I got the idea for this online travelogue when I came across an old beat up copy of the Burton Holmes Travelogue for Russia. The book was interesting to me for a couple of reasons; one, it was curious to see the unique American view of Russia in the first years of the 20th century, and two, the photography was great showing some things I had never seen before.
The book is in three parts - the first covers St. Petersburg, the second Moscow and the third takes place on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. This website uses photographs from the St. Petersburg section.
For the website I have used a photograph from Burton Holmes's book to start each section. The quality of these illustrations is not the best - the original images are poorly printed and small. I have done what I can to improve the quality. From there I have written new text and added new photographs to augment the Holmes shots. I am not an author and I apologize in advance for any errors in grammar or spelling that I haven't caught.
The rest of the images come from my own collection of photographs and postcards, with the addition of some stock photography from Corel and a few color images of Tsars and Tsarinas from paintings in books from the Soviet era. In many places in this website I have used quotations from other sources - especially foreign visitors to Russia. The books I have used are noted below.
This website is meant to provide a springboard for further study of Russian culture as it was before the revolution. I hope it sparks your interest and encourages a look at the online books in the links section. There are quite a few to see there; most of them are rare editions that are nearly impossible to find. These books are read by an amazing number of people - on average each book is read by 2,000 people a month. That's an amazing number to me and I think it proves the positive power of the Internet.
So, I hope you enjoy the site! I appreciate your support and encouragement. A full list of the other Alexander Palace Association sites can be seen by clicking here. As most of you know I don't receive any payment for this work - I do it out of my enthusiasm for this period of history and because people like you appreciate what I am doing. I am lucky to be a web designer and so I can create sites myself without having to incur the costs that others might.
Thanks for visiting,
Primary sources used in this site:
Burton Holmes Travelogues
The Travelogue Bureau
St. Petersburg, Industrialization and Change
James H. Bater
Edward Arnold Press
Petrograd, Past and Present
William Barnes Steveni
Grand Richards Ltd
The Riverside Press
A. S. Barnes and Co.
(revised edition) 1950
The Electrification of Russia - 1880-1926
Corenell University Press
The Emperor Alexander II
E. M. Almedingen
The Bodley Head
Land of the Firebird
Simon and Schuster
White Maine Publishing
Marvin C. Ross
University of Oklahoma Press
A History of Russian Architecture
William Craft Brumfield
Cambridge University Press
I would like to give a special thanks to Walt Neuschafer for technical assistance and Rob Moshein for corrections to the text.
Comments on the website should be sent to Bob