The Centre’s mission is to advance knowledge in the field of Russian language studies and to foster a broader understanding of Russia through research, academic training and knowledge exchange.
The Centre has the following areas of activity:
The Centre's objectives are to:
Our resources include a library of Russian books, Russian databases, multi-channel satellite television and conference facilities.
The Centre is named after Princess Ekaterina Romanovna Dashkova, one of the leading figures of the Russian enlightenment, who lived in Edinburgh from 1776 to 1782 while her son attended the University. While in Edinburgh, Princess Dashkova lived at the Palace of Holyrood House and was close friends with several of Scotland’s brightest enlightenment thinkers, including William Robertson, Adam Smith, Hugh Blair and Adam Ferguson.
On returning to Russia, she was appointed Director of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, thus becoming the first woman in the world to lead a national science academy. She also founded the Imperial Academy of the Russian Language. In 1783, she awarded William Robertson, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, with the honorary degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology in her capacity as Director of the Imperial Academy of Sciences.
Her legacy includes thousands of pages of notes, letters, and manuscripts. As an academic, Princess Dashkova is best known for editing the Academic Dictionary of the Russian language, a pioneering work in Russian lexicology of the 18th century.