Lena is a river of Siberia, rising at the height of 1640 m in the Baikal Mountains, 20 km west side of Lake Baikal. Wheeling round by the south, it describes a semicircle, then flows north-north-east and north-east, being joined by the Kirenga and the Vitim, both from the right; then it flows east-north-east as far as Yakutsk, where it enters the lowlands, after being joined by the Olekma, also from the right. From Yakutsk it goes north until joined by its right-hand affluent the Aldan, the Verkhoyansk Range deflects it to the north-west; then, after receiving its most important left-hand tributary, the Vilyui, it makes its way nearly due north to the Laptev Sea, a division of the Arctic Ocean, disemboguing south-west of the New Siberian Islands by a delta 10,800 sq. m. in area, and traversed by seven principal branches, the most important being Bylov, farthest east. The total length of the river is estimated at 4310 km (2860 m.), 3380 km (2100 m.) of which is navigable. The delta arms sometimes remain blocked with ice the whole year round. At Yakutsk, navigation is generally practicable from the middle of May to the end of October, and at Kirensk, at the confluence of the Lena and the Kirenga, from the beginning of May to about the same time. Between these two towns there is during the season regular steamboat communication. The area of the Lena river basin is calculated at 2,500,000 km² (805,000 sq. m.). Gold is washed out of the sands of the Vitim and the Olekma, and tusks of the mammoth are dug out of the delta.
The majority of the researchers believe that the name of the river Lena has been acquired from the original Even-Evenk name Elyu-Ene, which means "the Large River". Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov named his alias after the river Lena: Lenin.
Based on an article from 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.