Archives of Southwest Russia, Published by the Commission for the

Archives of Southwest Russia, Published by the Commission for the Examination of Historical Documents

 

The archives of Southwest Russia, also documents on the history of the Ukraine in the 13th to 18th centuries; in 35 volumes (parts 1–8, 1859–1914). The chief source for the publication of the archive was the Kiev Central Archive, as well as documents received by the Kiev Commission from private individuals, monasteries, and various institutions. Part 1 of the Archives of Southwest Russia (12 volumes) contains materials on the history of the Orthodox Church in the 14th to 18th centuries and its fight against the Roman Catholic and Uniate churches; Part 2 (three volumes)—protocols and resolutions of provincial seimiki (district diets) of the szlachta (nobility) for 1569–1726; Part 3 (six volumes)—materials on the struggle of the Ukrainian Cossacks against oppression by the szlachta from 1500 to 1768 (the documents on the participation of the Ukrainian population in the war of liberation of 1648–54 are especially valuable); Part 4 (one volume)—documents on the origins of the szlachta families from 1443 to 1780; Part 5 (two volumes)—documents on cities from 1432 to 1798 and censuses of the Jewish population from 1765 to 1791; Part 6 (two volumes)—documents on the economic and legal conditions of the Ukrainian peasants from 1498 to 1799; Part 7 (three volumes)—documents on the settlement of the southwest region from the middle of the 13th century to the end of the 18th century; and Part 8 (six volumes)—materials on the administration, land tenure, and judicial administration in the Ukraine from the 15th to 18th centuries.

The archives contain a wealth of factual material on the history of the Ukraine which have retained their scientific value to this day. However, the one-sided selection of these documents should be kept in mind when using them, since they were mainly drawn from official Polish institutions and family archives of the szlachta. The elucidation of the class and liberation struggle of the Ukrainian people against the political, social, and religious oppression of the szlachta is therefore incomplete and incorrect. Most of the materials on the disintegration of the feudal and serf system and on the intensification of the class struggle of the working masses are still unpublished.

V. S. BAKULIN

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