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Kovno Minsk
First posted on February 12th 2008, last revised on July 28th 2010

History and Administrative Division . The territory of the Government of Vilna was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania / of Poland-Lithuania until 1793/1795, when it was annexed by the Russian Empire. Vilna Gubernia was established in 1796, merged with Slonim Gubernia in 1797 to form the Lithuanian Gubernia (capital Vilna); split in Slonim (since 1802 Grodno and Vilna (Lithuanian) Gubernia in 1801.
From 1801 to 1843, Vilna Gubenia was composed of 11 districts (uyezds) : Braslav (from 1836 Novo-Aleksandrovsk), Vilna, Vilkomirsk, Zavileisk, Kovno, Oshmiany, Rossiena, Troki, Upity (Ponevezhis), Teleshevo, and Shavel. In 1843 Kovno Gubernia was separated. Vilna Gubernia gained Lida Uyezd (hitherto part of Grodno Gubernia, Disna and Vileiki Uyezd (hitherto part of Minsk Gubernia), and from 1843 to 1917 was composed of 7 districts : Vilna, Vileiki, Disna, Lida, Troki, Oshmyany, Zventsyany. Vilna Gubernia, from 1843 to 1917, bordered on Congress Poland in the west, on Grodno Gubernia in the south, on Minsk Gubernia in the east, on Vitebsk, Kurland and Kovno Gubernia in the north.
The Zemstvo constitution was introduced in 1911.
In the course of the dissolution of the Russian Empire, the territory of Vilna Gubernia was contested between Lithuania and Poland, with Poland taking core Central Lithuania in a fait accompli.

Population . In 1906 the population was 1,806,300. Lithuanians made up 48 %, followed by Belarussians, Poles, Jews and Russians; the majority was Roman Catholic. Vilna Gubernia was affected by Napoleon's invasion of Russia 1812-1813, by the Polish Rebellion of 1830-1831, by the Polish Rebellion of 1863-1864, by World War I, by the Russian Civil War, the Russo-Polish War of 1919-1920.

Economy . In 1884, 40.3 % of the area was farmland, 27.6 % covered by forest, 19 % pastorage. Grain, potatoes, forest products, beekeeping were of importance. In 1884 there were 300 factories with a combined total of 3,024 industrial workers. The leading industries included distilleries, breweries, tobacco and leather processing, paper industry (Meyer).

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Country Profiles Current Article Vilna Governorate, from Wikipedia
Lithuania (Wilno), from Eastern Borderlands of the II Polish Republic
Article Vilenskaya Gubernia, from Wikipedia Russian edition
Historical Articles : Governments : Vilna, from EB 1911
Articles : Wilna, from Meyers Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, in German
Links General
on History Vilna Gubernia, from JewishGen Belarus
Historical Dictionary
Timelines Republic of Belarus Timeline
Accounts of History
Economy & Finances List of Match Factories in the Russian Empire : Vilna Gubernia, from The Virtual Matchbox Label Museum, in Russian
Russia, from Official catalogue of the industrial department, London Exhibition 1862, GB ; search for Vilna
Ethnography Languages of Belarus, Lithuania, from Ethnologue
Religion Via Crucis. 450 Years of Protestantism in Belarus, in English / Belarussian / Russian
History of the (Greek Catholic) Byelorussian Church, from Eastern Catholic Pastoral Association of Southern California
Jewish Belarus
The Jewish Virtual History Tour : Belarus
Shtetls of Belarus, click Gubernia Vilna, 641 entries; posted by JewishGen
Chronology of Catholic Dioceses - Lithuania, from Kirken i Norge
Virtual Jewish History Tour : Lithuania, from Jewish Virtual Library
Category Religion in Lithuania, from Wikipedia
Russia, from Roman Catholic Hierarchy, scroll down for Vilna
History of Regions Article Pale of Settlement, from Wikipedia; Pale of Settlement, from Jewish Virtual Library
Administrative-Territorial Division of Belarus : 18th to 20th Centuries, from Archives of Belarus
Local History Articles History of Vilnius, Lida : History, from Wikipedia
Structures, Institutions Structurae : Lithuania, Vilnius
Article : Vilnius University : History, from Wikipedia ; History, from Vilnius University

Historical Data Lists of Statesmen
Population Figures Historical Population Statistics : Belarus, from Population Statistics by Jan Lahmeyer
Historical Population Statistics : Lithuania, from Population Statistics by Jan Lahmeyer
Documents Document Collections Russia - Belarus - Ukraine - Uzbekistan Documents, at Central Archive for the History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem
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 Vilna etc. 1882, from FEEFHS (Blackie & Sons 1882)
Kovno, Vilna Gubernia, from Belarus Guide, in Russian
Belarus at the end of the XIXth Century, from Belarus Guide, in Russian
Map : Royaume du Pologne, (shows Lithuania Gubernia; Heck, Atlas Geographique et Historique 1835), posted by M. Witkam
Maps : NW Vilna, NE Vilna, SW Vilna, SE Vilna, (Atlas Marksa, 2nd edition 1910), posted by M. Witkam
Encyclopedia Entries
General Articles : Governments : Vilna, Cities : Vilna, from EB 1911
Articles Weissrussen, Weissrussland, Wilna, from Meyers Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, in German
Religious Article Wilna, from Jewish Encyclopedia 1901-1906 edition
Article Vilna, from Catholic Encyclopedia 1907-1914 edition
Geographical Das Gouvernement Wilna, pp.496-499 in Th. Fr. Ehrmann, Neueste Kunde vom Russischen Reiche in Europa und Asien, vol.3 of Neueste Länder- und Völkerkunde, 1807, in German, GB
Wilna, p.642 in The London general gazetteer, or Geographical dictionary, 1825, GB
Lithuania proper, Wilna p.326 in vol.4 of C. Malte-Brun, Universal Geography, 1829, GB
Wilna, pp.111-112 in vol.1 of J. Bell, A system of geography, popular and scientific, 1836, GB
Das Gouvernement Wilna, pp.287-289 in vol.1 of Das Russische Kaiserreich, seine Geographie, Statistik, Volks- und Regentengeschichte, 1847, in German, GB
Article : Wilna, from Geografisk-Statistisk Haandbog 1858-1863, 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; Vilna p.44
Parliamentary Debates foreign Hansard (British Parliament)
Tour Guides, Travelogues
Institutions Archives Archives of Belarus
Repositories of Primary Sources : Europe : Belarus, from Univ. of Idaho. Mostly Archive Webpages; 31 entries
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
Musea National Museum of Lithuania, Vilnius, Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum
Museums, from vilnius.com
Monuments List of Monuments in Vilnius, from Wikipedia
Libraries Libraries in Lithuania, from LibDex, 29 entries
Libraries in Belarus, from LibDex, 5 entries
Official Symbols Flags, Coats of Arms Vilno Gubernia Coat of Arms, from Civic Heraldry

Bibliographies general RHS Bibliography
UK National Archive Online Library
ISBN Database
on Vilna EBSEES (European Bibliography of Slavic and Eastern European Studies), search for Vilna, Wilna
Online Libraries general Internet Archives
Gutenberg Library Online
Country Specific Vilnius University Library - Digital Collection
Epaveldas, Lithuanian Cultural Heritage; here description from European History Primary Sources
Online Journals full text online Lituanus
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
Historical Dictionary Jan Zaprudnik, Historical Dictionary of Belarus, Lanham Md. : Scarecrow 1998
Saulius Suziedelis (ed.), Historical Dictionary of Lithuania, Rowman & Littlefield 1997

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