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"Romanov's University": libraries, books, and learning in Imperial Russian prisons.

Many comrades in prison regarded their stay as a temporary respite from revolutionary work and considered it necessary, finding themselves incarcerated, to flesh out their knowledge so as to be the better armed to renew the revolutionary struggle. One could, without exaggeration, say that for the greater number of the political prisoners, prison was a great "Romanov's University." (1)


Imperial Russia's prison system has, in Western and even Russian eyes, long suffered from a particularly gruesome image in popular imagination as well as scholarly discourse. This perception has been remarkably durable for the more than a century since Western attention began to focus on Russia's jails and the treatment afforded there to political prisoners. From visiting and exiled Russian radicals, Western Europe heard tales of unmitigated horror, deprivation, and cruelty. The few observers from Western countries who reported on the situation confirmed and extended this impression, and furthered the already significant sympathy afforded the often educated and eloquent victims of tsarist brutality and oppression. Later reports from Soviet sources further developed, both domestically and abroad, the dreariest possible impression of Imperial Russia's prisons, often with the aim, sometimes implied but often explicit, of comparing the compassion, wisdom, and justice afforded by their Soviet successors. (2) Against this background, the idea that libraries and reading had a meaningful place in prisoners' lives appears at least surprising.

The existence of libraries in Imperial Russia's prisons perplexes even some specialists. The very low level of basic literacy among the empire's overwhelmingly peasant population makes even the proposition seem unlikely. Despite this perplexity, prison libraries were, in fact, widespread by the early twentieth century, and a few had managed to amass and organize extensive and wide-ranging collections. The proposition that both the prison populations and administrations valued these libraries is shown in a variety of sources, including prisoners' memoirs published chiefly after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, official government discourses and policy pronouncements published in Tiuremnyi vestnik, the journal of the Main Prison Administration, and the very small body of theoretical and practical literature on penology that appeared in Russia in contemporary educational and legal journals.

How these libraries came into being, how they were used, and how both jailers and jailed regarded them brings up larger issues of the social and political context in which these developments occurred: what do the facts and the course of the development of prison libraries say about cultural attitudes towards crime, punishment, censorship, reading, education, and literacy? What role did the state and emerging civil society play in creating and regulating prison libraries? This discussion traces the development of a belief in the process of reading as a transformative force to influence the heart, mind, soul, and, ultimately, the body of the reader. Both contemporary and projective discussions expressed this belief within official Russia, and the retrospective assessments of the inmate population who used the libraries and have left a record concur.

To study the development of libraries in Russian prisons, as well as the meanings and uses of reading and literacy therein, it is necessary to examine the sociology of reading and literacy in Russian society from both from the standpoint of the prison administrations and the inmates. For this inquiry, a prison library refers to a collection of books and other printed materials available for use with or by inmates in any category of residential penal detention. The variations in the attention given to active development and organization of book collections for the prisoner population are central to the discussion.

The sources available for this study are fragmentary and problematic. Voluminous memoirs by participants in the revolutionary movement were published after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, and again around the revolutions tenth anniversary. Naturally, a large number feature accounts of long stretches in various forms of detention. These accounts often follow a quickly discernible trajectory: activity in the revolutionary movement from early youth, arrest before completing formal education, and, during long years in prison, time and access to books to supplement learning in order more effectively to continue the struggle upon eventual release. The authors emphasized seditious intent in their choice of reading. Unfortunately, these memoirs concern only political prisoners. Although politicals were certainly an important and identifiable body of the prison population, they remained a very small minority, never as much as five percent of the total. (3) From the government's side, Tiuremnyi vestnik occasionally held quite lively and informative discussions. But, when Russian penologists concerned themselves with library collections and reading, they addressed, sometimes explicitly and almost always exclusively, the general criminal population. So, an imparallel comparison between these two chief information sources, which is certainly less than ideal, faces this study.

Russian Literacy

Before beginning this discussion of libraries and prisons, a brief note on literacy in Russia at the end of the nineteenth century is in order, as any use of libraries presumes a basic understanding of the written word. Overall literacy in Russia before the middle of the nineteenth century rated extremely low in comparison with Western Europe. Literacy was concentrated in the central provinces, particularly in the cities and strongly among the young. In 1897, the overall rate in the empire stood at 29.3 percent, with the rate within the European provinces slightly higher at 32.6 percent. Male literacy for those aged 20-29 reached 45.3 percent, declining by decade of age to 20 percent for age 60 and over. Female literacy followed the same basic pattern at roughly one-half the value. However, literacy rates rose broadly and sharply at the end of the nineteenth century, demonstrated by the degree of literacy among military recruits: in 1874, it stood at 21 percent; it climbed quickly and steadily over the next decades to reach 62.9 percent by 1909. (4) Within the context of a modernizing society, this indicates a tremendous change in basic skills across the whole population. (5)

The Emergence of Prisons in Russia

Prisons in Russia before the middle of the nineteenth century played only a very small role in the country's criminal justice administration. Up to that time, various kinds of corporal punishments and exile were the predominant modes of dealing with criminal transgression. Administrative efforts to transform and modernize began about 1845, and were propelled first by the abolition of serfdom in 1861, followed by the many other changes in legal and social relations occurring during the Great Reforms. Closely linked to the question of prisons and punishment were the 1863 abolition of many forms of corporal punishment and the reform of the judicial system in 1864. These changes in the legal background did not create overnight a network of prisons throughout Russia. Rather, they represented merely the beginning of a long process of institutional development that covered not only the physical construction of prisons but also, as importantly, approaching an understanding of the purpose of prisons.

Prisons by definition deprive an inmate of liberty. The French philosopher Michel Foucault suggested that the goals of this deprivation are twofold: to exact retribution for an offense, and to produce an internal change upon the prisoner. (6) This shift from punitive to reformatory in state relations toward criminals became a crucial turning point, and the example of Western European and American penological practice and theory clearly inspired this direction in Russia. (7) The country's entry into the mainstream of penology occurred with active participation of Russian delegations in international penitentiary congresses in the 1870s and 1880s. When the 1890 meeting was held in St. Petersburg, it clearly demonstrated that the participating nations recognized Russia as a peer. (8)

Russian prisons, not surprisingly, shared the chronic chaos that affected many large institutions in the far-flung empire. As Russia discovered prisons well after their widespread adoption in the West, so did it lag in effectively standardizing the principles of their operation and use. The most noted observer of the system, American explorer and writer George Kennan, made a point to caution his readers of the atomized, random nature of prison administration in Russia, noting in 1887 that the empire's prisons
 are all nominally under the same management, and are subject
 to the same laws and regulations, and yet it would be difficult
 to find a score that are governed exactly in the same way or
 precisely upon the same principles. It would be almost equally
 difficult to find a single prison which has been governed in the
 same way for three consecutive years. (9)

Kennan was one of many in this period to describe both the ordinary unpleasantness and the extraordinary horrors of Russian prisons. However, historian Bruce Adams noted in the recently published examination of Russian prisons of this time that "by the end of the nineteenth century, and certainly by 1917, Russia was running its prison system for the same purposes and according to the same standards in use in European nations and the United States." (10) Clearly, then, in the empire's last half-century, the prison system emerged rather rapidly from a position as something of an afterthought in the range of available punishments to become a mainstay of penal practice, one which at least aspired to promote the goals of the most contemporary, the most "scientific" practice available. But progress was fitful. Most importantly, funding for constructing and running modern prisons, as for every large project in the empire, remained insufficient to the demands of the task.

The development of Russian penology focused on returning a rehabilitated prisoner to society. Criminality and redemption in Russian society were seen in largely, often exclusively, religious terms. The key to rehabilitation, therefore, was to create an experience to bring the convict to understand his/her sin and to repent before God. Although this recognition was the chief, and sometimes only, condition of rehabilitation, the path to instilling it eventually gained some nuance. A 1907 Tiuremnyi vestnik article summed up the consistently held view that the path to prisoner redemption lay in: 1) the heart, through religion, 2) the will, through labor, and 3) the mind, through reading. Of these, the article identified religion as paramount. (11) Except for eating and sleeping, these pursuits almost wholly covered prisoners' structured time. However, the amount of unstructured time varied from period to period, from place to place, and according to the season, the prerogatives of the warden and, occasionally, instructions from the center.

Prison Libraries

Despite persistent concern for standardization at the center, many substantial features of the regime within a given prison seem to have been matters of local discretion rather than mandates from St. Petersburg. The existence or absence of a library within a particular prison appears to have been such a matter. While central authorities occasionally expressed opinions about the contents of existing libraries, whether by direct instruction or recommendation, they apparently never expressed a determination to pursue libraries as a priority. Beginning as early as February 1894, Tiuremnyi vestnik occasionally published clear statements about the desirability of the formation of libraries for prisoners, but the state never formally permitted funds to be spent for the purpose. (12)

Generally, very little information on prison libraries appeared before the early 1890s. As late as 1889, prominent penologist Ivan Foinitskii succinctly wrote that they "simply do not exist." (13) Although this statement oversimplifies the situation, prisons with libraries were at this time the exception rather than the rule. Aside from Foinitskii's brief reference, the available contemporary information consists entirely of prisoners' reports and a few rules for the formation and maintenance of prison libraries showing a great range in their management from highly restrictive to fairly permissive.

It is difficult to ascertain the number of prisons in Russia at any given time; an authoritative count of libraries in Russian prisons is even harder to determine with any precision. In 1887, Kennan reported the total number at 884. (14) Another observer, writing in 1911, cited unspecified official 1906 statistics that the empire's prisons contained 432 libraries. (15) Tiuremnyi vestnik, of March 1905, expressed satisfaction by merely noting that libraries existed in "nearly all places of imprisonment." (16) Kennan's number is believed to be nearly correct since he enjoyed significant cooperation from the Ministry of the Interior. It is unlikely that the 432 prison libraries could account for "nearly all" prisons in operation, particularly taking into account that Russia's prison population in 1906 was higher by about six percent than in 1887. (17)

Exiled Decembrists formed the earliest known library in a Russian prison in the 1830s in Chita. In this prison, the Decembrists reportedly assembled a very sizable collection, exceeding six thousand volumes in fourteen languages, by transporting their personal libraries from European Russia. (18) The practice by which library collections developed on the initiative, and at the expense, of the prisoners themselves became a prevalent pattern in Russian prisons into the twentieth century. This, naturally, usually corresponded to political prisoners, who, more often than the criminals, possessed both the education required to use books and the means to purchase them.

The complex and competing demands that led to creating prison libraries and the expertise and attention required to run them according to changing and often unclear regulations together contributed to an often confusing picture. Pressure to establish libraries came variously from the prisoners themselves, whom authorities permitted to receive books from friends and family, from the Main Prison Administration's occasional admonishments and encouragements to form them, and from members of the public and organizations concerned with prison welfare, the advancement of literacy, and religious instruction. The chief public organizations concerned with prison welfare, the so-called popechitel'nye obshchestva o tiur'makh, or "prison benevolent societies," were established very early as semi-official agencies with substantial responsibilities in the day-to-day management of the prisons. One of their responsibilities at least as early as 1873 became the provisioning to prisoners of books of "holy writing and religious-spiritual content," (19) with common proposals to expand the societies' role in prisoner education and literacy. Unfortunately, a lack of activity often characterized prison aid societies, and they were criticized for attracting social climbers rather than people genuinely interested in either prisoner welfare or philanthropy. (20)

However, even where private societies actively supplied libraries, the prisons did not universally welcome the help. P. N. Obninskii reported an effort in 1874 by two Moscow societies to provide book collections of 300-400 volumes, slide projectors, and volunteer readers to eight prisons in the city. The authorities accepted only books for the women's and juvenile departments, on the presumption that "there could be no demand for reading among prisoners with such spoiled morality" as the adult men. In several prisons, the administrations refused the offer. In one, officials cited a lack of space and of persons to supervise. In another, they accepted the books, but the prisoners never used them. In a third, Obninskii noted that a sympathetic warden allowed readings on religious and secular topics, but this practice ended after the warden left for another facility two years later. (21)

One of the primary functions of active prison societies entailed attracting charitable donations for prisons' needs. These organizations, as well as private foundations and individuals, did contribute materials and funds earmarked especially for libraries. Tiuremnyi vestnik published lists of donations reported to the Main Prison Administration, and these showed that, from 1897 to 1914, prisons received at least occasional contributions of books. For these years, the journal noted 110 donations to 75 prisons valued roughly at 2,600 rubles and totaling about 20,000 volumes. Although these figures seem insignificant when measured against the size of the whole system, one may presume that they are incomplete and offer but a glimpse at a more substantial phenomenon. However, what can be discerned is the presence of a few libraries among the 75 that received several donations. From this higher-than-average activity may be inferred that a higher-than-average level of local attention to libraries by donors, and a similarly greater receptiveness to the library by the local prison administrations, was present. (22)

The reasons prison administrators allowed or encouraged the establishment of libraries at least occasionally or in part, concerned expediency rather than reflecting a pure dedication to the ideal of rehabilitation of the prisoners. Several memoirists of Shlisselburg prison in St. Petersburg reported conditions so distressing that it led to several instances of insanity and suicide attempts among prisoners in the 1870s and 1880s. The most dramatic episode involved Ippolit Myshkin and Petr Minakov, who resolved to commit suicide, but wanted to do so in a way that would bring some benefit to their comrades. They decided to stage protests that would result in their execution, and pledged that the provision of books and journals for the prisoners would be among their demands. Both ultimately were executed, in 1884 and 1885 respectively, though no details either of their protests or of any of their demands are available. Whether or not Myshkin's and Minakov's protests came as a direct source of inspiration, authorities greatly eased access to books shortly after their deaths. One contemporary inmate surmised that
 the administrations plans did not call for turning the political
 prison into an insane asylum and things were leaning that way;
 insane prisoners were for them personally more dangerous and
 greatly increased the workload for supervision and restraint....
 This is why the administration little by little leaned toward
 concessions ... that were of saving significance: books, journals,
 and walks. (23)

This concession in favor of books and journals soon yielded a significant collection, although its composition and use were far from secure. Interestingly, all information about this collection indicates that it was, at least in significant measure, provided by the prison and at the prisons expense. This issue will be discussed below at greater length.

In 1889, Minister of the Interior Pyotr Durnovo inspected the prison and spotted a history of the French Revolution in one of the prisoners' cells. Dismayed to find this material available, he examined the library's catalog, and found several dozen titles which he ordered removed. Mikhail Novorusskii noted that the prisoners themselves had supplied to the library almost all the expunged volumes. (24) This incursion into the library became the occasion for a hunger strike in protest. On the strike's eighth day, one prisoner collapsed, and a second attempted suicide. On the ninth, the prisoners capitulated and the strike ended. Access to reading matter was a common demand by hunger-striking prisoners. (25) That prisoners willingly went to such lengths to improve their access to reading attested to the very high value they placed on the activity. In this case, the prisoners who mentioned the hunger strike all noted that after three years the books Durnovo had ordered removed were returned to the library.

The staff in the Main Prison Administration primarily concerned itself with the supervision of library collections, insuring that they contained only appropriate material, according to the prevailing standards. Unfortunately, individual prisons were generally very poorly equipped to handle this task. First, the definition of "acceptable" items changed often, as the desire and understanding of central administrations evolved. Religious material was always promoted, but whether any other subject matter could be introduced into the prison depended on changing central rules coming from, as well as fluid interpretations and priorities on the part of, local administrations. The Main Prison Administration had established rules governing the provision of reading material to prisoners since 1857, putting the custodianship of prisoner reading in the hands of the priest assigned to the prison, but gave no guidelines upon which he might base his judgment.

In 1873, an order confirmed by the Minister of Internal Affairs stated that a prison library should be "composed of books the reading of which might bring the prisoners to moral development and correction." Finally, in 1905, a published regulation allowed all books in prison libraries that were allowed to be in general circulation. (26) While St. Petersburg promulgated all these rules, local administrators often acted independently, permitting or refusing materials into the libraries as they saw intellectually or expediently desirable.

Regardless of the guidelines or the interpretation, not all prison priests measured up to the task of monitoring library collections. For example, at Aleksandrovskii tsentral prison near Irkutsk, Ulianinskii reported that the priest tended to shirk this responsibility altogether by handing it off to an assistant. The prisoners quickly recognized in this situation a stratagem for getting around the officials' intent:
 This assistant liked pretty books with pictures, nice bindings,
 etc., and inmates would request in each package of books sent
 to the prison that 1-2 nice things be included "to soften his
 censor's heart." This tactic was remarkably successful: he would
 release the other books without any serious scrutiny. In this
 way we succeeded in receiving books in the prison library that
 had been under ban even in freedom but, having received such
 books we were extremely careful in keeping them in the prison.
 In the general catalog, the greater part of [these] books were
 not entered, but were in the so-called "period department," in
 which were listed books of such criminal and risky content that
 they often did not carry their real titles. To mask these books
 we would often tear out the title page and substitute another,
 more fitting prison conditions. This camouflage gave the possibility
 for our books that were inappropriate for prison conditions to exist
 for the full term until our general liberation in
 March 1917. (27)

Many forces produced the shift from close regulation of prisoners' reading to this more relaxed stand. First, the burden on administrators, insufficient and undereducated staffs, and reliance upon usually non-existent volunteers, often made close supervision impractical. Second, the single-minded prescription of religious and morally-edifying literature came to be seen as counter-productive. A 1907 Tiuremnyi vestnik article cautioned that "books whose contents are morally didactic cannot be recommended. In the first place, they are boring; in the second, they are useless.... They are so tendentious that they are not valued by the prisoners, are rarely read, and do not produce considerable results." (28) So, although explicitly religious literature did not produce the desired spiritual conversion, the article advocated broadening the field of acceptable reading, maintaining all the while the focus on "producing results." The act of reading, therefore, became increasingly identified as valuable regardless of the subject matter.

The Main Prison Administration acutely recognized the problem of guiding local prison administrations to select materials appropriate both under the law and with respect to the perceived needs and legitimate desires of the readers, and that a workable solution would be very difficult to achieve. In the same 1905 rule that declared the permissibility in prisons of any book allowed to circulate in public, the Main Prison Administration acknowledged and regretted the lack of available guidance in the area of book selection. The regulation recommended prisons base collections on lists published by educational agencies and departments, and supplement them with other titles that they found useful. With the knowledge that prison staffs responsible for overseeing the collections would not necessarily know languages beyond Russian, lists of books in minority languages published by local educational and other agencies were indicated as resources. (29)

Finally, in 1910, Tiuremnyi vestnik published its first sample catalog of material for prison libraries. (30) The listing contained 331 titles in 7 categories. Religious and moral literature constituted the first, but not largest, category. It falls in third place numerically, well behind belles-lettres, and just a bit behind natural science. History, geography, agriculture, and social sciences round out the roll in descending order. This catalog became a landmark in the development of prison libraries: finally a recommended list existed that could be allowed with confidence, and would not involve the time or the judgment of local officials reluctant to take on the task. Whether officials adopted it widely or not remains unknown, but in at least one case, a 1911 gift to the prison in Atkarsk consisted of 242 titles from the catalog. (31)

Back in Shlisselburg, Novorusskii reported that, in 1897, the prisoners received a sum of money for book purchases, possibly an allotment of state funds. (32) Moreover, the rather large amount of 140 rubles per year went a very long way. The inmates collectively made a list of desired books which they forwarded to prison officials, who returned it months later with titles rejected, but the library quickly developed into a rather substantial collection. Mikhail Ashenbrenner noted that when he arrived in Shlisselburg in 1884, the only books to be found were a Bible, the works of Dmitrii Rostovskii, two or three old church journals, and thirty-odd old books printed on lubok paper with pre-Pushkinian language. (33) When the authorities released Novorusskii in 1905 with the political prisoner wing of Shlisselburg disbanded, he observed that the library had reached about 3,000 volumes. (34)

The Library in Daily Prison Life

At the beginning of the period under discussion, Russia had very few prisons. Following vast changes in social and legal structures, by the end of the nineteenth century it needed many. Certainly much of the growth in the prison system was accommodated by re-purposing existing structures, but purpose-built prisons also appeared. In 1889, a fire destroyed a major prison near Irkutsk, Aleksandrovskii tsentral, being rebuilt by 1891. Aleksandrovskii tsentral's library reportedly contained over 8,000 volumes in 1917, possibly the largest library of any prison in Russia. Remarkably, even so major a facility constructed this late did not contain planned dedicated space for a library. As late as 1914, when Tiuremnyi vestnik published guidelines for prison construction, they contained no mention of space for a library. (35) In the interim, however, in the city of Cheliabinsk, officials began, in 1906, to construct a one purpose-built prison with dedicated space for a library. (36) The architects divided the third floor of the main prison building into "a small room for the prison library and rather spacious accommodation for the church." One writer, praising Soviet prisons in 1936, noted disdainfully, and without attributing his source, that of 432 prison libraries in Russia, only 75 had their own space. (37) Leaving aside the difficulties of enumeration, what remains clear is the suggestion that dedicated space was a relatively rare luxury for prison libraries. For Aleksandrovskii tsentral, a main open workroom became the library. For others, the solution used is less apparent.

Wherever housed, the library became an important part in the life of the prison. Local needs and ingenuity solved the problems of writing a catalog; sometimes a prisoner would be elected librarian by his comrades and arrange routines for each prisoner's reading selections and circulation. (38) Prisoners read for their own reasons, and these changed identifiably over time. Petr Fabrichnyi, a prisoner-librarian in Aleksandrovskii tsentral, noted a seasonal variation in reading habits: in the wintertime, when the Siberian freeze kept outdoor work to a minimum, there was time for serious study, and "scientific" titles accounted for twenty-seven percent of circulations; in the spring and summer, not only did overall circulation decline, but the proportion of "scientific" titles decreased to about twenty-one percent. (39)

V. Ulianinskii, another librarian in Aleksandrovskii tsentral, noted a broader periodization that reflected a shifting utilitarian focus in inmate reading. Ulianinskii began his observations with the arrival of a large group of political prisoners in 1906. During what he termed the "agitational revolutionary period," from 1906-09, few focused on study. Prisoners, expecting an amnesty, hoped to be released in the very near future, so long-term planning did not become a priority. An open regime within the prison made possible large meetings during which agitators lectured to sometimes large assemblies of prisoners. When, in 1908, an escape precipitated a crackdown that brought this relative freedom to a close, many inmates realized they would remain in Aleksandrovskii tsentral for a long time, and they began more intensive book learning. Prisoners studied seven languages from Russian to Esperanto, math, natural sciences, history, and geography: in short, they pursued very broad interests. Finally, from about 1912 to 1917, what Ulianinskii calls the "period of the accumulation of practical knowledge," prisoners began to focus on the upcoming expiration of sentences, and started to plan how to live free in Siberian exile. Studies in construction, accounting, animal husbandry, and other trade-based pursuits became more common. (40) Thus, prisoners chose their reading carefully, according to a perception of their available time, energy, and future development. Although this fell outside the common revolutionary rhetoric, it still showed strongly that prisoners used the libraries for information in order to bring a desired change.


As prisons evolved rapidly, as both ideas and institutions in Russia at the end of the nineteenth century, the goal was consistently to use the prison not merely to warehouse inmates but to effect change upon them. Reading became an important part of this process. Although at first accepting the efficacy only of overtly religious and spiritual literature, the conception of the positive value of reading eventually extended further. Prisoners also valued reading for its ability to assist in an internal transformation, but of a different sort. The political prisoner possessed the opportunity to maintain an oppositional posture in otherwise tightly controlled circumstances. But others valued literature for its ability to distract the prisoner from generally horrible conditions of confinement, and to maintain or develop some intellectual or practical skill in the enforced idleness of prison. Unfortunately, no data exist on which to base an assessment of attitudes toward reading in prison by the overwhelming majority criminal population. That they used the libraries certainly indicates that they found something worthwhile in them.

Moreover, the dispersed impetus for creating prison libraries came both from administrations and from prisoners. Libraries arose widely in prisons, most often independently of any broad social movement, ideology, or of any encouragement other than locally observed needs. This rapid, widespread and organic development showed how strongly reading had become recognized as useful and desirable in a very short time.

(1) V. Ulianinskii, "Ucheba na katorge," Katorga i ssylka, no. 54 (1929): 108.

(2) Bruce F. Adams, Politics of Punishment: Prison Reform in Russia, 1863-1917 (Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1996), 4 ff.

(3) Adams, Politics of Punishment, 7.

(4) Adolf Rashin, Naselenie Rossii za 100 let (Moscow: Gos. idz-vo, 1956).

(5) See Jeffrey Brooks, When Russia Learned to Read: Literacy and Popular Literature, 1861-1917 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985).

(6) Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Pantheon Books, 1977), 231-56.

(7) For example, Negley Teeters, Deliberations of the International Penal and Penitentiary Congresses: Questions and Answers, 1872-1938 (Philadelphia: Temple University Book Store, 1949), 94-95.

(8) P. N. Obninskii, "Biblioteki i chteniia v tiurmakh," Iuridicheskii vestnik, no. 3 (1890), 528.

(9) George Kennan, "Prison Life of the Russian Revolutionaries," The Century 2: 25 (December 1887):286.

(10) Adams, Politics of Punishment, 9.

(11) "K voprosu o bibliotekakh dlia zakliuchennykh," Tiuremnyi vestnik, no. 1 (1907):71.

(12) "Prakticheskiia raz"iasneniia," Tiuremnyi vestnik, no. 2 (1894): 92. On the restriction of state funds for libraries, see A. Mezier, "Iz khroniki bibliotechnago dela," Russkaia shkola, no. 3 (1911): 99-101. On page 100 he quotes D. Iuferov, Moscow provincial prison inspector.

(13.) I. Ia. Fointiskii, Uchenie o nakazanii v sviazi's tiur'movedeniem (St. Petersburg, 1889), 375.

(14) Kennan, "Prison Life of the Russian Revolutionaries," 286.

(15) Mezier, "Iz khroniki bibliotechnago dela," 99.

(16) "O tiuremnykh bibliotekakh i arestantskikh chteniiakh," Tiuremnyi vestnik, no. 3 (1905):173.

(17) Glavnoe tiuremnoe upravlenie, Otchet (St. Petersburg, 1915), pt. 2,190-91.

(18) D. S. Zharkov, "Rol' bibliotek sibirskikh tiurem i politicheskoi ssylki v podgotovke revoliutsionnykh sotsial-demokratov (konets XIX-nachalo XX vv.)," Nauchnye biblioteki sibiri i dal'nego vostoka, no. 7 (1971): 232.

(19) "Prakticheskiia raz"iasneniia," Tiuremnyi vestnik, no. 2 (1894): 92.

(20) Adams, Politics of Punishment, 164.

(21) P. N. Obninskii, "Biblioteki i chteniia v tiur'makh," Iuridicheskii vestnik, no. 3 (1890): 529.

(22) This brings up an interesting thread regarding the question of the role of civil society in the promotion and development of prison libraries, namely the suggestion of an association between active proponents of public libraries and the establishment of libraries in prisons. Two so-far unpublished studies, Helen Hundeley on Irkutsk and Nigel Raab on Perm, discuss organized and active promotion of public libraries. Raab cites a published call in Permskiia gubernskiia vedomosti in 1862 for a literary evening to raise money to establish a library in a prison in the city. Though the fund-raiser was never held, two individuals donated 150 rubles worth of books for the purpose. This report is tantalizing in its appeal, though apparently unsuccessful, to the broad public to generate enthusiasm and action on behalf of prison libraries. Much later, Tiuremnyi vestnik reported that a prison library in Akhtyrskii uezd received 44 rubles 65 kopeks from the proceeds of a benefit performance (no. 12 [1912]: 2045), so such an effort did succeed in generating a public response for the cause at least once.

(23) Mikhail Ashenbrenner, "Shlisselburgskaia tiur'ma za 20 let, of 1884 po 1904: Vospomnaniia," Byloe, no. 1 (1906):63.

(24) M. V. Novorusskii, Zapiski Shlisselburzhtsa, 1887-1905 (Petrograd: Gos. Izdvo, 1920), 156.

(25) See also "Iz vospominanii o zhenskoi katorge," Katorga i ssylka, no. 22 (1926):151.

(26) "O tiuremnykh bibliotekakh i arestantskikh chteniiakh," Tiuremnyi vestnik, no. 3 (1905):174.

(27) V. Ulianinskii, "Ucheba na katorge," Katorga i ssylka, no. 54 (1929): 110.

(28) "K voprosu o bibliotekakh dlia zakliuchennykh," Tiuremnyi vestnik, no. 1 (1907):72.

(29) "O tiuremnykh bibliotekakh i arestantskikh chteniiakh," Tiuremnyi vestnik, no. 3 (1905): 5, 174-75.

(30) "Primernyi katalog dlia tiuremnykh bibliotek tsenoiu v 57 rublei 15 kop. (krome uchebnikov)," Tiuremnyi vestnik, no. 8 (1910):1094-1115.

(31) "Pozhertvovaniia na nudzdy mest zakliucheniia i arestantov," Tiuremnyi vestnik, no. 6 (1911): 713.

(32) Novorusskii complained that when the authorities appropriated the library, not only those books paid for with the money "assignali" for books, but also books that were otherwise prisoners' property were taken.

(33) Ashenbrenner, "Shlisselburgskaia tiur'ma za 20 let," 59.

(34) Novorusskii, Zapiski Shlisselburzhtsa,154.

(35) K. Melnikov, "Osnovy tiuremnago stroitel'stva," Tiuremnyi vestnik, no. 1 (1914):113-77.

(36) M. Petrov, "Cheliabinskaia tiur'ma," Tiuremnyi vestnik, no. 4 (1913): 663-744.

(37) D. Stelmakh, "Bibliotechnaia rabota v ispravitel'no-trudovykh uchrezhdeniiakh SSSR," Ot tiurem k vospitatel'nym uchrezhdeniiam (Moscow: Gos. izd-vo Sovetskoe zakonodatelstvo, 1934), 163.

(38) Novorusskii, Zapiski Shlisselburzhtsa, 160.

(39) Petr Fabrichnyi, "Gramota i kniga na katorge," Katorga i ssylka, no. 3 (1922): 195.

(40) Ulianinskii, "Ucheba na katorge," 111-15.
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Author:Ingersoll, Jared
Publication:Indiana Slavic Studies
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Jan 1, 2006
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