Subject: Re: Duma List Project Status - Lists from Vitebsk guberniya?
From: "David M. Fox" 
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2000 19:24:40 -0500

I have felt very badly about the lack of information about Vitebsk
gubernia on the SIG website. Thanks to the efforts of Tom Gartman, the
1911 Vitebsk gubernia Vsia Rossiia (Business Directory) was recently
added to the All Belarus Database (ABD). In the future, we hope to
get the 1903 Vitebsk Vsia Rossiia added to the ABD. The Vsia Rossia (All
Russia Business Directory) was a published volume and not part of the
archival holdings.  The Duma Lists are also not part of the archival
holdings of the National Historical Archives of Belarus. The Duma lists
were published in Gubernskie Vedomosti. For more information about the
Duma lists and the Gubernskie Vedomosti, please read the Duma FAQ 

The Summer 2000 issue of AVOTAYNU had an article indicating that Norman
Ross Publishing, Inc. had recently completed microfilming the Gubernskie
Vedomosti for a number of different gubernii within the Russian Empire,
including Vitebsk, Mogilev, Grodno, and Vilna. The Gubernskie Vedomosti
for Minsk was done some time ago and that is source of the Duma List
databases from a number of the ueyds in Minsk gubernia that you will be
seeing within the next few days on the Belarus SIG website. The
Gubernskie Vedomosti for Minsk gubernia are in the New York Public
Library (NYPL) as well as a few other university libraries. Some libraries do
not have the whole collection for Minsk and I am not sure any of them
have the Gubernskie Vedomosti for newly filmed gubernii. The films are
about $100 each and include a minimum of 1000 pages on each roll of
film, two pages per frame. If the page format is very large--and it does
vary--then there may be as few as 700 pages, single frame. The cost for
libraries to obtain a complete set of films is quite an investment as can
be noted below for the gubernii in which the  Belarus SIG would have and

Vitebskie (Vitebsk, 1838-1864; 1867-1917), 80 reels, $7,200

Mogilevskie (Moghilev, 1838-1918), 59 reels, $5,300 

Grodnenskie (Grodno, 1838-1915), 50 reels, $4,500

Minskie (Minsk, 1838-1917), 122 reels, $10,000

Vilna is not available yet

Norman Ross has no plans to digitize the images nor to make them
available on CD. For more details please see


Getting back to the lack of Vitebsk records on the SIG website - There
are almost no Jewish records for Vitebsk gubernia in the Minsk archive,
based on the information we now have. Because the old Vitebsk gubernia
was split up between Belarus, Latvia, and Russia, it is possible that
the records we need are not in Belarus, but are in Latvia or Russia. 
One set of records from Vitebsk that are in the Minsk archive and have
been filmed by the Family History library is FHL film #1,920,795,   
Senno Births 1861-1864 (there are other Jewish records on this film). 

Mike Meshenberg  is the SIG Research Coordinator.
If there is "someone" who wants to coordinate research efforts for
Vitebsk gubernia, Vitebsk uezyd, or Vitebsk city (or any other area in
Belarus), please contact Mike and volunteer.

David M. Fox
Arnold, MD   USA
Belarus SIG Coordinator