After years of wondering where the Russian government has been unloading its electronic treasure trove, I think I have found a gem for genealogy. Thankfully, the database comes with the tools that help avoid sweating to find the treasures.
The Russian State Library is claiming to have the second largest online database. That’s hard to believe but the amount of records here are unreal.
Users can immediately begin searching with the help of Google Translate.
Here’s how to take full advantage of this user-friendly database even without knowing Russian.
- Copy and paste your keywords (surnames, villages, events, etc.) translated by Google Translate in the search box and click искать (find in English) on the right.
- When results come in, click on еще (more in English) at the end of each description.
- Copy and paste the results into Google Translate.
- Once you’ve selected which results are most interesting, right click on or copy and paste the link for прочитать документ (read document in English).
- Select Онлайн-просмотр (online viewing in English) on the top of the next page and then click открыть документ (open document in English).
- Then the document will open. Click on поиск (search in English) on the left.
- Copy and paste your keywords in Russian in the search box and click on найти (find in English).
- The exact pages where your keywords appear in the document will be listed under Найдено: (found in English).
- If you can’t find your information or read the text, right click to save the document. There are Facebook groups to help with translations. See Facebook Genealogy for links to those groups.
Once this is all done, the journey has only begun. Take the journey one step further by picking out keywords from the documents and using a Russian keyboard to retype important keywords.
Then copy and paste on Google the keywords from the documents to see what else can be found and who else is researching the same information.
Push yourself and you’ll go farther. Get annoyed that taking on Russian is challenging, you’ll be watching others take down their genealogy brick walls this year.