The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (GSE; Russian: Большая советская энциклопедия, БСЭ, Bolshaya sovetskaya entsiklopediya) is one of the largest Russian-language encyclopedias, published by the Soviet state from 1926 to 1990, and again since 2002 by Russia (under the name Bolshaya Rossiyskaya entsiklopediya or Great Russian Encyclopedia). The GSE claimed to be "the first Marxist-Leninist general-purpose encyclopedia".
|Большая советская энциклопедия|
|1926–1981 (printed version)|
|Media type||30 volumes (hardbound) in 1981|
The idea of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia emerged in 1923 on the initiative of Otto Schmidt, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In early 1924 Schmidt worked with a group which included Mikhail Pokrovsky, (rector of the Institute of Red Professors), Nikolai Meshcheryakov (Head of Gosizdat, the State Publishing House), Valery Bryusov (poet), Veniamin Kagan (mathematician) and Konstantin Kuzminsky to draw up a proposal which was agreed by the in April 1924. Also involved was Anatoly Lunacharsky, Commissar of Enlightenment (Narkompros), who had previously been involved with a proposal by Alexander Bogdanov and Maxim Gorky to produce a Workers' Encyclopedia.
There were three editions. The first edition of 65 volumes (65,000 entries, plus a supplementary volume about the Soviet Union) was published during 1926–1947, the chief editor being Otto Schmidt (until 1941). The second edition of 50 volumes (100,000 entries, plus a supplementary volume) was published in 1950–1958; chief editors: Sergei Vavilov (until 1951) and Boris Vvedensky (until 1969); two index volumes to this edition were published in 1960. The third edition of 1969–1978 contains 30 volumes (100,000 entries, plus an index volume issued in 1981). Volume 24 is in two books, one being a full-sized book about the USSR, all with about 21 million words, and the chief editor being Alexander Prokhorov (since 1969). In the third edition, much attention was paid to the philosophical problems of natural sciences, physical and chemical sciences, and mathematical methods in various branches of knowledge.
From 1957 to 1990, the Yearbook of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia was released annually with up-to-date articles about the Soviet Union and all countries of the world.
The first online edition, an exact replica of text and graphics of the third (so-called Red) edition, was published by Rubricon.com in 2000.
Editors and contributors to the GSE included a number of leading Soviet scientists and politicians:
The foreword to the first volume of the GSE (2nd ed.) proclaims "The Soviet Union has become the center of the civilized world." The GSE, along with all other books and other media and communications with the public, was directed toward the "furtherance of the aims of the party and the state." The 1949 decree issued for the production of the second edition of the GSE directed:
The second edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia should elucidate widely the world-historical victories of socialism in our country, which have been attained in the U.S.S.R. in the provinces of economics, science, culture, and art. ... With exhaustive completeness it must show the superiority of socialist culture over the culture of the capitalist world. Operating on Marxist-Leninist theory, the encyclopedia should give a party criticism of contemporary bourgeois tendencies in various provinces of science and technics.
The foreword to the GSE (3rd ed.) expanded on that mission, paying particular attention to developments in science and technology: nuclear engineering, space technology, atomic physics, polymer chemistry, and radio electronics; also detailing the history and activities of the Russian revolutionary movement, the development of the labor movement worldwide and summarizing Marxist scholarship on political economy, sociology, and political science. In support of that mission, the GSE (2nd ed.) described as the role of education:
To develop in children's minds the Communist morality, ideology, and Soviet patriotism; to inspire unshakable love toward the Soviet fatherland, the Communist party, and its leaders; to propagate Bolshevik vigilance; to put an emphasis on internationalist education; to strengthen Bolshevik willpower and character, as well as courage, capacity for resisting adversity and conquering obstacles; to develop self-discipline; and to encourage physical and aesthetic culture.
The third edition of the GSE subsequently expanded on the role of education:
Education is essential to preparing for life and work. It is the basic means by which people come to know and acquire culture, and it is the foundation of culture's development...The Soviet education rests on the principles of the unity of education and communist upbringing; cooperation among the school, the family, and the society in bringing up young people; and the linkage of education and training to life and the practical experience of building communism. The underlying principles of the Soviet system of public education include a scientific approach to and continual improvement of education on the basis of the latest achievements in science, technology and culture; a humanistic and highly moral orientation in education and upbringing; and co-education of both sexes, secular education which excludes the influence of religion.
Based on his extensive talks with the editors of the GSE, to whom he was granted unprecedented access, William Benton, publisher of the Encyclopædia Britannica, wrote the following in observation of the GSE's chief editor B. A. Vvedensky stating their compliance with the 1949 decree of the Council of Ministers:
It is just this simple for the Soviet board of editors. They are working under a government directive that orders them to orient their encyclopedia as sharply as a political tract. The encyclopedia was thus planned to provide the intellectual underpinning for the Soviet world offensive in the duel for men's minds. The Soviet government ordered it as a fighting propaganda weapon. And the government attaches such importance to its political role that its board of editors is chosen by and is responsible only to the high Council of Ministers itself.
The third edition was translated and published into English in 31 volumes between 1974 and 1983 by Macmillan Publishers. Each volume was translated separately, requiring use of the index found at the front of each volume to locate specific items; knowledge of Russian can be helpful to find the right volume the first time. Not all entries were translated into English; these are indicated in the index. Articles from the English edition are made available online by TheFreeDictionary.com.
The third edition was translated into Greek and published in 34 volumes between 1977 and 1983. All articles that were related to Greece or Greek history, culture and society were expanded and hundreds of new ones were written especially for the Greek edition. Thus the encyclopedia contains, for example, both the Russian entry on Greece as well as a much larger one prepared by Greek contributors.
Finally, a supplementary volume covering the 1980s was published in 1989. It contains translated and original Greek articles which, sometimes, do not exist in the 34-volume set.
|Original title||Transliteration (if applicable)||English title||Volumes||Dates|
|Українська радянська енциклопедія||Ukrajinśka radjanśka encyklopedija||Ukrainian Soviet Encyclopedia||17||1959–1965|
|Беларуская савецкая энцыклапедыя||Belaruskaya savietskaya entsyklapedyya||Byelorussian Soviet Encyclopedia||12||1969–1975|
|Ўзбек совет энциклопедияси||Oʻzbek sovet ensikopediyasi||Uzbek Soviet Encyclopedia||14||1971–1980|
|Қазақ кеңес энциклопедиясы||Qazaq keñes encïklopedïyası||Kazakh Soviet Encyclopedia||10||1972–1978|
|ქართული საბჭოთა ენციკლოპედია||kartuli sabch'ota encik'lop'edia||Georgian Soviet Encyclopedia||12||1965–1987|
|Азәрбајҹан Совет Енсиклопедијасы||Azərbaycan Sovet Ensiklopediyası||Azerbaijani Soviet Encyclopedia||10||1976–1987|
|Lietuviškoji tarybinė enciklopedija||—||Lithuanian Soviet Encyclopedia||10||1976–1985|
|Енчиклопедия советикэ молдовеняскэ||Enciclopedia sovietică moldovenească||Moldavian Soviet Encyclopedia||8||1970–1981|
|Latvijas padomju enciklopēdija||—||Latvian Soviet Encyclopedia||10||1981–1988|
|Кыргыз Совет Энциклопедиясы||Kyrgyz Soviet Entsiklopediyasy||Kyrgyz Soviet Encyclopedia||6||1976–1980|
|Энциклопедияи советии тоҷик||Entsiklopediya-i sovieti-i tojik||Tajik Soviet Encyclopedia||8||1978–1988|
|Հայկական սովետական հանրագիտարան||Haykakan sovetakan hanragitaran||Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia||13||1974–1987|
|Түркмен совет энциклопедиясы||Türkmen sowet ensiklopediýasy||Turkmen Soviet Encyclopedia||10||1974–1989|
|Eesti nõukogude entsüklopeedia||—||Estonian Soviet Encyklopedia||8||1968–1976|
|Сибирская советская энциклопедия||—||Siberian Soviet Encyclopedia||4 (planned — 6)||1929—1933|
|Малая Советская Энциклопедия||Malaya sovetskaya entsiklopediya||Small Soviet Encyclopedia||11||1928—1960 (3 editions)|
|Уральская советская энциклопедия||—||Ural Soviet Encyclopedia||1 (planned — ?)||1933|
The Soviet Encyclopedia is a systematic summary of knowledge in social and economic studies and in the applied sciences. It became a universal reference work for the Soviet intelligentsia. According to the publisher's foreword in the English-language translation of the encyclopedia, the encyclopedia is important for knowledge and understanding of USSR. A major value of the Encyclopedia is its comprehensive information about the Soviet Union and its peoples. Every aspect of Soviet life is systematically presented, including history, economics, science, art, and culture. The ethnic diversity of USSR's peoples and its languages and cultures are extensively covered. There are biographies of prominent cultural and scientific figures who are not as well known outside of Russia. There are detailed surveys of USSR's provinces and towns, as well as their geology, geography, flora and fauna.
The encyclopedia's Chief Editorial Board and Advisory board sought input from the general public. The entry list was sent to universities, scientific institutions, museums, and private specialists in every field. More than 50,000 suggestions were received and many additions were made. Scholars believe that the Encyclopedia is a valuable and useful source for Russian history. The Encyclopedia, though noted as having a strong Marxist bias, provides useful information for understanding the Soviet point of view.
Following the arrest and punishment of Lavrentiy Beria, the head of the NKVD, in 1953 the encyclopedia—ostensibly in response to overwhelming public demand—mailed subscribers to the second edition a letter from the editor instructing them to cut out and destroy the three-page article on Beria and paste in its place enclosed replacement pages expanding the adjacent articles on F. W. Bergholz (an 18th-century courtier), the Bering Sea, and Bishop Berkeley. By April 1954, the Library of the University of California had received this “replacement.” This was not the only case of political influence. According to one author, encyclopedia subscribers received missives to replace articles in the fashion of the Beria article frequently. Other articles, especially biographical articles on political leaders, changed significantly to reflect the current party line. An article affected in such a fashion was the one on Nikolai Bukharin, whose descriptions went through several evolutions.
Publication of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia was suspended in 1990 and halted in 1991, but in 2002 it was reinstituted by decree of Vladimir Putin. In 2003 and 2004 a team of editors overhauled the old encyclopedia by updating facts, removing most examples of overt political bias, and changing its name to the Great Russian Encyclopedia. Many outdated articles are being entirely rewritten. In 2004 the first volume of the newly overhauled Great Russian Encyclopedia was published. The complete edition of 35 volumes was released by 2017.
Publication of the Great Russian Encyclopedia is overseen by the Russian Academy of Sciences, and funded by the Government of the Russian Federation. The encyclopedia is now found in libraries and schools throughout the CIS. Additionally, the 1980s editions remain in widespread use, particularly as references in scientific and mathematical research.
Afro-Russians are people of African descent or those who are perceived to be dark-skinned compared to other given populations that have migrated to and settled in Russia. The Metis Foundation estimates that there are about 50,000 Afro-Russians.Arctic Ocean Flotilla
The Arctic Ocean Flotilla (AOF) (Russian: Флотилия Северного Ледовитого океана, or Flotiliya Severnogo Ledovitogo okeana), was a Russian military flotilla stationed in Aleksandrovsk- today's Polyarny at the mouth of the Kola Gulf, Iokanga, and Arkhangelsk.Astrakhan Cossacks
Astrakhan Cossack Host (Russian: Астраханское казачье войско) was a Cossack host of Imperial Russia drawn from the Cossacks of the Lower Volga region, who had been patrolling the banks of the Volga River from the time of Russia's annexation of Astrakhan Khanate in 1556.Atrek
The Atrek (Persian: اترک, Turkmen: Etrek derýasy), also known as the Attruck, Atrak, and Etrek, is a fast-moving river which begins in the mountains of north-eastern Iran (37°10′N 59°00′E), and flows 563 kilometres (350 mi) westward draining into the south-eastern corner of the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan. Because of the high use of its waters for irrigation, it only flows into the Caspian when it is in flood stage.Ernst Krenkel
Ernst Teodorovich Krenkel (Russian: Эрнст Теодо́рович Кре́нкель) (24 December [O.S. 11 December] 1903 in Bialystok – 8 December 1971 in Moscow) was a Soviet Arctic explorer, radio operator, doctor of geographical sciences (1938), and Hero of the Soviet Union (1938). Amateur radio callsigns: U3AA, UA3AA, RAEM.Imeni Karla Libknekhta, Kursk Oblast
Imeni Karla Libknekhta (Russian: имени Карла Либкнехта) is an urban locality (a work settlement) in Kurchatovsky District of Kursk Oblast, Russia, located on the left bank of the Seym River. Population: 7,682 (2010 Census); 8,216 (2002 Census); 9,833 (1989 Census).Kholop
A kholop (Russian: холо́п, IPA: [xɐˈlop]) was a feudally dependent person in Russia between the 10th and early 18th centuries. Their legal status was close to that of slaves.Kostroma River
The Kostroma (Russian: Кострома́) is a river in the European part of Russia. It flows through the Kostroma and Yaroslavl Oblasts, and becomes a left tributary of the Volga, which it enters at the Gorky Reservoir, at the city of Kostroma, at 57°46′44″N 40°53′55″E.
Prior to the flooding of the Gorky Reservoir in 1955-1957 the Kostroma River flowed into the Volga within the city limits of Kostroma. The Ipatiev Monastery stands at the old confluence of the Kostroma and the Volga.
The river is 354 kilometres (220 mi) long, and its drainage basin covers 16,000 square kilometres (6,200 sq mi). The average water flow is 71 cubic metres per second (2,500 cu ft/s) at the town of Buy, 124 kilometres (77 mi) from the mouth, and 85 cubic metres per second (3,000 cu ft/s) at the mouth.Major tributaries include the Vocha, Mezenda, Wex, Tebza, and Sacha on the left, and the Shugoma, Svetlitsa, Lums, Selma, Monza, and Obnora on the right. Before the establishment of the Gorky Reservoir, the Sot and Mesa were also tributaries; they now flow directly into the reservoir.
The towns of Soligalich and Buy stand on the river.
The Kostroma freezes up in November and thaws in April or in early May.
The Kostroma begins near the village of Knyazhevo Chuhlomskogo in the Kostroma Oblast. The upper river is relatively narrow and winding, but it soon gathers the water of many tributaries, increasing its width to about 30 metres (98 ft) or 40 metres (130 ft). In the upper and middle reaches of the river bed there are rapids, and the banks are often wooded and sometimes steep. Here it is suitable for swimming due to the large amount of snags and debris.
By the time it flows past the town of Buy, the width of the river exceeds 60 meters (200 ft); from this point on the river is navigable. From here down to the reservoir it begins to form large bends and oxbow lakes, and it sometimes floods.
The last 50 kilometres (31 mi) of the Kostroma's course forms the border between the Yaroslavl and Kostroma oblasts.Lebanon–Russia relations
Lebanon–Russia relations (Russian: Российско-ливанские отношения) are the bilateral relations between Lebanon and Russia. Lebanon has an embassy in Moscow. Russia has an embassy in Beirut. Both states have cordial relations.Lenin Peace Prize
The International Lenin Peace Prize (Russian: международная Ленинская премия мира, mezhdunarodnaya Leninskaya premiya mira) was a Soviet Union award named in honor of Vladimir Lenin. It was awarded by a panel appointed by the Soviet government, to notable individuals whom the panel indicated had "strengthened peace among comrades". It was founded as the International Stalin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples, but was renamed the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples (Russian: Международная Ленинская премия «За укрепление мира между народами», Mezhdunarodnaya Leninskaya premiya «za ukrepleniye mira mezhdu narodami») as a result of de-Stalinization. Unlike the Nobel Prize, the Lenin Peace Prize was usually awarded to several people a year rather than to just one individual. The prize was mainly awarded to prominent Communists and supporters of the Soviet Union who were not Soviet citizens. Notable recipients include: W. E. B. Du Bois, Fidel Castro, Salvador Allende, Mikis Theodorakis, Seán MacBride, Angela Davis, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Niemeyer, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Abdul Sattar Edhi and Nelson Mandela.Northern Fleet
The Northern Fleet (Russian: Северный флот, Severnyy Flot) is the fleet of the Russian Navy in the Arctic Ocean.Established in 1933 by the Soviet Union as the Northern Flotilla, the fleet is considered to indirectly descend from the Arctic Sea Flotilla established in 1916 by the Russian Empire to protect the White Sea during World War I. It was developed into a full fleet of the Soviet Navy in the 1930s, and after being awarded the Order of the Red Banner in 1965, it was officially known as the Red Banner Northern Fleet until 1991. During the Soviet era the Northern Fleet operated more than 200 submarines, ranging from diesel-electric to nuclear-powered ballistic missile classes. The Northern Fleet is tasked with responsibility for operations and defense in the Arctic seas along Northern Russia, including the Barents Sea and Kara Sea, as well as the northwestern maritime approaches to Russia including the Norwegian Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
The Northern Fleet's headquarters and main base are located in Severomorsk, Murmansk Oblast, with secondary bases elsewhere in Kola Bay. Today, the Northern Fleet is the basis of the Northern Fleet Joint Strategic Command (Russia), established in 2014 and which includes all Russian armed forces located in the Murmansk Oblast and Arkhangelsk Oblast, and on Russia's offshore islands along its northern coast. The current commander is Admiral Nikolay Yevmenov, who has held the position since November 2015.Nyomda River (Kostroma Oblast)
Nyomda River (Russian: Нёмда) is a river in Kostroma Oblast and Ivanovo Oblast in Russia, a left tributary of the Volga River. It flows into the Nyomda Bay of the Gorky Reservoir of the Volga River. The river is 146 kilometres (91 mi) long, and its drainage basin covers 4,750 square kilometres (1,830 sq mi). The Nemda freezes up in November and remains icebound until mid-April.
Its largest tributary is the Shuya.
This article includes content derived from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 1969–1978, which is partially in the public domain.Pyotr Shirshov
Pyotr Petrovich Shirshov (Russian: Пётр Петрович Ширшов) (December 25 (O.S. December 12), 1905 in Ekaterinoslav (today Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) - February 17, 1953 in Moscow) was a Russian Soviet oceanographer, hydrobiologist, polar explorer, statesman, academician (1939), the first minister of Ministry of Maritime Fleet of the USSR and Hero of the Soviet Union (1938).
Pyotr Shirshov graduated from the Odessa Public Education Institute in 1929. In 1929-1932, he was a researcher at the Botanical Garden of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. In 1932-1936, Pyotr Shirshov was employed as a researcher at the All-Union Arctic Institute. He participated in numerous Arctic expeditions, including the ones on icebreakers Sibiryakov (1932) and Chelyuskin and a drifting ice station North Pole-1 (1937-1938). In 1942-1948, Pyotr Shirshov was People's Commissar of the Maritime Fleet, later minister of Ministry of Maritime Fleet of the USSR. In 1946-1953, he headed the Institute of Oceanology of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, which he had established himself. In 1946-1950, Pyotr Shirshov chaired the Pacific Ocean Science Committee.
Pyotr Shirshov authored numerous works dealing with his research on plankton in polar regions. He is known to have proven the fallacy of the hypothesis that there is no life in high latitudes of the Arctic Ocean. Pyotr Shirshov was awarded three Orders of Lenin, four other orders, and several medals.Radimichs
The Radimichs (also Radimichi) ( Радзiмiчы in Belarusian, Радимичи in Russian; Радимичі in Ukrainian) were a East ￼￼Slavic tribe of the last several centuries of the 1st millennium, which inhabited upper east parts of the Dnieper down the Sozh River and its tributaries. The name probably derives from the name of the forefather of the tribe - Radim.Rudolf Samoylovich
Rudolf (Ruvim) Lazarevich Samoylovich (Russian: Рудольф Лазаревич Самойлович) (13 September (O.S. 1 September), 1881, Azov – 4 March 1939, Saint Petersburg) was a Soviet polar explorer, professor (1928), and doctor of geographic sciences (1934).
In 1904, Rudolf Samoylovich graduated from the Mining Academy in Freiberg, Germany. In 1912, he participated in Vladimir Rusanov's geological expedition to Spitsbergen. Rudolf Samoylovich was one of the initiators and the first director of the Northern Research and Trade Expedition (Северная научно-промысловая экспедиция) (1920–1925). In 1925, this research center was reorganized into the Institute of Northern Studies (Институт по изучению Севера), headed by Rudolf Samoylovich in 1925–1930. In 1932–1938, he was deputy director of the All-Union Arctic Institute (Всесоюзный арктический институт). Rudolf Samoylovich was also the founder and first chairman of the Polar Countries' Department at Leningrad State University (1934–1937). Rudolf Samoylovich was the head of the rescue party on the Krasin icebreaker (1928). Also, he participated in the Graf Zeppelin expedition (1931) and headed expeditions on icebreakers Vladimir Rusanov (1932), Georgy Sedov (1934), and Sadko (1936 and 1937–1938). In 1938 Rudolf Samoylovich was arrested and then executed, most likely some time in 1940. In 1988 he was posthumously rehabilitated.
A strait and a glacier top on Franz Josef Land, a bay on Novaya Zemlya, an island in Severnaya Zemlya, a peninsula and a nunatak in the Antarctica bear Rudolf Samoylovich's name. He was awarded the Order of Lenin and Order of the Red Banner of Labour.Uglich Reservoir
Uglich Reservoir or Uglichskoye Reservoir (Russian: У́гличское водохрани́лище) is an artificial lake in the upper part of the Volga River formed by the Uglich Hydroelectric Station dam.
It was built in 1939 in the town of Uglich. It is located in Tver and Yaroslavl Oblasts in central Russia.Volga Cossacks
The Volga Cossacks (Russian: Волжские казаки) were free Cossack communities in the 16th century in Russia.
The Volga Cossacks participated in Yermak's conquest of Siberia. Due to the creation of the Tsaritsyn fortified line in the 18th century, the central government decided to form the Volga Cossack Host (Волгское казачье войско) consisting of 1057 families (mostly Don Cossacks) with the center in Dubovka (north of Tsaritsyn). The Volga Cossacks participated in the Pugachev Rebellion in 1773-1775.
In 1770 and 1777 the majority of the Volga Cossacks were relocated to the North Caucasus to form the Mozdok and Volga regiments of the Terek Cossack Host. The Volga Cossack Host proper was abolished. The remnants of the Volga Cossack Host were merged with the Astrakhan Cossack Host in the early 19th century.
This article includes content derived from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 1969–1978, which is partially in the public domain.Yakov Gakkel
Yakov Yakovlevich Gakkel (Russian: Яков Яковлевич Гаккель) (July 18, 1901, Saint Petersburg — December 30, 1965, Leningrad) was a Soviet oceanographer, doctor of geographical sciences (1950), professor, director of the geography department of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, son of scientist Yakov Modestovich Gakkel.
Yakov Gakkel participated in numerous Arctic expeditions, including the ones on icebreakers Sibiryakov (1932) and Chelyuskin (1934). He was the first one to create a bathymetric map of the Arctic basin.
Yakov Gakkel was awarded two orders and several medals during his scientific career. In 1966, one of the mid-oceanic ridges was named after him.
This article includes content derived from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 1969–1978, which is partially in the public domain.Yevgeny Konstantinovich Fyodorov
Yevgeny Konstantinovich Fyodorov (Russian: Евгений Константинович Фёдоров; 10 April (O.S. 28 March), 1910, Bendery – 30 December 1981) was a Soviet geophysicist, statesman, public figure, academician (1960), and Hero of the Soviet Union (1938).