Russian Journals

Three centuries of Russian journalistic endeavour are represented on the shelves of the Russian periodical stock. The collection covers the whole range of such publications from the earliest journal, which appeared in 1755, to the latest magazines. Virtually the entire history of the country is reflected here, a chronicle of its affairs, achievements and errors.

The collection is justly noted for its pre-revolutionary section, with a place of honour going to 76 titles from the eighteenth century. Many of them are bibliographic rarities that cannot be found elsewhere. Among these are publications by the great Russian enlightener Nikolai Novikov, Andrei Bolotov's Ekonomichesky magazin (Economic Magazine), Mikhail Kheraskov's Poleznoe uveselenie (Useful Amusement) and Svobodnye chasy (Leisure Hours),  Nikolay Karamzin's Aglaya and Rastushchy vinograd (The Growing Vine).

A large proportion of the pre-revolutionary periodicals are of a religious nature: a complete set of diocesan gazettes, theological, ecclesiastical and spiritual magazines. Many of them can now only be found in the National Library of Russia.

The Golden Age of Russian journalism produced a host of different genres and directions: the publications of Slavophiles and Westernizers, revolutionary democrats and populists, publications on socio-political, religious, literary, artistic, professional and other issues, children's magazines and others. Here we find Sovremennik (The Contemporary) which Pushkin founded, Otechestvennye zapiski (Notes of the Fatherland) of Pavel Svin'in and Andrei Kraevsky, Nikolai Polevoi's Moskovsky telegraf (The Moscow Telegraph), Vladimir Korolenko's Russkoe bogatstvo (Russian Wealth) and other journals which helped to shape contemporary thinking.

Prominent among the artistic magazines of the turn-of-the-century Silver Age were Mir iskusstva (The World of Art), Vesy (The Scales), Zolotoe Runo (The Golden Fleece), Apollon.

Niva (The Cornfield), Vsemirnaya illyustratsiya (World Illustration), Ogonek (The Light) stand out of the illustrated magazines. Noteworthy are the publications for lovers of antiquity Istorichesky Vestnik (Herald of History), Khudozhestvennye sokrovishcha (Artistic Treasures), Russky Arkhiv (Russian Archives), Starye Gody (Bygone Years); the satirical magazines Budil'nik (The Alarm-Clock), Shut (The Jester) and the celebrated Satirikon.

Special mention should be made of fashion magazines: Vasa (Vase ), Vestik mode (Herald of fashion), Modny Magazin (Fashion store).

The collection also contains a rich stock of publications for children. Across the Russian Empire 242 children's magazines were being produced before the revolution. The majority of them, including the highly popular Zadushevnoe slovo (Cordial Word), are now in the library.

"White" and "Red" periodicals give us a fascinating chronicle of the events of 1917 and the subsequent period of civil war and foreign intervention.

The 1920s saw a resurgence of journalism in the country with periodicals such as Krasnyy arkhiv (Red Archives), SSSR na stroyke (USSR in Construction), Prozhektor (Searchlight) and LEF (the journal of the Left Front in the Arts), earning themselves a permanent place in the history of the press. The same period saw the first appearance of publications that have been familiar reading-matter for several generations of Soviet people, among them Novy mir (New World), Zvezda (Star), Molodaya gvardiya (The Young Guard) and Krokodil (Crocodile).

The library's collection now also features publications produced by Russians living abroad. These include items returned from "special storage" such as Sovremennye zapiski (Modern Notes) and Volya Rossii (Russia's Will) and new acquisitions such as Kontinent, Grani (Frontiers), Novy zhurnal (The New Journal) and other publications created by the third wave of emigres.

The library has an exceptionally comprehensive stock of the publications of different learned societies, educational institutions and other organizations, including the Russian Geographical Society, the Society for Russian History and Antiquities, the Academy of Sciences, the universities and municipal dumas. The oldest publication of this kind is Russia's first agricultural journal, Trudy Vol'nogo ekonomicheskogo obshchestva, which began appearing in 1756.

Today we are witnessing the rebirth of religious, spiritual and family periodicals.

  • Russian Journals (1755 – 1800 гг.) [11 300 тыс. volumes, 76 titles ]
    The collection consists of early Russian periodicas. It contains the first domestic edition of the Monthly Writings Intended for the Benefit and Entertainment (1755-1757) and other rare journals and serials in all branches of knowledge, published in the second half of the 18th century.

  • Diocesan Gazettes (1833 – 1918) [over 81 800 volumes, 65 titles]
    The most complete collection of Russia's theological official journals has a unique value for the national culture. It includes local periodicals published in 63 dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church between 1860 and 1922, starting with the first Mogilev Diocesan Gazette dated back 1833.

The  Digital Library includes both individual publicationsh and collections of Russian periodicals.



Description of the Collection

Brief Summary