Book chapter (B2)

Naming the Arctic and Siberia: The Role of Cartographic Agencies in the Soviet Toponymic Policy and Practice

List of AuthorsMamontova Nadezhda


Publication year2022

Book title *Encountering Toponymic Geopolitics




The chapter proposes to examine the role of the Supreme Geodetic Administration (VGU or Vysshee Geodezicheskoye Upravleniye), its successors, and related cartographic agencies in the production of toponymic knowledge and space in Soviet Russia, with a focus on the inscription and mapping of indigenous place names in the Arctic and Siberia. Despite the VGU’s century-long history, there is still a lack of research on its contribution to the Soviet place-naming policy and practice. This chapter aims to investigate the involvement of Soviet cartographic agencies in the production of indigenous toponymic knowledge as part of the Soviet nationality policy and evaluate its significance for the current indigenous toponymic policy in Russia. It also examines the evolution of place names’ mapping practices by analyzing toponymic guidelines and instructions, field research practices, and cartographic ideologies. The material for this chapter was collected from the Russian State Archive for the Economy and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Last updated on 2023-14-03 at 10:35