The maps on this site are organised at a series of descending spatial scales from macro level down to micro and historically for the period 1931-1960 and 2005.
Series 1 - 3 relate to the period 1931-1960. At the national scale the site includes maps of the distribution of the main administrations of the gulag for the USSR and Russian Republic (Series 1), and estimates of average prisoner population for a series of consecutive periods (Series 2). Using new data, we have been able to map the distribution of the sub-division or otdeleniye of the camp administrations in a series of oblasts - Perm', Magadan, Chukhotka, Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk - in 1952 (Series 3).
We have provided two overlay maps, of the distribution of permafrost and the average January temperature to show the geographical environment, in which penal institutions have been located at various times.
Series 4-6 relate to the current penal system in the middle of the 2000s. At the national scale are maps of the distribution of different types of penal institutions in the Russian Federation in 2005 and a map of our estimates of prisoner numbers per by region (Series 4). At the next scale down, we have included maps of penal institutions in a selection of individual regions (series 5). We use these to show the differences in distribution and density of colonies between regions. We have included regions in the 'penal peripheries' such as Perm krai, Sverdlovsk oblast', and Krasnodar krai with high prisoner numbers, and regions in European Russia where the density of penal institutions is lower, and Moscow City and oblast.
At the very lowest spatial scale we present an example of the internal organization of penal colonies that we have visited, based on our field drawings and those we have come across during our historical research (Series 6).
What we don't do here is provide an interactive function that will enable users to identify or locate individual penal institutions. To do this, please see www.memo.ru for the Soviet period and www.arestant.msk.ru for the present day.
This mapping project is ongoing and what we have placed on the web will be expanded and corrected as we are able to access more information. We should be grateful for feedback and information about other sources from users of this site.
Please send any comments to email@example.com
Series 1 - The distribution of camps (lagerya) in USSR
Series 2 - The distribution of prisoners in the GULAG
Series 3 - Camp sub-divisions / otdeleniya in a selection of regions, 1952
- Location of camp headquarters in 1952
- Camp administration and labour colonies / otdeleniya in Perm', Sverdlovsk and Chelyanbinsk oblasts 1952
- Camp administration and labour colonies / otdeleniya in Magadan and Yakutiya in 1952
- Camp administration and labour colonies / otdeleniya in Chukhotskii okrug 1952
- Distribution of special settlement command posts in Permskyi krai (1952)
- Employment of special settlers
- The number of special settlements and their distance from the special settlement command posts
- Number of special settlers (1952)
- All penal institutions in Russian Federation, 2008
- Distribution of penal institutions for juvenile boys (vospitatelnie kolonii dlya malchikov)
- Distribution of penal institutions for juvenile girls (vospitatelnie kolonii dlya devochek)
- Correctional colony for foreign citizens (from far abroad)
- Distribution of prison hospitals
- Distribution of penal settlements (kolonii-poselenya)
- Distribution of penal isolation colonies for prisoners with infectious disease
- Distribution of correctional colonies for former personnel of russian security services
- Distribution of correctional colonies for adult men - general regime (kolonii obschego regima)
- Distribution of correctional colonies for adult men - strict regime (kolonii strogogo regima)
- Distribution of correctional colonies for adult men - special regime (kolonii osobogo regima)
- Distribution of correctional colonies for adult women
- Distribution of remand (per-trial) facilities (sledstvennie izoliatori predvaritelnogo zakluchenia)
- Distribution of prisons (with cellular accommodation) (turmi)
- The number of prisoners in colonies of different types per 100,000 population
- Administrative map of the Russian Federation
- The fifteen republics of the USSR
- Distribution of penal institutions in Belgorodskaya oblast'
- Distribution of penal institutions in Krasnodarskyi and Adhegia republic
- Distribution of penal institutions in Krasnoyarskyi kray
- Distribution of penal institutions in Mordovia republic (2007)
- Distribution of penal institutions in Moscow oblast' and Moscow city
- Distribution of penal institutions in Permskyi kray
- Distribution of penal institutions in Ryazanskaya oblast'
- Distribution of penal institutions in Sverdlovskaya oblast' (2007)
- Distribution of penal institutions in Yakutya republic (2007)
- Rate of Imprisonment in European Russia
- Total number of prisoners in European Russia