Imperiia: a spatial history of the Russian EmpireMain MenuAboutDashboardsData CatalogMapStoriesGalleriesGamesWho said history was boring?Map ShelfTeach Our ContentCiting the ProjectKelly O'Neilldc20b45f1d74122ba0d654d19961d826c5a557f5The Imperiia Project // Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University
Russians in the World
12023-03-16T09:30:56-04:00Yipeng Zhoubaef370094247c455a6c8632f4ff98d54bc4c5ee924A century of maritime migrationimage_header2023-03-21T14:58:18-04:00Kelly O'Neilldc20b45f1d74122ba0d654d19961d826c5a557f5
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:
The trans-Atlantic migration of tsarist subjects - a great many of them Jewish - to the United States between 1834 and 1897;
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:
The project involves data that is big. (From a historian's perspective, if not a data scientist's.)
We converted messy historical records into usable data: data you can feed into your favorite GIS software or data viz app.
We have published our edition of the data under an open-access license.
We built statistical models that allow us to explore temporal and spatial patterns.
Visualizing these records allows us to paint rough portraits of the individuals who made the life-changing transition from subject of the tsar to citizen of the United States.