Zolotnitsky Nickolay (1829–1880) – specialist in Chuvask language and culture, in Turkic studies, a social activist.
He was born in the Chuvash vil. of Churashevo, in the family of a priest. In 1851, he graduated from the Historical and Philological Faculty of the Kazan’ University. After it was at the state service; since 1865 – at the Ministry of People’s Education: at first in the Vyatka Region, later – in the Kazan’ Educational District.
He was one of the first researchers of Chuvash language, the first one, who started its classification – and he referred it to the Turkic group. In his works, Z. compared Turkic, Mongolian-Manchu and Finno-Ugric language groups, building the foundation of the comparative Turkology. He composed the first Chuvash Dictionary, the first Alphabet for Chuvash schools, published calendars in Chuvash language. At the same time, he was interested in the traditional Chuvash culture, religious rites and ceremonies.
He participated in training teachers for local communal schools; he argued for teaching children in their native language, worked out educative methods. He spent his last years in Kazan’, as Inspector of the Cheboksary Educative District.