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University Deloproizvodstvo (Paper Work) as a Cultural Practice and Institution in Russia in the First Half of the 19th Century

The article analyzes documentation management as a cultural practice and institution through which university professors’ corporations in Russia in the first half of the nineteenth century lost their autonomy, acquiring instead a bureaucratic identity and ethics of state service. The study draws on official documents from university archives of Kazan, Moscow and Kharkov, and the archive of the Ministry of Education (St. Petersburg). It focuses on changes in the language of university record keeping, describing the self-identification matrices of professors as well as the growing role of quantitative and standardized information about university life they had to provide in their reports.