Research Programs: Collaborative Research

Period of Performance

7/1/2006 - 1/31/2011

Funding Totals

$100,000.00 (approved)
$100,000.00 (awarded)

The Coast of Colonial California Through the Eyes of Russian Mariners: Fresh Perspectives From Russian Naval Archives

FAIN: RZ-50572-06

Fort Ross Interpretive Association (Jenner, CA 95450)
Lyn Kalani (Project Director: November 2005 to September 2007)
James R. Gibson (Project Director: September 2007 to December 2008)
Lyn Kalani (Project Director: December 2008 to July 2011)

Preparation of a book consisting of translations of Russian accounts of travels in early California. (36 months)

In the early nineteenth century, the Russian Navy made numerous voyages to the west coast of North America. These naval ships carried highly-trained scientists and naturalists who created the earliest records of life in California. The records and documents relating to these voyages became the property of the Russian government, and are now stored in the Russian State Naval Archives (RSNA) in St. Petersburg, Russia. Very little has been published in the English language relating to the majority of these Russian voyages. We propose that a team of Russian and American scholars search the RSNA to identify and publish journals, maps, scientific notes, and illustrations that were produced during these voyages to early California.