East View proudly presents a landmark collection for scholarly research: the Stalin Digital Archive (SDA). The result of years of collaboration between Yale University Press and the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI), SDA provides access to materials from Stalin’s personal archive and monographs on the history of Soviet and international communism. This web-based archive of primary and secondary sources presents documents that have previously only been available at the RGASPI archive in Russia. Digital versions of the acclaimed Yale University Press Annals of Communism book series supplement the RGASPI collection with scholarly commentary on selected documents concerning the history of Soviet and international communism from Russian state and party archives spanning the 75-year history of the USSR. In addition, the SDA interface supports collaboration between scholars and students through discussion forums associated with particular research interests.
Of the entire Stalin Archive at RGASPI (Fond 558), consisting of approximately 40,000 documents, Yale University Press has chosen to digitize documents pertinent to Stalin’s personal biography, his work in government and his conduct of foreign affairs.
The total size of the electronic archive is approximately 28,000 documents (380,000 pages) including:
The complete wartime correspondence between Stalin and President Franklin Roosevelt is included in this archive, as are Stalin’s letters to and from intellectuals in America, England, France, Germany and Italy.
The collection also contains significant new material relating to many aspects of the dictator’s political life deserving further study:
The SDA also includes digital versions of the acclaimed Yale University Press Annals of Communism (AOC) book series. These twenty-five volumes include translations of several hundred primary source documents, many of which will be digitized and made part of the SDA’s materials. This will allow for linking between the translations and images, facilitating side-by-side comparison of the English and Russian texts and the ability to more fully explore the material conditions of documents reproduced in the AOC series.
The content of the SDA is richly indexed, and made accessible like never before through detailed indexing and authority files. SDA tags allow easy discovery not only of persons, but specific historic events, political bodies, committees, topics and more. Metadata can be searched in Russian, and the authority file of persons can be searched in English or Russian. Additionally, users can delimit searches by specific dates, and the convenient Timeline feature also permits filtering of content to fit specific periods of Soviet and world history.
Users are able to print, store and share content, and individual users can assign their own metatags to content and preserve them to aid in ongoing research. From basic keyword searches to advanced filters, users have the tools necessary to discover and identify content relevant to their interests. Additionally, curated selections from SDA’s renowned Editorial Board and theme-based browse functions introduce the archive to new users who might be unfamiliar with the collections. The “My SDA” area allows logged-in users to manage their research easily and efficiently with tools to export citations and save searches, annotations, tags, documents and more.
Community interest focused areas encourage users to discuss common topics of research in dedicated forums. Users can publicly annotate and tag documents to improve discoverability of certain material and to help others gain a greater understanding of the documents within the archive.