Державний архів Одеської області
- State Archive of the Odessa Oblast
- Derzhavnyi arkhiv Odeskoi oblasti
Odesa region state archives was founded in 1920 as Odesa Historical Archives. The main collections from the pre-revolutionary period are the collections of Novorossia and Bessarabia Governor-General Administration, Odesa City Chief, Odesa City Council, Guardianship Committee for Foreign Settlers in Southern Russia, Odesa Office for Foreign Settlers in South Russia, Odesa Police Office, Commercial Court, banks, Odesa port offices, customs, Novorossijsky University and other colleges and schools, cultural societies, churches, and others. With the beginning of World War II and the German-Romanian occupation of Odesa in 1941, a major portion of the pre-revolutionary records were evacuated to Stalingrad. In 1942, when battles reached the city, archives were evacuated to Uralsk in the western Kazakhstan. Documentation of the Soviet period was left in Odesa. Still, replacements and evacuations led to irrecoverable losses: more than 1 million archival files in Odesa oblast (50%) were lost or destroyed during the war. In April 1944, the Odesa Archives renewed its work. After the war, a new archival documents on the history of Odessa oblast were accepted. In 1958 the archives has been renamed as Odesa oblast state archives.
Geographical and Cultural Context
Archive holds collections of various documents from Odessa and Black Sea region from XVI century up to the present day.
Mandates/Sources of Authority
Archive is operating on the basis of Ukrainian Federal Laws, its statute and internal regulations.
All of these documents are available online:
Archive is divided into 6 departments:
Of Scientific and Research Help Apparatus
Economy, Finance, Material and Technical facilities
Formation of the National Archival Fund and Records
Organization and Coordination of the archival
affairs, Human Resources, Control of the documents production by the state authorities
Storage and Accounting of the Documents and Insurance Fond
Usage of Documents, Information and External contacts
Archive has two buildings. One is located at Zhukovs'koho street 18; second one at Pirohovs'ka street 29.
Archival and Other Holdings
The earliest documents of the State Archives of Odesa Oblast are the unique orders of Polish origin from XVI and XVII century, collected by the professor of the Novorossijski University, O. Markevych. Oldest of them written in Latin and stamped with red wax seal is dated by 1572.
The earliest and most valuable documents are concentrated in the collections of General-Governor Administration for Novorossia and Bessarabia, Odesa City Chief Office, Odesa Police Office, Balta County Court, Odesa County Land Office, Odesa Customs and others.
The most important and diverse are collections of Odesa City Council and Odesa City Administration. The documents are concerning Odesa merchants (1, 2, 3 guilds) and petty bourgeois; acceptance of Russian citizenship; delivery of passports, certificates, resident permits; giving lots for building of houses; annual lists of merchants with indication of their capitals; information about recovery of taxes; establishment and activity of trade firms; participation in benevolent actions; information about hospitals, cemeteries, orphanages, religious institutions, also on recruits, well-known persons, etc.A separate family register of Odesa honorary citizens for 1854-1897 includes 304 families of famous Odessites. Besides the general record management, special documentation is also concentrated in the Jewish desk.
Collection of Odesa City Chief Office contains materials about the Odesa Community among the documentation of a few desks. Regulatory and economic desks include permits delivered to individuals for opening businesses, information about state of manufactures, factories and trade firms, application of businessmen on various questions. Court desk consists of the documents on adjustment of decisions of courts concerning bankrupts, claims against their estates and protection of merchants’ heritage. Passport desk contain files with documents for 1808-1898 to entry Russia from abroad and departure from Russia abroad delivered to individuals: passports, certificates from foreign consulates, debenture with warrants, applications for resident permits. Materials of the Desk of societies reflect a process of foundation in Odesa various national, professional, benevolent and political societies in the end of XIX – beginning of XX century. The 1st All-Russian Census, 1897 is of great historical consequence and lists full information on each family, a total of 3000 files. It is an unique information about Odesa society in the end of XIX century economical life of Odesa and former Kherson Guberniya is reflected by the documents of various financial institutions such as: Odesa County Treasure (F. 32, 1827-1920), Excise Office in Kherson Guberniya (F. 33, 1879-1919), Land Bank of Kherson Guberniya (F. 249, 1865-1919), Bessarabsko-Tavricheskij Land Bank (F. 305, 1872-1920), tax inspectors in Odesa (F. 7, 1886-1919), private banks of Samuil Barbash, Ashkenazi and others. These collections include financial documentation, business correspondence, revision registers of population, merchant certificates, information about their properties, warrants, notary acts, information about export-import operations through Odessa port, descriptions of enterprises, works and factories, contracts of sale, gifts, and bartering etc.
Materials of commune (volost) and village offices were assemblied at the Odesa Archives in the 1930s. Typical documents of village office records (including 19 German ones) are orders and directions of higher authorities; economic, financial, and social states of the villages; interactions with peasants; grants and loans; inspections; business matters; health issues; taxes; use of orphan capital; compensation for losses; agricultural practices; court cases; church activities; education; departure of peasants to Siberia in 1898-1905; charitable activities; police records and others.
Religious institutions of various confessions are represented by some collections that contain metrical books (birth, marriage and death entries), also official correspondence, materials about the activities of pastors, genealogical information, evidence of disease, use of religious materials in educational institutions, records of donations, annual debit and credit lists of church communities, savings banks maintained for orphans and widows, charitable activities, operations of orphanages, records of properties owned by members, celebrations, cultural events, practices of tradition, and much more.
Collections of the Soviet period started with the beginning of Soviet power in 1917. Between 1919 and 1923 the higher organs of power and management of the territory of Kherson Guberniya became revolutionary committees (revkoms) and executive committees of the Soviet workers, peasants, and soldiers (ispolkoms) - guberniya, county, commune and rural ones. Their documentation shows the stabilization of economic and social conditions for all of the people in Kherson (Odessa) Guberniya during the revolution and Civil War (1917-1920), numerous administrative-territorial changes In 1919 Odesa Guberniya consisted of six counties: Odesa, Tiraspol, Voznesensk, Ananjev, Balta, and Pervomajsk. Odesa county was divided into 43 communes, in 1920 they were integrated into only 20. The population numbers of communes were very different and varied between 5,000 and 30,000.
Between 1923 and 1925 the old territorial division was changed into the three-level system of management: rayon (district), okrug (conglomerate of districts), and center (guberniya or region). In Odessa Guberniya, six okrugs were created: Odessa, Nikolaev, Kherson, Balta, Elisavetgrad, and Pervomajsk; each divided into districts. Odessa okrug, for example, had 18 districts. Former communes were absorbed into districts. Between 1923 and 1932 the higher organs of power and management were executive committees of the Soviet workers and peasants (ispolkoms) – the guberniya, okrug, district and village ones.
Collections of administrative organs reflect a policy to abolish private ownership started with campaigns against prosperous farmers (kulaks) in 1921 and led to the full reallocation of land and taking of other possessions, kulaks being exiled to Siberia, starvation, closing of churches and imprisoning priests, and punishment of those who expressed discontent against the Soviet power. Such processes are reflected in the documentation of state organs, through numerous complaints from peasants to prosecutor and militia offices, in decisions of peasant meetings, and in materials on collectivization and foundation of kolkhoz (collective farms). Numerous documents of 30s reflect consequences of collectivization and communist ruling such as Holodomor 1932-1933, starvation of population
More detailed information about economic and social state of population in 1920-30-s is in the separate collections of national organizations, societies, educational institutions and political formations, including the Jewish ones, such as: Some collections of institutions for supporting starving population in Odesa Region in 1922-1925 reflect the activity of the American Relief Administration (ARA), “Joint”, Nansen’s Mission and other international organizations.
Collections of educational soviet institutions such as the Institute of People Education, Odesa University, Odesa German Pedagogical Institute, Politechnical Institute, Stalin Jewish Agricultural Institute in Odesa, Jewish Agricultural Institute in Novo-Poltavka, Odesa Jewish Pedagogical College, Odesa Jewish College of Precision Mechanics (Trust of “Ukrainian Film”), schools, courses for workers contains management recording, lists of teachers and students, progress-sheets, results of examinations, diploma works, personal files. Collections from the period of the Romanian-German occupation of Odesa and Odesa Oblast (1941-1944) includes about 900 collections of government organs formed in the Governorship of Transnistria on the territory occupied between the Dniester and the South Bug Rivers under the jurisdiction of Kingdom of Romania – directions, primaries, prefectures, pretures, courts, police offices, siguranza (secret police), plants, agricultural communities, educational and cultural institutions.
Detailed statistic information about victims and damages in Odesa Region are in documentation of special regional and district commissions for determination of damage from Romanian-German occupation, formed just after liberation.
Collections of the Black Sea Shipping Company, Odesa Commercial Fleet, Odesa-Kishinev Railroad contain documents about development of transport system in the region and activity of its branches.
Odesa oblast state archives accepted also collection of institutions of higher education, colleges, schools, theatres, museums, societies, scientific institutions, organs of health defence, statistic offices. The most valuable are the Odesa State University named after I.I.Mechnikov, South-Ukrainian Pedagogical University named after R.D.Ushinsky, Odesa Museum of Local History, Art Museum, Odesa Research Institute of Ophtalmology named after V.P.Filatov, etc.
Odesa Archives preserve 146 private collections of famous people – scientists, politics, writers, actors, military and civil officials, doctors (A.Skalkovskyi, G.Marazli, families Rodokanaki-Yur’evych, Inglez, Sturdza etc.). They contain materials about public and private life of the person (or the family) mostly private documentation such as: family correspondence, photo, manuscripts, collections of cards, invitations, greetings, newspapers, posters etc. Some of them are referred to the history of the bright representatives of cosmopolite Odesa society.
Odesa region state archives preserve documentaries,cine- photo- phono- and videodocuments, which reflect social, political .and cultural life of Odesa and Odesa region.
Total Volume of Collections
13093 collections, 2061179 collection items(1572-2011)
12307 collection items of scientific and technical documentation (XVIII-XXI centuries)
3173 collection items of film documents (1961-2007)
22790 collection items of photo documents (1951-2011)
898 collection items of sound recordings ( 1967-2007)
527 collection items of video documents (2000-2011)
Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication
Государственный архив Одесской области. Путеводитель / Сост.: А.Д.Бачинский, В.П.Конюк, С.В.Кульчицкий, А.И.Хиони; ред кол.: С.Я.Боровой, А.Д.Бачинский, И.А.Хиони. - Одесса, 1961. - 388 с. [State Archives of Odessa Region: Guide / Comp. by: A.D.Bachinskii, V.P.Konyuk, S.V.Kul’chitskii, I.A.Chioni; ed. by: S.Y.Borovoj, A.D.Bachinskii, I.A.Chioni. - Odessa, 1961.
Фонды Государственного архива Одесской области. Указатель. Часть 1. Досоветский период / Авт. и сост. В.Ю.Алексеева // Труды Государственного архива Одесской области. – Т. III. - Одесса, 2000. - 224 с. [Funds of the State Archives of Odessa Region. Register. Part 1. Pre-Soviet period / Auth., comp. V.Y.Alekseeva // Proceedings of the State Archives of Odessa Region. - Vol. III. - Odessa, 2000
Реєстр фондів Державного архіву Одеської області. Дорадянський період / Авт.-упор. В.Ю.Алєксєєва-Вітте // Праці Державного архіву Одеської області. - Т. XXIII. - Одеса, 2008. - 296 с. [Register of Funds in the State Archives of Odessa Region. Pre-Soviet Period / Auth., comp. by V.Y.Alekseeva-Witte // Proceedings of the State Archives of Odessa Region - Vol. XXIII. - Оdessa, 2008.
Державний архів Одеської області. Путівник. – Випуск 1. Фонди особового походження // Праці Державного архіву Одеської області. - Т. XXXVІ. - Одеса: Прес-кур’єр, 2012. - 292 с. [The State Archives of Odessa Rеgion. Guide. – Volume 1. Private funds // Proceedings of the State Archives of Odessa Region - Vol. XXXVІ. - Оdessa 2012.]
All this finding aides and guides are accessible online at:
Main Reading Room (at Zhukovskogo street 18) is opened from Monday until Friday between 10 am and 5 pm (with a lunch break between 1 pm and 2 pm)
Second Reading Room (at Pirohovska street 29) is opened from Monday till Friday, between 9 am and 4 pm (with a lunch break between 12 and 1 pm.)