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  • Soviet Archives

    Lads, what's going on?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/bo...html?ref=books
    Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
    (J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

  • #2
    It's sad that's what. Still I can't think of any historian who has unfettered access to archives especially for recent events anywhere. Amvas has posted about difficulties with the archives in Russia.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by General Staff View Post
      As I have said many times military archives in Russia is an awful places!
      A researcher never can know what is secret, and what is not secret.
      Moreover, three exists materials, which are not secret and you can read them, but which are not allowed to be copied. Also you can't make colored copies of documents (for example maps) and they allow you only to make b/w
      copies. You can imagine the quality of such a materials taking into consideration their age, conditions (many maps stayed under snow and rains during the war) and pencil marks on them... Of course any photocopying is equal to spy activity in archive...

      That's why those materials I obtain from TsAMO are so expensive!!!

      regards
      Alex
      If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

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      • #4
        Originally posted by amvas View Post
        A researcher never can know what is secret, and what is not secret.
        Thanks Alex. It was actually on your site that I saw that Soviet copyright law now prohibits digital copies of sources published post-1938. Forgive my cynicism but that's rather a convenient date, isn't it?

        I'm coming to the conclusion that folks who want archival access to Totalitarian Regime sources would do best to focus on Nazi Germany, the Stasi records of the DDR, and whatever can be got from North Korea once it folds, as it surely eventually will. Then extrapolate. Russia seems to be becoming a closed shop.

        As an afterthought, possibly Zimbabwe. How they've managed to reverse at 1000mph into their own Totalitarian garage is possibly a unique case study all to itself, though in its extremes it will probably shed important light on the phenomenon.
        Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
        (J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

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        • #5
          You can try Ukraine, heh, they're especially helpful with NKVD archival documents.
          "This isn't Paris, you will not get through here with a Marching Parade!" Defenders of Stalingrad
          "Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out... and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel.... And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for "the universal brotherhood of man" - with his mouth". Mark Twain
          "It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. Voltaire

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          • #6
            Ukraine would have a lot of the local NKVD files, but it is incomplete, because Moscow regularly drew files from their local operations. Usually they would draw the more important and thus more interesting files.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by General Staff View Post
              Thanks Alex. It was actually on your site that I saw that Soviet copyright law now prohibits digital copies of sources published post-1938. Forgive my cynicism but that's rather a convenient date, isn't it?
              That's interesting. IIRC, the Soviet Union did not join the International Copyright Convention until 1977 or 1978.
              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by pp(est) View Post
                Ukraine would have a lot of the local NKVD files, but it is incomplete, because Moscow regularly drew files from their local operations. Usually they would draw the more important and thus more interesting files.
                I think all significant NKVD records are stored in FSB archive. Maybe some local archives are availalbe, but they can't say too much
                If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                  That's interesting. IIRC, the Soviet Union did not join the International Copyright Convention until 1977 or 1978.
                  Never mind when it joined. Now the situation is such, that I had been refused to make any digital copies in our State Library of the sources younger than 1938 year publication. and this is sad, because many battle schemes are colored and b/w xerox copies are useless! What a dumbs invented that law!!! Such a politics prevents from making qualitative copies and moreover, authors never will receive any payments for copying of their works! How can I ask for permission for copying of a book published by some Kazakhstan publishing house in 1975 year, for example, when this publishing house can be dead for 20 years as well as the author of the book? Or for digital copying of one page I need to make a research to find his ancestors for getting permission and paying copyright fees? That promises to be a very funny story!!!!

                  Yesterday I had a talk with my friend, who works in TsAMO archive. He promised to me further difficulties and restrictions with research there...

                  regards
                  Alex
                  If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by General Staff View Post
                    Thanks Alex. It was actually on your site that I saw that Soviet copyright law now prohibits digital copies of sources published post-1938. Forgive my cynicism but that's rather a convenient date, isn't it?
                    Agree, but next year it'll be 1939 year... 70 years limit is applied...

                    I'm coming to the conclusion that folks who want archival access to Totalitarian Regime sources would do best to focus on Nazi Germany, the Stasi records of the DDR, and whatever can be got from North Korea once it folds, as it surely eventually will. Then extrapolate. Russia seems to be becoming a closed shop.
                    LOL, captured German records in Russia archives are even more closed than the Russian ones
                    While all the world is using German records from American and German archives, or folks consider them to be among at least in top-limited access if they can't make them top-secret...
                    The main instrument to limit access is even not to close documents themselves. They simply limits access to funds where they are stored.

                    As an afterthought, possibly Zimbabwe. How they've managed to reverse at 1000mph into their own Totalitarian garage is possibly a unique case study all to itself, though in its extremes it will probably shed important light on the phenomenon.
                    As Russians says - Russia is a country with unpredictable past...

                    Regards
                    Alex
                    If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Amvas, apparently here we have most of the NKVD dossiers of the persons of interest of the 40s and 50s. This means we have quite a bit of information from NKVD side on the repressed people. However the files are not complete as some were pulled by Moscow, also information on what happened to the people once they were removed from here is lacking. That information should be in some archive in Moscow. I'd assume Ukraine would have more extensive files given its size and likelihood that more things were decided locally.

                      Also allowing bw copies and not colour copies is certainly nothing to do with copyright. Besides copyright applies to literary, scientific and art works not public documents. The map might be copyright of the author, but if you're allowed to make bw copies then that already means they are in breach of the copyright. Usually things like that - studying archive information for research - are also covered under fair use doctrine.

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