Urban occupations in a siberian city (Tobolsk, 1897)


  • Elena Bryukhanova
  • Vladimir Vladimirov




The article studies the late 19th-century occupational structure of Tobolsk in the context of other major Siberian cities. Many urban centres were strongholds for governing this huge territory, and Tobolsk was a typical provincial capital in this regard. In the most economically developed Western and Southern Siberian provinces, cities were not only administrative hubs, but also cultural and economic centres. The authors look at how urban populations were distributed among different occupational groups and social classes, and what role gender and family relations played in terms of employment. This is important, as it may help understand whether Russia’s huge eastern provinces were ready for the transformations which started just two decades after the period whence the main source material of the article originates. The research is based on the first general census of the Russian Empire in 1897. The archives have not preserved primary census manuscripts as a unified collection: so far, only scattered manuscripts have emerged. Clearly, the use of the individual-level nominative census data found for Tobolsk considerably broadens the scope of the research, which was previously limited to aggregate data. The aggregate data provide an opportunity to characterise employment in Siberian cities more generally, demonstrating the occupational specificity of the ‘military’ and ‘agrarian’ cities as well as the provincial centres of Western and Eastern Siberia. The authors more closely analyse the nominative 1897 census data using the database ‘Tobolsk Population in 1897’, which contains information about 92.5 % of employed citizens. The individual-level data made it possible to reconstruct the age and gender structure of the economically active population of the provincial centre, to study the occupations of different estate groups, to look into specific features of secondary occupations, and to see the family’s influence on the choice of occupation. All the employment data on the Siberian urban population were coded according to the HISCO standard.


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How to Cite

Bryukhanova, E., & Vladimirov, V. (2017). Urban occupations in a siberian city (Tobolsk, 1897). Quaestio Rossica, 5(1), 56–73. https://doi.org/10.15826/qr.2017.1.210



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