Real names are replaced by initials; printed with permission of the relative
One time we’d got a curious thing…
For many years one person, let’s call him M., kept pictures of the beginning of the XX century. It showed a 7-8 years girl in a uniform. The inscription on the back of the photograph reads: «For Grandma from L. G., February 1907.» There was also a postscript made later and with another handwriting: «L. G. in Smolny». The picture was made in a St. Petersburg photostudio.
Actually, except for the fact that it’s some relative, M. did not know anything more. He spoke to a couple of researchers. Every time appeared some small addition, but the story of the girl remained a mystery.
Looking at a type of uniforms experts agreed that she could study at the Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens. The researchers were looking for the girl in the lists of graduates of this institute, but they did not meet the same name. Maybe she may not graduated from the university or she had the archives of the institution is not preserved, it is also quite likely.
So the case came to us. M. stubbornly refused to believe that there are no historical records preserved. And as it turned out was completely right.
Maybe the girl in the picture has no relation to the Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens? The reasons are a slightly different form and another checking of Smolny pupils lists.
At the beginning of the XX century there were a few places, where the girl could learn. In St. Petersburg in the late XIX — early XX centuries there were 8 female institutes, which could be called «Institute for Noble Maidens,» 2 — the orphanage and one women’s college.
A version appeared: she learned in one of the Institute for Noble Maidens and the inscription about the Smolny was made much later because of an ignorance. The man who wrote it had heard something about the institute and about St. Petersburg and came to the conclusion about the «Smolianka.»
But if this is not the Smolny, where to look for? The problem still was the fact that the archival files with any lists of female students are the lists of the names of a particular year. And we did not know the years of training the girl. 1907 could be the year of the beginning, and the middle, and the end of her study. And maybe this year did not have anything to learning?
Реальные имена и фамилии заменены на инициалы;
Как-то раз к нам попало одно любопытное дело…