Statistics & Charts


Graphs presented on the site are based on a database of eighteenth-century Russian printed publications. It was compiled using the following book catalogs: Svodnyi katalog knig grazhdanskoi pechati XVIII veka. 1725–1800 (Union catalog of eighteenth-century books in Russian civil script. 1725-1800. Мoscow, 1962–1975), Opisanie izdanii grazhdanskoi pechati. 1708 – ianvar’ 1725 (Description of publications in Russian civil script. 1708 – January 1725, Moscow, Leningrad, 1955) and Svodnyi katalog russkoi knigi kirillovskoi pechati XVIII veka (Union catalog of eighteenth-century Russian books in Slavonic script, Мoscow, 1968). We will also include publications from a more recent catalog by A. Guseva, Svod russkikh knig kirillicheskoi pechati XVIII veka tipografii Moskvy i Peterburga i universal’naia metodika ikh identifikatsii (Union catalog of eighteenth-century Russian book in Slavonic script from the print shops of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Moscow, 2010). The compilers used different criteria for selecting books for inclusion into these catalogs. In order to render the data display more accurate, in our database we follow the criteria chosen by the compilers of the Union catalog of eighteenth-century books in Russian civil script. 1725-1800 as it is the most extensive and complete of the three catalogs:

  • We only included publications of five or more pages in length;
  • Exceptions were made for publications of fewer than five pages when their authors had other books included in the catalog;
  • Publications of legislative acts and other administrative materials were included provided that they had a title page or a specific title; exceptions were made for some documents published without a title but well-known in historiography (for example, «Berg-reglament» (Regulations of the mining department), «Ukaz o prestolonasledii» (Law regulating the succession to the throne), etc.).

Books from the 1955 and 1968 catalogs were included in the database if they fit the same criteria.

However, the graphs we are presenting below are based on the above-mentioned catalogs of eighteenth-century books in Russian civil script. Publications in Slavonic (or traditional Cyrillic script) are not yet represented in these graphs, not least because there is no sufficiently comprehensive catalog of publications in Slavonic script for the entire Russian Empire in the eighteenth century. Periodicals were not included either (there is a separate section for them in our database).

The database presents the following information about eighteenth-century Russian publications:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Original title (for translated books)
  • Translator (for translated publications)
  • Publication year (if available)
  • Print shop / publisher
  • Language of the original work (for translated books)
  • Intermediary language of translation (if applicable)

The standardization of information in the database offers possibilities for quantitative analysis. Currently, the graphs published on the website mainly reflect the shares of translated and original Russian works in the overall volume of publications, the share of different foreign languages (mainly European) among the translated works, their change over time, etc. In our calculations, we counted individual titles, not volumes of multivolume works.

We expect that in the future we will be able to add more graphs based on other categories. Eventually, we plan to also add the following categories for each publication:

  • Number of pages
  • Format of publication
  • Subject area

Once this information is added, it will allow us to trace changes in practices of reading, the dynamics of the Russian book market and the shares of its different segments, as well as market strategies of individual publishers.

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