The First 1897 General Population Census in the Russian Empire was the largest statistical and social event aimed at collecting social and demographical population data at the turn of the 20th century. Such a significant state event affecting everyone in the country was recorded in the reviews of census commission members, census takers and external observers. However, this interesting source is rarely accounted for by historians. The article carries out a complex analysis of opinions on the preparation and operation of the First 1897 General Population Census in the Russian Empire expressed in regional periodicals and records management documents. The analysis aim is to search for the main criticism related to the census preparation and operation in comparison with regulatory documents as well as the general evaluation of the 1897 census campaign. The main sources are the data of central and regional periodicals, official correspondence, regulatory documents as well as census papers. The source analysis demonstrated that the reviews of the 1897 census participants touch upon the main activity of census commissions. These are the development and circulation of instructions, the organization of counting stations and the census procedure, the formation of positive opinion, the selection and training of census takers, the development and the completion of census papers. The study concludes about the ambiguous evaluation of the 1897 census campaign while positive opinions prevailed. The authors think that a great number of reviews in periodicals and official correspondence prove the great public interest to the census as well as the development of civil liability and self-consciousness of the Russian Empire population.
Source: Brukhanova E.A., Nezhentseva N.V. (2018) Opinions about the First 1897 General Population Census in the Russian Empire Expressed in Regional Periodicals and Records Management Documents. Bylye Gody. Vol. 48. Is.2: 794-803
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