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Social History Source Collections

The present collection consists of 72 inventories.
The Socialist Revolutionary Party I
Inventory of the archives of the Partija Socialistov-Revoljucionerov, (1834-) 1870-1934

With this publication IDC Publishers wants to draw your attention to a most interesting collection that has been microfilmed by the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam (IISH). If you want us to keep you informed please contact IDC Publishers and additional information will be sent to you as soon as possible.

Partija Socialistov-Revoljucionerov
The Partija Socialistov-Revoljucionerov (PSR) was formed as the result of the unification of various groups of neo-populist tendency which had been formed in the 1890s in Russia and in emigration. In its early years it was a small, heterogeneous party, with an émigré leadership and underground membership in Russia. After “Bloody Sunday” it expanded into a mass movement. It was only then that its first congress took place, technically the founding congress. This congress discussed the draft organizational rules and approved of them as provisional rules.
The highest organ was the All Party Congress, to be convened by the Central Committee or the Party Council. Between congresses the Party Council was the highest organ. The Central Committee (CC) was elected by the Party Congress and augmented by co-option. Its composition fluctuated as a result of arrests. The Combat Organization functioned within the Party as a semi-autonomous body. Its terrorist activities were directed against representatives of state power. In November/December 1906 an Organizational Bureau was set up to coordinate the CC activities and to improve communication between party leaders and local organizations. Some special commissions of the CC were: the Military Bureau (for agitation and propaganda work among soldiers and sailors), the Commission for Peasants, and the Transport Committee (for the distribution of literature). Russia was split up into thirteen regional associations. The Organization Abroad constituted the fourteenth region. It was founded in 1903 and until 1905, with the party operating underground, it acted de facto as the most important party body. After 1922 it was the only body left.

The archive
The archive consists of three groups of documents: The populist legacy (including the Fonds Lavrov), the party archive up to 1917, and the party archive after 1917. The second group is by far the biggest, and the years 1905-1907 by far the richest. The archive is incomplete. Papers from other provenance were added to the collection (inv.nrs. 1045-1102), as for example in the case of an owner, who went back to Russia illegally and left them with the party. Some documents were damaged and the archive was disorganized due to the constant moving. In the late sixties Boris Sapir listed the notices he found on the envelopes and other packing materials. In 1983 Marc Jansen removed the documents from after 1917 and described them. For practical reasons they were preserved as a separate group. His list constitutes a part of this inventory in modified form.
Among the documents discovered was a classification scheme, drafted by S.N. Sletov in 1909 (in 598). There were also lists and draft lists, of which the numbers were found to match the numbers on documents, scattered all over the collection. It was decided to reunite lists and documents, wherever useful, as for instance in inv.nrs. 303-513. By using their own (draft) lists may explain why e.g. in inv.nrs. 706-711 the Second State Duma figures before the First one.
An important part of the collection is the group of documents from the regional and local committees in Russia (inv.nrs. 303-513.). They are (handwritten and processed) leaflets, resolutions, financial reports, reports on literature, notes, letters, rules, draft rules, reports of activities, circular letters, declarations, a single issue of a paper or a pamphlet, and in a much lesser degree: minutes of meetings, questionnaires, programmes. The last three types of documents are mentioned explicitly. The bulk of this part, however, is made up of leaflets.
Classifying the letters was a difficult, if not impossible, job. Many are without sender, without date, many without addresses. Some are in code. More often they were obviously meant for “Paris”, where Znamja Truda (1907-1914) and the Transport Committee used post office boxes. But then, were they meant for the Central Committee, for Znamja Truda, for the Transport Committee, or for the three of them? Some letters did not give us any clue how to classify them. They are to be found in inv.nrs. 752-770. The same was true of quite a few manuscripts. They are to be found in inv.nrs. 771-839.
Two concordances are appended to the inventory. The first one establishes the relationship between the numbers Boris Sapir used and the present numbers. The second one does the same between the numbers Marc Jansen used and the present numbers. In previous years the archives of the PSR were referred to as narodni' eskoe dvi' enie. In the inventory the international transcription has been used. Originally the collection contained a larger amount of printed documents, but they have been incorporated into the IISH library. A small amount of photographs are now in the IISH Audiovisual Department. The term "cover" is used in the inventory to refer to groupings of 2-13 items, and the term "folder" for groups of more than 13 items. The present metrage (23.25 meters) differs from the one given in the "Guide to the International Archives and Collections"(1989). This is due to packing the documents in boxes rather than in the portfolios used previously.

There are no restrictions to consultation of the archive.

Hermien van Veen, Amsterdam
The Bulgarian Communist Party during the Second World War and the Early Post-War Years
'Nationalism from the Left' analyses the case of the BCP as a Marxist institution which increasingly adopted and adapted nationalism; it contributes to the examination of the relatively underresearched field of communist national propaganda, as only in the last decade, have researchers become interested in this topic. It explains the reasons for this and provides evidence of the Party’s nationalism across a number of spheres of political life: domestic and foreign policy, school text books, historiography, festivities and symbols. Thus, the Marxist nationalist discourse of the BCP was all-encompassing. In contrast to many works on national communist parties, 'Nationalism from the Left' identifies many international parallels and presents an historical introduction to the reconciliation of Marxism and nationalism.
What Is to Be Done? in Context
Lenin’s What is to Be Done? (1902) has long been seen as the founding document of a 'party of a new type'. For some, it provided a model of ‘vanguard party’ that was the essence of Bolshevism, for others it manifested Lenin’s élitist and manipulatory attitude towards the workers.
This substantial new commentary, based on contemporary Russian- and German-language sources, provides hitherto unavailable contextual information that undermines these views and shows how Lenin's argument rests squarely on an optimistic confidence in the workers' revolutionary inclinations and on his admiration of German Social Democracy in particular. Lenin's outlook cannot be understood, Lih claims here, outside the context of international Social Democracy, the disputes within Russian Social Democracy and the institutions of the revolutionary underground.
The new translation focuses attention on hard-to-translate key terms. This study raises new and unsettling questions about the legacy of Marx, Bolshevism as a historical force, and the course of Soviet history, but, most of all, it will revolutionise the conventional interpretations of Lenin.
Gender Politics and Folklore Performance in Serbia
Ana Hofman examines the negotiation of the gender performances in Serbian rural areas as a result of the socialist gender policy and creation of the new “femininity” in the public sphere. She focuses on the stage performances of female amateur groups at the Village Gatherings, state-sponsored events held from the 1970s through the mid-1990s in the southeastern Serbian region of Niško Polje. Offering a multifaceted picture of the personal experiences of the socialist ideology of gender equality, Staging Socialist Femininity investigates the complex relationships between personal, interpersonal and political levels in socialism. By showing the interplay between ideology, representational and social practices in the realm of musical performance, it challenges the strong division in scholarly narratives between ideology and practice in socialist societies.
In: After the Soviet Empire
Studies on the Christian Interpretation of pre-Christian Cults and Beliefs in the Middle Ages
In this volume, Stanisław Rosik focuses on the meaning and significance of Old Slavic religion as presented in three German chronicles (the works of Thietmar of Merseburg, Adam of Bremen, Helmold of Bosau) written during the time of the Christianization of the Western Slavs. The source analyses show the ways the chroniclers understood, explained and represented pre-Christian beliefs and cults, which were interpreted as elements of a foreign, “barbarian”, culture and were evaluated from the perspective of Church doctrine. In this study, individual features of the three authors are discussed– including the issue of the credibility of their information on Old Slavic religion– and broader conclusions on medieval thought are also presented.
Throughout most of Russian history, two views of who the Russians are have dominated the minds of Russian intellectuals. Westerners assumed that Russia was part of the West, whilst Slavophiles saw Russia as part of a Slavic civilization. At present, it is Eurasianism that has emerged as the paradigm that has made attempts to place Russia in a broad civilizational context and it has recently become the only viable doctrine that is able to provide the very ideological justification for Russia’s existence as a multiethnic state. Eurasians assert that Russia is a civilization in its own right, a unique blend of Slavic and non-Slavic, mostly Turkic, people.
While it is one of the important ideological trends in present-day Russia, Eurasianism, with its origins among Russian emigrants in the 1920s, has a long history. Placing Eurasianism in a broad context, this book covers the origins of Eurasianism, dwells on Eurasianism’s major philosophical paradigms, and places Eurasianism in the context of the development of Polish and Turkish thought. The final part deals with the modern modification of Eurasianism. The book is of great relevance to those who are interested in Russian/European and Asian history area studies.
Experiences of a Generation that Lived During the Socialist Era
In Symbolic Traces of Communist Legacy in Post-socialist Hungary, Lisa Pope Fischer shows how personal practices symbolically refurbish elements from the Communist era to fit present-day challenges. A generation who lived through the socialist period adapt to post-socialist Hungary in a global context. Life histories weave together case studies of gift giving, procurement strategies, harvest ritual, healthcare, and socialist kitsch to illustrate turns towards mysticism, neo-traditionalism, nostalgia, nationalism, and shifts in time-place. People’s unrequited past longing for future possibilities of a Western society facilitate desires for a lost way of life. Not only does this work gain understanding of an aging population’s life experiences and the politics of everyday practices, but also social change in a modern global world.