Scientific journal
European Journal of Natural History
ISSN 2073-4972


Pronin A.A. 1
1 Ural State Agricultural Academy

A report on a series of books on historiography of Russian emigration, published by the author in editorial office Lambert Academic Publishing (Federative Republic of Germany) in 2011-2012

An open-minded study of Russian overseas has become one of actual problems of modern science. There are several reasons. The first one – in terms of emergence of multi-million diaspora that is linked to Russia in foreign countries studying adaptation of different social groups to new life conditions has obtained an extreme urgency. The second reason – comprehension of the large creative heritage of emigrants has an exceptional significance for spiritual, cultural, and social-economic rebirth of Russia in terms of forming new statehood and selecting variants of social development. Finally, the third of the main reasons is the necessity to review many aspects of our domestic history, objective evaluation of the past of our country, joining cultures of Russian overseas and mother country.

The volume and various types of studies that have been taken since 1991, and the major part of which is represented by dissertations, make us consider emigration study as a new direction in domestic human science. A continuous growth in dissertation flow require a system study, results of which will allow us to judge the emigration science as a whole (monographs, articles, and other types of publications are often needed by authors only to access a defence for their dissertations, that lead them to a degree of doctor or candidate of science – acknowledgement of this factor can be found in official documents of Ministry of science and education of Russia, particularly in the Concept of development of research and innovative activity in Russian institutions), outline its main trends, resume studies on separate problems, plan prospects for further research. These basic objectives form a problem that is to be studied in a series of our books, published by German editorial office Lambert Academic Publishing in 2011–2012. An analysis of dissertations on topic «Russian emigration» that have been defended in RSFSR and RF during 26 years (1980-2005) and include roughly equal in duration soviet and post-soviet period has not been taken yet.

The monograph «Russian overseas: origins of historic research, their evolution» (Saarbrьcken: Lambert Academic Publishing GmbH & Co. KG, 2012. 280 p.) studies a massive of sources on history of Russian emigration and Russian overseas that has been introduced into scientific turnover by domestic historians – emigrant researchers in 1980–2005: archive funds (foreign archives, documents of archive fund of the state archive of RF, funds of other federal archive-keeps, funds of regional archives); sources of personal origin (memoirs and diaries, correspondence, oral testimonies, auto-biographic poems and lyrics, material sources); emigrant literature (periodic publications, works by well-known emigration activists and their historic coevals, reviews, opinions, obituaries); documental sources (collections and selections of documents, photo- and video- materials, bibliographic production, resources of Internet network). The authors resume: an intensively growing inter-discipline integration defines ways to solve problems of the sources. It is important to broaden their circle, strengthening the expertise at the same time. Only with usage and comparative analysis of the whole circle of historic sources we can create an objective picture of emigration history. If we remember that abilities of history always depend on its source basis and research methods, then we can confidently forecast an emergence of qualitatively – new gnosiologies and epistemologies of problems of emigration.

The book is enriched with two supplementations. The first is named «Russian emigration in USA and Canada (according to materials of the newspaper «Immigrants»)» and is aimed to draw researchers’ attention towards periodic printed editions (including newspapers) as to a historic source. An obvious advantage of the «Immigrant’s» publications is in enrichment of the history of Russian overseas with subjective, «human» contents, in other words, its antropologization. Some of these materials are to be considered as scientific publicity that puts new direction of scientific searches and fills lacunas that are present in our domestic history. The other, a more significant part is to be recommended to professional researchers as a source. The second supplement is named «Russian nationals in countries of old and new overseas (from the archive of I.I. Erenburgh)» and represents a selection of letters by our former citizens that have been taken form the personal archive of one of citizens of Ekaterinburg. This collection is aimed to draw researchers’ attention towards personal and family archives as a reserve of sources of historic knowledge that hasn’t been studied sufficiently so far. The provided letters allow us to understand more clearly problems of Russian co-citizens abroad, feel deep changes in their life after they had found themselves as foreigners after the break of USSR.

Our complex source, methodologic, and historiograohic analysis of domestic and foreign works on topic «Russian emigration» is followed by the monograph «Russian emigration in domestic dissertation studies of 1980-2005 : bibliometric analysis» (Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing GmbH & Co. KG, 2011. 480 p.). At the basis of system of scientific and bibliometric indexes branch and qualification contents of dissertations it characterizes dynamics of defences, activity of centers of studying Russian overseas, reveals major research trends among emigrant researchers. The main conclusion of the book is: the volume character of studies that have been taken in the end of the XX – beginning of the XXI century allows us to speak of an emergence of emigrant study as a new socially-significant direction in domestic human science that is developed swiftly.

Obviously, the approbated scientific and bibliometric methodics have proven themselves as quite effective tools to study historiogrphy of Russian emigration. They help a lot to reveal directions and tempers of development of emigrant study, dynamics of research interest, contribution of separate regions, organizations, and authors to the development of emigrant study, intensity of operation of scientific centers, integrative links between branches of science and the studied problems, etc. The only thing that is objectively put outside limits of implementation of bibliometrics is studying texts of scientific works, as only formal sources can be evaluated. Therefore, in order to reflect all the multiplicity of information in dissertations, we use traditional methods of document evaluations in addition to quantitative methods.

Historiographic analysis of dissertation texts and supplementary printed works on history of Russian emigration and Russian overseas was taken in the third monograph of the series – the book, named «problems of historiography of Russian overseas» (Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing GmbH & Co. KG, 2012. 312 p.). Scientific schools of historians – emigrant researchers, emigrations of different waves, study of regions of Russian spreading, problems of emigration of different ethnic and class groups, comprehension of problems of adaptation of Russian emigrants and the phenomenon of Russian orthodox overseas, study of education, editorial and museum business of Russian emigrants, historic description of life and creativity of well-known emigrant activists are characterized.

So, all emigration waves, the majority of diasporal, ethnic, and class groups, spreading regions of Russian emigrant are presented as the research subject of Russian emigration. Practically all types of emigration are studied: political, economic, military, religious, re-emigration, repatriation. A lot of scenarios, significant for emigration study are present. Demographic, ethnic, and confessional characteristic of different stages of emigration flows is given, their geographic direction is set.

Nevertheless, the problem of re-uniting broken parts of culture of Russian diaspora with the culture of mother nation, creation of new history of Russia, history of joint Russian literature, philosophy, art preserves its urgency.