Kiselev M. A. Creation of Berg-manufaktur-collegium in 1718 (.pdf)
To the end of 1717, the preparatory phase of administrative reform in Russia was completed. According to the plans of Peter I, in 1718, the presidents of new collegiums had to work on creating the ones. The Berg-Manufaktur-Collegium that was supposed to regulate the industry was among them, and Iakov Bruce was appointed its president. During of the collegium’s creation, Bruce’s main problem was to find qualified staff members. He faced the insufficiency of staff for the collegium, except a few retired officers. Accordingly, he could try either to use the staff of other administrative institutions or to hire foreign specialists. As a result, Bruce took advantage of the fact that he was also the General-Feldzeugmeister (chief of artillery). His artillery employees Aleksei Zybin and Vincent Raiser became the most important members of the collegium. In August 1718, the collegium also got some clerks as the result of the elimination of the Ore Office. Larion Protasov, former dyak (secretary) of the office, headed the collegium office work. At the end of 1718, the first assessor-foreigner Henry Schlatter was hired for the Berg-Manufaktur-Collegium in Germany. As a result, by the beginning of 1719, the collegium could start its work as an official administrative institution. However, there was a shortage of qualified employees needed for effective work. It was largely the result of underdeveloped educational institutions for civil servants, such as schools and universities, in early modern Russia.
Key words: history of the 18th century Russia, reforms of Peter I, Berg-Manufaktur-Collegium, Iakov Bruce, Aleksey Zybin.