A Note on Transliterations Used in The Stalin Digital Archive

The Stalin Digital Archive will be a resource to a broad range of scholarly disciplines, including many from fields unrelated to Slavic Studies. Because of the prevalence of notable personas who are more commonly known in the West by transliterations that do not follow Library of Congress standards (e.g. Trotsky), personal and place names are presented in SDA metadata in the following, modified methodology. NB: all other source notes, bibliographic data, and other Russian words and phrases are presented in accordance with simple Library of Congress standards for the transliteration of Russian.

The modified standard for proper names in SDA simplifies certain vowels, making certain combinations more accessible to those lacking a command of the Russian language. Noting these conventions will significantly aid the user in effectively searching the archive.

The following changes are made:

  • Russian soft and hard signs [ь, ъ] are omitted from transliteration in most positions (see notes on exceptional circumstances below).
  • Russian [я] is presented as ia (e.g. Krupskaia [Крупская])
    • However, an initial [Я] is presented as Ya (e.g. Yakovlev [Яковлев])
  • Russian [ю] is presented as iu (e.g. Miliukov [Милюков])
    • However, initial [Ю] is presented as Yu (e.g. Yusupov [Юсупов])
  • Russian [е] is presented as e (e.g. Dostoevsky [Достоевский])
    • However, an initial [Е] is presented as Ye (e.g. Yermakov [Ермаков])
  • Russian [ё] is transliterated in SDA as yo, except when following sh [ш], ch [ч], or shch [щ], in which case it is represented as e. For example:
  • Semyon




    [Соловьёв – also note here the omission of “ь” in transliteration]






  • Please note the special treatment of the Russian soft sign [ь] in the sequence C+[ьев] (where C = consonant), where stress does not fall on the ending. For example:
  • Zinoviev







    But, per the above notes on stressed [ёв] and the normal omission of [ь]:



  • As a rule, names of foreign origin borne by Russians are presented in their Russian transliterated forms (e.g., Altshuler, Shtern, Shulman, and Shmidt) and are not presented in the forms commonly associated with the source languages (e.g. German ‘Altschuler’). However, exceptions may be made on the grounds of familiarity, e.g. Sergei Yulievich Witte (where [Витте] is presented as ‘Witte’ as opposed to ‘Vitte’).
  • Foreign names of non-Russians will be presented in their correct and original forms wherever known (though it may at times be impossible to know the correct, original spelling of some names encountered only in Russian transliteration within the archives).
  • Geographical names will normally be presented following Webster's New Geographical Dictionary.