International Association of Specialists on Russian America

 IASRA (JSARGRA) Goals: 2004-2007

On September 1, 2004, a round-table discussion was held in Irkutsk to explore topics of historic preservation and cooperative research on Russian America. As a result of the joint discussion, participants agreed to the following actions (as re-assessed and modified in 2005):

1. Begin working towards the organization of a "Museum of the Russian-American Company (RAC) to be housed in the former RAC headquarters building at Surikov Str. 24 in Irkutsk City. The museum coordinating committee is composed of V.V. Tikhonov (Director of the museum Taltsi, L.M. Kolesnik (Director of the Irkutsk Regional Museum of Local Lore), V.P. Shakherov (Director of the Museum of the History of Irkutsk-city), E.A. Yachmenev (Director of the Irkutsk Regional History Museum of Decembrists), and A.V. Dulov (Professor of History at Irkutsk State University) [2006 Note: the committee is building local government support, and working with local officials to find new housing for the present occupants of the building]

2. As a first step towards establishing a RAC Museum, develop an exposition in 2006 in Irkutsk-City (Russia) and Anchorage (Alaska, USA) of documents and photographs of Russian America. The working group for organizing this exhibition is composed of V.V. Tikhonov (Director of the museum Taltsi, L.M. Kolesnik (Director of the Regional Museum of Local Lore, V.P. Shakherov (Director of the Museum of the History of Irkutsk-City), E.A. Yachmenev (Director of the Irkutsk Regional History Museum of Decembrists), Dave McMahan (Alaska State Archaeologist), and Timothy (Ty) Dilliplane (specialist on Russian America).
[2006 Note: this was not accomplished and is expected to be inititated in 2007]

3. In the summer of 2005, begin international field archeological studies of two sites: the Talci (Baranov-Laxman) Glass Factory (founded 1784) on the grounds of the Taltsi Museum and the Verkholinsky Ostrog (founded 1632) on the Lena River. The work will be coordinated and directed by A.R. Artemiev (Deputy Director of the Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of the peoples of the Far East, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences) and V.V. Tikhonov (Director, Museum Taltsi), with assistance and participation by Dave McMahan (Alaska State Archaeologist) and Timothy (Ty) Dilliplane (specialist on Russian America). [2006 Note: work in 2005 involved the Baranov-Laxman Glass Factory. Instead of Verkholinsky, however, the team conducted test excavations at the late 17th century Tunkinsky Ostrog in the Buriat Republic].

4. In 2006, organize the Third International Conference on Russian America in Irkutsk-City. The working group for organizing this conference is composed of Dave McMahan (Alaska State Archaeologist), Timothy (Ty) Dilliplane (specialist on Russian America), A.R. Artemiev (Deputy Director of the Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of Peoples of Far East, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences), A.V. Dulov (Professor of History, Irkutsk State University), and V.V. Tikhonov (Director, Museum Taltsi). Note: the conference date was later moved to 2007.

5. Before the beginning of the conference, participants will publish collected materials and articles on Russian America. The coordinating committee for this effort is composed of Dave McMahan (Alaska State Archaeologist), Timothy Dilliplane (specialist on Russian America), A.R. Artemiev (Deputy Director of the Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of the Peoples of the Far East, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences), and Yury P. Lykhin (Scientific Secretary of the Museum Taltsi).

6. Conduct archaeological test excavations around the perimeter of the Russian American Company headquarters building in Irkutsk. Artur Kharinskii (Professor and Dean, Irkutsk Technical University) will be assisted by Dave McMahan and Ty Dilliplane. [2006 Note: this goal was added in 2005. Originally scheduled for 2006, it is now expected to occur in August 2007]

7. Arrange for a series of hands-on workshops and museum/site visits for Russian scholars in Alaska and California in 2006. [2006 Note: this goal, added in 2005, was accomplished in August 2006 under NSF Grant # 6250012148 to the Alaska Historical Society]


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