I am researching Russian visits to Alta California during the Mexican War of Independence, which were mostly or all projects of the Russian-American Company. There is a collection of Company documents in the U.S. National Archives, but it does not cover the crucial period during which Fort Ross was constructed (1812) and Russian sailors were detained by the Spanish administration (about 1815).

Apparently the company was headquartered in St. Petersburg during the relevant period. Is there an archive or library there in which records can be studied?

  • 3
    This is probably a well formatted source request.(if there is discussion, please re-use existing discussion meta)
    – MCW
    Oct 31, 2016 at 19:35

2 Answers 2


I have a copy (as yet unread) of Exploring and Mapping Alaska: the Russian American Era, 1741-1867, A. Postnikov & M. Falk, tr. L. Black, University of Alaska Press, 2015.

There are a few pages dealing with Fort Ross, and the footnotes to these point to papers at AVPRI, RGIA, and RGAVMF. Respectively, these are the Archive of Russian Foreign Policy (Moscow), which seems to actually have (some of?) the Company papers; the Russian State Historical Archive (St. Petersburg); and the Russian State Naval Archives (St. Petersburg).

I won't try and transcribe these as I don't know enough to give accurate context, but if you haven't yet come across the book, might be worth tracking down a copy and going through the citations.


The archive of the Main Office [of the Russian-American Company] has not survived, and at present only individual groups of documents are known to have come from this archive.

-- Leonid Shur in "The Khlebnikov Archive", University of Alaska Press, 1990.

However, most of the Company's records from its Sitka office, from 1817 on, were acquired by the U.S. along with its purchase of Alaska.

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