Social Movements, Elections and Ephemera Collections

Primary source materials from elections in the former Soviet Union

Democracy can be a lurching process, with the beginning clear but the end never near. Because democracies constantly adapt to endure, they can seem messy. Political campaigns and elections create a unique but fleeting flotsam of materials that capture this essence of democracy in action. The democratic experiment since the collapse of the Soviet Union is no different. Examples in Georgia and Ukraine demonstrate that democratic impulses still hold electoral sway in independent countries of the former USSR. Elections in these countries still remain one of the most important sources of information for outside scholars and analysts to gauge both evolving voter sentiment and tectonic electoral shifts as ruling parties and opposition groups put out reams of campaign materials to influence voters.

East View’s Social Movements, Elections and Ephemera series brings to the researcher an unprecedented collection of fleeting election material from countries of the former Soviet Union, preserved for easy digital access. Representing a vast repository of primary source material from both presidential and parliamentary elections, this series embodies a unique “first stop” for policy analysts and observers of electoral politics in the countries of the CIS. Central to this series is the unique election ephemera including party programs, propaganda materials, special newspaper editions, handbills, sticks, and literature produced by all political parties or candidates.

Examples of typical materials available by country and type of election (presidential or parliamentary) include:

  • Candidate biographies and financial disclosures
  • Campaign statements, stickers and advertisements
  • Complaints of fraud and election irregularities
  • Election programs and political party charters
  • Photographs from campaign events
  • Political posters and brochures
  • Precinct address lists and protocols
  • Voter bulletins, handouts and leaflets

The collection of these materials is done in primarily two ways:

  • East View researchers on the ground (sometimes in adverse political circumstances such as during the Euromaidan protests), systematically canvass prime locations (government offices, party headquarters, mass protests) to collect all physical materials—including handouts, posters, pamphlets, and special election issues of newspapers. Occasionally our staff may even photograph mass demonstrations or other important events to add important context to the materials collected.
  • Back at headquarters, East View staff scours through the Internet looking for relevant websites, social media accounts, etc. downloading relevant material (statistical and financial data, official documents and pronouncements that are for various reasons available only online).

After the collection of all the relevant materials, our staff analyzes and classifies what is central for the collection from what is tangential and lacks intrinsic research value. All significant materials are then scanned, “OCRd,” and converted into an archivable PDF with searchable metadata created for every item, including the date of the creation of the item (where available), the date and the location of when and where said item was obtained by East View, a brief descriptor of the item, the type of the item (poster, brochure, booklet etc.), as well as its size and the amount of pages the item contains. After the collection is uploaded into East View’s Universal Database platform, it is indexed to make the database searchable by type and by source. Finally, each item is assigned a permanent URL for citation purposes.

Social Movements, Elections and Ephemera Collections

Available Collections

Abkhazia
  • Parliamentary Election, 2017
Armenia
  • Velvet Revolution, 2018
  • Parliamentary Election, 2017
  • Presidential Election, 2013
  • Parliamentary Election, 2012
Azerbaijan
  • Presidential Election, 2018
Belarus
  • Parliamentary Election, 2016
  • Presidential Election, 2015
  • Parliamentary Election, 2012
  • Presidential Election, 2010
Georgia
  • Parliamentary Election, 2016
  • Presidential Election, 2013
  • Parliamentary Election, 2012
Kyrgyzstan
  • Presidential Election, 2017
  • Parliamentary Election, 2015
Russia
  • Presidential Election, 2018
  • State Duma Election, 2016
  • Presidential Election, 2012
  • State Duma Election, 2011
  • Presidential Election, 2008
  • State Duma Election, 2007
  • State Duma Election, 1999
South Ossetia
  • Presidential Election, 2012
Tajikistan
  • Parliamentary Election, 2015
Ukraine
  • Presidential Election, 2014
  • Parliamentary Election, 2014
  • Euromaidan Protests, 2013-2014
  • Parliamentary Election, 2012

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