«1812 year» virtual museum-project began on January 28, 1998, when Oleg Poliakov, programmer interested in history, placed in Internet a well-known work of Eugene Tarle «Napoleon» accompanied by some relevant illustrations. Original project consisted of very few books only and was supported for free by one of private servers. However, when the size of the project files exceeded 10 MB (summer 1998), it was relocated to «Museums of Russia» site with much better technical capabilities. Since this time several enthusiasts (see «Contributors» section) joined Oleg Poliakov and formed the present project team. Project continued its steady growth and its volume reached 175 MB mark in 2000 (4000+ files) and went above 400 MB in 2001 (8500 + files).
English version of the project became available since 1999.
Currently the project includes the following sections:
- «Library» (prepared by Oleg Poliakov and Maxim Gontcharov).
Russian version of our «Library» contains 45 complete well-illustrated texts of memoirs and diaries (À.Ermolov, D.Davidov, N. Durova, F.Glinka, F. Rostopchin, A. Caulaincourt, Rustam, K. Metternich), letters (emperor Alexander I, countess M. Volkova, etc.), fiction novels (G. Danilevsky «Burnt Moscow», M. Zagoskin «Rostislav, or Russians in 1812»), historical treatises (Clausewitz, Stendal, Tarle, Vernet etc.), various verses and songs about 1812 Patriotic war, some books written by modern writers, etc. All books are annotated and available in html, text and zip-archive formats. The editions are rich illustrated.
Special pride of our «Library» is the feature edition of «The Patriotic war and the Russian society» printed by famous Russian publisher Sytin in 1912 and dedicated to the 100-th anniversary of 1812 war (for the first 4 reprinted volumes out of 7 please click here). All illustrations from the above book were thoroughly preserved and partially restored (wherever it was necessary).
The English version of the «Library» contains works of Alexander Mikaberidze, David Markham and some other authors.
Bibliography section of the «Library» (prepared and edited by Maxim Gontcharov, Oleg Poliakov, Alexander Podmazo) is under the constant update and includes list of the books about Napoleon period of history, published in Russian and foreign languages in 1800-2000.
The project team expresses their appreciation to all authors who permitted placement of their works on our site. We want to mention that many of these publications exist only in electronic format.
- «Gallery». (English version prepared by Mike Makarov)
Visitor of the art gallery of our project can get acquainted with marvelous masterpieces of À.Adam, V.Vereschagin, A.Rubo, P.von Hess, F. Goya, Ch. Faber du Faur and others. All pictures are supplied with detailed comments.
- «Memorial». (English translation by Mike Makarov and Maxim Gontcharov)
This section contains eight articles about architectural landmarks in Moscow, Paris, St.-Petersburg, Novocherkassk, Smolensk and Zvenigorod; four articles about holidays spent by participants in the reenactments of 1812 events; and three miscellaneous articles about memorable medals, tags, confectionery and alcohol drinks dedicated to 1812 campaign.
- «Personalities». (by Helene Bobrova)
This section is an illustrated biographic encyclopedia of the famous participants of 1812 war. It includes «Biographies of the marshals and generals of the Great Army» (29 biographies in Russian), «Ministers of Napoleon» (8 biographies in Russian), «Genealogy of the Bonaparts», «Marshals Gallery of the First Empire», «Structure of the Russian Empire State Concil in 1812», and «Russian diplomats in Paris (1791-1815)».
Project team members express their special thanks to multimedia studio «Colibry» and its director Pavel Kalinnikov who allowed us to use some biographies of the participants of 1812 Patriotic war from CD version of «Encyclopedic Dictionary of Brokgauz and Efron. The biographies of Russia» designed by «Kolibry» (in Russian).
- «Army and arms».
Currently, this is the newest and, unfortunately, the smallest section of our site. We hope it will expand very soon. However, at the present time it contains only a few articles about military equipment of Napoleon wars. The most interesting one is «Technical equipment of Russian artillery at the beginning of the XIX century» by Alexander Bernaz
Besides the sections mentioned above, visitors can access annotated links with information about Napoleon epoch from Russian and foreign sources; express their opinion about our site in the Guestbook; discuss any problem with professional historians and other people in debatable forum, organised and supported by combined efforts of «Arakcheevskij grenadier» and Internet-project «1812 year».
Page «Contributors to the Project» provides reader with biographic information of 12 team members from Moscow, Petrozavodsk and Smolensk and other cities.
The feature of the Internet project is that usually it is very difficult to get acquainted with all site materials if the site volume is too large. For example, the first two volumes of «The Patriotic war and the Russian society» occupy about 30 Mb, so downloading of these files seems to be a problem for many users. In order to help our users, we and other teams of «Decembrists», «Russian battle awards», «Awards and medals of USSR» and «Ernesto Che Guevara» Internet projects developed a mutual product - multimedia CD «Glorious pages of history». CD users can view hypertext, start and control different modes of slide-show and music player (145 music fragments in mpeg3 format, minimum system requirements: Windows 95/98/2000 or NT 4.0 operating system; 4-x CD-ROM; Pentium 133 processor; 32 MB RAM memory; 3,5 MB hard disk space).
CD-ROM product (as well as the whole Internet-project) is not commercial, so we plan to make a restricted number of CD copies. All interested persons can get it by sending e-mail to email@example.com. Attention: CD delivery for Moscow residents only!
Ladies and gentlemen, our team is opened for everyone, who inspired by epoch of the late XVIII - early XIX century. We welcome everyone who wants and can participate in our work on the above project.
The team of the Internet-project «1812 year» anticipates to complete its work by the 200-th anniversary of 1812 Patriotic war (i.e. by 2012).
Project team members express their hope that the information source they create will become a very useful tool for professional military history scholars and everyone interested in history of Napoleon period.
Please send the messages about the noticed mistakes, inaccuracies, your proposals and suggestions to the address: firstname.lastname@example.org.