The Vilna Chief of Police
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Brief Description:

Note to researchers: This collection is currently closed in preparation for the Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Collections Project.

The collection includes materials pertaining to: the illegal activities of political suspects and convicts (students, Catholic priests, and revolutionaries); Jews and military conscription; disputes over financial matters and inheritance of real estate; residential rights of Jews; criminal and civil cases; Yiddish and censorship. The collection also includes miscellaneous records, some of which provide material of special interest for scholars of Jewish and Russian social history.

The collection consists of police investigation reports, lists of convicts, court orders, financial records, and petitions to the Vilna Chief of Police regarding a variety of issues. A large part of the collection consists of correspondence between the Vilna Chief of Police and local police, military and civil authorities (original copies of incoming mail, and copies of outgoing mail, reports, and statements). Some of the local authorities include: the Vilna Town Council (Vilenskii gorodskoi magistrat); the Vilna Province Administration (Vilenskoe gubernskoe pravlenie); the Vilna City Police (Vilenskaia gorodskaia politsiia); the Vilna Civil Governor (Vilenskii grazhdanskii gubernator); the Public Prosecutor of the Vilna Province (Vilenskii gubernskii prokuror); the Vilna City Police Department (Vilenskoe gorodskoe politseiskoe upravlenie); the Vilna Department of Revenue (Vilenskaia kazennaia palata); the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Ministerstvo vnutrennykh del); the Vilna Roman-Catholic Consistory (Vilenskaia rimsko-katolicheskaia dukhovnaia konsistoria); the Sventsian Military Chief (Voenniy nachalnik Sventsiana); the Investigator of the Ministry of Justice of Vilna (Vilenskii Sudebnyi sledovatel’ ministerstva iustitsii); the Vilna District Prosecutor (Prokuror Vilenskago okruzhnago suda); the Office of the Vilna Governor (Kantseliariia Vilenskago gubernatora); the Vilna Justice of the Peace (Vilenskii mirovoi sudiya); the Vilna Branch of the Okhranka, or Secret Political Police Department; the Vilna Criminal Investigation Department (Vilenskoe sysknoe otdelenie); the Vilna Orphans’ Court (Vilenskii sirotskii sud).

Some of the most interesting materials in this collection bear witness to the role of the Jews in the revolutionary movement, as well as to the secret activities of the police authorities in their attempt to keep civil society under strict control. Overall, the records of the Vilna Chief of Police represent a unique source for the study of the life of Jews, as well as Russians and Poles, in the 19th and early 20th century.

Held at:
YIVO Online Guide
Record Series Number: RG 56/RG 56
Volume: 0.0
Arrangement: The collection is arranged chronologically and is comprised of 72 folders. Materials are in Russian, with a small number of documents in Polish, German, Hebrew and Yiddish.
Subject Index
Crime and Criminals
Economic Life
Military service
Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements
Languages of Materials
Finding Aid Revisions: 2012/06/08 ; 2012/08/13 ; RCS
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