Engels branch of State archive of Saratovskaya oblast
Since 1990 branch of State archive in Engels, former archive of region, and then republic of the Germans of Volga Region is opened for the researchers and therefore its funds, which reflect life and way of life of the Volga Germans are at present used by researchers.
Documents of the funds both of the pre-revolutionary period (from the times of Ekaterina II) and Soviet (from 1917 through 1941 yr.) are introduced into the scientific rotation.
Limitations concern only the records, which require restoration, also, due to their physical state not being subject to delivery to researchers.
Archive not only keeps, but also widely uses its documents. Archivists work above the demands of genealogical nature; documents on history of the Volga Germans from the public organizations and private individuals are gathered.
New personal fund in the branch of State Archive of Saratovskaya oblast’ in Engels – of Elizaveta Erina, the director, deserved worker of culture, honorable archivist of the Russian Federation as one of the sources on the study of history and culture of the Volga Germans. In the years of work of the director is accumulated the extensive complex of documents for the years 1806 - 2000 both created with it and assembled, which entered into the personal fund. The scientific research works of the director of the archive are in the fund by the published and unpublished articles, their rough versions, by the preparatory materials: the originals of documents, copies, extractions of them. The substantial part of the documents of the fund compose materials, which reflect the history of the Germans of Volga Region from the moment of population of Volga lands by colonists to present time. The uniqueness of this fund consists in the fact of assembled authentic and copies of documents, graphic materials, including maps, photo-positives, newspaper publications, the article of other authors, among whom it is possible to mark: appeal to the Soviet Germans of social and political organization "Russia" (1991), the protocol of the organizational session of the committee of the German "Red Cross" in the village Krasny Yar of 21 June, 1922; the history of republic German dramatic theater Alma Ata (Kazakhstan),1980-1990; documents about the collaboration of the archive with the German theater in Kaliningrad; the genealogy of Peter Alois Anthony, who was born in 1897 in village Tonokoshurovka of the Novouzenskiy district of Samara province and family of Shpomerov, descendants from the village Zurich (Zorkino) of Nikolayevskiy district of Samara province. Transfers and copies of the articles of other authors: A. Aysfel'd "Germans of the Soviet Union - two decades after rehabilitation” (after 1955), recollection of Johannes Gerber "Moving out, trudarmy and return", the historical description of P. Zinner "the Germans of lower Volga Region"(1925), the cultural-historical description of A. Mattern "the central school of village Grimm", I. Shaufler "the schools of Nempovolzh'ya is earlier and now " (1935-1939) can present a definite interest for scientists as well as plan of V. Zurich 1763-1941 with the indication of streets and names of house-owners, the plan of village Susly (Herzog) and the colored images of Catholic church of this village.
Together with the described documents above, which reflect the history of the Germans of Volga Region, in the personal fund are rich scientific research materials on history and culture of Engels (up to 1931 - Pokrovsk), suburban zone, documents from the moment of the base of city since 1914 to present time, etc. On the inventory № 2 in this personal fund are described 135 photo positives.
To the published inventory R –1831 grows interest among the researchers. Documents of this fund attract not only of scientist’s attention, but also of amateurs of history to: the diaries of Johannes Georg Mering, 1773-1775, Johann Valla about the life of Mennonites in West Prussia and in the Volga coasts; to the historical materials on the population and the mastery of the Volga earth by Germans; works of unknown authors; the communication of the colonist Ludwig Mueller from Old Norka; the description of the life of German prisoner (1889-1929.); the published in Helsinki in 1914 to the 150- anniversary of Volga German colonies work of Ferdinand von Val'berg the "appearance of love for the native land in the inhabitants of Volga steppes" and many works on the history of the Germans of Volga Region of A. Shnayder, Lebzak, Kh. Shaab, I. Erbes, I. Zorn and others.
In spite of the openness of funds, many of them are not studied yet, that fact noted the docent of French university Byuono Martin, which worked at the doctoral dissertation on the theme: the "history of statistics in Saratov province and ASSR NP" and doctor, the professor of university Vasedo (Japan) Sudzuki Takeo, that investigated the theme: "Stolypinsk agrarian reform and the German communities of Volga Region".
Cause special interest by their lack of study the fund of the People's commissariat of agriculture, the fund of the control of the national-economic calculation, in which there are the statistical evidence about the sums of the population census, industry, cattle, a dynamics of the inspection of peasant farms, productivity, reports about the work of industrial enterprises, kolkhozes, state farms, MTS, activity of scientific establishments, establishments of public education, in a cultural- enlightenment emphasizes, public health, transport, connection, etc. In the fund of the People's commissariat of education there are materials about the work of pre-school establishments, development and work of the network of schools, technical schools, VUZ - Institute of Higher Education, fully reflected the work on the elimination of illiteracy among the population and the introduction of universal required instruction. Is interesting the history of the organization of Nempedinstitute (German Pedagogical Institute) and its unique library, institute of the improvement of teachers, German agricultural institute. The documents of congresses, conferences of the workers of education are interesting for the study same as materials on the publication of textbooks in the German language and so forth.
The operational procedure of researchers is determined as in all State archives of the country, by The rules of the work of users in the reading halls of the Public Archives of Russian Federation, M. 1998 and by Reminder to the users, that work in the reading hall of the branch of State Archive of Saratov region in Engels, 2001.
Permission to the work in the reading hall gives director, the very same and chief specialist, responsible for this section of work, and provides consultative aid when it’s necessary.
In principle there is no limitation to the use of archive materials. For the work in the archive the knowledge of Russian and German languages is necessary.
To the services of researchers: the lists of funds, card index, catalogs, inventory and small library fund.
Because of absence of valuable reading hall, director and archive’s chief specialist it is necessary to constantly solve very complex problem - the establishment of priority in the work of researchers. And with each year this problem to become increasingly more sharply, since interest in the study of the archive funds grows. The greatest interest cause different aspects of history of the Germans of Volga Region from the moment of their population after manifestos of Ekaterina II in 1762 and 1763, their equipping on Volga lands, formations and activities of the first German autonomy (1918 - 1941). The carried out analysis made it possible to establish that during the period (1990 - 2002) in question the reading hall of archive accepted 531 researchers, from which 464 worked on the declared theme, 38 of them - the representatives of different countries (1992 - 2002).
Basic contingent of the users: professorial-teaching staff, graduate students, the students of VUZ - Institute of Higher Education, the workers of museums, the representatives of scientific establishments, different kind of organizations, the representatives of the organs of power of the state and control, public organizations, the correspondents of newspapers, periodicals, private individuals. Their purpose: writing monographs, candidate and doctoral dissertations, scientific of articles, diploma works, different kind regional-study searches, conducting genealogical studies, etc.
The geography of researchers is very diverse: Saratov, Samara, Volgograd, Ul'yanovsk, Kostroma, Novosibirsk, Uralsk, Kaliningrad, S.- Petersburg, Moscow; Kazakhstan, Germany, France, America, Japan, Norway...
Work with the funds for archive is hindered for the scientists by the absence of the reference book on the basis of the funds, which cannot be created without the financing.