In partnership with the University of California at Berkeley, PraXess Associates offers its first collection of primary sources in Slavic Studies.
Comprised of more than 1000 newspaper titles from around the Russian Federation (and to a limited extent from Belarus and Ukraine), the period of coverage is roughly from 1985 to 2000 or, in other words, the regimes of Mikhail Gorbachev (1985-1991), the last General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and Boris Yeltsin (1991-1999), the first President of the Russian Federation following the dissolution of the USSR.
Against the backdrop of perestroika and glasnost, the Russian-language press during the Soviet period exploded as never before, shattering into almost every kind of editorial viewpoint available. Berkeley has identified at least 40 editorial “philosophies” and sorted the titles into the following groups:
Agrarian, Agriculture, Anarchist, Anti-fascist, Anti-Semite, Business, Communist, Cossack, Democratic, Ecology, Economy, Education, Environmental, Fascist, General News, Government, Health, Human Rights, Humor, Labor, Law, Leninist, Literary, Maoist, Marxist, Military, Minorities, Monarchist, Nationalist, Pacifist, Paranormal, Political, Press, Pro-Arab, Religion, Social Issues, Stalinist, Women, Youth.
It should be noted that this is a separate collection from the Russian Right-Wing Extremist Press, also taken in part from Berkeley, microfilmed by SEEMP (Slavic and East European Microfilming Project) under the auspices of the Center for Research Libraries.
The quality of paper on which these newspapers and journals are published runs the gamut from extremely poor, with just barely visible text, to crisply laser-printed sheets.
Many of them are ephemeral, having published only a few issues, before disappearing forever. Ironically, considering the opportunities afforded by glasnost to finally speak one’s mind, but perhaps not surprising given the 70 years of Soviet rule and virtually no other models to follow, close to 50% of the titles in this collection fall into the Communist philosophy.
The newspapers were originally collected by employees from the State Public Historical Library at newspaper kiosks around Moscow before being sent to Berkeley as part of an exchange program. In future years, the output of these independent publications will prove to be a valuable document of this incredible period in late 20th century history.
Finding Aid To Late Soviet Press (996KB)