Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, and Ruthenes comprise because of all the overlap and competition over historical sources. It corresponds to NW Region in “Regions” category, which also includes parts of Poland and Ukraine. After 1870, the provinces were subdivided accordingly, although conversationally they were usually “western”: NW, under the governor general of Vilna (Vilna, Grodno, Kovno); the “western” provinces (Minsk, Vitebsk, Mogilev); and the SW provinces (Kiev, Podolia, Volhynia), under thgovernor general of Kiev.
No archeological region proved more crucial to Russia’s identity, both politically and culturally. Condemned as “incapable of thought and action” from the turn of the 18th century by such influential historians as Edward Gibbon and Georg Hegel, Byzantium had provided Russia with the Orthodox religion that provided a cornerstone to its 19th-century ideology of “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality.” Preeminent archeologist Nikodim Kondakov led the way in challenging this image of the empire to which his own was currently laying claim in a nuanced translatio imperii. The journal Византійскій временникъ, ‘Byzantine Chronicle,’ began publication under V. G. Vasil’evskii in 1894.
From the outset, beginning with Pavel Stroev’s archeographical expeditions from the 1830s, the relationship between archives and archeologists was intertwined. Nikoali Kalachev and Dmitrii Samokvasov were the most deeply involved.
From the archeological perspective, this includes Chronicles, and is closely associated therefore with the archival commissions and the Muscovy Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs. In the 19th century it was not always possible to separate archeology from archeography, and manuscripts were included as materail culture. It has a strong affilitation with the bent toward archives, written records.
Although a broad theme, this incorporates the shift toward saving religious artefacts and restoring churches in ways that connect Orthodoxy with colonization.
As Slavophilism morphed into pan-Slavism in the 19th century, it spilled over into archeology. This registered in the development of specific branches of Slavic or Russian archeology in many of the professional societies; Russian here included Little Russia and White Russia. When the Archeological Institute opened in Constantinople in 1894, direcotr Fedor Uspenskii focused on Serbia and Bulgaria, Slavic territories in the Ottoman Empire.