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December, 10, 2008 - February, 15, 2009

the exhibition hall of the Russian State Archives (RSAAD)

Organised by:
Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Federal Archives Agency, the Russian State Archives of Ancient Documents (RSAAD), The Russian State Military History Archive (RGVIA) 

01# Tapestry portrait (arras) of Peter IThe exhibition is dedicated to the major administrative reforms of the XVIIIth century carried out by Peter the Great - administrative division of Russia and development of governorship. Up to the end of the XVIIth century the territory of Russia was subdivided into uyezds (districts) and volosts (small rural districts). In 1708, in order to improve the manageability of the vast territory of the Russian Empire, Tsar Peter the Great issued an edict dividing Russia into eight administrative divisions, called governorates (guberniyas), ruled by governors: the Ingermanland Governorate (of Saint-Petersburg), Siberian Governorate, governorates of Moscow, Archangelgorod, Smolensk, Kiev, Azov and Kazan. From 1713 to 1719 other guberniyas were established, i.e. the Riga Governorate, Astrakhan Governorate, Nizhny Novgorod Governorate and Reval Governorate. In 1719, Peter enacted another administrative reform to subdivide most of the governorates into provinces, which were further divided into districts.

Sections of the exhibition display various aspects of everyday life in Russian guberniyas in the first quarter of the XVIIIth century, documents and certificates indicating governors' activities and staffing policy of the epoch, legislative acts, statistical data about population, as well as the first printed gazette - "Vedomosti" ("The Records").

Items, worthy of particular attention, relate to the work of the Peters' cabinet and state authorities. They include authentic papers, autographs of the Emperor, paintings and portraits of Peter I and Russian statesmen, cartographic materials for all Russian provinces, records of the St. Petersburg's construction.

At the exhibition Moscow Kremlin Museums demonstrate church utensils, cold arms and firearms, precious tableware, accessories as well as articles of domestic utility. Such a diverse exposition will impress you with successful combination of real archival documents and rare museum exhibits.