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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2018 year, number 3


S.G. Petrov
Institute of History SB RAS, 8, Nikolaev str., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation
Keywords: P.I. Makushin, V.D. Wegman, G.N. Potanin, letters, Bolsheviks, culture, Tomsk, Siberia


Understanding the principles of biographical research received a powerful theoretical and methodological impetus in modern historiography, which resulted in emergence of such concepts as a new biographical history and personal history. Within the framework of these new approaches, personal texts (diaries, letters, memoirs, and autobiographies) are recognized as the principle research objects, while the individual history of peoples lives in all the diversity of their constituent aspects, including the surrounding society study, becomes the subject matter. A particular difficulty is posed by poor preservation of the above-mentioned historical sources. That is why it is so important to work with personal archives, with all the variety of documents in them. Even partially preserved memoirs and epistolary sources are taken into account as they allow the researcher to reveal, even if fragmentarily, individual biographies of people. This research is focused on the empirical solution to the named problems of modern biography studies. This article considers the scarcely explored Soviet period of life of the well-known Siberian educator P. I. Makushin (1844-1926). The focus is on his epistolary heritage, i. e. P. I. Makushins letters to V. D. Vegman, a prominent Bolshevik cultural figure of Soviet Siberia, as well as on other private messages from the latters personal archive mentioning the name of the Siberian educator and addressed to P. I. Makushin. This research deals with a gamut of problems reflected in the epistolary documents; specifies the circle of persons representing Tomsk intellectual community of the time close to both P.I. Makushin and V. D. Vegman; identifies the configurations of interpersonal interaction within the community; reveals features of evolution of relationships between the Siberian enlightener and the oldest Bolshevik of Siberia.