Information Characteristics for Judicative Documentation of the end the 18th – beginning of the 19th centuries for the Investigation of the History of Everyday Life in the Southern Ukraine


Social history (the history of everyday life) is a popular trend in modern Ukrainian historical studies. At the same time, it should be noted the studies aimed at the research of everyday life, life, stereotypes, incidents, personal life have an integrated nature. The proposed topic covers a short period of time, which was due to the introduction in the territory of Southern Ukraine of a new judicial system in accordance with the Provisions on Provinces of 1775. Thus, the judicial instances of Yekaterinoslav governorship (1783–1796), later of the Novorossiysk province (1796–1802) are under review. The region is vast, heterogeneous in various indicators. The purpose of the article is to determine the characteristics of different types of forensic documentation, which have the greatest information potential in studying the problems of everyday life of people of the late XVIII – early XIX centuries. The source base are the materials of judicial institutions of the region, ranging from the county level (district courts, magistrates, reprisals) to provincial ones (high district court, high reprisal, provincial magistrate, conscientious court, court chamber and reprisals). The task is to characterize the different types of sources used to disclose the topic; to highlight the scenes that are most clearly presented in these documents. The main results. Characteristics of the following types of court documentation are given: journals (meetings, minutes, decisions); property registries; petitions; interrogations; extracts of cases. As an exception, personal letters are mentioned that were used as evidence at courts. The methods of hermeneutics are of great importance, since due to the lack of other sources, clearly formulated questions and a careful reading of the available documents for the formation of ideas about the era are crucially important. It has been noted that the functioning of the judicial system itself provides facts for the study of the stated topic. According to the approaches of the German sociologist N. Elias in the history of everyday life such category as "working day" is considered. It was at a specified time that the bureaucratic apparatus of the region was emerging with a new bureaucracy and its work schedule, which set a certain rhythm of the life of county and provincial cities. The conclusion is made about the possibility of studying, clarifying individual plots on the history of everyday life of almost all segments of the population (to a lesser extent, peasants). It is noted that criminal cases have a wider social variety. The life of the nobility is characterized primarily by documents of civil proceedings (inheritance division, disputes over land). They demonstrate the household side in the process of distribution and delimitation of land, which Southern Ukraine was experiencing during this period. There are two traditions at the cultural and legal levels: one appeals to the norms of the Lithuanian Statute of 1588 (in counties that have moved away from the territory of the former Hetmanate), the other to Russian imperial legislation. The documents of the judicial instances of the region confirm the fact of quite a high mobility of the population within southern Ukraine; point at the development of modern processes (including their negative manifestations in the form of rising crime); allow us to see the ugly side of the daily life of an individual at that time. Article type: analytical.

Author Biography

Olha M. Posunko, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University

PhD in History, Associate Professor, Doctoral student at the Department of History of Ukraine of the Oles Honchar Dnipro National University


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How to Cite
POSUNKO, Olha M.. Information Characteristics for Judicative Documentation of the end the 18th – beginning of the 19th centuries for the Investigation of the History of Everyday Life in the Southern Ukraine. Universum Historiae et Archeologiae = The Universe of History and Archeology = Універсум історії та археології = Универсум истории и археологии ISSN 2664-9950 (Print) ISSN 2707-6385 (Online), [S.l.], v. 2, n. 1, p. 149–163, jan. 2020. ISSN 2707-6385. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 13 july 2020. doi:
Historiography. Source Study. Special Historical Disciplines