Foreign Policy Archive of Imperial Russia: A Guide

Yandex maps street view of the Foreign Policy Archives of Imperial Russia.

COVID-19 Regime: This archive is currently closed and expected to remain so until mid-September or October. 

The Archive of the Foreign Policy of Imperial Russia [Архив внешней политики Российской империи] in addition to the information on the foreign policy of the Imperial Russia, also has some information stretching back to ancient Russia. It is housed in a purpose-built facility in central Moscow.

Overall Experience

AVPRI is not a difficult archive to access and use. Researchers report positive experience with this archive.

Prep Beforehand

Try to email your propusk documents 3-4 weeks in advance.

Getting a Propusk

Documents needed to get propusk: You will need both a letter from your university and a letter from a Russian institution vouching for your research topic. Generally, the more letters you can get, the better. You will also need a cover letter describing, in detail, your project and what type of documents you would like to see.
Time to get propusk: 1-3 weeks. You do not actually get a physical propusk. Once they email you permission, they have you on a list of allowed persons. That is enough.

Institution letter template (should be on official letterhead):


Директору Архива внешней политики Российской империи
Поповой Ирине Владимировне

Уважаемая Ирина Владимировна,


Прошу Вашего разрешения на ознакомление с материалами архива (RESEARCHER’S NAME, TITLE, POSITION), в рамках темы (ее/его) исследования (RESEARCH NAME, PURPOSE (DISSERTATION, BOOK, ETC)).

С уважением,


Working the Archive

Time between request of delo and receipt: varies from 1 week to 1 month.
Maximum delo that can be requested at one time: 5

Price for making photocopies: Price for making photocopies: the archive will make up to 20 copies for free. After that, you are strictly limited to making notes.

Problems: The putivoditel is not generally publically accessible. The archivist who reads your project description and document request will decide what you do and do not receive. This means be as clear and thorough as possible in your letter. Keep in mind that if you are not explicit enough, they will reject the application. If you are too specific, you might block yourself from asking for any peripheral documents to your subject. You will need to find a happy medium – and give yourself lots of time to find that happy medium. Laptops are allowed.



Address: Bolshaya Serpukhovskaya ulitsa, 15 (Serpukhovskaya metro station).

You will have to walk around the left side of the building. Go to the left side of the building and walk to the gate at the back.

Phone: 7 499 236-52-01
Website: click here

COVID-19 Regime: This archive is currently closed and expected to remain so until mid-September or October. 

Working hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 9:30-17:00.
Wednesday, Friday: 9:30-15:00.
Closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Last working day of the month – sanitary day.

About the Author

Community Maintained Information

Community Maintained Articles are updated by our staff, partners, the researchers we assist, and great folks like you. If you see something missing, outdated, or wanting in the above resource, please write to our editors.

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Andrei Nesterov

Andrei Nesterov leads SRAS' Research Services, performing remote archive research and consultations for researchers around the globe. Andrei graduated from Ural State University (journalism) and Irkutsk State Linguistic University (English). He also studied public policy and journalism at Duke University on a Muskie Fellowship and taught Russian at West Virginia University. As a journalist, he has reported in both Russian and English language outlets and has years of archival research experience. He has travelled Russia extensively and penned many stories on the “real Russia” which lies beyond the capital and major cities. Andrei also contributes news, feature stories, and language resources to the SRAS Family of Sites.

Program attended: All Programs

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