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State Archives of Odesa Oblast

Address:Administrative 1st building:
18 Zhukovskogo Str., Odesa, 65026
Tel: +380(48) 722-93-65
Fax: +380(48) 722-80-25
2nd building: 29, Pirogovskaya Str.,
Odesa, 56023

Director: Volodymir Levchuk

Deputy Director: Bilousova Lilia

Deputy Director: Olena Ksendzik

Historical Background

Odesa region state archives was founded in 1920 as Odesa Historical Archives. The main funds of the pre-revolutionary period accepted were from 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 West Kazakhstan Region. Documentation of the Soviet Period was left in Odesa. Still, replacements and evacuations led to irrecoverable waste: More than 1 million archival files in Odesa Region (50 percent) 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 Region were accepted. On 1958 the archives has been renamed on Odesa region state archives. Starting from 1980 it is named Odesa region state archives.

Total Volume of Funds

Description of Archives Holdings

The earliest documents of the State Archives of Odesa Region are the unique orders of Polish origin for XVI- XVII ct., collected by the Professor of the Novorossijski UniversityO.Markevych. First of them written in Latin and stamped withred sealing-wax is dated by 1572.

The eqarliest and most valuable documents are concentrated in the funds of General-Governor Administration for Novorossia and Bessarabia, Odesa City Chief Office, Odesa Police Office, Balta Uyezd Court, Odesa Uyezd Zemsky Office, Odesa Customs and others.

The most important and diverse are funds of Odesa City Council and Odesa City Administrarion. The main documents are: including of the individuals to the Odesa merchants (1, 2, 3 guilds) and petty bourgeois; accept 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 state of hospitals, cemeteries, orphanages, religious institutions, also on recruits, well-known persons, etc.A separatefamily register of Odesa honorary citizen for 1854-1897 includes 304 families of famous Odesans. Besides the general record management, special documentation is also concentrated in the Jewish desk.

Fund 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 XX ct.1st All-Russian Census, 1897 is of great historical consequence and lists full information on each family, a total of 3,000 files. It is a unique information about Odesa society in the end of XIX ct

Economical life of Odesa and former Kherson Guberniya is reflected by the documents of various financial institutions such as: Odesa Uyezd Treasure (F. 32, 1827-1920), Excise Office in Kherson Guberniya (F. 33, 1879-1919), Zemsky Bank of Kherson Guberniya (F. 249, 1865-1919), Bressarabsko-Tavricheskij Land Bank (F. 305, 1872-1920), tax inspectors in Odesa (F. 7, 1886-1919), private banks of Samuil Barbash, Ashkenazi and others. These funds include financial documentation, business correspondence, revision registers of population, merchant certificates, information about his 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 volost and village offices were arrived at the Odesa Archives in the 1930s. Typical documents of village office records (including 19 of the 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 arerepresented by some funds that contain metric 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 my members, celebrations, cultural events, practices of tradition, and much more.

Funds 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 Kreson Guberniya became revolutionary committees (revkoms) and executive committees of the Soviet workers, peasants, and soldiers (ispolkoms) - gubernial,uyezd, volost and rural ones. Their documentation shows the stabilization of economic and social conditions for all of the people in Kherson (Odessa) Guberniya duringthe revolution and Civil War (1917-1920), numerous administrative-territorial changes whereupon old administrative units were destroyed. In 1919 Odesa Guberniya consisted of six uyezdz: Odesa, Tiraspol, Voznesensk, Ananjev, Balta, and Pervomajsk. Odesa Uyezd was divided into 43 volosts, in 1920 they were integrated into only 20. The population numbers of volosts were very different and varied between 5,000 and 30,000.

That ineffective system was changed again between 1923 and 1925 when the old pre-revolutionary territorial division was changed finally 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 rayons. Odessa okrug, for example, had 18 rayons. Former volosts were absorbed into rayons. Between 1923 and 1932 the higher organs of power and management were executive committees of the Soviet workers and peasants (ispolkoms) – the gubernial, okrug, rayon and village ones.

Funds 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 at 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 Golodomor 1932-1933, starvation of population

More detailed information about economic and social state of population in 1920-30-s is in the separate funds of national organizations, societies, educational institutions and political formations, including the Jewish ones, such as:

Some funds 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 organization.

Funds of educational soviet institutions such as the Institute of People Education, Odesa University, Odesa German Pedagogical Institute, Politechnical Institute, Stalin Jewish Agricultural Institutein OdesaJewish Agricultural Institutein Novo-Poltavka, Odesa Jewish Pedagogical College, Odesa Jewish College of Precision Mechanics (Trust of “Ukrainian Film”), schools, courses for workers and other ones contain management recording, lists of teachers and students, progress-sheets, results of examinations, diploma works, personal files.

A fund specifically for the period of temporal Romanian-German occupation of Odesa and Odesa Oblast (1941-1944) includes about 900 funds 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 Royal Romania – directions, primaries, prefectures, pretures, courts, police offices, siguranza (secret police), plants, agricultural communities, educational and cultutal istitutions.

Detailed statistic information about victims and damages in Odesa Region are in documentation of special regional and district commissions extraordinary for determination of damage from Romanian-German occupation, formed just after liberation.

Funds 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 region state archives accepted also funds 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 Unibersity by I.I.Mechnikov, South-Ukrainian Pedagogical University by R.D.Ushinsky, Odesa Museum of Local History, Art Museum, Odesa Research Institute of Ophtalmology by V.P.Filatov, etc.

Odesa Archives preserve 146 private funds of famous people – scientists, politics, writers, actors, military and civil officials, doctors (A.Skalkovskyi, G.Marazli, Rodokanaki-Yur’evychi, Inglezi, Strudzy 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 cosmopoliten Odesasociety.

Odesa region statearchives preserve documentaries,cine- photo- phono- and videodocuments, which reflect social, political .and cultural life of Odesa and Odesa region.


Theearliestdated documents of Odesa region state archives: Polish diplomafrom the professor I.Linnichenko fund. !572

Photo. Brodska synagogue in Odesa. From 1944 – premises of Odesa region state archives (collection of O.Drozdovskyi).

On the left: banner of Danube Cossack regiment. Water color. 1814.

On the right: cavalryman of Chornomorsky Cossack formation. Water color. 1814

German settlement Grunau of Mariupol district. Lithigraphy. XIX century

Autograph of O.S.Pushkin, 1824

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