Table of Contents

ArcheoBiblioBase: Archives in Russia: B 13

Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv noveishei istorii (RGANI)

[Russian State Archive of Contemporary History]

Agency: Federal'noe arkhivnoe agentstvo Rossii (Rosarkhiv)
[Federal Archival Agency of Russia]

Address: 103132, Moscow, ul. Il'inka (formerly ul. Kuibysheva), 12, entrance 8
Telephone: (495) 606-50-30; Fax: (495) 606-23-21; 606-55-87; RdngRm: 606-38-15
Hours: Tu-Th 9:30-17:00 (Summer [2006]: 3 July–7 August closed)

Director: Natal'ia Georgievna Tomilina (tel. 606-50-06)
Deputy Director: Mikhail Iur'evich Prozumenshchikov (tel. 606-32-86)
Deputy Director: Vladimir Viacheslavovich Sakharov (tel. 606-27-47)
Head of Information Division: Irina Viacheslavovna Kazarina (tel. 606-45-29)
Head of the Reading Room: Liudmila Ivanovna Stepanich (tel. 606-38-15)

Previous Names


The Russian State Archive of Contemporary History (RGANI) dates from the March 1999 Rosarkhiv reform. Its predecessor immediate predecessor, the Center for Preservation of Contemporary Documentation (TsKhSD), was established in 1991 on the basis of current records from the ongoing agency archives (Tekushchie arkhivy) of structural divisions of the CPSU Central Committee, which were nationalized after the attempted August coup in 1991. RGANI accordingly retains records created by the activities of the highest central organs of the CPSU and the CP of the RSFSR, including their permanent and provisional commissions, bureaus, and the apparatus of the CPSU CC and the CC CP RSFSR. Documentation principally covers the period from 1952 to August 1991, although there are some holdings from the years 1922-1951.

The Center was opened to researchers 25 February 1992 in the building of the CPSU Central Committee (TsK KPSS) near the Kremlin in Old Square (Staraia ploshchad').

The center combines several agency archives of CC structural subdivisions, such as the CPSS CC General Department (Obshchii otdel TsK KPSS), the Committee for Party Control (Komitet partiinogo kontrolia--KPK), the CC CPSU Organizational Department (Orgotdel TsK KPSS), which included CPSU membership records; the CC Administration of Affairs (Arkhivnyi fond Upravleniia delami TsK KPSS); and the International Department (Mezhdunarodnyi otdel), among others. RGANI has recently started to acquire records of the CPSU Congresses (1955-1966) and transcripts and other documents of CC Plenums (1941-1966, 1990-1991). Of particular importance are the records of the CC Politburo (1952-1991). Among the most voluminous fonds in RGANI are the records of CPSU CC Secretariat (1952 to 1991) and the CPSU CC Apparatus (Apparat) (1952-1991). A few personal fonds have been established for individual CPSU officials and leaders. There are also some sound recordings. Especially since the end of 1994, TsKhSD has been receiving transfers of additional Central Committee and Politburo files from the Archive of the President of the Russian Federation (AP RF, C-1).


A very large percentage of the files in RGANI are still classified, although the declassification procedure has been progressing. Many others are not open because they have not been processed. A number of records that were earlier available for research, including the records of the CC Secretariat (fond 4) and most files from the International Department in fond 5 are still closed as of Spring 2004. Researchers may make requests for priority declassification consideration, but the process usually involves a fee for a thematic search. Ciphered cables and other documents from all fonds are normally retained in a separate collection and have not been declassified. See Biulleten' rassekrechennykh dokumentov federal'nykh arkhivov i tsentrov khraneniia dokumentatsii (1998-2004) for an annotated list of files and some individual documents that have been declassified through 1997-2003.

Access to most of the archival internal reference system is closed.

Working Conditions

The center has a large reading room with microform readers, since researchers are normally required to use microform copies of many of the files. Access to the archive itself remains difficult because of special security for the high government building in which RGANI is located. Access to the reading room is possible only after an advance telephone appointment with the head of the reading room; a minimum of two days is often now required for foreigners to obtain admission to the building. Readers' passes are no longer provided, but names of current researchers are kept in a special list at the security check point at the building entrance. Current security measures prohibit the use of personal computers in the reading room.

Researchers complain about the slowness of the declassification process and the fact that they cannot search documents themselves and hence the need to pay thematic search fees.

Researchers are permitted to order 10 files per day. Orders are usually delivered in two days.

Recent General Descriptions

Major Specialized Finding Aids

See the new directory Kratkii mezharkhivnyi spravochnik o mestakh khraneniia dokumentov po lichnomu sostavu, Vyp. 1 (2005) for personnel files in fonds held by RGANI in electronic version at the website “Arkhivy Rossii”:
  • Otdel TsK KPSS po sviaziam s inostrannymi kompartiiami, 1953-1957: Annotirovannyi spravochnik. Compiled by E. S. Afanas'eva, V. Iu. Afiani, M. Iu. Prozumenshchikov, et al. Edited by N. G. Tomilina. Moscow: ROSSPEN, 1999. 312 p. "Spravochno-informatsionnye materialy po dokumentam Rossiiskogo gosudarstvennogo arkhiva noveishei istorii (RGANI)." [Rosarkhiv; RGANI] (Lib: DLC; MH)
    An inventory of 508 recently declassified files of the CC CPSU Division for Relations with Foreign Communist Parties, from fond 5 (Apparat TsK KPSS), opis' 28, covering primarily the years 1953-1957. The introduction explains the structure of the Division with its various sectors for different countries and international organizations and explains the types of materials encountered in the documents. Includes name and geographical indexes, and a chart indicting the chronological coverage of files for different sectors each year.
  • Otdel kul'tury TsK KPSS, 1953–1966: Spravochnik: (Annotirovannye opisi). Compiled by M. Iu. Kiselev, L. I. Kireeva, N. G. Toshchakova, L. V. Charskaia. Edited by V. Iu. Afiani. Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2004. 296 p. "Spravochno-informatsionnye materialy po dokumentam Rossiiskogo gosudarstvennogo arkhiva noveishei istorii (RGANI)." [Rosarkhiv; RGANI] (Lib: MH)

    Documentation of the Division of Science

  • Otdel nauki TsK KPSS. 1953-1966: Spravochnik: (Annotirovannye opisi). Compiled by M. Iu. Kiselev, I. V. Kazarina, L. A. Velichanskaia, L. V. Charskaia. Edited by M. Iu. Prozumenshchikov. Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2006. 400  p. "Spravochno-informatsionnye materialy po dokumentam Rossiiskogo gosudarstvennogo arkhiva noveishei istorii (RGANI)." [Rosarkhiv; RGANI]