Royal Russia – March 2016

The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library in St. Pet has enriched its electronic holdings with unique photographs of Emperor Nicholas’ II family.

The library makes available an electronic edition of the personal photo album of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna, the eldest daughter of Emperor Nicholas II. The leather-bound album depicts the monogram of the grand duchess in the upper right hand corner, and the Imperial crown in the center. It contains 294 photographs of the Imperial family taken in the early 20th century. The informal pictures depict walks in the parks, sea trips, fishing, children’s games, picnics and a New Year’s celebration. One photo shows the grand duchess and members of her family getting into small boats, preparing to row around the ponds at Tsarskoye Selo. Many of the images depict lively, happy faces of a family who are ready to, among other things, make fun of each other without malice, allow children more freedom than in the prudish rooms and halls of the palace. For example, we see Tsesarevich Alexei, who was not very healthy, standing barefoot on the deck of a ship holding his shoes under the hot summer sun. The four sisters of the heir to the throne liked to be photographed with naval officers, particularly those assigned to the Imperial yacht Standart.

One of the most charming images from the album of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna shows the five children standing one behind the other, starting from the eldest at the top, the youngest at the bottom.

Totally, the digital collection on the Presidential Library website featuring the Romanov dynasty includes more than 900 items. It brings together digitized official documents, memoirs, diaries, business and personal correspondence, newsreels, photos, paintings, audio recordings of broadcasts, popular science films, historical researches, bibliographies, and other historical documents.