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Project for the Study of Dissidence and Samizdat

By Ann Komaromi

The Electronic Archive “Project for the Study of Dissidence and Samizdat” (PSDS) includes the database of Soviet samizdat periodicals, electronic editions of selected samizdat journals, illustrated timelines of dissident movements, and interviews with activists. The Project aims to make rare materials more widely available and to provoke questions about the trajectories of groups and individuals within the varied field of Soviet dissidence and nonconformist culture.

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About the "Project for the Study of Dissidence and Samizdat"

SUGGESTED CITATION: Project for the Study of Dissidence and Samizdat, ed. Ann Komaromi, Toronto: University of Toronto Libraries, 2015, samizdatcollections.library.utoronto.ca

The Electronic Archive “Project for the Study of Dissidence and Samizdat” (PSDS), launched in 2015, includes the Database of Soviet Samizdat Periodicals, Electronic Editions of selected Samizdat Journals, Illustrated Timelines of Dissident Movements, and Interviews with Activists. The Electronic Archive builds on the research that went into the Database of Soviet Samizdat Periodicals. It represents a number of collaborations with institutions and scholars in the field, and features an editorial board for peer review. The Project aims to make rare materials more widely available and to provoke questions about the trajectories of groups and individuals within the varied field of Soviet dissidence and nonconformist culture.

The “Project for the Study of Dissidence and Samizdat” is designed to provide an attractive introduction to the topic for students and the general public, and to be a resource and platform for scholars working on these topics. The components realized to date represent the outcome of partnerships with the Research Center for East European Studies at Bremen University (Electronic Editions of Samizdat Journals), International “Memorial” Society (Database, Timeline of Rights Activism, Interviews with Activists), the Open Society Archive (Database), and the research project of Josephine Zitzewitz at Oxford University (Electronic Edition of “37”). They represent also cooperation with Israeli scholars (Jewish Movement Timeline, Interviews with Activists), collaboration with Ilja Kukuj of the University of Munich (Electronic Edition of “Transponans”), and a joint effort with Israeli filmmaker Laura Bialis (Interviews with Activists). One of the goals of the Project is to help increase awareness of the brick-and-mortar archives and collections on which the electronic archive draws. Another goal is to provide a place for publishing materials and scholarship that may be well suited to this electronic format.

The Project for the Study of Dissidence and Samizdat adopts the principle of peer-review for digital work used for the website “Nines,” devoted to nineteenth-century scholarship. While PSDS exists on a smaller scale, it reflects the same commitment to rigorous scholarship in digital scholarly resources. Therefore, the Electronic Archive features an editorial board of authoritative specialists who possess the expertise to critique components already developed or to be undertaken in the future.

The Project for the Study of Dissidence and Samizdat was made possible by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, by a grant from Victoria University in the University of Toronto, with the support of Information Technology Services at the University of Toronto Libraries, and with additional support from a John Fell Grant and an Oxford University Grant. Special thanks go to Digital Initiatives Librarian Kelli Babcock and to the UTL ITS department , as well as to Research Assistants including Roman Tashlitskyy, Anastassia Kostrioukova, Tim Klahn, Anna Chukur, Victoria Lyasota, Brett Winestock, Maggie Gruszczynska and Irina Sadovina. All content developed for the Project for the Study of Dissidence and Samizdat for which rights are not otherwise specified is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Please see Terms of Use for further details. 

-- Ann Komaromi, November 2015