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Manual to the Guides to the Russian Archives Database.

The Guides to the Russian Archives database contains 94 reference guides for the federal and regional archives.

The database functionality includes:

Search: full-text search and processing of the search results
Catalogue: reference guides browsing section; two browsing modes available: reference book browsing and archive materials browsing.
Index: index of the archives’ creators.

Reference Books Grouping

All reference guides are divided into two general groups: federal archives and regional archives. Reference guides are included into the federal archives group due to their belonging to a certain archive. The regional archives group is formed according to the territorial principle (constituent entities of the Russian Federation).

1. Search

The subject of search in this system can be certain archive materials described in the reference guides, lists of archive materials, as well as additional text materials contained in the guide books.

Complicated structuring of large lists was one of the main difficulties that hindered the separation of each archive material into an independent unit. That’s why sometimes there are various archives lists displayed alongside with the separate archive materials at the same level in the system.

1.1. Simple Search

A compact form of simple search is aimed at quick formation of a search query. The search query should be entered in compliance with the requirements of the query language (see. Query language).

The Sources Selection block is a multilevel selection of reference guides according to their grouping. One should enter a certain group, (tick/untick) from the corresponding reference guide in order to choose a particular list of reference guides for searching, and then return to the search page and complete the search.

1.2. Advanced Search

The advanced search form provides an opportunity to enter a search expression for a particular field with the help of "search in" option. E.g., if you choose "historic reference" in "search in" and enter "technological" in "search subject", the results of the search will include all archives the historic reference of which contains the word "technological". The results of the search will also include all word forms of "technological".

The advanced search has an additional option providing for setting time range. You may specify a certain range of years for the dates of issue of the documents or years of life of the archives’ creators. E.g. if you set the time range for "the documents in the archive materials" as 1930 - 1940, it means that the results of the search will cover all archive materials that contain even a single document dated within the set time range. The same principle is applicable for setting the time range for the years of life of the archives’ creators.

The following conventional types of archive materials have been introduced according to their characteristics in the reference guides in order to facilitate their search in the system: Individual, Group, United, Personal, Nonannotated, Collection, Movie/video/photo/phono. All these types are very close to the terms used in the archive descriptions: Individual characteristics, Group characteristics, United archive material, Personal archive etc. Therefore, you should only select the required elements from the list to search archive materials of a given type.

The reference selection block is absolutely similar to the reference selection block in the simple search form.

1.3. Search Results

Search results are divided into two groups. The first group includes only archive materials. A single search result can be presented as a separate characteristic of the archive material or a list of archive materials. The search results of this group can be browsed as a page list with marked quotations (“All archive materials” tab), as well as in the form of separate descriptions ("Archive material card" tab).

The second group contains various text materials from the reference guide (preface, etc) meeting the search parameters, in addition to the archive's characteristics. A single search result in the second group can be presented as a separate chapter of the reference guide. The results in this case are grouped according to reference guides (5 reference guides on one page) ("ll guides" tab).

A complete text of the reference guide chapter can be found on the page with the "Guide" tab.

2. Catalogue

All reference guides in the catalogue are structured according to their grouping in the system.

Each reference guide has its individual card with the description of all available reference data with additional references to the contact details of the archive institution where the abovementioned reference materials are kept at present.

It should be noted that the name of the archives mentioned in the title of the reference guide does not always coincide with the name of the archive in the system catalogue or contact details at "The Russian Archives" web-site. The reason for this is that the archive can be renamed or restructured after the reference guide is published.

The reference guide card provides for searching only the given reference guide.

The catalogue allows browsing a reference guide in two ways: (1) browsing the whole reference guide in a format close to the printed book (2) browsing a list of archive materials included into the reference guide. The reference book can be browsed both ways from its individual card.

2.1 Reference Book Browsing

The system allows browsing the reference guide in a book format with the original pages preserved. The table of contents of the reference guide is displayed in the left part of the page and the section of the reference guide is in the right part of the display. One should only choose the necessary element in the table of contents to change the section.

2.2 Archive Materials List

This list contains both separate archives characteristics and lists of archive materials. The general list is divided into pages, 20 elements per page. There is a brief description of each element. The list can be sorted out according to the number of the archive material, its name, commencement and ending date of the documents.

A link to the name of the archive material in this list gives a detailed description of the corresponding material (archive material card) containing all information about it available in the reference guide.

3. Index

Index is compiled of the names of the archives’ creators. Each element of the index is a point of entry to one or several archive materials. All index elements are sorted in an alphabetic order. The names can be entered by initial letters through both a dropdown list and a keyboard entry to make the navigation of a large list of elements more convenient. Each archive material is presented in the list of archive materials by its brief description, including the name of the reference guide, chapter, archive creator and reference data.

The index starts with Cyrillic letter "A". Names of the archives’ creators starting with numbers can be found in section "0-9" (E.g. "8th Chief Directorate for the USSR Ministry of Aircraft Production").

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