Ves Peterburg (/vʲesʲ pʲɪtʲɪrˈburg/, Literally translated "All Petersburg" or "The Entire Saint Petersburg" ") (Full name in cyrillic "Ves Petersburg; Adresnaja i spravočnaja kniga g. Petersburga") (often referred to as the Suvorin directories from the publisher's name) was the title of a series of city directories of Saint Petersburg, Russia published on a yearly basis from 1894 to 1940 by Aleksei Sergeevich Suvorin. Each volume was anywhere between 500 and 1500 pages long. After changes in the name of the city the directories were called Ves Petrograd from 1914 to 1923 and Ves Leningrad from 1924 to 1940.
The directories contained detailed lists of private residents, names of streets and squares across the city with the details of their occupants and owners, government offices, public services and medium and large businesses present in the city. They are often used by genealogists for family research in pre-revolutionary Russia and the early Soviet period when vital records are missing or prove difficult to find. Historians use them to research the social histories of the city.
List of residents of St. Petersburg
Each directory was written exclusively in Russian Cyrillic only, and contains various sections among which was an alphabetical list of residents in the city. Those listed usually were the head of their respective household and so spouses and minors are not listed.
The following information can be found:
- Person's surname and first name
- Street address with apartment number
- Telephone numbers (only appear sparingly as few private residents could afford a telephone before 1918)
List of occupants of each building on every street and square
A section immediately preceding or following that listing residents in alphabetical order was a directory of all streets, houses and flats with the names of their owners and occupants. In this way readers could determine all those people who lived on a particular street of in a certain apartment block.
The following information can also be found in each directory
- information on the royal family
- Maps of the city
- cultural establishments (with interior theatre hall layouts and seating plans)
- Lists of personnel in state, public and private institutions
- information on academic institutions of all ranks
- information on churches and monasteries of St. Petersburg
- Original commercial advertisements of Russian and foreign companies which had offices in St. Petersburg
Historical and genealogical value
Because numerous residents emigrated from Saint Petersburg after the Russian Revolution of 1917 and tens of thousands more were either arrested, shot, or sent to the gulag by the Cheka and the NKVD after 1918 the section detailing residents names is especially useful in determining until when a certain person was still living in the city.
Interruption in the series
No volumes were published in the following years:
The edition of 1922 was very concise and only contained details of businesses in the city but not residents.
Termination of series
Publication came to a halt after the edition of 1935, coinciding with the time of Joseph Stalin's great purges and Moscow Trials. The only further volumes were issued in 1939 and 1940, but these (like the edition in 1922) only contained details of state run businesses and public and governmental offices, but not residents.
Many original directories in the series (or microfiche copies thereof) can be found in libraries across the U.S., Europe (including The Baltic, Finland the United Kingdom and Germany) however most only have an incomplete collection. The Russian National Library in Saint Petersburg has a complete run of all volumes published available.
Other city directories
Suvorin also published city directories for Moscow under the title Vsia Moskva (All Moscow) for the years 1875 to 1936 and for the whole country under the titles Vsia Rossiia (All Russia) continued under than name Ves SSSR (All USSR) from 1924 to 1931.
Since 1993 a telephone directory under the title "Ves Petersburg" has been published annually by the publishing House Presskom but this is vastly different in content then the original directories and does not list residents.