Laboratory for the Study of Byzantium and the Black Sea Region


            The Research Laboratory for the Study of Byzantium and the Black Sea Region in the Middle Centuries was established in May of 1990, with the purpose of organizing detailed research on the abovementioned subject, the search for and publication of new archive resources, the creation of computer databases, the definition of historical-typological patterns in the development and growth of Byzantium and the Black Sea Region, and their connections with ancient Rus, western Europe and eastern states.


            By order of the Rector of Moscow State University, the laboratory was assigned the task of coordinating all research in the areas of Byzantine studies and the history of the Black Sea Region during the middle centuries.


            Professor S.P. Karpov - Head of the Department of the History of the Middle Centuries - was appointed and remains the research director of the laboratory.  Included among the staff of the laboratory are a number of highly qualified scholars of the middle centuries, Byzantium, Eastern studies, and information science.


            The laboratory actively participated in organizing in Moscow the XVIII International Congress for Byzantine Studies, at MSU in 1991, where more than 1000 researchers from 40 countries were in attendance.


            The main task of the laboratory is the systematic study of the unique and poorly researched fund of archive resources, currently stored in the state archives of Venice, Genoa, and other collections of The Vatican, St. Petersburg, and Lvov.  The beginning of the research effort was marked by Professor Karpov's research trip to Italy in 1977-78, when were discovered and catalogued a number of very valuable materials on the histories of Byzantium, the Black Sea Region, and ancient Rus in the 13th-15th centuries.  Since then, this research has continued systematically, and a fund of microfilms and photocopies of documents has been organized.  The work of searching and processing the sources (including transcription, archiographical and content analysis, and publishing) is on going.


            The main scientific organ of the laboratory is the journal "The Black Sea Region in the Middle Centuries" (Issue One, Moscow 1991; Issue Two, Moscow 1995; Issue Three, Moscow/St. Petersburg 1998; Issue Four, Moscow 1999) where sources and scientific articles are published.  In addition, members of the laboratory staff have produced a series of monographs and articles on related themes.


            The laboratory has also prepared a fund of electronic resources, which we invite you to use.