General Rules

 “General Regulations”

 One of the strangest documents and, possibly, one of the most unusual, is the manuscript “General Regulations”, dated approximately in the 18th century.  

The General Regulations were confirmed by Peter Ist in February, 1720 and, having been written in the prevailing language, represents in and of itself, as the first instructions for secretarial correspondence of the Russian empire.  In the Regulations, detailed down to the smallest minutiae, are all inquiries pertaining to the chancellery activities of Peter's epoch, including writing table devices (it was required that all drawers had locks) and the seating arrangements of the secretaries (two at one table).

The historical meaning of this document doesn't only trigger curiosity.  Our copy was rewritten in half-ustav from the published edition by an unknown person.  Possibly, it was a chancellery service worker, referred to as “from  plank to plank” who conscientiously rewrote this circular.  The barely noticeable, faded inscription on the cover is evidence that the document was possessed by some secretarial supervisor of the S...skoho district.

Insofar that districts as administrative entities appeared in the Russian empire from 1755, it can be assumed that our rarity is more than 250 years old.   Not ruled out is that the inscription on the cover could have been made at a much later date than the creation of the actual document. 

 On the reverse side of the cover noted in  cursive: “As a military resident, I speak only the truth and do not lie, and trust everyone in the world for that is what I live for” (sic). The pages of the document are marked, with numerous notations giving evidence that it was learned in a prompt manner.  In all probability, our document in the distant past had several owners.
The document is on hand made paper with filigreed (water marked) “Crest of Amsterdam”. The mark, of course, points to Holland as the country of its production.  In regard to this, in the XVII-XVIII centuries, the Dutch owned many paper mills in France, which also used the “Crest of Amsterdam” for marking their product lines. The mark was so popular with the buyers, that it was used by many paper mills in many countries [1].
Of interest is the complex composition of the filigree:  on the shield, which is held by two lions, in the center on the vertical stripe are three (St. Andrew's) crosses drawn at an angle.  The shield is crowned with an imperial crown.  The document contains two views of the filigree – one with the letters “PGOVVE” under the theme section and without them, but with a postament (a horizontal line under the crest).  The lettered section always pointed to the name of the manufacturer or the buyer, for which the paper was produced.  Based on the watermarks of the paper, which have their closest analogues in the period 1721-1723, our manuscript was composed, undoubtedly, no later than in the first quarter of the XVIII century [2].

1.    Klepikov, S. A. “Paper with Filigree 'City Crest of Amsterdam'”.  Notes from the Manuscript Division GBL, publication #20, Moscow, 1958, pp. 315-352.
2.    Klepikov, S. A. “Filigrees and Seals on paper of Russian and Foreign Production .in the XVIII-XX centuries”. Moscow, 1959, page 285, No. 1298.



Елена Шведова
27.03.2012 19:16

Описание этого документа очень важно с исторической точки зрения и с культурной. Наверное трудно было найти сведения о "Регламенте" за давностью времени, ведь 18 век всё-таки.

Елена, сведения о "Регламенте..." как раз имеются. Этому документу посвящена не одна научная работа. Возможно, это мое упущение и все-таки нужно было больше рассказать о нем, об истории его создания. А создавался он долго, претерпел аж целых 12 редакций. Печатное издание, насколько мне известно, имеется в Карельском архиве. Но меня интересовала конкретно наша рукописная копия, кому она могла принадлежать. Поэтому, основной акцент сделан на внешнем описании именно нашего документа. Возможно, в дальнейшем я все-таки несколько дополню эту  статью. 

Ольга Сак.
працівник держархіву
04.04.2011 16:19
Завжди будь ласка! Одне задоволення працювати з такими людьми і такими документами!
18.03.2011 20:08
 Щиро дякуємо працівника держархіву Херсонської області Коник Юлію за допомогу в дослідженні маргіналій.
Відділ рідкісних і цінних видань.

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