The Russian State Archive of Contemporary History: A Guide

The Russian State Archive of Contemporary History, located on river front in Moscow. Photo from

The Russian State Archive of Contemporary History (Российский государственный архив новейшей истории) was created in the end of August of 1991 on the basis of the Archives of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which were then nationalized by presidential decree by Boris Yeltsin. Named the Storage Center for Contemporary Documentation in 1991, it was renamed to RGANI in March, 1999.

RGANI holds the funds for the Communist Party of the Soviet Union as well as their committees, bureaus, Central Committee, and the personal funds of prominent party and state figures. The documents are dated mainly 1952-1991, but some documents are dated as early as 1919 and as late as 2004.

Overall Experience

RGANI has one reading room and a convenient central location near the Novokuznetskaya metro station.

Prep Beforehand

The RGANI putivoditel is available only online.

Due to COVID restrictions, researchers must schedule visits in advance by calling + 7 (495) 190-56-25. RGANI can only accept 10 visitors at a time due to social distancing rules.

To order materials from RGANI in advance, you must send an email three working days prior to arrival, and attach an official letter from an institution to the email. The official letter should be as follows:

Директору Российского государственного архива новейшей истории Пермякову Игорю Альбертовичу

Уважаемый Игорь Альбертович.

К Вам обращается (NAME, POSITION).

Я провожу исследование (NAME OF RESEARCH, PURPOSE).

В рамках этой работы я планирую заниматься исследованием документов в РГАНИ (DATE) этого года.

Прилагаю официальное письмо от моего института.

Обращаюсь с просьбой предоставить к моему приезду (ARRIVAL DATE) и приходу в РГАНИИ мне следующие документы:

Ф. (No.) Оп. (No.)  Д. (1): (Name of file, Date of file can be specified as well, but not mandatory)

С уважением,


Getting a Propusk

Documents needed: Passport (w/registration); a letter from your university; a zayavleniye must be filled out after arrival.
Time: 15 minutes.

Institution letter template (should be on official letterhead):

Директору Российского государственного архива новейшей истории Пермякову Игорю Альбертовичу

Уважаемый Игорь Альбертович.

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

Working days between requesting delo and receipt: 3 days
Maximum delo that can be requested at one time: 10

Photos/Photocopies/Scans: Copies and scans vary in cost based on age and type of document. Photocopies from hardcopy documents run 27-53 rubles per page. Wait time between ordering and reciept is about one month. Scans are generally ready faster than photocopies, but cost between 44 and 130 rubles per page. Photos taken from a smartphone will cost 14-47 rubles per page photographed.

Photos from microfilm and DVD are free and unlimited.


Address: Sofiskaya Naberezhnaya 34 str. 1 (Novokuznetskaya metro station)
Phone: + 7 (495) 190-56-25
Website: click here

Working hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10:00-17:00,
Wednesday – 12:00-19:00,
Friday – 10:00-16:00
Closed Saturdays and Sundays. Every first Monday of a month is a sanitary day.

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