SRAS can assist you with your research on site abroad, including advising you on visa considerations. SRAS professionals can also access archives and obtain information you need on your behalf – so that you needn’t leave home to do it.
SRAS can assist you with your research both on site and remotely. Our researcher team includes academics, translators/interpreters, students, and others familiar with how archives, libraries, and other information sources work. We primarily offer these services in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Irkutsk, Vladivostok, Bishkek, and Kiev, but contact us about other locations as we may be able to help. These services are billed hourly and cost varies by location and volume of work, but will generally range from $20-35 per hour.
- Introductions (orientation) to archives/libraries. Especially if this is your first time doing archival research in country, you may want to jump start the process. We introduce you to the operations of the archive, how to request materials, options for obtaining scans or photocopies, and the payment process.
- Initial contact and fond requests. Whether it is a language issue or simply an archive that is not very responsive, we can assist with preparation or review of your introduction letter to the archive and follow up with them when necessary to see that your request has been received and is being processed.
- Translation. Not everybody doing research in a target country speaks the language well enough to navigate archives and translate the material obtained. If this is your case, our professionals can translate and interpret for you.
- Logistics. Delays of weeks or even months for requested materials to be photocopied or scanned are not uncommon. There is also not always an easy online way to arrange payment for archive services. We can help by arranging payments, pickup, and shipping of copies/e-files that are ready only after your departure.
- Remote research. While part of the fun of research is the travel and meeting others in the archive community, travel is not always practical. If what you need is somewhat limited, or you do not have the time or budget to travel, we may be able to perform part or all of this legwork for you.
For those researching in Russia, the most correct form of visa is the humanitarian/scientific-technical visa. This visa is issued on the basis of support from Russian educational and research institutions.
If one of these two situations describes you, contact us.
- You have or will have visa support from a Russian institution and you would like help processing it at a consulate in the US.
- You do not have visa support from a Russian institution and would like guidance in how to obtain it.
While the humanitarian/scientific-technical visa is your best option for research, other types of visas may still be options in some cases. What type of visa is right for you is a question of the overall picture – how you will be spending your time in Russia, where you will be, and for how long.
To gain a broad understanding of the Russian visa system and what may or may apply to your situation, visit our Russian Visas 101 page.
To find out more about Russian Archives in general – see this page hosted on GeoHistory (part of the SRAS Family of Sites).
My research went exceptionally well. I couldn’t be happier and there is no way I could have done this without (SRAS Research Coordinator) Andrei’s help. I’m so glad you set me up with him. Really, he was extraordinary. He helped me time and again. Next year I hope that I will have a chance to pay him to help me again with RGASPI. The home-stay was also excellent. Everything I had heard about the southwest side was completely accurate. In an ideal world, next summer I will stay at this same location- except next time I hope to stay with [my SRAS host family] the entire time. In short, thanks to you, again, my experience in Russia was outstanding.
I am very grateful to you for all your invaluable help with different aspects of the trip, the visa process and finding a homestay – it has all made a tremendous difference in making the trip go smoothly! (SRAS Research Coordinator) Andrei helped me a great deal, not just in terms of getting to know the different procedures for each of the archive centers, but also in offering his own insights from his own research experiences. I am very grateful to him for his patience, helpfulness, and thoughtful conversation. I also feel more confident about being able to return later on and to get started on my own on a more long-term trip. Galina was a wonderful host – she was very generous and hospitable with her kindness and conversation in Russian, which was especially helpful for me in training me to listen and understand actual, everyday spoken Russian. She is a very sweet, fun, and fascinating person all around.
Just yesterday my student successfully defended her honors thesis on environmentalism around Lake Baikal, a project that would not have been possible without the fieldwork that she conducted on her SRAS study abroad program in Irkutsk. I hope to see more such projects in the future and will keep directing students to SRAS programs!