Geological Committee Geolkom

Geological Committee (Geolkom)


(GEOLKOM), the first state geological institution in Russia, founded in 1882 in St. Petersburg. In its first years the main tasks of the Geological Committee were the systematic study of the geological structure of the country and of its mineral wealth, the compilation of a general geological map, and later the geological survey of individual mining areas.

After the Great October Revolution the activities of the Geological Committee were broadened. In March 1918 the committee became part of the Supreme Council on the National Economy, and from 1923 its tasks included the organization, realization, and regulation of all geological research and field work of national significance. Sections (the Moscow, Ukrainian, Siberian, Urals, Central Asian, and Northern Caucasus sections) and bureaus (for example, the Transcaucasian Bureau) of the Geological Committee were organized. In 1929-30 the Geological Committee was reorganized in order to adapt its work to the new industrialization of the country. Its administrative and planning functions were transferred to the Main Geological Research Administration, and its sections were reorganized into regional geological research administrations, which were assigned the tasks of geological surveying, prospecting, and analysis. The scientific research subdivisions of the Geological Committee which remained in Leningrad continued their work as eight separate scientific branch institutions. In 1931 they were again united (except for the Oil Institute) into a single institute—the Central Geological Research Institute, which in 1939 was renamed the All-Union Geological Research Institute. The Oil Institute, which in 1930 was transferred to the oil industry, subsequently grew to be one of the largest institutes of the country.

Many outstanding Russian scientists have been connected with the Geological Committee—G. P. Gel’mersen, A. P. Karpinskii, F. N. Chernyshev, I. V. Mushketov, and F. B. Shmidt. The Geological Committee has conducted much research on the geological structure of many regions of the country, including the Donbas, Krivoi Rog region, the Urals, the Caucasus, and Siberia, and has also discovered many reserves of minerals. The activities of the Geological Committee have greatly aided the development of native Russian geological science and the creation of a Russian school of geologists (such scientists as K. I. Bogdanovich, A. A. Borisiak, V. I. Vernadskii, I. M. Gubkin, L. I. Lutugin, S. I. Mironov, and E. S. Fedorov). The numerous fundamental works of the scientists of the Geological Committee have brought international fame to the committee. The results of the work of the Geological Committee are published in such journals as its Trudy (Transactions), Izvestiia (Proceedings), Materialy obshchei i prikladnoi geologii (Materials on General and Applied Geology), Vestnik (Bulletin), and Obzor mineral’nykh resursov (Review of Mineral Resources).


Khabakov, A. V. “Deiatel’nost’ Geologicheskogo komiteta v Rossii.” In Tr. In-ta estestvoznaniia i tekhniki AN SSSR, vol. 27. Moscow, 1959.
Kleopov, I. L. Geologicheskii komitet, 1882-1929 gg: Istoriia geologii v Rossii. Moscow, 1964.
50 let sovetskoi geologii. Moscow, 1968.


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