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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2019 year, number 1

LOYAL REPORTS AS A SOURCE TO STUDY SIBERIAN GENERAL-GOVERNORS VIEWS ON THE REGION IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE XIX CENTURY

N.P. Matkhanova1, N. N. Rodigina2
1Institute of History SB RAS, 8, Nikolaeva str., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation
2Tobolsk complex scientific station UB RAS, 15, Acad. Yu. Osipova Str., Tobolsk, 626152, Russian Federation
Keywords: , , -, , , Siberian history, source study, Governor’s report, regional image, Siberian administration

Abstract

The Siberian Governors-Generals reports are repeatedly used by historians to study the regional administrative management, its socio-economic and cultural development, but so far they have not been the subject of special research in terms of identifying top authorities views on the region. The authors consider the Governor-Generals reports as a collective source text, whose parts were compiled by different persons, specialists in various fields, but signing it the Governor-General took responsibility for its content however difficult the process of the document's preparing might be. Representations of Siberia in the Governor-Generals reports were formed and evolved under the influence of a number of factors: first, their own direct impressions, changed and supplemented over time; second, reading the reports of predecessors and subordinates, as well as fiction, scientific, journalistic literature; third, familiarity with the complaints and petitions of individuals and groups. The understanding of the central authorities goals and policy influenced the way of presenting the data included in the report, as well as content of certain provisions; the Governor-Generals attention to certain aspects of his activities depended on tasks before him. The reports analysis shows that these documents do not always show the views of a particular Governor-General. Sometimes it is a list of materials, more or less reliable, received from subordinates of different levels. Often, several fragments were reproduced from one report to another, even when the Governor was replaced by his successor. In some cases, the Governors-General were the reports authors themselves. However, the report was a product of collective efforts most often. It was a common practice to repeat texts close to the governors reports. The Governor-General himself could not be completely sincere, he could, and sometimes did (consciously or unconsciously), try to influence the Monarch and/or Ministers, and other Supreme power and Central administration figures, highlighting certain characteristics, forming the image that should have been formed in the reports addressees.