(full name, A. A. Zhdanov Leningrad State University), one of the oldest and largest higher educational institutions in the USSR. It was founded in St. Petersburg in 1819 from the Chief Pedagogical Institute and initially comprised the departments of philosophy and law, history and philology, and physics and mathematics; the department of Oriental languages was organized in 1854. As one of the leading scholarly, scientific, and cultural centers of Russia, it played a prominent role in the development of the social and revolutionary movement in the country.
Famous scholars and scientists worked at the university in the 19th century and early 20th, including P. L. Chebyshev, A. A. Markov, A. M. Liapunov, and V. A. Steklov in mathematics; H. F. E. Lenz (E. Kh. Lents), O. D. Khvol’son, and A. S. Popov in physics; A. A. Voskresenskii, D. I. Mendeleev, A. M. Butlerov, and N. A. Menshutkin in chemistry; A. O. Kovalevskii, I. M. Sechenov, N. E. Vvedenskii, and A. N. Beketov in biology and physiology; V. V. Dokuchaev in soil science; A. A. Shakhmatov in philology; V. R. Rozen, S. F. Ol’denburg, P. K. Kokovtsev, and V. V. Bartol’d in Oriental studies; and N. I. Kareev and V. I. Sergeevich in history and law.
Among those who have studied at the university are the writers and scientists N. G. Chernyshevskii, D. I. Pisarev, I. P. Pavlov, K. A. Timiriazev, E. Metchnikoff (I. I. Mechnikov), N. N. Miklukho-Maklai, I. S. Turgenev, N. G. Pomialovskii, G. I. Uspenskii, D. N. Mamin-Sibiriak, G. A. Danilevskii, J. Rainis, V. V. Veresaev; the poets A. A. Blok, D. Bednyi, and A. S. Serafimovich; the painters A. N. Benois, I. Ia. Bilibin, N. N. Ge, M. A. Vrubel’, V. D. Polenov, and I. E. Grabar’; the composers M. I. Glinka and A. K. Glazunov; and the actors V. I. Kachalov and A. I. Sumbatov-Iuzhin. The utopian socialist M. V. Butashevich-Petrashevskii was a one-time student at the university, as were the Byelorussian revolutionary K. Kalinovskii, the member of the People’s Will (a revolutionary group) A. I. Ul’ianov, the Bulgarian D. Blagoev, and the Soviet party and state figures M. S. Ol’minskii, N. V. Krylenko, D. Z. Manuil’skii, V. R. Menzhinskii, and P. P. Stučka. Many students of the university were members of the first Social Democratic organizations in Russia.
In 1891, V. I. Lenin passed the examinations of the university’s department of law without attending lectures.
The teaching, scholarly, and scientific activities of the university have expanded considerably in the years of Soviet power. Well-known schools of thought of contemporary science were developed here by leading scientists and scholars, including V. A. Ambartsumian in astronomy; I. M. Vinogradov, V. I. Smirnov, S. L. Sobolev, A. D. Aleksandrov, and Iu. V. Linnik in mathematics; D. S. Rozhdestvenskii, A. A. Lebedev, V. A. Fok, and A. N. Terenin in physics; S. V. Lebedev, V. E. Tishchenko, A. E. Favorskii, and B. P. Nikol’skii in chemistry; A. A. Ukhtomskii, V. L. Komarov, V. N. Sukachev, and V. A. Dogel’ in biology; A. A. Inostrantsev, V. I. Vernadskii, and A. E. Fersman in geology; A. P. Barannikov, F. I. Shcherbatskoi, V. M. Alekseev, V. V. Struve, and I. Iu. Krachkovskii in Oriental studies; A. V. Venediktov in law; B. D. Grekov and E. V. Tarle in history; and V. F. Shishmarev and V. M. Zhirmunskii in philology.
The name of A. A. Zhdanov was conferred upon the university in 1948.
In the 1972–73 academic year, Leningrad University included 15 departments: mathematics and mechanics, physics, chemistry, biology and soil science, geology, geography, philosophy, economics, history, law, philology, applied mathematics, psychology, journalism, and oriental languages. The university has evening, correspondence, and preparatory divisions; a graduate school; 172 subdepartments; and nine scientific research institutes (mathematics and mechanics, physics, chemistry, biology, physiology, the study of the earth’s crust, computer mathematics and control processes, economic geography, and comprehensive social research). It also has a special-problems (research) laboratory, a sectorial laboratory, an astronomical observatory, three scientific training stations, two museums, a botanical garden; one of the largest scholarly and scientific libraries in the USSR (more than 4 million holdings), and a publishing house.
The university also maintains an institute for improving the qualifications of social-science teachers and departments for improving the qualifications of social-science teachers in special secondary and vocational-technical schools, teachers of general educational disciplines, and foreign-language teachers. The university also offers advanced pedagogical courses and courses for improving the skills of managerial engineering and technical workers. It also runs a physics-mathematics and chemistrybiology boarding school.
In the 1972–73 academic year, there were more than 20,000 students at the university (about 11,000 in the day division). The staff numbered 3,000 teachers and research workers, including 25 academicians and corresponding members of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the Republic and branch academies, 400 professors and doctors of sciences, and 1,400 docents and candidates of sciences. The university publishes the Vestnik (since 1946; in six series since 1956), the journal Pravovedenie (since 1957, part of the series Izvestiia vysshikh uchebnykh zavedenii), and diverse scientific, methodological, and textbook literature. During the years of Soviet power Leningrad University has trained more than 86,000 specialists. It has been awarded the Order of Lenin (1944) and the Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1969).
REFERENCESLeningradskii universitet im. A. A. Zhdanova; istoriia. Leningrad, 1969.
G. I. MAKAROV and V. A. ZUBKOV