Language contact between Russian and non-Russian-speaking populations in the Russian Federation has typically produced subtractive bilingualism with successive generations of ethnolingual minorities shifting to Russian. Tuvan, an Altai-Sayan Turkic language spoken in the Republic of Tyva in southern Siberia, displayed a high level of intergenerational transmission during the Soviet period. This interdisciplinary study examines the evolution of the Tuvan literary language and the key institutions supporting Tuvan language literacy. The article places the development of Tuvan language literacy in a historical perspective, viewing it as part of the overall evolution of Tuvan-Russian language contact. The article also reviews local policies enacted to revitalize Tuvan literacy since the end of the Soviet period.