A gazetteer essentially is an alphabetical list of geographic names that are currently applied or have been applied to places and features of the landscape. Varying in scope, depth, and quality, they are an invaluable resource for locating innumerable place and feature names that now exist or have become extinct. Often used in conjunction with historical maps, gazetteers enable researchers to identify sites of particular interest. Entries in a a gazetteer can, but do not necessarily include, the recommended name conforming to present-day usage, a feature designation, geographical coordinates, i.e latitude and longitude, variations in spellings as well as cognates, and information regarding the origin, history, and meaning of a name.
The Geography and Map Reading Room holds hundreds of gazetteers covering the landscape at the celestial, planetary, world, oceanic, continental, national, regional, state, county, and municipal levels. The gazetteers listed here fall into two broad categories: those that identify geographic features and places within the Russian Federation or those that identify features and places in independent countries that once were part of Imperial Russia or the Soviet Union. They are available in the Geography and Map Reading Room, while some may be held by the European Reading Room and others in the General Collections.
Virtually all gazetteers are listed on the Library of Congress online catalog. A subject browse search can involve general and more specific terms, as in the following examples: "Russia gazetteers"; "Sakhalin Sakhalinskaia Oblast Russia gazetteers"; "Armenia Republic Gazetteers"; "Belarus gazetteers"; "Hrodzenskaia voblasts' Belarus gazetteers"; "Semereche' Kazakhstan gazetteers"; and "Moscow Oblast Russia gazetteers."
Below are listed a few gazetteers, as well as a few additional titles on Russian geography and historical geography, that the author has found useful over the years.
The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.