This guide lists materials that relate to the Russian Empire, former Soviet Union, and the many distinct nationalities that were once a part of those entities. The materials described in the guide are extremely diverse in character. They cover the broadest possible range of subjects: political, historical, social, economic, diplomatic, artistic, literary, religious, military, musical, and other matters.
Among the types of materials listed in the guide are the following: correspondence, reports, organizational records, account books, essays, literary manuscripts, diaries, journals, memoirs, autobiographies, photographs, films, tape recordings, and graphic material. With the exception of certain mimeographed materials and rare clippings, nearly all printed matter has been excluded. Those seeking published books, periodicals, theses, and the like should refer to appropriate catalogs of library collections. However, unpublished facsimiles, photo reproductions, and microfilms of originals (even of originals subsequently published) have been taken to be archival materials in this guide.