This brief article in the “archive” section of Ab Imperio is accompanied by documents from the State Archive of the Omsk Oblast’ (GAOO) that the author encourages readers to interpret in light of her presentation of how the empire conceptualised and tried to erect borders (following A. Rieber’s typology—also published in this issue of AI—of political, cultural and socio-economic borders) of Omsk oblast’ in the steppe region from 1822 to 1838. The task of determining where borders should lie was enormous, and the goal of actually erecting them was not realised. Part of the process involved regional and central officials coming to agreement on what place the steppe occupied as a region of an expanding empire. Oblast’ officials were directly faced with an array of challenges presented by the steppe’s topography, financial constraints, and the reality of fixing boundaries around a nomadic population. E. Bezvikonnaia (a protégé of Remnev and a Candidate of history) makes excellent use of the archival record to convey this one important aspect of Russian empire-building in Western Siberia.