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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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Technical Information

About

The technical infrastructure for the Project for the Study of Dissidence and Samizdat is supported by the University of Toronto Libraries Information Technology Services department. The Project's technical components can be separated into 4 areas:

1. Database of Soviet Samizdat Periodicals

The Database was launched in 2011 and created using Drupal, an open source content management platform. Drupal's MySQL database stores each periodical's metadata record. These metadata records are indexed and made searchable through Solr.

2. Electronic Editions of Selected Samizdat Journals

The Electronic Editions of selected samizdat journals site was launched in 2015 and created using Islandora, an open source digital asset management platform. The Islandora stack is comprised of Drupal for front-end presentation, Fedora for back-end digital asset management, and Solr for indexing and searching. Digitized images of the journals were ingested into the site, along with metadata modeled using the MODS metadata schema.

3. Illustrated Timelines of Dissident Movements

The Illustrated Timelines were created using timeline.js and embedded onto the site’s Drupal pages.

4. Interviews with Activists

The Interviews were created using Drupal pages.