Sources / Archival Sources

Digital Source Collections (Eastern and Southeastern Europe in general)

DiFMOE digitizes historical printed works from multi-ethnic cultural landscapes of Eastern Europe, especially those with (formerly) larger German or German-speaking parts of the population, and makes them available via the internet.

Digital Forum Central and Eastern Europe (DiFMOE)

Online source editions of the Herder Institute with texts (documents) and maps, pictures, statistics (materials) on the history of East Central Europe. It is a standardised and structured web offer for lecturers, students and other interested parties and publishes sources that have been difficult to access up to now.

Documents and Materials relating to East Central Europe

Directory of digital sources on European history, which also includes a large number of entries on Eastern European countries.

EuroDocs: Online Sources for European History

"The Hungarian Reformation online" contains 98 titles on the Reformation in Hungary, which are hardly widespread in Germany, and comprises about 35,000 pages. The source collection documents the diverse Reformation currents in early modern Hungary from the 1540s to the middle of the 17th century. The original writings shed light on a facet of the Reformation Age that has been little researched to date and offer an invaluable resource for historians interested in the Lutheran Reformation, the development of international Calvinism, the Catholic Reformation and the emergence of anti-Trinitarianism. (in Germany free access through national licence)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
The Hungarian Reformation Online

The database contains news reports, television and radio transcripts from the Foreign Broadcast Information Service on legal and illegal immigration and refugees in the period 1941-1996, and is of great importance for East and Southeast European studies as it provides material on the following topics:

  • 1944-1996 Refugees from the Baltic States
  • 1945-1952 Displaced People after World War II
  • 1946-1952 Jews after World War II
  • 1945-1952 Resettlement and Repatriation after World War II
  • 1950-1996 Gypsies
  • 1956-1957 Refugees after the Hungarian Revolution
  • 1970-1996 Soviet Jews
  • 1990-1996 Refugees from the Former Yugoslavia

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Immigrations, Migrations and Refugees : Global Perspectives, 1941-1996

The database contains a collection of sources as well as secondary literature on the history, culture and literature of Ukraine and, to a lesser extent, its neighboring states.

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Izbornyk 

Online edition of the Monthly reports published by the Eastern Office of the SPD from 1956 to 1965.

Monthly reports on developments in Poland

The New York Public Library's Slavic and Baltic Collections include thematically selected photos, images and digitized books.

New York Public Library Digital Gallery: Slavic and Baltic Collections

The Online Primary Sources database aims to provide researchers and students with sources from Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Eastern and Central Europe put online in recent years thanks to intensive library digitization policies in these zones as well as in the West. The database is curated by the Centre for Russian, Caucasian and Central European Studies (CERCEC), in Paris (France).

Online Primary Sources for Russian, Caucasian, Central Asian, Eastern & Central Europe Studies

The portal provides digitalized sources on the history of organized workers and employees in the Lower Silesian metropolis from the period before 1933.

Wroclaw Labour Movement Portal

The database provides access to digitized (not full-text searchable) records of the following events in Ukraine: a) parliamentary elections 2012, b) Maidan protests 2013/14, c) presidential elections 2014, d) parliamentary elections 2014. You can access leaflets, flyers, brochures, websites and other grey literature on the above events.

Ukraine Parliamentary Election, 2012
Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)

Euromaidan Protests in Ukraine, 2013-2014
Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)

Ukraine Parliamentary Election, 2014
Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)

Ukraine Presidential Election, 2014
Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)

Russian and Soviet Newspapers

The Russian newspaper "Gudok", published continuously since 1917, is one of the oldest and leading daily newspapers in Russia. In addition to industry news about the railway industry, the paper deals with topics from the fields of culture and politics as well as social issues. A mixture of biting social commentary and satire is particularly characteristic. (FID license)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Gudok Digital Archive

The volumes 1917 to 1991 of the nationally published Russian daily newspaper Izvestiia online readable and searchable. (in Germany free access through national licence)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Izvestiia Digital Archive

Digital archive of one of the oldest Russian newspapers with a focus on literary topics. The archive contains approximately 53,500 pages of articles from 1929 to 2011 and is readable and searchable online. (in Germany free access through national license)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Literaturnaia Gazeta Digital Archive

In two sub-collections, "Mass Media in Russia Online" provides digital copies of a selection of historical Russian, then widely distributed cheap daily newspapers (kopejki), which were aimed at broad urban strata of the population. The collections are part of the "Primary Sources for Slavic Studies". (in Germany free access through national licence)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Mass Media in Russia Online (Parts 1 and 2)

Digital Archive of the oldest English-language newspapers in the Soviet Union and Russia "Moscow Daily News" (1932-1938) und "Moscow News" (1930-2014)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Moscow News Digital Archive

In the database you will find the digitized editions of "Russkoe Slovo" with the volumes 1917 to 1920 and of "Novoe Russkoe Slovo" with the volumes 1925 to 2009.

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Novoe Russkoe Slovo Digital Archive

The database comprises the Russian-language daily newspaper Pravda, digitized in full text, from the beginning of publication in 1912 to 1913 and from 1918 to the end of 2009. (in Germany free access through national license)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Pravda Digital Archive

The source collection includes some of the most interesting examples of early 20th century anarchist periodicals that could only be published for a short time in Russia (mostly 1917-1918). It is part of the "Primary Sources for Slavic Studies". (in Germany free access through national license)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Russian Anarchist Periodicals of the Early 20th Century Online

The digital archive of "Voennaja mysl'" - the most important military-theoretical journal in the Soviet Union and Russia - contains more than 1,087 issues and includes a total of over 13,000 articles, available as searchable and downloadable PDF files.

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Voennaia Mysl' Digital Archive

Sources on Russian and Soviet History

Web directory of digital source collections on the Russian revolutionary year 1917, compiled by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES).

1917: Digital Resources on the Russian Revolution

Everyday life, landscape, localities as well as political events are depicted in pictures from magazines, making the source collection a treasure trove of e.g. lost customs and buildings. Part of the "Primary Sources for Slavic Studies". (in Germany free access through national license)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Imperial Russia's Illustrated Press Online

Extensive digital source collection on Russian history from the Faculty of History of Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Istoričeskie istočniki

The digital collection includes sources, certificates, records, documents and materials on the famine in Ukraine 1932-1933.

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Golodomor of 1932-1933, Kharkiv oblast: Evidences, documents

An extensive collection of digitized museum holdings on Russian and Soviet contemporary history.

Museum of Contemporary History of Russia | Digital Museum

It brings together materials by and about Russian Muslims from a very eventful, but little researched period of their history (1861-1918). Part of the "Primary Sources for Slavic Studies". (in Germany free access through national licence)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Muslims in Russia Online

This collection contains a variety of intelligence documents on Russia's expansion in Asia. Part of the "Primary Sources for Slavic Studies". (in Germany free access through national licence)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Russian Military Intelligence on Asia: Archive series, 1651-1917

The majority of the secret printed material in the source collection comprises field reports from travellers to remote and little known areas of Asia. Most of them were Russian army officers with training in geography and related disciplines. Part of the "Primary Sources for Slavic Studies". (in Germany free access through national licence)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Russian Military Intelligence on Asia Online Secret Prints, 1883-1914

The four sub-collections contain rare primary sources on the history of Turkey, Russia, the Middle East and Western Europe. The digitized documents allow not only a detailed insight into the military ups and downs of Russian-Ottoman relations, but also into the impact of these on the European public opinion. Part of the "Primary Sources for Slavic Studies". (in Germany free access through national licence)

Russian-Ottoman Relations Online, Part 1: The Origins 1600-1800
Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)

Russian-Ottoman Relations Online, Part 2: Shifts in the Balance of Power, 1800-1853
Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)

Russian-Ottoman Relations Online, Part 3: The Crimean War, 1853-1856
Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)

Russian-Ottoman Relations Online, Part 4: The End of the Empires, 1857-1914
Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)

The full-text archive comprises in digitalized form, among other things, the approximately 28,000 documents on Stalin's life and activities at the places of power in the Soviet Union archived in "Fond 558" of the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History (RGASPI) in Moscow.

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
The Stalin Digital Archive

Cold War and East-West Conflict

The database contains reports, publications, and news broadcasts from communist countries collected by the U. S. Foreign Broadcast Information Service from 1945 to 1991. The primary sources refer to the following facets of the Cold War: 

  • "The Bomb" and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Cold War Turning Points
  • Isms, Slogans and Political Philosophies
  • Organizations
  • Programs and Strategies
  • Proxy Wars
  • Society, Culture, Science
  • Soviet/Russian Leaders
  • U. S. Presidents
  • Other East Block Leaders 
  • Other Western Leaders

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS) 
The Cold War: Global Perspectives on East-West Tensions, 1945-1991

The database provides full text access to Cold War archives. It contains a total of 2,360 documents from US government circles on US espionage activities concerning the USSR during the "Cold War". (FID license)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Cold War Intelligence

It is the most extensive collection of essential primary documents on US foreign and military policy since 1945 and is of interest for the history of the Cold War, among other things. The following collections are included: The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962, The Soviet Estimate: U.S. Analysis of the Soviet Union, 1947-1991 (Soviet Estimate). (in Germany free access through national license)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Digital National Security Archive

Founded in 1941, the FBIS's mission was to monitor, record, transcribe and translate from up to 70 languages intercepted broadcasts of foreign governments, official news media and secret broadcasts in occupied territories on all continents. The information service was later subdivided into the War Department and, from 1947, the foreign intelligence service CIA. The database is important for East and Southeast European studies, as it contains US Intelligence reports on Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and Central Asia. 

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports 1941-1996

The source collection contains over 30,000 digitized pages of original documents from the reign of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan (1957-1963) and thus represents an important source base for international relations and conflicts during this phase of the Cold War. (in Germany free access through national licence)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Macmillan Cabinet Papers

The film collection "Socialism on Film" documents the communist world from the Russian Revolution until the 1980s. This unique collection of documentary films, features and newsreels reveals all aspects of life behind the Iron Curtain, as seen by filmmakers from the USSR, Vietnam, Cuba, China, East Germany, Eastern Europe and more.The film material was versioned into English language and completely transcribed. The transcripts are available as downloadable PDF files.

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
Socialism on Film: The Cold War and International Propaganda

The service provides access to documents released by US government agencies. It is an authoritative source on post-World War II American domestic and foreign policy issues, including Cold War history. (in Germany free access through national license)

Details in the Database Information System (DBIS)
U.S. Declassified Documents Online

Extensive collection of digitized sources on the history of international relations with a focus on the Cold War, which means that the portal also contains a large number of documents from and about Russia, East and Southeast Europe.

Wilson Center: Digital Archive. International History Declassified

Index of Microforms on History at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

Verzeichnis der Mikroformen zur Geschichte in der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek (VMG-BSB)

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (BSB) holds one of the largest and thematically broadest collections of microfilmed and otherwise unpublished archival documents worldwide. Among them are also archival documents which are not (no longer) accessible to the public in their countries of origin for political reasons. Especially with regard to the history of the Soviet Union, Russia and Ukraine, the collection can be considered outstanding.

In order to be able to offer you a quicker and more convenient way of finding the available archive material, the finding aids are gradually being digitised, processed with text recognition and made available in open access via the subject repository OstDok. In addition, the Specialised Information Service for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies is working on the modernisation of the index itself.

At the present time, all microforms can be searched in both the VMG-BSB and the BSB catalogue OPACplus and ordered via the latter. Information on the structure and use of the VMG-BSB can be found in a detailed introduction.

    The following options are available for working with the microforms:

    • modern microfilm/microfiche readers with the possibility of scanning for use on site;
    • interlibrary loan to the reading room of your home library.

    Bayerische Staatsbibliothek | OPACplus
    Bayerische Staatsbibliothek | Verzeichnis der Mikroformen zur Geschichte in der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek
    Keyword index to the Verzeichnis der Mikroformen zur Geschichte in der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek

    The following examples give an impression of the range of the material:

    • Archives of the Soviet Communist Party and Soviet State: Archival documents from the Russian archives RGANI, RGASPI and GARF: approx. 11,500 film rolls
    • German Occupation of Kiev in 1941-1943. Documents of the Nazi-Controlled City Administration: Fund R-2356 in the State Archive of the Kiev Oblast' (GAKO): 150 film rolls
    • Cultural Policies and Plunder of the Third Reich in Occupied Europe: Files of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg in Kiev: Fund 3676 in the Central State Archives of the Supreme Power Organs and Government of Ukraine, opisi 1, 2, 4, 5 (Eastern territories); fund 3674, opis' 1 (Belgium): 45 film rolls
    • Foreign Office Files: United States of America. Series Three: The Cold War. Part 2: The Prague Spring and Soviet Intervention in Czechoslovakia, 1967-1968 – Documents from the National Archives in Great Britain: 21 film rolls
    • The Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878: Fund 846 in the Russian Military Historical State Archive (RGVIA): 120 film rolls
    • Leaflets of Anti-Bolsheviks Governments. The White Movement, 1917-1920: approx. 2500 leaflets of the "white" anti-Bolshevik forces mainly in the Volga region, Ural, Siberia and Northern Russia from the holdings of the National Library of Russia: 192 microfiches

    More digital source collections

    Further digital source collections can be researched via the Database Information System (DBIS) and in OstNet, our directory for Internet resources.

    Database Information System (DBIS)

    OstNet

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