Semenov-Tian-Shanskii, Veniamin

Semenov-Tian-Shanskii, Veniamin Petrovich


Born Mar. 27 (Apr. 8), 1870, in St. Petersburg; died Feb. 8, 1942, in Leningrad. Soviet geographer and statistician. Son of P. P. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii.

V. P. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii graduated in 1893 from the natural science divison of the physics and mathematics faculty of the University of St. Petersburg. Between 1919 and 1937 he was a professor at various higher educational institutions, including the University of Leningrad. During part of this period he was also director of the Central Geographic Museum, which existed from 1932 to 1938, in Leningrad.

In 1895, under the direction of Professor A. A. Inostrantsev, Semenov-Tian-Shanskii took part in a geological survey of the Salair Ridge. He subsequently conducted geological research in the Ural River basin and in the region of the Obshchii Syrt. After taking part in Russia’s first census in 1897, he served on the staff of various statistical institutions. From 1905 to 1917 he headed the statistical department of the Ministry of Finance and Industry.

Semenov-Tian-Shanskii was the editor of Russia: A Complete Geographic Description of Our Fatherland, whose publication began in 1899; 11 of the 22 planned volumes came out before 1914. Between 1900 and 1911 he published the important 12-volume work Trade and Industry in European Russia by Regions. In his monograph City and Country in European Russia, which appeared in 1910, he provided a breakdown of European Russia into regions according to population types. He supplied in 1915 a physiographic regionalization of European Russia and the Caucasus in his book Terrain Types of European Russia and the Caucasus. In 1922 he undertook the compilation of a population density map of European Russia in 110 sheets (listy); 47 sheets were published.


“Veniamin Petrovich Semenov-Tian-Shanskii.” Izv. Vses. geogra-ficheskogo obshchestva, 1940, vol. 72, issue 3. (Contains bibliography.)