Agency: Ministerstvo kul'tury i massovykh kommunikatsii Rossiiskoi Federatsii
[Ministry of Culture and Mass Communication of the Russian Federation]
The Federal Archival Agency, the administrative agency in charge of state archives throughout the Russian Federation was founded as the State Committee for Archival Affairs of Russia (Roskomarkhiv) in 1990 on the basis of the Main Archival Administration of the RSFSR (Glavarkhiv RSFSR). In the fall of 1991, Roskomarkhiv took over the former all-union central state archives previously administered by Glavarkhiv SSSR, all the administrative functions of that organ, as well as institutes and agencies under its jurisdiction. Roskomarkhiv's administrative and jurisdictional functions with respect to federal-level archives were defined by a directive of 24 June 1992. A presidential decree in September 1992 (implemented by a December 1992 regulation) reorganized Roskomarkhiv as the State Archival Service of Russia (Rosarkhiv), and as of 14 August 1996, it was renamed the Federal Archival Service of Russia. With the governmental reorganization of March 2004, Rosarkhiv was restructured as one of three agencies under the Ministry of Culture and Mass Communication.
The current status of governmental and non-governmental archives in Russia is based on the "General Law of the Russian Federation on the Archival Fond of the Russian Federation and Archives" (July 1993), and the "Regulation on the Archival Fond of the Russian Federation" (March 1994). These, together with the "Regulation on the State Archival Service of Russia," designate Rosarkhiv as the executive agency of state policies with respect to archival affairs.
A new directive in March 1999 reorganized the network of federal-level state archives under Federal Archival Agency, which now stands at fourteen: the thirteen federal archives in Moscow and St. Petersburg now listed in Part B and also the Russian State Historical Archive of the Far East--RGIA DV (Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Dal'nego Vostoka--RGIA DV, see B-14), which is now located in Vladivostok (formerly in Tomsk). First, the March directive combined the former Komsomol Archive--TsKhDMO (see B-12) with the former Central Party Archive--RTsKhIDNI (see B-12); the consolidated facility was renamed the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History--RGASPI (B-12). Secondly, the pre-1991 secret Special Archive (TsGOA) for captured records, which in 1992 had been renamed the Center for Preservation of Historico-Documentary Collections--TsKhIDK (see B-8) was consolidated with the Russian State Military Archive--RGVA (B-8). At the same time the Center for Preservation of Contemporary Documentation (predominantly for post-1953 CP records)--TsKhSD was rebaptized the Russian State Archive of Contemporary History--RGANI (see B-13).
"Regulations for the Work of Users in Reading Rooms of State Archives of the Russian Federation," issued by Rosarkhiv and registered with the Ministry of Justice at the end of December 1998, include provisions for access, working conditions, and reproduction of documents in all federal archives under Rosarkhiv. (An English translation is provided at this website.)
For access to federal archives under Rosarkhiv, researchers should address an official letter of application to the director of the individual archive required. Access regulations are spelled out in the 1998 "Regulations for the Work of Users." The Rosarkhiv office is prepared to advise researchers (in writing or by phone) regarding the location of specific materials or other problems researchers may encounter.
Further inquiries are possible through the "Arkhivy Rossii" website.