[Early 1950s]. 127 photos, including 2 panoramas. Size of the album 41,5x30 cm. In contemporary cloth binding. Overall in a very good condition.
The album was made by a member of the biological Soviet expedition to southern Kuril islands. The photos are not dated, but judging from the photos, clothes and things - it’s most likely the early 1950s. One of the indirect proofs of the dating is the name of Shikotan written in Russian as СИКОТАН ( i.e. SIKOTAN), not ШИКОТАН (i.e. Shikotan), as it’s used now and in later Soviet times, the author of the album basically transcribed Japanese name for the island.
The Kuril Islands have been annexed by the USSR as a result of the Yalta Agreement in 1945. Since 1947, Kuril-Sakhalin expeditions were organized by the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and included hydrophysicists, chemists, meteorologists and biologists. Notable ichthyologist, professor Georgii Lindberg (1894-1976) headed these expeditions and students of different universities participated in them. The late 1940s studies were fixed in text memoirs of participants because taking pictures was forbidden in that zone.
These photographs feature a group of researchers, including some participants of the first expedition. Among them Lindberg himself, hydrobiologist Kirill Voskresenskii (1913-1987), hydrobiologist and malacologist Orest Skarlato (1920-1994) and others. The album opens with pictures showing how the author of the album together with a part of the group went by train from Moscow to Vladivostok. Just like participants of the first expedition, this group most likely was given a separate carriage, because researchers were carrying various equipment (trawls, bottom samplers, bathometers, plankton nets, etc.). Some locations of pictures were identified by the author: Shamory (the old and informal name of Lazurnaia bay), Anama bay, Sikotan island, but the rest of captures were made just for the memory: “They were having fun”, “In supralittoral zone”, “Degustation”, “For firewood: Chopping / Sawing / Moving down / Finish”, “Episodes of fishing”, “During an autopsy”, and so on. Such trips repeated every year and attracted following biologist students. The expeditions gathered remarkable faunistic and floristic materials, discovered new species.
In all, the interesting evidence of routine in a Soviet biological expedition and a valuable source on personalities of the Soviet biology in the 1950s. In the 1940-1950s, notorious biologist Lysenko condemned millions of people to starvation through fake agricultural study and made a lot of scholars unemployed. The people from the photographs witnessed this process and knew personally those academics who were fired.