2019).

Great amount of sources allows the scientists study the region history of bureaucracy in the context of the global historical processes in Russia.

Research Questions

The research tries to analyze three issues connected with socio-cultural role of bureaucracy in the provincial Russian history. The regional archives and new local history methods are used. The first issue is connected with revealing and analyzing the information about genealogy of Russian bureaucracy. Russian Regional Archives (for example, the National Archive of the Republic of Bashkortostan (Russian: Nauchnyj arhiv, 2019) have a great amount of documents from the XVIII century connected with history and fates of a “little” man of landowning servicemen living somewhere in Orenburg governorate.

Besides concise, short biographies from the books of genealogy, which initially demonstrate the development of new noble genealogy, there are great amounts of archival sources of social and personal origin that play an enormous role in learning typical behavioral patterns and mundanity of Russian nobility’s numerous gentry and high-ranking officials.

The second issue is to analyze personal documents in the form of the microhistory of Luka Alekseyevitch Pakhomov, one of the representatives of Ufa district’s officialdom of the first half of the XIX century; and identification of the links between his activity and the global events in Russia that took place during Napoleonic Wars.

The third issue is about the forming officialdom which was generated by the Soviet system by the case of Shagit Khudayberdin’s (Lichny fond Khudayberdina, 2019), the party official, biography; and activity of Pyotr Fedorovich Ischerikov, the scientist-archeologist as an example of the intellectual functionary from the provincial academicals of the Soviet state’s system.

The changed socio-political formation in Russia has definitely affected every social stratum. The words He who was nothing will become everything! from The Internationale have become the leading slogan of the new government. At the same time, there is now a rather complex and problematic topical issue concerning the formation of the provincial and national bureaucratic and intellectual elite of the USSR, which substituted the old regime of the Russian Empire. This issue was acutely discussed in the humanities, as a consequence of the government’s decision, that was made in the 50s of the XX century, about the establishment of branches of the USSR Academy of Sciences in the regions. In this connection, it is interesting to study organizational issues and personnel policy in the process of formation of the Institute of history, language and literature of the Bashkir branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences, also, to investigate understanding and opinion of P. Ischerikov, one of the representatives of the scientific intellectual class of that time.

Purpose of the Study

The study is aimed at exploring ordinary people who have not left a mark in history or archives. Through the example of individual representatives who do not belong to the highest strata of the provincial nobility, nor a protégé, who was placed from the Central state administration apparatus, to identify ways to study the social features of the Russian local bureaucracy; adding it to the national system of government at two stages of the global history of the Russian Empire and the Soviet state until the middle of the XX century.

Different regions and governorates were inhabited with family seats of Russian nobility in the early XIX century. Our historiography usually shows the life of those people in a similar way to other influential families, like the Aksakovs. The Aksakovs were firstly in Orenburg governorate, then – in Ufa governorate.

Modern studies on social history of Russia and Bashkortostan prove that Ufa was one of the cities with the greatest amount of noble people among provincial Russia in the beginning of the XIX century (Minenko, Apkarimova, & Goldikova, 2006). A significant number of noble families lived here. They all could be proud of their clan, its origin, branching and wide connections with related families in the central provinces of Russia. Mostly provincial nobility consisted of members of military service and their descendants and civil officials, and our purpose is to analyze them.

Global socio-political revolution, which resulted in the establishment of the Soviets and the USSR, caused drastic changes in structure and demands of the new officials’ personal characteristic. The situation with employment issue was more complicated due to social and national preferences. Therefore, the second part of the problem is not the study of personal lives only, but also the views of individual representatives of this era in relation to the staff composition of the Soviet bureaucracy in the regions.

Research Methods

Due to different sociological, anthropological, linguistic changes of the XX century, people started to use the old practices together with new theories. It can be seen from the new names of historical studies and their place in modern history (e.g., new historicism , new biographical history, new local history ). The study object has not changed, it is the area of study and technologies that has changed. (Ormrod, 2009).

During the second half of the XX century new local history have replaced the old local history models. Britain was the first to see this process (Tosh, 2000). Local studies in Britain suggested an ideal theoretical model called total microhistory. All these studies were aimed at a maximum use of a variety of analysis techniques and frontal processing of local archives (Repina, 2011). This approach has made it possible to represent the image of different people, their lives, interpersonal interactions, and holistic picture of everyday routine that affected all social spheres (Krom, 2010).

Our study has borrowed British experience of local research with the use of total microhistory and regional archives, for example, documents of conscientious and district courts, court litigations with and explanatory notes explaining not only the point of the case, but also the nature of its participants from Ufa and Ufa district in the beginning of the XIX century. During the historical research based on local history and microhistory methods it became essential to use genealogical and personal archival sources from regional archives.

The characteristics, references, resolutions and other documents stored in the National Archives of the Republic of Bashkortostan provide a complete picture of the difficult 1920s through the biography of one of the most prominent representatives of the Soviet bureaucracy from the Bashkir people. Thanks to microanalysis, the surviving documents created by S. Khudayberdin (memories, political speeches, artworks) can show us personal characteristics of their author, but they also can help us to understand the life conditions of the 1917-1920s, complicated processes of the Soviet state formation, nation building in Bashkiria, motives of the new government (NA RB, F. 10296 Op. 1.).

Epistolary heritage is an essential document for our research. Epistolary documents have a clear social orientation, they are connected with social environment the author lived and worked in, the nature of relationships, interests, emotions, personal beliefs and views. This feature can be seen in the subjective perception of events, which requires a critical attitude to epistolary heritage.

In our opinion, biographical material of certain bureaucrats together with the context of provincial life and important historical processes that took place from the beginning of the XIX century until the mid XX century in Russia and outside its territory can unite two approaches, micro- and macrohistorical, in the course of studying Russian political and social history.


During the research we found that adoption of Rank table [1772], the main normative document of the Russian Empire, regulating the process of civil service, was crucial at the early stage of bureaucracy development. According to this document, officials, having received the rank of collegiate registrar (rank of 14th grade), became personal nobles, and collegiate assessors (rank of 8th grade) were entitled to hereditary nobility. The next government decrees issued during the second half of the XVIII century established both the sources of supporting and social characteristics of the Russian bureaucracy by moving the bureaucracy in a separate social group with the privilege to quit the tax estates.

During the XIX century the elaboration of federal Russian bureaucracy status continued, which was reflected in the registration documents updated in 1849. Information about education, awards, cash payments, owned property and marital status was highlighted in the list with personal files of officials and civilian community workers. Since 1858, the institutions where officials worked became responsible for maintenance of official lists. In 1905, the information about the time of officials' marriage, birth dates of their wives and children and their religion complemented the data of the marital status. The model developed in that time took place until 1917 (Genealogicheskaja informacija v gosudarstvennyh arhivah Rossii, 2019).

Until the middle of the XIX century personal files were documented on the same officials at all their official changes: appointment to the position, promotion, benefits, retirement, etc. Since 1858 one official personal file was made, beginning with the moment of his appointment and ending with his retirement or death (Genealogicheskaja informacija v gosudarstvennyh arhivah Rossii, 2019).

It is a well-known fact that the Russian official nobility mainly lived in provincial and County towns. According to our research of Orenburg province nobles' genealogical tree in the beginning of the XIX century, often this kind of nobility was not even minor landed. The reason was the absence of patrimonial estatesor or the owned land property and peasants' souls (NA RB. I-1. Op.1). The main wealth of such families consisted of salary for service, allowing to own the city estate and 4 to 7 house serfs.

Luka Alekseevich Pakhomov, the official of the Ufa and Ufa District, was one of the personalities, lost in history. L. Pakhomov's, the Orenburg state chamber official’s, record of service was recovered by documents of the Republic of Bashkortostan national archive. In 1809, Luka Pakhomov received the rank of collegiate assessor, which opened the access to the ranks of the hereditary nobility for him and his family. Quitting the state chamber, he was chosen by the nobility to become a judge of Ufa district court (Rodoslovnye dvorjan Orenburgskoj gubernii. NA RB. I-1. Op.1, D.632). Shortly before the patriotic war, in 1808 Nikolai Verstovsky, the appointed from St. Petersburg manager of the Specific Commission for the Orenburg province, along with his family arrived in Ufa. The Commission was responsible for returning rented by landowners peasants together with lands. Being personally asked by Verstovsky, Luka Pakhomov helped him in the consideration of a number of cases concerning state peasants. Various documents of the Orenburg provincial rule and Ufa provincial presence for the 1810 to 1815 period testify to Luke Pakhomov's, a Russian nobleman good activity in the bureaucratic field.

At the suggestion of the Orenburg military governor of Orenburg and by edict of the provincial government during the War of 1812 Luka Pakhomov was investigating abuses in the 4th canton of Bashkiria, located in District of Troitsky. For long periods of time from 5 August to mid-September 1812 Luka Pakhomov was investigating and settling disputes arised with the recruitment of the 18th regiment of the Bashkiria with eligible from service men from the 4 canton of Bashkiria. On this issue, he was repeatedly assigned in 1813 and 1814. Up to 1815 Luka Pakhomov, as an activist of the Ufa district court, was aware of all known cases and investigations, including the cases of the noble estates, inheritance disputes, the fugitive peasants and many others that had been recorded by sessions journals Orenburg provincial presence and Ufa District Court (Zhurnaly zasedanij Orenburgskogo, 2019).

Comparing with Luka Pakhomov, Mikhail Glumilin, a hereditary nobleman, had much faster advancement in rank serving from 1806 in Orenburg Chamber of the Civil Court located in Ufa. In fact, he was Luka Pakhomov's colleague. But before the War of 1812 Mikhail Glumilin was transferred to serve in the office of the military governor of Orenburg. From this very appointment had begun the great bureaucrat career of Mikhail Glumilin. During the World War II and the foreign campaigns of the Russian army, he carried out orders of national importance and was awarded with a diamond ring for his service (1812). Afterwards, in 1819, after his serving in Georgia, he was awarded with the third degree Order of St. Anna. (NA RB. I-1. Op.1).

The future Soviet bureaucracy has come to power with a pre-revolutionary educational training. This is also illustrated by Shagit Khudayberdin (Khudayberdin, 1968), the Bashkir active member of society and Soviet power struggle. As he lived in a small Bashkir village, he could only study in parochial school. But his perseverance allowed him to continue his education. He walked a 150-kilometer way to Orenburg with the purpose to enter the famous Hussainiya Madrasah.

World War I became an important occurrence for many of his compatriots from different Russian regions. The young man completed primary medical training and as a medical attendant participated in military operations on the Austrian front of World War I. He became an active actor in the events that radically changed the world and led after Russia other countries to revolution. It was during the first world war when Shagit Khudayberdin's world view was made up, which determined his later life. Even in madrassas Shagit showed his interest in politics, speaking against the rules existed there. His Islamic education predetermined his political career as a member of the Ufa Muslim military Council.


Having analyzed different sources, we could see some possible ways of studying the officialdom development as an all-Russian process, using the example of one Russian region. This research has given us a chance to study the individual history of certain clans, families and persons, whose image can be created thanks to some available documents and the context of government policy towards representatives of different levels of a unified management system of the XIX - mid XX centuries.

It is obvious that provincial officials and government employees of the XIX century had different origin and were from different social classes: there were nobles, bourgeoisie, staff- and subaltern officer' children, clergymen' descendants and others. We have studied various manuscripts with the information about their activity (court proceedings, custody cases, governorate meetings, justice, provincial and conscience court’s rulings; decrees and orders of the central authority, etc.) and come to a conclusion that the lifestyle of provincial officials can be reconstructed on the basis of microanalysis of the 3-4 people’s biographies.

In this regard, we are sure it is necessary to rethink the methods, way of working with local archives, provide better historical analyses and gain full and reliable information.

Microhistorical analyses of regional archives prove that the mentality of a certain person (judge of Ufa district, national revolutionary of the early XX century) creates the image of the whole Russian society of those two history periods. The study of the developing Soviet bureaucracy is one of the most promising areas in recent local historical studies.

The research of the epistolary heritage of P. Ischerikov enables us to estimate the process of scientific knowledge construction objectively using personality ratings and not paying attention to ideological and enthusiastic or negative characteristics of bureaucracy caused by staff protectionism policy.

In conclusion, the previous research of the Russian officialdom history was focused on central government bodies, highest level of the State apparatus and high-level Russian Empire government officials. In the end of the XX century the research started to study officialdom and its history thoroughly, paying attention not only at historical, but also sociological, cultural and other approaches. It happened because of the opportunity to use more sources and new archival-documentary materials, especially the Russian regional archives.

All of the above proves that some parts of provincial bureaucracy history are still insufficiently studied, for example the socio-cultural characteristics of provincial officialdom as an integral part of Russia's global history.


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Leonova, T., Obydennova, G., Chigrina, A., & Shaislamov, A. (2020). Russian Documentary Global History With The Use Of Regional Archives. In I. Murzina (Ed.), Humanistic Practice in Education in a Postmodern Age, vol 93. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 664-672). European Publisher.