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Four short links: resources on pre-revolutionary Russia

1. Russian Visual Arts: Art Criticism in Context, 1814-1909. Nice research archive of images and texts from the period, with lots of search options. Good for finding interesting and unexpected things, though occasionally difficult to find the images you’re actually looking for. A lot of the images are in black and white, which seems odd as they’re out of copyright. I find the essays on art criticism very useful, and a lot of them haven’t been translated into English anywhere else.

2. Saint Petersburg 1900: a photographic travelogue of the capital of imperial Russia. Based on Burton Holmes’ travelogue for Russia, this is just a really good source of interesting photos from the late imperial era, plus descriptions and other, generally more recent images. Some of the pictures take a long time to load, but they’re worth the wait.

3. Nevsky Prospekt. Something of a favourite. I particularly like the Photos of Nevsky section, which has pictures and information for each building on both sides of the street — occasionally very handy in my line of work, and good for a bit of nostalgia now and again as well. There is also a nice selection of old postcards, information on other major landmarks in the city, including graves in the Alexander Nevsky cemetery, and if you’re a trainspotter, the Former Warsaw Station page (Varshavsky vokzal) is probably your dream site.

4. A Look Through the Judas Hole: The Imperial Russian Prison System and Censorship. Part of the Exponet Virtual International Philatelic Exposition, this site has some really interesting documents and letter relating to the prison system from 1845 onwards, including correspondence by both officials and prisoners. There’s some extremely detailed information for the philatelist, but also lots of useful stuff for Russian specialists and people working on the prison/exile system.

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