Vladimir Dobrovolskii

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dobrovol’skii, Vladimir Nikolaevich


Born July 30, 1856, in the village of Krasnosvetskoe, now in the Pochinkovsk Raion, Smolensk Oblast; died May 7, 1920. Russian student of local lore, ethnologist, and folklorist.

In 1880, Dobrovol’skii graduated from Moscow University. He published the Smolensk Ethnologic Collection (issues 1-4, 1891-1903) about which V. I. Lenin made the well-known remark: “on the basis of this material one could write a superb study of the hopes and expectations of the people” (quoted from an article by VI. Bonch-Bruevich, “Lenin on Poetry,” in Na literaturnom postu, 1931, no. 4, p. 4). Dobrovol’skii compiled The Smolensk Oblast Dictionary (1914). His scholarly recording of gypsy folklore in Kiselev Gypsies (1908) is of great value.


Dmitriev, V. V. N. Dobrovol’skii: Kratkii biograficheskii ocherk. Smolensk, 1930.
Sidel’nikov, V. “V. N. Dobrovol’skii-ethnograf i kraeved.” In Narodnoe poeticheskoe tvorchestvo Smolenskoi oblasti. Smolensk, 1954. Pages 5-16.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.