The article presents a biography of N.P. Sokolov. The authors used new materials from the archives of Nizhniy Novgorod, memoirs, the letters of the historians and his colleagues. The article demonstrates the making of the scholar (Nezninsky institute, the University of St Petersburg), his coming back to academic studies after a long deprivation. The authors presents information on Sokolov’s research work and teac hing at Gorkiy (Nizhniy Novgorod).