Leningrad University

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Leningrad University


(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).


Leningradskii universitet im. A. A. Zhdanova; istoriia. Leningrad, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
He graduated from Leningrad University in 1955, where he studied astronomy, and took a position as an astronomer at the Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory near St.
But it is clear that by the time he became a student at the Leningrad University Mechanics and Mathematics Department in 1947, Pimenov had become immersed in oppositional political ideas that placed him at the extreme fringes of Soviet society.
Already during Stalin's last years, Pimenov had befriended a small group of fellow mathematics students at Leningrad University. The group shared an ethos of intellectual creativity and originality, as was suggested by the semi-ironic names the students gave themselves: "The Society of Madmen at Liberty" (Obshchestvo sumasshedshikh na svobode), "The Library of the Russian Revolution," "The Einstein Club," and "The Free Russian University." (54) Like other unorthodox youthful friendship circles (kompanii) that appeared in the same period, Pimenov's circle was a gathering of distinct personalities rather than a group unified by a cohesive worldview.
Upon finishing high school in 1924, Nikolai Kozyrev went on up to the Pedagogical Institute, and thence, under the insistence of professors at the Institute, was admitted to the Physical and Mathematical Science faculty of Leningrad University, to become an astronomer.
"He's" crisis is resolved when the university's Communist Party boss, closely cooperating with the KGB, offers him a chance to go study Oriental languages at Leningrad University. After his first "real" sexual intercourse with a Latvian girl, "he" accepts the proposal (though Kaplinski himself never studied in Leningrad ...).
The author follows Freidenberg's scholarly career from her apprenticeship at the Department of Classical Studies of St Petersburg University, where she was one of the first female students, through nearly ten years of research and administrative work at various linguistic institutions in Leningrad, culminating at the most dramatic period of the scholar's life and career as the head of the newly reopened Department of Classical Languages at Leningrad University from 1932 until 1950, when she was forced to resign her chair and retire during the 'anti-Marrist campaign'.
For example, in 1937, after Schwartz's father, a professor of history and archeology at Leningrad University, was arrested during yet another wave of Stalinist terror, his family was exiled to the city of Frunze (now Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan).
"Autumn Marathon," in Russian with English subtitles, tells of the life and loves of a Leningrad University professor.
He studied law at Leningrad University, where one of his teachers was Anatoli Sobchak, a leading reformer at the time who was later accused of corruption.
* At a recent talk sponsored by Stanford's Center for International Security and Arms Control, Victor Nefedov, 1970 graduate of Leningrad University and a one-time designer of Soviet missile warheads, extolled the economics of atomic bombs.
Born in Kharkov, Vladimov graduated from Leningrad University's law school but never practiced.
Decades later, as a professor at Leningrad University, the exile would publish materials on Chukchi folklore, mythology, and linguistics, playing an active role in the creation of the Chukchi alphabet and grammar.

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