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Leonid Mikhailovich Goryushkin (1927–1999)

Alan Wood

After a long and serious illness, the celebrated Russian historian of Siberia, Leonid Mikhailovich Goryushkin, died on 26 September 1999 at the age of 71 in Novosibirsk. At the time of his death, he was the first Director of the newlyformed Institute of History at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SO RAN), previously part of the Institute of History, Philology and Philosophy of the Soviet Academy of Sciences (SO AN SSSR) where he had worked for thirty-six years.

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Alan Wood

Older readers of Sibirica will recall (though more recent subscribers may not know) that this journal had its origins as a newsletter and report of the proceedings and papers delivered at the early conferences of the British Universities Siberian Studies Seminar (BUSSS). In September 1981, at my invitation, a dozen or so English and Scottish academics assembled for a weekend meeting at Lancaster University, UK, to present informal papers and discuss our mutual—but as yet uncoordinated—interest in Siberia, the Russian North, and Far East. (Small beginnings, but remember that there were only twelve apostles, and a mere nine delegates at the first meeting of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party—the future CPSU—in Minsk in 1898. There was even a brief report of our meeting in the British newspaper, The Daily Mail, under the headline “No Salt Mines in Siberia!”) Among the participants was the eminent Arctic geographer, the late Dr. Terence Armstrong of the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University, who offered to host a second meeting of the group at his own institution. This duly took place in April 1983, and was attended by 26 scholars, not only from Britain, but also from France, Germany, Japan, and the United States. Four papers were read, including one by Violet Connelly, the eighty-two-year-old doyenne of modern Siberian studies in the West. The papers were subsequently published in samizdat format by the now defunct Department of Russian and Soviet Studies at Lancaster University, and it is that pamphlet that may be properly regarded as the very first issue of Sibirica.

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Cathryn Brennan and Alan Wood

Sibirica’s bibliogenesis lies in a gathering of a dozen or so British academics who shared a common interest in Siberia and the Russian Far East, at the University of Lancaster, UK, in September 1981. That was the first meeting of what came to be called the British Universities Siberian Studies Seminar (BUSSS). Over the next few years the Seminar met on a number of occasions (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge – 1983, 1984; School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London – 1986, 1993; University of Glasgow – 1988, 1989; and Kemerovo, Western Siberia – 1991). During that period, membership of BUSSS grew from the original handful to over two hundred individual and institutional subscribers to the Seminar’s journal Sibirica, in which were regularly published the proceedings of the various conferences, as well as other invited contributions. In all, nine issues appeared, the first five as samizdat publications financially subvented by the then Department of Russian and Soviet Studies at Lancaster University, the next two published under the title Siberica (sic) by the Oregon Historical Society, Portland, Oregon, USA, and the last two by Ryburn Publishing, Keele University Press, UK.

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Karim-Aly Saleh Kassam, Alan Wood, Christopher L. Hill, and Edith W. Clowes

Katherine L. Reedy-Maschner, Aleut Identities Karim-Aly Saleh Kassam

V.V. Alekseev, Na pereput'e epokh: vospominaniia sovremennika i razmyshleniiia istorika Alan Wood

Valentina V. Ukraintseva, Mammoths and the Environment Christopher L. Hill

Mark Bassin and Catriona Kelly, eds., Soviet and Post-Soviet Identities Edith W. Clowes

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