Historical background
Institute of Linguistics, Literature and History Karelian Research Centre Russian Academy of Sciences (ILLH KarRC RAS) is the oldest scientific institution in Karelia, and the only academy-subordinated institute with the humanities profile. Its first director was E. Gylling, PhD (1930-1935). His successors were USSR Corresponding Academician D.V. Bubrikh (1947-1949), V.I. Mashezersky, Cand. (PhD) of Hist. (1950-1965), M.N. Vlasova, Cand. of Hist. (1965-1988), Yu. A. Savvateev, Dr. (DSc) of Hist. (1988-2005), I. I. Mullonen, Dr. of Philol. (2005-2015). O.P. Ilyukha, Dr. (DSc) of Hist. (2016).

ILLH is the only centre in Russia doing regular research on the languages and cultures of Balto-Finnic nations, and their interactions with the Russian cultural tradition. For decades the Institute has maintained research into the Russian culture of Northwest Russia, archaeology and history of Karelia and adjacent regions, literature of Finland and Russian-Finnish literary contacts.

The scientific community is well familiar with names of many scholars who worked at the Institute in different time periods, such as D.V. Bubrikh,V.G. Bazanov, K.V. Chistov, Ya. A. Balagurov, N. I. Bogdanov, D. I. Balashov, V. Ya. Evseev, E. G. Karhu, U. S. Konkka, M. E. Kuusinen, A. M. Linevsky, G. N. Makarov, R. B. Myuller, R. F. Nikol’skaya (Taroeva), G. A. Pankrushev, V. V. Pimenov, A. P. Razumova, J. J. Surhasko, I. P. Shaskol’sky. At present, the Institute employs 49 researchers, including 8 with post-doctoral and 24 with doctoral degrees.
Research is carried out relying on a wide range of sources, including materials collected on numerous expeditions. Every year, researchers from the Institute carry out archaeological reconnaissance surveys and excavations in Karelia and adjacent areas, collect field materials on Balto-Finnic languages, folklore and ethnography, travel to districts of the republic to gather ethno-sociological information.

The Institute annually publishes ten-fifteen books and around 100 articles. They are in demand in the scientific community, and are of high applied value. The works by the Institute’s researchers contribute to stabilization of the social situation in Karelia, preservation of national cultures, harmonization of relations between its nationalities.
The Institute is developing cooperation with scientific and educational institutions, public bodies of Russia and other countries. Some of the international programmes and projects are the “Linguistic Atlas of Europe” (Atlas Linguarum Europae), “Linguistic Atlas of Balto-Finnic Languages” (Atlas Linguarum Fennicarum), “Image of Finland in Russia, Image of Russia in Finland”, “Interdisciplinary research in the humanities in the White Sea basin”, “On the position of Finno-Ugric nations in the Russian Federation”, “Resolution of conflicts between nationalities in post-Soviet states”, “Sources and shaping of epic poetry”, “Sámi archaeology”, “Pathway to Belomorje”. Some of ILLH long-standing partners are the Institute of Archaeology RAS, Mikluho-Maklai Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Gorky World Literature Institute, Institute of Russian Literature (the Pushkin House), RAS Institute of Russian History, RAS Institute for the History of Material Culture, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkammer Êóíñòêàìåðà); Petrozavodsk and St. Petersburg State Universities, Universities of Helsinki, Oulu and Joensuu, Petrozavodsk State Conservatoire, Sibelius Academy, Finland’s National Board of Antiquities, ministries and departments of the Republic of Karelia, etc.

The work of the Institute’s researchers has been supported by the Russian Foundation for Humanities, RAS Presidium Basic Research Programme “Adaptation of peoples and cultures to changes in the natural environment, social and technogenic transformations”, programmes of the RAS Division for Historical and Philological Sciences “Russian culture in global history” (project “The Finnish factor in the history and culture of the 20th century Karelia”), “Power and Society in History”, “Russian language, literature and folklore in the information society. Building digital knowledge bases”; by grants from the Nordic Council of Ministers, Juminkeko Centre (Finland), and other sources. For their valuable contribution to scientific development many of our researchers have been granted national and regional governmental awards. Some scientists from ILLH are honorary members of foreign scientific associations.

The Institute offers PhD courses in seven disciplines.