The Poliarnaia Kochegarka Newspaper as a Source on the Soviet Mining on Spitsbergen in the 1930–1980s

A Brief Bibliographical Survey


  • Aleksandr Portsel Murmansk State Technical University



Soviet mines on Svalbard, Spitsbergen, Barentsburg, Coles Bay, Grumant, Pyramiden, Soviet press


Copies of the Poliarnaia kochegarkanewspaper, published by the Russian/Soviet mining trust Arktikugol and stored in the State Archive of the Murmansk Region (GAMO), contain a wealth of material which emerged after a systematic coverage, for nearly half a century, of various aspects of the development of the Svalbard (Spitsbergen) archipelago, from Stalin’s times to the late Soviet period. In the newspaper, one can find a wide range of topics and genres, from the official publications both at the state and the local levels to sketches of polar dwellers’ everyday life. Poliarnaia kochegarka’s articles help readers to trace the development of Arktikugol’s capacities and the formation of normal living conditions in the Soviet Arctic settlements on the archipelago. Poliarnaia kochegarkaalso contains many observations on the Norwegian mines on Svalbard. Its particular interest, however, consists in various historical surveys and the information about the international contacts on the archipelago. 

Author Biography

Aleksandr Portsel, Murmansk State Technical University

(aka Portcel). PhD in History, Associate Professor at the Philosophy and Law Department, Murmansk State Technical University. Recent publications: a cycle of articles about Russian, European and American coal mining on Svalbard/Spitsbergen in the Klio journal (St Petersburg, 2017, nos 5-7).


Belousova N. 2015. “Pust’ l’iutsa strochki...” [Let the Lines Flow…]. Russkii vestnik Shpitsbergena 15 (January–February): 26–27.

“El’za – Piramida” [From Elsabreen to Pyramiden]. 1957. Poliarnaia kochegarka 94 (30 November).

Grigor'eva, S. 1957. “Poliarniki povyshaiut svoi znaniia” [Polar Dwellers Expand Their Knowledge], Poliarnaia kochegarka 91 (20 November).

Krivtsov N. 2018. “On delal zhivuiu gazetu” [He Made a Lively Newspaper]. Russkii vestnik Shpitsbergena 37 (September–October): 11; 38 (November–December): 11.

Portsel A. 2018. “Zagadki Poliarnoi kochegarki” [Poliarnaia kochegarka’s Mysteries]. Russkii vestnik Shpitsbergena 37 (September–October): 25–26.




How to Cite

Portsel, Aleksandr. 2020. “The <i>Poliarnaia Kochegarka</i> Newspaper as a Source on the Soviet Mining on Spitsbergen in the 1930–1980s: A Brief Bibliographical Survey”. Nordlit, no. 45 (February):139–149.