Table of Contents

ArcheoBiblioBase: Archives in Russia: B 8

Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi voennyi arkhiv (RGVA)

[Russian State Military Archive]

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


Address: 125212, Moscow, ul. Admirala Makarova, 29
Telephone: (495) 159-80-91, 159-88-39; Fax: (495) 159-85-04, 159-80-91; RdngRm: 159-85-23
Hours: M-Th 10:00-17:00; F 10:00-16:00 (Summer [2006]: July closed)
Director: Vladimir Nikolaevich Kuzelenkov (tel. 159-80-91 [also fax])
Deputy Director, for former TsKhIDK: Vladimir Ivanovich Korotaev (tel. 150-52-75)

Reading Room of former TsKhIDK (before 1992 - Special Archive - TsGOA):
Telephone: 156-66-64
Hours: M-Th 10:00-17:00; F 10:00-16:00 (Summer [2006]: July closed)
Head of the Reading Room: Natal'ia Vladimirovna Samsonova (tel. 156-66-64)

Previous Names

About RGVA

First established in 1920 under the name of the Archive of the Red Army (Arkhiv Krasnoi Armii), and later the Central State Archive of the Red Army (TsGAKA), the archive was in 1956 renamed the Central State Archive of the Soviet Army (TsGASA). It received its current name in 1992. RGVA retains records of the Soviet armed forces and internal special troops from the years of the Civil War through the interwar period (1918-1940), together with related fonds of personal papers. Along with the records of the highest, central organs of military administration of the RKKA and the General Staff are those of the political command of the Red Army, military and political sections and administrations of different military districts, fronts, armies, and divisions in the course of various military engagements, local organs for military administration, as well as records of the military intelligence service (GRU), and military educational institutions.

With the 1999 Rosarkhiv reorganization, the former Special Archive for trophy foreign records--TsGOA, renamed in 1992 the Center for the Preservation of Historico-Documentary Collections (Tsentr khraneniia istoriko-dokumental'nykh kollektsii--TsKhIDK) was abolished as a separate archive, and its holdings are now part of RGVA.

In July 1992, the formerly top-secret Central State Special Archive (TsGOA SSSR) was reorganized and renamed TsKhIDK. The so-called Special Archive (Osobyi arkhiv) was officially established in March 1946 to house the archival materials of foreign origin from many European countries that were captured by Soviet Army at the end of World War II in Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia and brought back to Moscow. The 870 fonds of captured records (as of 2000), comprise official records of the Third Reich and personal papers of many Nazi leaders and prominent public figures of the Nazi movement; records of the high state agencies of other European countries, which had earlier been captured by Nazi authorities; records of many non-govermental organizations, agencies, and individuals throughout Europe, including those of Jewish and Masonic groups, socialist parties and labor associations, newspapers and publishing houses, student organizations, and business firms; and collections of unique documentary materials of private and family origin.

Later the archive also acquired records of Soviet agencies dealing with prisoners of war and displaced persons under the NKVD-MVD, namely voluminous complex of records of agencies subordinated to the Main Administration for Affairs of Prisoners of War and Internees (GUPVI, 1939-1960), including records of individual POW camps, which contain personal files on individual foreign prisoners and documentation on the burial of prisoners who died in the USSR.

The archive of the Grand Duchy of Lichtenstein was returned in 1997, the British wartime records were returned in 1998. As of 2002 almost all of the fonds of French and Belgian provenance have been restituted. As of May 2003, the last fonds of Dutch provenance were returned to the Netherlands.


During the last few years, almost all of the earlier closed fonds have been declassified, with the agreement of military authorities, although some documentation containing information of state and military secrets remain closed to researchers, such as intelligence records (GRU). Some records that were open to researchers during 1992 and early 1993 were withdrawn again pending declassification.

Almost all fonds of foreign provenance remaining in the former Special Archive (TsGOA/TsKhIDK), part of RGVA since March 1999, are open for research.

See Biulleten' rassekrechennykh dokumentov federal'nykh arkhivov i tsentrov khraneniia dokumentatsii (1999, 2002, 2004, vyp. 2, 4, 5) for an annotated list of fonds that have been declassified through 1998-2003.

Working Conditions

Readers may order only 5 files per day instead of the usual 10, which are usually delivered within two working days after they are ordered. Many files are being put on microfilm, which take two or three days to arrive in the reading room. Microfilmed files and paper files must be ordered on separate demands (trebovaniia). There is now a fee for use of a notebook computer (approximately $5) which must be paid at Sberbank. Receipt of a permanent pass (postoiannyi propusk) is also now limited to those using the archive "for a year".

The small reading room in the former TsKhIDK has limited space for researchers; hence advance reservations are often required. Since the March 1999 reorganization researchers using "trophy" fonds from former TsKhIDK continue to use the TsKhIDK reading room (ul. Vyborgskaia, 3). All fonds from TsKhIDK/TsGOA SSSR henceforth have the letter "K" added to their numbers. Researchers have the right to order 5 opisi and 10 files per day. Orders are delivered within 24 hours for files and the same day for opisi.

Recent 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 RGVA in electronic version at the website “Arkhivy Rossii”:

    Published Microfilm Collections

For Holocaust-related materials see the finding aids for the microfilm copies collected by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, many of which are listed on the Museum's website at

Recent General Guides

Recent Specialized Finding Aids

Recent General Guides

Regarding the history, holdings, and restitution issues associated with the holdings from TsGOA, see the bibliography of publications on displaced cultural treasures by Patricia Kennedy Grimsted now available electronically, many entries with electronic texts or links to the published texts--

Recent Specialized Finding Aids