People's Houses

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

People’s Houses


in prerevolutionary Russia, clubs usually comprising a library with a reading room, a hall for theatrical performances and lectures, a Sunday school, a tearoom, and a bookstore. The people’s houses were maintained by zemstvos, city administrative organs, literacy societies, and private individuals. The first such clubs were opened in the second half of the 1880’s by leading industrialists. In the late 19th century the progressive intelligentsia organized people’s houses in large cities for educational purposes. The largest of these clubs were the Ligovskii People’s House in St. Petersburg, the Vvedenskii People’s House in Moscow, and the people’s houses of the literacy societies in Kharkov and Kiev. The theatrical companies affiliated with some clubs exerted a strong cultural influence, notably the People’s Theater of Ligovskii People’s House, directed by P. P. Gaideburov and N. F. Skarskaia. The autocracy retarded the cultural and educational activities of the clubs, restricting their repertoire to “loyal” plays and hindering the acquisition of books by libraries.

The Bolsheviks made extensive use of people’s houses in conducting revolutionary propaganda and organizing mass rallies. V. I. Lenin (under the pseudonym Karpov) addressed a rally in the Ligovskii People’s House on May 9 (22), 1906. After the October Revolution of 1917 the people’s houses were replaced by mass cultural and educational clubs.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
The chief magistrate of the city can't go and be a rebuilding of people's houses, my good sir.
And they're all to be sold, and go into strange people's houses, and perhaps be cut with the knives, and wore out before I'm dead.
Since she had been living in other people's houses and had had no Ayah, she had begun to feel lonely and to think queer thoughts which were new to her.
They plunder other people's houses, issue false paper money, and worst of all they kill my children and my father, and then talk of rules of war and magnanimity to foes!
Now, from a little up the hillside over the bay, I could catch a sight of the great, ancient church and the roofs of the people's houses in Iona.
Is nothing more needed than to get a footing, by hook or by crook, in other people's houses to rule over the masters (and that, perhaps, after having been brought up in all the straitness of some seminary, and without having ever seen more of the world than may lie within twenty or thirty leagues round), to fit one to lay down the law rashly for chivalry, and pass judgment on knights-errant?
His father was right; John had justified him; John was no guest for decent people's houses, and no fit associate for decent people's children.
It is not natural for letters to enter people's houses in this manner.
You know, my dear prince, when a person does not receive company himself, he gives up going to other people's houses involuntarily.
Take their horses out, of course, and show the strangers in that they may have supper; you and I have staid often enough at other people's houses before we got back here, where heaven grant that we may rest in peace henceforward."
"Walking in and out of other people's houses. I wonder if these animals are happy?" she speculated, stopping before a gray bear, who was philosophically playing with a tassel which once, perhaps, formed part of a lady's parasol.
D'you know, he was a boy in a grocer's shop and took parcels to people's houses in a basket?

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