This page was created by Yipeng Zhou.  The last update was by Kelly O'Neill.

The Imperiia Project: a spatial history of the Russian Empire

Russians in the World

The “Russians in the World" project is designed to examine the spatial and social history of migration in its many forms (voluntary and coerced, individual and collective). Our goal is not to build a comprehensive study; our goal is to enhance the growing body of historical monographs and articles about Eurasian migration with a collection of datasets, maps, and visualizations that allow researchers to take a deep dive into two particular episodes:

  1. The trans-Atlantic migration of tsarist subjects - a great many of them Jewish - to the United States between 1834 and 1897;
  2. The migration of inhabitants of the former Crimean Khanate across the Black Sea to the Ottoman Empire between 1783 and 1878.

Volume 1: Why not use the U.S. National Archives to explore the social history of the Russian Empire?

The centerpiece of the project is a large dataset provided by the National Archives. It consists of half a million passenger arrival records and ship manifests across six decades, from 1834 to 1897. We are interested in reconstructing the social and cultural identities of those who migrated, as well as the political, economic, and geographical contexts of these phenomena. Because the data has never been studied as a whole, it provides an opportunity to ask new macro-level questions about mobility practices alongside micro-level questions about the experiences of individual travelers. 

Why we are excited about the project:

Go Straight to the Data


Lead Researcher: Vivian Wei

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