Year of Graduation
Nobility of the Smolensk Province between the Late 18th and the Middle 19th Centuries according to Ego-documents (Memoirs and Diaries)
History of Knowledge and Social History
Relying on the vast range of secondary sources and research literature devoted to the Russian provincial nobility and the various aspects of its life, in three chapters the study conducts characteristic of archival and published sources, reveals peculiar characteristics of the Smolensk province nobility in the examined period and analyzes the main categories of the noble world outlook and identity. The author offers examples of concrete noblemen to trace the evolution of the relationship nobles to the following areas of life. The attention is paid to the perception of memoirists’ family history, borders of the empire and its provinces, civil or military service and the Russian monarchs. The paper assorts childhood memories of the authors and considers the basic characteristics of the provincial nobility given by memoirists. One of the main conclusion of the paper is identification of several core categories in studied memoirs sources and their importance to the construction of local and cultural identity of the nobility. Moreover, a large number of the szlachta’s descendants among the memoirists did not affect their attitude toward the historical past of the province. The author introduces several sources into scientific use.