Russian Science in the European context  in the first half of the nineteenth century

National Library of Russia with the support of Deutsches Historisches Institut Moskau organizes an International conference ”Russian Science in the European context  in the first half of the nineteenth century” celebrating  the 250th anniversary of birth and 190th anniversary of travel to Russia of Alexander von Humboldt

National Library of Russia 12th and 13th November 2019

Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) is known as a geographer and botanist, the explorer who performed a “second discovery of America”, the founder of plant geography which inaugurated a new era in natural science. His journey to the Urals and Siberia, on the invitation of the Russian government in 1829, became a landmark in the establishing of scientific relations between European and Russian scholars.

On 12th and 13th November 2019, to mark the anniversary of Humboldt’s return from his journey to Saint-Petersburg, the National Library of Russia, whose Manuscript Department preserves Humboldt’s correspondence with his colleagues in Russia and Western Europe, will hold a conference dedicated to Humbold’s scientific heritage and his connections with Russian scholars in the large scientific context of his time.

This conference proposes to address the following questions:

• Alexander von Humboldt, new approaches to his life and works

• Ideas of the Enlightenment in Alexander von Humboldt’s writings

• Alexander von Humboldt’s works in the history of Russian science

• Scientific contacts between Russia and other European countries in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century

• Russian natural-science terminology of the time in the European context: transfer and adaptation of scientific concepts between German, French and Russian languages

• Contribution of Alexander von Humboldt and the scientists of his time to popularization of science


The organizing committee hopes to obtain travel grants to support conference participants. The organizing committee reserves the right to select the proposals. Papers can be given in either Russian or English. The conference proceedings will be published in book form by NLR publishing house. Please send your proposals, including the title of your paper and an abstract (200-250 words), by 15th April 2019, to


Natalia Speranskaya (NLR), Daria Kryukova (NLR), Vladislav Rjeoutski (DHI)

Tel. +7 (812) 407-42-66