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Gubernia Vilna
First posted on February 12th 2008, last revised on July 29th 2010

History and Administrative Division . The territory of the Government of Kovno was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania / of Poland-Lithuania until 1795, when it was annexed by the Russian Empire.
From 1795 to 1797 the territrory of future Kovno Gubernia was part of Vilna Gubernia, from 1797 to 1801 it was part of Lithuania Gubernia (combining former Vilna and Slonim Gubernias, capital Vilna), from 1802 to 1843 part of a smaller Lithuania Gubernia (in essence the old Vilna Gubernia, capital Vilna). In 1843 Kovno Gubernia was created by separation from Vilna Gubernia.
Vilna Gubernia bordered on the Prussian (later German) province of East Prussia, on Congress Poland and on Vilna Gubernia in the south, on Kurland Gubernia in the north. Kovno Gubernia was divided in 7 Uyezds (districts) : Kovno (Kaunas), Novo Alexandrovsk (Zarasai), Ponevyezh (Panevezys), Rosieny (Raseiniai), Shavli (Siauliai), Telshi (Telsiai), Vilkomir (Vilkmerge).
Following the Russian Revolution, most of Kovno Gubernia formed part of Lithuania; small parts of Kovno Gubernia in 1920 became part of Latvia, a stretch of land in the extreme east became part of Poland.

Population . The population was 1,156,040 in 1870, and 1,553,244 in 1897. Ethnically, it was composed of majority Lithuanians, with German, Polish, Latvian and Russian minorities; by religion the majority was Roman Catholic, followed by Jews, Protestants and Russian Orthodox christians. The area and population was affected by Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812-1813, the Polish insurrection of 1830-1831, the Polish insurrection of 1863-1864, by the Russification policy enforced in 1880-1905, by World War I, the Russian Civil War and the Polish-Russian War of 1919-1921. Nineteenth century publications often differentiate the Lithuanians into Lithuanians and Zhmuds.

Economy . In 1883, 36 % of the area was farmland, 33 % pastorage, 22 % covered by forest; main agricultural products were grain and potatoes. (Meyer)

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Country Profiles Current Article Kovno Governorate, from Wikipedia
Article Kovenskaya Gubernia, from Wikipedia Russian edition
Historical Articles : Governments : Kovno, from EB 1911
Articles : Kowno, from Meyers Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, in German
Links General
on History
Historical Dictionary
Accounts of History
Economy & Finances List of Match Factories in the Russian Empire : Kovno Gubernia, from The Virtual Matchbox Label Museum, in Russian
Russia, from Official catalogue of the industrial department, London Exhibition 1862, GB ; search for Kovno
Ethnography Languages of Lithuania, from Ethnologue
Religion Chronology of Catholic Dioceses - Lithuania, from Kirken i Norge
Virtual Jewish History Tour : Kaunas, Lithuania, from Jewish Virtual Library
Category Religion in Lithuania, from Wikipedia
Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kaunas, from GCatholic
History of Regions Article Pale of Settlement, from Wikipedia; Pale of Settlement, from Jewish Virtual Library
Local History Articles Kaunas : History, Panevezys : History, Siauliai : History, Telsiai : History, from Wikipedia
Shtetls of Lithuania : Gubernia Kaunas, from JewishGen (Index by Lithuanian spelling)
Kovno, from Shtetl Links
The History of Kretinga, by Jon Seligman
Structures, Institutions Structurae : Lithuania, Kaunas, Siauliai

Historical Data Lists of Statesmen
Population Figures Historical Population Statistics : Lithuania, from Population Statistics by Jan Lahmeyer
Documents Document Collections Lithuania Documents, at Central Archive for the History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem
Epaveldas, Lithuanian Cultural Heritage; here description from European History Primary Sources
Historical Maps Government Kovno etc. 1882, from FEEFHS (Blackie & Sons 1882)
Kovno, Vilna Gubernia, from Belarus Guide, in Russian
Lithuania 1867-1914, from Wikipedia
Map : Royaume du Pologne, (shows Kovno Gubernia; Heck, Atlas Geographique et Historique 1835), posted by M. Witkam
Maps : Kovno, (Atlas Marksa, 2nd edition 1910), posted by M. Witkam
Encyclopedia Entries
General Articles : Republic of Lithuania, Governments : Kovno, Cities : Kovno, from EB 1911
Articles Lithauen, from Brockhaus, Damen Conversations-Lexikon 1834-1838, posted by Zeno, in German
Articles Lithauen, from Brockhaus, Bilder-Conversations-Lexikon 1837-1841, posted by Zeno, in German
Articles Lithauen, Kowno, Samogitien, from Herders Conversations-Lexikon 1854-1858, posted by Zeno, in German
Articles Lithauen, Kowno, Nowo Alexandrowsk, Schawli, from Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, posted by Zeno, in German
Articles Litauen, Litauische Sprache und Literatur, Kowno, Wilkomir, Rossieny, Nowo-Alexandrowsk, from Meyers Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, in German
Articles Litauen, Kowno, Rossieny, Samogitien, Schawli, Telschi, Wilkomir, from Meyers Grosses Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909, posted by Zeno, in German
Article Kowno, from Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, in German
Articles Kowno (Gov.), Kowno (City), from Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1908, in German
Religious Articles Kovno, Lithuania, from Jewish Encyclopedia 1901-1906 edition
Articles Lithuania, Samogitia, from Catholic Encyclopedia 1907-1914 edition
Geographical Articles : Kowno, Jurburg, Kejdany, Nowo Alexandrowsk, Ponewjesch, Rossieny, Tauroggen, Telschi, Widsy, Wilkomir, from Stefan Ankjaer, Geografisk-Statistisk Haandbog 1858-1863, posted by Project Runeberg, in Danish
W.H. Beable, Russian gazetteer and guide, being an account of the territorial divisions and a description of over 300 of the principal towns and cities of Russia, Finland and Siberia (1919), posted on Internet Archive; Kovno p.27
Parliamentary Debates foreign Hansard (British Parliament)
Tour Guides, Travelogues
Institutions Archives Repositories of Primary Sources : Europe : Lithuania, from Univ. of Idaho. Mostly Archive Webpages, 5 entries
Historical Research in Europe, listing of archives; click Atlas Search, Lithuania, 22 entries
The Lithuanian Archival System : a Brief Guide, by T. Balkelis
Libraries Libraries in Lithuania, from LibDex, 29 entries
Official Symbols Flags, Coats of Arms Kovno Gubernia Coat of Arms, from Vector Images; from Civic Heraldry

Bibliographies general RHS Bibliography
UK National Archive Online Library
ISBN Database
on Kovno EBSEES (European Bibliography of Slavic and Eastern European Studies), search for Kaunas, Kovno, Kowno
Online Libraries general Internet Archives
Gutenberg Library Online
Country Specific Epaveldas, Lithuanian Cultural Heritage; here description from European History Primary Sources
Online Journals full text online Lituanus
Annaberger Annalen über Litauen und deutsch-litauische Beziehungen 1993-2009
General Accounts David G. Kirby, The Baltic World 1772-1993, London : Longman 1995
Manfred Hellmann, Grundzüge der Geschichte Litauens (Main Features of Lithuania's History), Darmstadt : Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1976 (in German) [G]
Kevin O'Connor, The History of the Baltic States, Westport CT : Greenwood 2003, KMLA Lib.Sign. 947.9 O18h
Specific Topics E.N. Adler, Jews in Many Lands, 1905 (Chapter on Kovno), posted on Internet Archive,
Historical Dictionary Saulius Suziedelis (ed.), Historical Dictionary of Lithuania, Rowman & Littlefield 1997