Economic Data in the Surveyors’ Field Notes on the Crimean Economy at the Turn of the 19th Century

Print PDF

УДК 94(470)+930.25+323.3

DOI 10.28995/2073-0101-2020-4-983-994

L. G. Stepanova

Kuban State University, Krasnodar, Russian Federation

Economic Data in the Surveyors’ Field Notes on the Crimean Economy at the Turn of the 19th Century


The article is devoted to the identification and analysis of the source documents used by land surveyors to compile Economic Notes to the General Land Survey plans. The landmarking on the Crimean Peninsula began in the late 18th century, but by the early 19th century it was judged premature and suspended until development of special rules taking into account the peculiarities of land use in the region. And yet the field notes of land surveyors on the Crimean Peninsula of the turn of the 19th century preserve primary economic information to a greater extent than those on other territories of the Russian Empire. This information is presented in the “Skazki to the Economic Land Survey,” data collected from the local population. Skazki (“tales”) containing initial data for Economic Land Survey remain a poorly studied and rarely encountered source. Their identification in these field notes makes it possible to verify the accuracy of the Economic Land Survey and to restore the information excluded from the Brief Economic Notes and descriptions of specific lands in the lost Full and Cameral Economic Notes. The discovered “Skazki to the Economic Notes” on the Tauride gubernia are a unique source that makes it possible to assess the economy of Crimea at the turn of 19th century. They characterize natural environment, economic activities on the peninsula and occupations of its population, provide information on the soil conditions, available water resources, common species of trees, animals, birds, and fish. In their structure, they coincide with the skazki compiled in other regions of Russia, but have characteristic features that are associated with the identity of the Crimea and its economic condition in the late 18th century. The process of the Crimea development made its own adjustments to the land survey documentation. Unlike other regions, here the authors of the skazki were not only landowners’ attorneys, but also land owners themselves — local beys and murzes. The introduction of the skazki into scientific use opens opportunities for comparing their data with the preserved texts of the Economic Notes and for studying the history of the region at the micro level of individual settlements.


Historical source, General Land Survey, Economic notes, Tauride gubernia, development of territory, Crimean Peninsula, field notes, land use.

Download the article: stepanova_doi


АKMANOV, А. I., ZAITUNOV, R. B. Dokumenty Rossiiskogo gosudarstvennogo arkhiva drevnikh aktov o provedenii General'nogo mezhevaniya zemel' Birskogo uezda Orenburgskoj gubernii [Documents from the Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts on the General Land Survey of the Birsk Uezd of the Orenburg Gubernia. In Russ.]. IN: Vestnik Bashkirskogo universiteta [Bulletin of the Bashkiria University], 2015, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 334-338.

GERMAN, I. E. Istoriya russkogo mezhevaniya [History of Russian land survey. In Russ]. Moscow, W. Richter publ., 1914, 291 p.

GOLUBINSKII, А. А. Gramotnost' krest'yanstva Evropeiskoi Rossii po materialam polevykh zapisok General'nogo mezhevaniya. Avtoref. diss… kand. ist. nauk [Literacy of the peasantry of European Russia according to the materials of field notes of the General Land Survey: Cand. hist. sci. diss. abstract. In Russ]. Moscow, 2011, 24 p.

ERMAKOV, N. A. O gosudarstvennom mezhevanii v Rossii: polnyi obzor uzakonenii, pravil i vsekh prochikh svedenii [On the state land survey in Russia: A full review of legalization, rules, and all other information. In Russ]. Moscow, V. Gauthier publ., 1854, 365 p.

MILOV, L. V. Issledovanie ob “Ekonomicheskikh primechaniyakh k General'nomu mezhevaniyu” (K istorii russkogo krest'yanstva i sel'skogo khozyaistva vtoroi poloviny XVIII v) [Study on "Economic Notes to the General Land Survey" (On the History of the Russian Peasantry and Agriculture of the Second Half of the 18th Century). In Russ]. Moscow, Izd-vo Moskovskogo universiteta publ., 1965, 312 p.

MILOV, L. V. “Skazki” krest'yan kak iskhodnyi material dlya ekonomicheskikh primechanii General'nogo mezhevaniya [Slazki of peasants as a source for Economic Notes to the General Land Survey. In Russ.]. IN: Arkheograficheskii ezhegodnik za 1959 god. Moscow, Akademiya nauk SSSR publ., 1960, pp. 165-176.

STEPANOVA, L. G. Polevye zapiski zemlemerov i “skazki” krest'yan Sankt-Peterburgskoi gubernii kak istochniki “poteryannoi” informatsii Ekonomicheskikh primechanii [Field notes of land surveyors and skazki of peasants of the St. Petersburg gubernia as a source of “lost” information of the Economic Notes. In Russ.]. IN: Klio, 2018, no. 10 (142), pp. 18-26.

About the authors

Stepanova Liliya Gennadevna, PhD in History, associate professor, Kuban state University, department of Russian history, assistant professor, Krasnodar, Russian Federation, +7-918-468-99-92, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Grant information

This article has been prepared with financial support from of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (science project no. 19-09-00236) “General Land Survey and development of the southern territories of the Russian Empire in the late 18th – the first half of the 19th century.”

Submitted 10.09.2019, published (for citation):

STEPANOVA, L. G. Ekonomicheskie svedeniya polevykh zapisok zemlemerov o khozyaistvennom sostoyanii Kryma v kontse XVIII-go — nachale XIX veka [Economic Data in the Surveyors’ Field Notes on the Crimean Economy at the Turn of the 19th Century. In Russ.]. IN: Vestnik arhivista / Herald of an Archivist, 2020, no. 4, pp. 983-994. doi 10.28995/2073-0101-2020-4-983-994

You can read completely article in the russian historic-archival magazine “The Herald of an Archivist”. Read more about terms of subscription here.

Полностью материал публикуется в российском историко-архивоведческом журнале ВЕСТНИК АРХИВИСТА. Ознакомьтесь с условиями подписки здесь.