Below is the introduction to the Minkh Dictionary.
There is no full and comprehensive description of Saratovskaya gubernia. On the other hand statistics department of gubernia zemstvo has been publishing reports which is valuable material on the state of economy and population; Gubernia Statistics Committee has been making available data on all the settlements in Saratovskaya gubernia. Gubernskie Vedomosti often publishes detailed descriptions of villages and towns; Saratov Archival Board’ publication Trudy often features interesting articles on the local history. In 1894 with the help of all these data and also materials that I have collected myself I started compiling a detailed Dictionary on the History and Geography of Saratovskaya Gubernia. It was impossible to cover all the ten uezds at once, so I decided to work on groups of uezds and publish individual volumes. Not more than two or three neighboring uezds with many similar characteristics should go into one volume. Thus Kamyshinsky and Tsaritsynsky uezds in the Southern part of Saratovskaya gubernia occupying a wedge-shaped area on the Volga right bank between the territory of Allmighty Army of Don and Astrakhanskaya gubernia share a lot of history and are close in terms of geographical type. I include maps and references to literature on the subject. Unfortunately I have no data on private land ownership, as well as on land owned by kazaks, crown, and peasants. The dictionary includes names of objects and anything requiring explanation from the description of settlements. Since 1895 the Chair of Saratov Guber Zem Uprava V.V.Kruber initiated compiling detailed lists of settlements of Saratovskaya gubernia, and he was kind enough to make those available to me. His Grace Nikolai, Bishop of Saratov and Tsaritsyn, ordered on 6 March 1895 that the clergy of all the uezds granted me access to full descriptions of their parishes and church histories; thanks to His Grace these materials are starting to arrive. All this will hopefully help to achieve my goals that were approved by resolutions of Royal Russian Geographical Society and Saratov Scientific Archival Board.
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