Arkhangelsk Governorate

Not to be confused with Archangelgorod Governorate.

Coordinates: 64°32′N 40°32′E / 64.533°N 40.533°E / 64.533; 40.533

Arkhangelsk Governorate
Архангельская губерния
Governorate of the Russian Empire, Russian Republic, Soviet Russia

Coat of arms

Map of the governorate
Capital Arkhangelsk
  Established 12 December 1796
  Disestablished 14 January 1929
Political subdivisions nine uyezds

Arkhangelsk Governorate (Russian: Архангельская губерния, Arkhangelskaya guberniya) was an administrative division (a guberniya) of the Russian Empire, which existed from 1796 until 1929. Its seat was in Arkhangelsk. The governorate was located in the north of Russian Empire and bordered Tobolsk Governorate in the south-east, Vologda Governorate in the south, Olonets Governorate in the southwest, Sweden (later Grand Duchy of Finland and later independent Finland) in the west, and Norway in north-west. In the north, the governorate was limited by the White and Barents Seas.

The area of the governorate is currently split between Arkhangelsk and Murmansk Oblasts, the Komi Republic, the Republic of Karelia, and the Nenets Autonomous Okrug.


Female headgear "Nakolka". Arkhangelsk Governorate, late 19th early 20th century.

In 1780, Archangelgorod Governorate, with the center in Arkhangelsk, was abolished and transformed to Vologda Viceroyalty. The viceroyalty was subdivided into three oblasts: Vologda, Veliky Ustyug, and Arkhangelsk. On 26 March 1784 Arkhangelsk Oblast was split off and established as Arkhangelsk Viceroyalty. Tsar Paul I on 12 December 1796 issued a decree remaining Arkhangelsk Viceroyalty into Arkhangelsk Governorate. Simultaneously, Olonets Viceroyalty was abolished, and Kemsky Uyezd and about a half of Povenetsky Uyezd were transferred to Arkhangelsk Governorate.[1]

In 1780, Arkhangelsk Oblast (and later on Arkhangelsk Viceroyalty) was subdivided into seven uyezds (the administrative centers, which all had the town status, are given in parentheses),

Mezen, Onega, and Pinega were incorporated as towns in 1780 just to become the uyezd towns. Kola was incorporated in 1784.

The European part of the Russian Empire in 1917. Arkhangelsk Governorate is shown in yellow on top of the map.

In 1801, the portions of Povenetsky Uyezd were transferred to Olonets Governorate, and Kemsky Uyezd, with the center in Kem, was left in Arkhangelsk Governorate. In 1854, the town of Kola was destroyed during the Crimean War, and Kolsky Uyezd was merged into Kemsky Uyezd. In 1883, Kolsky Uyezd was restored, but in 1899, the uezd ceter was transferred to Aleksandrovsk, and the uyezd renamed into Aleksandrovsky Uyezd. In 1891, Pechorsky Uyezd with the center in Ust-Tsilma was split off from Mezensky Uyezd.

The governorate structure remained in place after the 1917 revolution. In 1917, the governorate thus comprised nine uyezds. On 2 March 1918, Ust-Vashsky Uyezd with the center in Ust-Vashka split off from Mezensky Uyezd (On 6 February 1922 it was abolished and merged back into Mezensky Uyezd). Also in 1918, the western part of Aleksandrovsky Uyezd was transferred to Finland, which became independent, and the rest of the uyezd was incorporated as Murmansk Governorate. In 1920, Kemsky Uyezd was transferred to Karel Labour Commune, which later became the Karelian Socialist Soviet Republic. In 1922, the majorn part of Pechorsky District moved to the newly established Komi-Zyryan Autonomous Oblast. On 15 March 1922 Kholmogorsky Uyezd was renamed into Yemetsky Uyezd, with the transfer of the uyezd town from Kholmogory to Yemetsk.

In the following, administrative changes in the governorate occurred almost on the yearly basis. In 1928, the governorate consisted of five uyezds: Arkhangelsky, Mezensky, Onezhsky, Pechorsky, and Shenkursky.[1]

On 14 January 1929 by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee three governorates (Arkhangelsk, Vologda, and Northern Dvina) and Komi-Zyryan Autonomous Oblast were merged into Northern Krai.


The administration tasks in the vice-royalty were shared between a governor and a governor general; the governorate had a military governor and a (civil) governor; the military governors were not always appointed. Sometimes a governor general was appointed. The governors of Arkhangelogorod Viceroyalty were[2]

The governors of Arkhangelsk Governorate were[2]

After February 1917, the highest authority in the governorate belonged to the Comissar of the Governorate, and after November 1917 – to the Governorate Executive Committee (with the exception of the period of the Civil War in Russia, when Arkhangelsk was occupied by the Entente troops). The governors were not appointed any more.

The military governors of Arkhangelsk Governorate were[2]

The following governors general were appointed,[2]



Language Number percentage (%) males females
Russian 294 865 85.1 139 174 155 691
Zyrian 23 259 6.7 11 058 12 201
Karelian 19 522 5.6 8737 10785
Samoyedic 3 874 1.1 2 030 1 844
Lappish 1 742 0.5 870 872
Finnish 1 276 0.4 645 631
Polish 456 0.0 350 106
German 309 0.0 118 191
Belarusian 256 0.0 133 123
Yiddish 253 0.0 156 97
Norwegian and Danish 226 0.0 125 101
Romani 147 0.0 84 63
Lithuanian 81 0.0 80 1
Ukrainian 51 0.0 45 6
Estonian 76 0.0 70 6
Other 143 0.0 109 34
Total 346 536 100.0 163 784 182 752


  1. 1 2 "Административно-территориальное деление Архангельской губернии в XVIII-XX вв." (in Russian). Архивы России. 2000. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Архангельская область (in Russian). Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  3. Language Statistics of 1897 (Russian)

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