Unique Handmade Atlas Published on the RGS Geoportal

Фрагмент атласа. Геопортал РГО

The Geoportal of the Russian Geographical Society published the Statistical Atlas, compiled in 1850 by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Empire. The publication consists of 35 maps reflecting various socio-economic indicators of the provinces of the European part of the empire: the location and composition of the population, the development of animal husbandry, industry, trade and others. Only a few copies of this atlas have been issued in handwritten form. Together with the high quality of workmanship, this makes it an important part of the collection of thematic atlases of the Russian Geographical Society.

The compiler of the atlas is Nikolai Alekseevich Milyutin, a member of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society (IRGS) and the State Council. He took an active part in the development and implementation of the Emancipation Reform of 1861. Milyutin was closely associated with the activities of the Society and was close to its first chairman, the Grand Duke Konstantin Romanov.

Milyutin was actively involved in the collection and use of statistical data of the provinces, took part in the work of the Statistics Department of the IRGS. He prepared and published instructions for expeditions to collect information about the population.

Milyutin's activities were not limited only to collecting information. In 1850, on the basis of the governor's reports of 1849 and the sources of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a Statistical Atlas was compiled for the territory of the European part of the Russian Empire.

One of the features of the publication is that its author paid great attention not only to economic, but also to medical indicators. Milyutin prepared a map based on the latest materials of that time about the second outbreak of cholera in the Russian Empire, which spread over many provinces. The most affected regions correlate with areas of high population density, which are highlighted on the map "Population density of the provinces", as well as with territories where the disease first appeared on the territory of the empire. A typical example is Astrakhan Province. Cholera was recorded here for the first time in 1823.


Геопортал РГО

The atlas consists of several sections, reflecting the most important socio-economic indicators of the population size, its composition, the development of agriculture, the state of industry and trade. In addition to the economic component, the published collection contains sections related to public health and safety levels. Thus, in terms of completeness of information, the publication is comparable to modern atlases and is a valuable source of information on the socio-economic development of the European part of Russia in the middle of the 19th century.