Bantysh-Kamenskii, Nikolai Nikolaevich
Born Dec. 16 (27), 1737, in Nezhin; died Jan. 20 (Feb. 1), 1814, in Moscow. Russian and Ukrainian gentry historian. Bibliographer and student of ancient texts. Director of the Moscow archives of the Collegium of Foreign Affairs (1783–1814).
Bantysh-Kamenskii compiled valuable descriptions of manuscripts concerning relations with Poland, Turkey, China, Georgia, and other countries. He also prepared Description of the Records of Prince A. D. Menshikov, Register and Description of Little Russian and Tatar Records, and many other works, most of which were published after his death. Bantysh-Kamenskii’s fundamental work, A Survey of Russia’s Foreign Relations (vols. 1–4, published 1894–1902), has retained its scholarly value to this day. It gives, in chronological order, brief accounts of the contents of the documents of the archives of the Collegium of Foreign Affairs with respect to Russia’s embassies, diplomatic correspondence, and treaties with Austria, England, Hungary, France, the German and Italian states, the Roman pope, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Courland, Livonia, Estland, Finland, Holland, Spain, and Portugal between 1481 and 1802. Bantysh-Kamenskii prepared for publication the first volume of Collection of State Documents on Foreign Policy and Treaties (1813), which contains valuable sources on Russian history. Bantysh-Kamenskii was also known as a translator and publisher; he published many textbooks.