Licensing Services

The overview, which is constantly updated, includes a large number of licensed offers with thematic relevance for interdisciplinary East, East-Central and Southeast European Studies, including databases, source collections, analysis tools or e-book packages. The vast majority of the products are freely accessible throughout Germany (and at German institutes abroad) via your home institution. For use on your home computer, separate registration is also required. Please note the access instructions in each case.

Eastern Europe

The present database represents ephemera collected in the days leading up to the parliamentary elections in the self-proclaimed Republic of Abkhazia on March 12, 2017. The collection includes newspaper, flyers, and leaflets containing valuable information on the political life in Abkhazia in the context of Russo-Georgian geo-political confrontation.

Abkhazia Parliamentary Election 2017

Read our post about the collection on the OstBib blog!

The collection consists of two parts. The "Belarus Anti-Fascist Resistance Leaflets 1942-1944" include a total of 97 one- to four-page leaflets, most of which are addressed in Belarusian to the entire Belarusian population or to particular groups of the population. The second part, "Belarus Anti-Fascist Resistance Press 1942-1945", instead, contains 30 newspapers with 10 to 20 issues per title which occasionally appeared in Belarusian or Russian.

Belarus Anti-Fascist Resistance Leaflets 1942-1944

Belarus Anti-Fascist Resistance Press 1942-1945

Read our post about the source collections on the OstBib blog!

The following databases with digitised ephemera of the most recent parliamentary and presidential elections in Belarus are available free of charge throughout Germany:

Belarus Presidential Election 2010

Belarus Parliamentary Election 2012

Belarus Presidential Election 2015

Belarus Parliamentary Election 2016

Belarus Parliamentary Election 2019

The databases contain the following ephemera and documents which comprehensively document the election procedures in Belarus:

  • laws and regulations governing the conduct of diverse elections;
  • documents of the State Electoral Commission;
  • official election documents of the candidates: CVs, reports on finances and campaign financing, lists of supporters;
  • candidate campaigning material: Flyers, brochures, posters, postcards, calendars, stickers, election and party programmes, election newspapers;
  • primary polls and official final election results;
  • reports from election observers, such as OSCE or CIS;
  • candidates’ reactions to the election results;
  • material denouncing rigged election results.

Read our post about the source collections on the OstBib blog!

Cairn.info offers more than 500 French-language journals from the humanities and social sciences from various publishers.
The Cairn History Collection package compiled by the Specialised Information Service for Historical Studies includes 73 titles, including those related to Eastern, East-Central and South-Eastern Europe, e.g.:

  • "Archives Juives"
  • "Cahiers du monde russe"
  • "Les Cahiers de la Shoah"
  • "Études Balkaniques-Cahiers Pierre Belon"
  • "Relations internationales"
  • "Revue historique"

Cairn.info / Cairn History Collection

The Central and Eastern European Online Library (CEEOL or C.E.E.O.L.) is a daily updated repository of humanities and social science full-text documents from mainly scientific journal articles and e-books. The following subject areas are represented among others: Anthropology, Culture and Society, Economics, Gender Studies, History, Jewish Studies, Fine Arts, Literature, Linguistics, Political and Social Sciences, Philosophy, Religion, Law. In addition, CEEOL offers access to a number of grey literature published by various institutions (NGOs, think tanks, research institutes...) without an ISSN number.

Central and Eastern European Online Library

The collection of digital sources contains almost 130 digitised intelligence reports and documents of the KGB; a total of over 500 document pages are available and can be searched in full text. The archival material included were only recently released to the public and allow extremely interesting insights into the decision-making processes of Ukrainian and Soviet government agencies in connection with the construction and accident of the nuclear reactor. In the documents from 1971 to 1991, for example, it becomes clear that both governments were aware of the weaknesses of the reactor design.

The Chernobyl Files

Read our post about the source collection on the OstBib blog!

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

The Cold War: Global Perspectives on East-West Tensions, 1945-1991

The digital source collection contains documents on US intelligence activities in connection with the Soviet Union and shows their successes and failures. These include reports on US intelligence activities such as attempts to parachute US agents into Soviet Union territory, CIA dossiers on the Kremlin’s economic and social policies and reports on Soviet satellite states.

The database is aimed at researchers working on the history of the Cold War, secret services, contemporary history and international relations. A total of 2,360 documents with 21,700 pages were compiled by the secret service historian Matthew W. Aid. Since they come from archives, their publication was obtained with the help of the Freedom of Information Act and they were attached to the source collection.

Since January 2012, the database has provided access to documents from over two dozen institutions, including the US National Archives, several US presidential libraries, the CIA-CREST database and the Hoover Institution Archives. The documents, some of which were previously classified as top secret, thus offer researchers a unique opportunity to explore these chapters of the Cold War.

Cold War Intelligence

Read our post about the source collection on the OstBib blog!

In order to close the knowledge gap on the Soviet Union in the West, the Joint Committee on Slavic Studies founded the journal "The Current Digest of the Soviet Press" (1949-1991), which was continued after the collapse of the Soviet Union as "The Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press" (1992-2010). Since 2011 it has been available as "The Current Digest of the Russian Press". The compilation includes selected articles on current topics from leading Russian-language newspapers such as the central newspaper "Izvestia", "Novaia gazeta" - one of the few remaining independent press organs in Russia - or its counterpart, "Rossiiskaia gazeta", the mouthpiece of the Russian government. More business-oriented dailies and weeklies such as "Kommersant", "RBK Daily" and "Ekspert" or the English-language "The Moscow Times" are also among the newspapers analysed.

In total, the digital archive of "Current Digest" comprises over 164,000 articles, which are available in English translation and are searchable in full text.

The Current Digest of the Russian Press Digital Archive

The collection includes digital copies of ten newspapers published or being published in the territories of the two self-appointed people’s republics Donetsk and Luhansk. The publications in the collection date from 2013 to 2015 and cover the "hot" phase of the conflict between the Ukrainian central government and the separatists, including the independence referendums as well as the serious military conflicts. The database of searchable full texts offers information for the study of separatist movements in Eastern Ukraine. The contents can be accessed via the internet which greatly simplifies work on newspapers that are otherwise difficult to access.

Donetsk and Luhansk Newspaper Collection

Read our post about the collection on the OstBib blog!

The portal contains around 12,500 digitised documents from a total of 24 international archives and libraries. Among the digitised material are self-testimonies (e.g. diaries, letters, postcards, experience reports, bequests and interviews with contemporary witnesses) as well as personal photos, propaganda materials (e.g. field newspapers, posters and flyers), classified documents (e.g. government and military files, rare printed matter) or art from the war period. Around 1,000 items are directly related to the theatres of war in Eastern Europe or to the warfare in those regions.

The First World War Portal

Read our post about the source collection on the OstBib blog!

For more than half a century, the daily reports of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) were the U.S. government's source par excellence for globally freely accessible information. Founded in 1941 within the Office of the Coordinator of Information and subordinate to the CIA since 1947, FBIS's mission was to monitor, record, transcribe, and ultimately translate from more than 50 languages intercepted broadcasts of foreign governments, official intelligence, and secret broadcasts from occupied territories worldwide in the service of policymakers and analysts. The database is significant for Eastern and Southeastern European studies because it contains a wealth of information from Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and Central Asia. 

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports

The Russian newspaper "Gudok", published continuously since 1917, is one of the oldest and leading daily newspapers in Russia. In addition to news about the railway industry, the newspaper 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.

Gudok Digital Archive

Read our post about the collection on the OstBib blog!

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

Immigrations, Migrations and Refugees: Global Perspectives, 1941-1996

Integrum Social Networks (ISN) enables the analysis of public posts in diverse social networks. Would you like to know what has been posted on the subject of "Eastern Europe"? Create a search in ISN and the analysis tool will automatically save and evaluate all published articles in a number of social networks for you.

Access for researchers of Russia, East and Southeast Europe is free of charge throughout Germany.

To get a password, please send a request to fidost-lizenzen(at)bsb-muenchen.de with the following information or attachments (as scans):

  1. Professors, members of research institutions, lecturers, post-doctoral and doctoral students: Proof of affiliation to a relevant institution, research department, chair, etc., e.g. with a link to the staff list of the institution, certificate from the secretariat, etc. OR confirmation of the project supervisor and proof of German residency (e.g. copy of valid identity card). Members of a German research institution abroad must provide proof of their residence abroad;
  2. Students, graduates: Confirmation of the Eastern European project topic (e.g. by the project supervisor stating the university) and proof of German residency (e.g. copy of valid identity card).

Login to ISN with an English user interface

Login to ISN with a Russian user interface

Find out more:

Instructions with an overview of the functions

Live Presentation (Video)

Integrum World Wide is the largest full-text database in Russia and the CIS states, currently containing over 360 million documents. The electronic full texts in Russian and English have their main focus in the fields of politics, culture, economy and society. Among other things, it contains texts from the Russian and English press (regional and national newspapers and magazines, monitor services of television and radio, press agencies), statistics (Goskomstat), legal texts, government publications, patent specifications (Rospatent), fine literature, bibliographic databases of the Russian Academy of Sciences (INION), Internet sources, address and telephone directories, yellow pages, and much more.

Integrum World Wide

Die "Izvestija" (dt. "Nachrichten") ist eine in Russland landesweit erscheinende Tageszeitung. Obwohl sie in der inzwischen breit gefächerten russischen Medienlandschaft auch heute zu den auflagenstärksten Blättern zählt, bezieht sie ihre Bedeutung für die osteuropakundliche Forschung in erster Linie aus der sowjetischen Phase. Die Zeitung ist eine wichtige Quellengrundlage für die interdisziplinäre Erforschung des gesamten kommunistischen Herrschaftsbereichs von 1917-1991 wie auch der sowjetischen Rezeption des Westens.

Die Datenbank umfasst die im Volltext digitalisierte Ausgaben von "Izvestija" von Erscheinungsbeginn 1917 bis 1991.

Izvestija Digital Archive

The database contains digitized editions of "Kavkaz", the first Russian-language newspaper in the Caucasus, published between 1846 and 1918.

The main purpose of the newspaper was, on the one hand, to promote Russian culture and influence in the Caucasus and, on the other hand, "to acquaint the Russian public with the life, habits and traditions of the tribes in the Caucasus".
In 1846 "Kavkaz" began as a weekly newspaper, from 1850 it appeared twice, from 1868 three times a week and from 1877 until its discontinuation in 1918 daily.

Kavkaz Digital Archive

"Krokodil" was a Soviet satirical magazine that appeared from 1922 to 2000 (there was also a revival attempt from 2005 to 2008). In its cartoons and satirical texts it targeted topics such as religion, alcoholism, the Soviet bureaucracy or politics and society in the "West". With a circulation of up to 6.5 million copies, "Krokodil" was one of the most popular products of the Soviet press and, after 1930, was the sole licensed satirical magazine in the Soviet Union.

The database contains the digitised editions from 1922 to 2000 and is searchable in full text. In addition, all images are provided with keywords and can easily be found using the search function.

Krokodil Digital Archive

Read our post about the collection on the OstBib blog!

"Literaturnaja gazeta" was founded on 22 April 1929 with the support of the writer Maxim Gorki and is thus one of the oldest newspapers in Russia with a literary focus. In the course of time, the paper became an official organ of the Soviet Writers' Union and was also expanded in terms of content, opening up to topics related to art, politics, society and society. "Literaturnaja gazeta" was regarded as the quite liberal among the newspapers of the Soviet era and can be seen as an alternative draft to "Pravda" or "Izvestija", which were completely faithful to the line.

Literaturnaja Gazeta Digital Archive

The database provides full-text access to more than 61,000 books published between 1460 and 1850, as well as 466 series and occasional periodicals from before 1906 - nearly 12 million pages in total. The focus is on economics in the broadest sense, including political science, history, and sociology, as well as other special collections on transportation, banking, finance, and crafts.

Making of the Modern World: Economics, Politics and Industry

The archive contains digitized editions of the oldest English-language newspapers in Russia: "Moscow News" and the short-lived "Moscow Daily News".

In the first 50 years, "Moscow News" served largely for Soviet propaganda purposes. In the 1980s, however, it became a platform for the supporters of radical reforms as well as a forum for discussion of previously taboo subjects, such as the repressions and show trials of the 1930s or the massacre of Polish officers in Katyn by the Soviets.

In addition, the collection has been provided with a guide for lecturers who wish to use articles from the digitized archive as primary sources in their courses.

Moscow News Digital Archive

Read our post about the collection on the OstBib blog!

The collection contains over 100,000 pages of ego-documents (letters, diaries, pamphlets, autobiographies), which documented reports and experiences on immigration in North America (USA, Canada). Approximately 35,000 pages are from the Ellis Island Oral History Interviews. They document the experiences of immigrants from different countries, from Asia to Russia and Central and Southern Europe. The collection of sources focuses on the years 1890-1920.

North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories

First published in 1910 in New York, "Russkoe Slovo", a newspaper for Russian readers, initially leaned towards the communists in its political orientation before undergoing nominal and ideological changes a decade later. Under the new name "Novoe Russkoe Slovo" the newspaper abandoned its communist views. It quickly became the leading print medium for Russian emigrants in New York and beyond.

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

Novoe Russkoe Slovo Digital Archive

Read our post about the collection on the OstBib blog!

The collection of primary source documents on radioactive, chemical, and biological weapons was curated by a U.S. government organization that became part of the CIA, and monitored media from around the world as part of a program. The database contains news reports, television and radio transcripts from around the world. The collection allows researchers to track not only the development and proliferation of the world's most dangerous weapons, but also regional responses, treaties and agreements, and efforts to limit nuclear proliferation.

Nuclear Arms and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Global Perspecitives, 1945-1996

"Periodicals Archive Online" is a comprehensive archive that provides back issues of electronic journals in the humanities and social sciences, giving access to full text of a growing number of digitized journals indexed in its related database "Periodicals Index Online". Currently, "Periodicals Archive Online" includes over 700 journals with more than 3 million articles and 15 million article pages.

Periodicals Archive Online

"Periodicals Index Online" is an electronic index to millions of articles published in more than 6,000 periodical titles in the humanities and social sciences. It currently indexes more than 20 million articles dating back to 1665.

Periodicals Index Online 

The central theme of the database is the history of Displaced Persons (DP) in Europe. For this purpose, about 3,000 documents have been collected, which are offered as image files and via full text search. The data are mainly from the Wiener Library in London and from the National Archives of the UK with holdings from the General Correspondence of the Foreign Office, the Control Office for Germany and Austria and the Control Commission for Germany. This project was accompanied by Dan Stone (Royal Holloway College, University of London). Thanks to the collections of the Wiener Library, there is a certain focus on Jewish DP history.

Post-War Europe: Refugees, Exile and Resettlement 1945-1950

"Pravda" ("Truth") was the official voice of Soviet communism and the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1918 and 1991. Founded in 1912 in St. Petersburg, "Pravda" originated as an underground daily workers' newspaper, and it soon became the main newspaper of the revolutionary wing of the Russian socialist movement. Throughout the Soviet era, party members were obligated to read "Pravda". Today, "Pravda" still remains the official organ of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

The database includes the full-text digitized editions of "Pravda" from the beginning of publication in 1912 to 1913 and from 1918 to the end of 2009.

Pravda Digital Archive

Brill's "Slavic Studies Bundle" comprises fourteen digitized collections with almost 600,000 pages of primary literature on various aspects of Russian and Soviet history, some of which are very rare.

  • Six collections are devoted to Russia's foreign policy relations with strategically important countries in Asia and the Ottoman Empire from the 17th century to the First World War. In addition to Russian materials, documents from the countries themselves are available (Russian Military Intelligence on Asia (1651-1917) and (1883-1913); Russian-Ottoman Relations (parts 1-4)).
  • Muslims in Russia combines materials from and about Russian Muslims from a very eventful, yet little-explored period of their history (1861-1918).
  • Children's Leisure Activities in Russia gives an insight into the extra-family socialization of the first Soviet generation during games, festive activities, theatre, radio and cinema.
  • Three collections represent very different segments of the Russian press landscape between about 1900 and 1918:
    • Imperial Russia's Illustrated Press depicts everyday life, landscapes, places and political events in pictures and is therefore a treasure trove of lost customs and buildings, for example.
    • Mass Media in Russia, 1908-1918 contains a selection of then widespread cheap daily newspapers ("kopejki") for broad urban populations.
    • Anarchist Periodicals gives the most interesting examples of anarchist periodicals from the short period in which they could appear legally in Russia (mostly 1917 to 1918).
  • The two collections Screen and Stage and Russian Theater in the Early 20th Century make theater and cinema journals from the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries accessible, which deal not only with artistic topics but also with social issues and also include related areas of the performing arts such as the circus.
  • Russian Avant-garde, 1904-1946 finally includes nearly 800 artistically designed books, periodicals and almanacs from all literary avant-garde schools in Russia. Most of them were created in the highly dynamic and changeful period between 1910 and 1940, both literarily and artistically, and very rarely in the original.

Primary Sources for Slavic Studies

The database comprises bibliographic title records of books (from 1980 onwards), newspapers, journals, dissertations, reviews, music- and art-related publications as well as maps (all from 1998 onwards) from the following originally printed series:

  • Knigi Rossii (former: Knižnaja letopis‘)
  • Stat‘i iz rossijskich gazet (former: Letopis‘ gazetnych statej)
  • Stat‘i iz rossijskich žurnalov (former: Letopis‘ žurnal‘nych statej)
  • Avtoreferaty dissertacij (former: Letopis‘ avtoreferatov dissertacij)
  • Recenzii iz rossijskich izdanij (former: Letopis‘ recenzij)
  • Rossijskie notnye izdanija (former: Notnaja letopis‘)
  • Rossijskie izoizdanija (former: Letopis‘ izoizdanij)
  • Rossijskie kartografičeskie izdanija (former: Kartografičeskaja letopis)

Rossijskaja Nacionalnaja Bibliografija

Read our post about the database on the OstBib blog!

Bundled under the title "Russia in Transition, 1990's," the following source collections of digitized ephemera are available, documenting Russia's transition from Soviet republic to nation-state:

Russia in Transition, 1990's

Soviet Coup Attempt, 1991

Russia Referendum, 1993

Russia's Constitutional Crisis, 1993

The following databases with digitised ephemera of the most recent parliamentary and presidential elections in Russia are available free of charge throughout Germany:

Russia Presidential Election 2008

Russia Presidential Election 2012

Russia Presidential Election 2018

Russia State Duma Election 1993

Russia State Duma Election 1999

Russia State Duma Election 2007

Russia State Duma Election 2011

Russia State Duma Election 2016

The databases contain the following ephemera and documents which comprehensively document the election processes:

  • laws and regulations governing the conduct of the respective elections;
  • documents of the State Electoral Commission;
  • official election documents of the candidates: curriculum vitae, transparency reports on finances and campaign financing, lists of supporters;
  • candidate campaigning material: flyers, brochures, posters, postcards, calendars, stickers, election and party programmes, election newspapers;
  • primary polls and the official final results of the elections;
  • reports from election observers such as OSCE, GOLOS or GUS;
  • Candidates' reactions to the election results;
  • documents denouncing rigged election results.

Read our posts about the source collections on the OstBib blog:

Blog post about presidential and parliamentary elections in Russia 2011-2016

Blog post about presidential elections in Russia 2018

Researchers working on Muslims and Islam in Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia can use the Universal Database of Russian Islamic Studies to access conveniently the latest scientific publications and journalistic news, so far difficult to access in Germany, via a web portal. Part of the database dates back to 2007 and is continuously updated with the latest articles.

The following Islamic journals are included:

  1. "Islam v sovremennom mire";
  2. "Islamovedenie";
  3. "Minaret Islama";
  4. "Islam v stranach Sodružestva Nezavisimych Gosudarstv".

The following newspapers are included:

  1. "As-Salam";
  2. "Islamskij vestnik";
  3. "Medina al‘ Islam";
  4. "Minbar Islama";
  5. "Poslanie / Riselet";
  6. "Zori Islama".

All editions of the digital collection can be searched in full text in Cyrillic and in transliteration; it is also possible to browse the individual editions of the database. Individual pages can be downloaded in the original layout as PDF files.

Russian Islamic Studies

Read our post about the collection on the OstBib blog!

The Russian Social Sciences and Humanities Periodicals (UDB-EDU) collection provides researchers with a unique opportunity to cross-search the contents of major Russian periodicals on a wide variety of subjects. The collection features Russian journals on sociology, philosophy, history, economy, pedagogics, politology, law, and more. It also includes all 31 journals of the Russian Academy of Sciences, ranging in focus from archaeology to linguistics, as well as popular literary editions and independent scholarly publications. The following journals are of particular interest for historical research on Eastern Europe:

  • "Istoriia i istoriki" – with issues from 2001 to 2014
  • "Novaia i noveishaia istoriia" – with issues from 2000 onwards
  • "Rossiiskaia istoriia" ­– with issues from 2000 onwards
  • "Russia in Global Affairs" – with issues from 2003 onwards
  • "Russkaia istoria" – with issues from 2011 to 2016
  • "Srednie veka" – with issues from 2016 onwards
  • "Svobodnaia mysl‘: teoreticheskii i politicheskii zhurnal" – with issues from 2011 to 2017
  • "Vestnik drevnei istorii" – with issues from 2000 onwards
  • "Voprosy istorii: ezhemesiachnyi zhurnal" – with issues from 1945 onwards

All journals can be searched in full text. Browsing the individual issues of a journal is also possible. The articles can be downloaded as PDFs.

Russian Social Sciences and Humanities Periodicals (UDB-EDU)

Read our post about the collection on the OstBib blog!

The database provides access to British government intelligence and foreign policy documents from 1873 to 1953, with the majority of files dating from the 1930s and 1940s. The database is based on documents from the Permanent Under-Secretary's Department (PUSD), which was the link between the Foreign Office and British Intelligence. "Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War" includes nine segments that together provide a near-complete history of World War II and the early Cold War period from the perspective of the British government and intelligence services.

Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War

The digital collection contains a total of 100 works in several Slavic languages, in particular in Church Slavonic, created in ca. 30 Eastern European locations as well as in Berlin and Venice. The digital reproductions are copies of bibles and other religious books from the collection of the Lomonosov State University in Moscow which has one of the most important collections of early and rare Slavic prints in the world.

Slavonic Bibles Online

Read our blog post about the collection on the OstBib blog!

The digitised sources in the collection comprise a total of almost 60 documents, including budgets, correspondence, minutes of meetings, employee lists at Gosvoenkino or lists of censored Soviet and foreign films. The archives provide an exciting insight into the production, distribution and screening practices of the Soviet film industry. At the same time, they present trends towards centralisation and bureaucratisation in the Soviet Union, apparent in the establishment of the state monopoly in the film industry.

Soviet Cinema Online

Read our post about the source collection on the OstBib blog!

"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. Providing a counterpoint to Western perceptions of communist states and their actions, the films illuminate how socialist countries saw themselves and the world around them during the major political and social events of the twentieth century. The footage was originally sourced from communist states, then versioned into English language for private distribution in Britain and the West. A huge variety of topics can be understood through the communist lens: war, peace, revolution, Cold War tensions, the transformation of society, industry, memory, culture and more. This is the largest film collection of its kind to survive in Western Europe and is now held at the British Film Institute’s National Archive. These films have been conserved, digitised from the original 16mm and 35mm reels, and are fully transcribed and searchable.

The films in the database have been grouped into 24 sub-collections. Films from the following collections are of particular interest for the Central, Eastern and Southeastern European studies:

  • Lenin & the Russian Revolution
  • The Second World War & the Rise of Fascism
  • The Holocaust & War Crimes
  • Global Tensions & the Cold War
  • Soviet Newsreels & Cinemagazines
  • Youth & Education
  • Women
  • Health & Medicine
  • Agriculture
  • Politics & Society
  • Technology, Space & Science

Socialism on Film: The Cold War and International Propaganda

Read our post about the collection on the OstBib blog!

In South Ossetia, a separatist region of Georgia, presidential elections were held in 2011 which had to be repeated in 2012 due to inconsistencies. The events surrounding these elections give researchers an insight into South Ossetian domestic politics as well as into Russia’s role in the South Caucasus and the "frozen conflict" with Georgia. The collection includes election-related ephemera such as posters, flyers and election campaign newspapers documenting the process of the presidential elections in the separatist "Republic of South Ossetia". The collection contains hundreds of pages of digitised source material collected in South Ossetia and the Ossetian diaspora communities in the Russian Federation.

South Ossetia Presidential Election, 2011-2012

Read our post about the source collection on the OstBib blog!

The "Stalin Digital Archive" offers access to the retro-digitised archival records of collection 558 from the Russian State Archives of Socio-Political History (RGASPI). In the digital source collection, scholars will find archival material on Stalin’s biography, his activities in government and his role in foreign policy. The 28,000 documents with approx. 404,000 pages include:

  • documents written by Stalin from the years 1889 to 1952,
  • over 390 books from Stalin’s private library with his notes and comments,
  • biographical material such as certificates and police records,
  • Stalin’s correspondence,
  • in addition, the 26-volume series "Annals of Communism" by Yale University Press with thematic publications of source material such as "Katyn" or "Soviet Culture and Power".

Working with these documents searchable in full text is further facilitated by a virtual research environment which provides keywords, comments on text passages and collaborative work.

Stalin Digital Archive

Read our post about the source collection on the Ostbib blog!

This digital collection contains handwritten records and rare printed material from the Wiener Holocaust Library in London, the oldest Holocaust museum in the world. It offers access to personal accounts of life during National Socialism, providing insights into the domestic politics of National Socialist Germany, Jewish life in Germany from 1933 to the post-war period and life in concentration camps, the underground and in exile. All sources are full-text searchable. Most of the content is written in German.

Testaments to the Holocaust

Under the title "Ukraine Elections and Social Movements 2012-2019", the following databases with digitised ephemera on the recent history of Ukraine are available free of charge throughout Germany:

Ukraine Parliamentary Election 2012 

Euromaidan Protests in Ukraine 2013-2014 

Ukraine Presidential Election 2014 

Ukraine Parliamentary Election 2014 

Ukraine Parliamentary Election 2019

The partial collections provide users with specific access to election posters, brochures, grey literature or important contributions from blogs and social networks. The material is searchable in full text and thus provides a quick and in-depth insight into the latest political and social developments in Ukraine.

The events surrounding the Euromaidan and the annexation of the Crimea by Russia brought the Ukraine into the focus of research in recent years. Using material that is difficult to gather, the collection provides valuable insights into new social movements and democratisation processes in Ukraine. Therefore; the contents of the databases are of particular interest to political scientists, contemporary historians, sociologists and anthropologists.

Read our post about the source collections on the OstBib blog!

The digital collection "Ukrainian Publications" offers access to over 40 Ukrainian periodicals in Russian, Ukrainian and English. The publications are stored in the database as “full text”, so the documents can be searched in full. While some of the articles have been available since 1997, more have been added since 2001. Individual issues can be downloaded for more detailed study and referenced thanks to permalinks.

Ukrainian Publications

Read our post about the collection on the OstBib blog!

The "Universitetskaya Biblioteka Online" is an online repository that provides access to about 70,000 Russian-language e-books and e-journals. Its focus is on the humanities, with most publications dealing with Russia. Researchers on Eastern Europe will find monographs and edited volumes on history (8,185 titles), politics (655 titles), sociology (466 titles), religion (3,503 titles) and law (3,066), among others (as of September 2021). In addition, the repository offers access to fine arts literature, including almost 2,000 titles by Russian writers from the 18th to the 20th century.

Browsing the repository's entire holdings is possible, and the individual sub-collections and volumes can also be searched in full text.

Universitetskaja Biblioteka Online (UBO)

Read our post about the collection on the OstBib blog!

This collection of over 4,000 formerly classified U.S. government documents provides a comprehensive survey of the U.S. intelligence community’s activities in Europe, including Eastern Europe, Turkey and Cyprus, covering the time period from the end of World War II to the fall of the Iron Curtain and beyond.

U.S. Intelligence on Europe, 1945-1995

One of the first Russian literary and political journal. Together with literature and arts the journal enlightened its readers on problems of internal and foreign policy of Russia, history and political life of foreign countries. It became conservative since 1815.

Vestnik Evropy

In total, the "Visual History Archive" contains over 55,000 video interviews from 62 countries in 41 languages, mainly on the local horrors of the Holocaust. The interviewees include involuntary eyewitnesses such as victims of Nazi crimes as well as Jews and members of other groups of people persecuted in the Third Reich, such as Sinti and Roma or homosexuals.

The collection is continuously expanded by interview collections on the following topics: the genocides of the Armenians, in Cambodia 1975-1979, Guatemala 1978-1983 and Rwanda 1994, the massacre of Nanjing 1937/38, the current violent conflicts in South Sudan, Central Africa and the Rohingya in Myanmar as well as current anti-Semitism.

The database is characterised by an in-depth exploration of sources and the extensive transcription of non-English-language interviews. The database offers users an innovative user interface with detailed search options.

Visual History Archive 

Read our post about the source collection on the OstBib blog!

"Voennaia mysl" was founded in 1918, one year after the October Revolution, as "Voennoe delo" and underwent several name changes before its editors decided on the present name in 1937. Since the first issue, the journal has been published under the auspices of the Ministry of Defence and reports directly to the General Staff. In the course of its publication, "Voennaia mysl" has attracted eminent military strategists and theorists from the ranks of the Soviet and Russian military and has become the main medium of various Soviet and Russian military doctrines.

The whole collection consists of 1087 issues, covers 99 years with 13,025 searchable articles.

Voennaia Mysl Digital Archive

Read our post about the collection on the OstBib blog!

The oldest Soviet and Russian academic history journal, "Voprosy istorii" (Issues of History) has offered scholarly perspectives on events in Russia and the world since 1926. Published by the Russian Academy of Sciences, this legendary journal covering Russian and world history was first published under the title "Istorik-Marksist" (Marxist Historian, 1926-1941), then "Istoricheskii zhurnal" (History Journal, 1937-1945) and finally under the present title (since 1945).

Voprosy Istorii Digital Archive

WBIS Online is the most comprehensive biographical database available, providing biographical information on over 6 Million people from the 8th century B.C. to the present. Included are 8.5 million digital facsimile articles from biographical reference works. Each Biographical Archive covers a different language and cultural area. For the individual archives the original texts of biographical articles from various reference works were taken and facsimile reproductions made. In WBIS Online these articles are presented as exact copies of the original articles. WBIS Online offers worldwide biographical information on persons covered in reference sources published from the 16th century to the end of the 20th century. 

The following biographical archives with digitalized articles concerning Eastern Europe are available:

  • Baltic Biographical Archive
  • Biographical Archive of the Soviet Union
  • Russian Biographical Archive

World Biographical Information System Online

"World of Children - Artek Pioneer Camp Archives, 1944-1967 Online" contains digitised records of the pioneer camp Artek in the Crimea. This camp opened in 1925 and was the model project of Soviet recreational opportunities for children and young people. These camps were exemplary for the attempts, measures and failures of the Soviet regime to create a "Homo Sovieticus" from childhood on.

The digital copies (no searchable full texts) from the Russian State Archives of Socio-Political History (RGASPI) allow evaluating:

  • medical reports,
  • pioneer diaries and letters,
  • song collections,
  • event schedules,
  • film recommendations,
  • radio reports, etc.

The collection provides diverse access to the history of everyday life and mentality, to Soviet child, youth and social policies as well as to the histories of gender and tourism in the Soviet Union.

World of Children – Artek Pioneer Camp Archives, 1944-1967 Online

Read our post about the source collection on the OstBib blog!

The collection brings together diverse global responses to major social movements of the 20th century into a single fully searchable resource, offering researchers across disciplines valuable insights into the protests and reforms that changed the course of world history. For Eastern and Southeastern European Studies, it offers reports on the following topics:

Anti-war Movements:

  • Sakharov, Andrei, 1921-1989
  • Soviet-Afghan War, 1979-1989
  • War crimes

Labor Movements:

  • Solidarity (Polish trade union)
  • Strikes
  • Wałęsa, Lech, 1943-

Nationalist and Separatist Movements:

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Lithuanian independence
  • Ukraine/Crimea

Political and Economic Reform:

  • Dissidents/dissent
  • Hungarian Revolt, 1956
  • Prague Spring, 1968
  • Solzhenit︠s︡yn, Aleksandr Isaevich, 1918-2008

World Protest and Reform Movements: Global Perspectives, 1945-1996

East Central and Southeastern Europe

"Arcanum Digitheca" is the largest Hungarian database for scientific journals, series, encyclopaedias and newspapers.

Arcanum Digitheca

Cairn.info offers more than 500 French-language journals from the humanities and social sciences from various publishers.
The Cairn History Collection package compiled by the Specialised Information Service for Historical Studies includes 73 titles, including those related to Eastern, East-Central and South-Eastern Europe, e.g.:

  • "Archives Juives"
  • "Cahiers du monde russe"
  • "Les Cahiers de la Shoah"
  • "Études Balkaniques-Cahiers Pierre Belon"
  • "Relations internationales"
  • "Revue historique"

Cairn.info / Cairn History Collection

 

The Central and Eastern European Online Library (CEEOL or C.E.E.O.L.) is a daily updated repository of humanities and social science full-text documents from mainly scientific journal articles and e-books. The following subject areas are represented among others: Anthropology, Culture and Society, Economics, Gender Studies, History, Jewish Studies, Fine Arts, Literature, Linguistics, Political and Social Sciences, Philosophy, Religion, Law. In addition, CEEOL offers access to a number of grey literature published by various institutions (NGOs, think tanks, research institutes...) without an ISSN number.

Central and Eastern European Online Library

The digital source collection contains documents on US intelligence activities in connection with the Soviet Union and shows their successes and failures. These include reports on US intelligence activities such as attempts to parachute US agents into Soviet Union territory, CIA dossiers on the Kremlin’s economic and social policies and reports on Soviet satellite states.

The database is aimed at researchers working on the history of the Cold War, secret services, contemporary history and international relations. A total of 2,360 documents with 21,700 pages were compiled by the secret service historian Matthew W. Aid. Since they come from archives, their publication was obtained with the help of the Freedom of Information Act and they were attached to the source collection.

Since January 2012, the database has provided access to documents from over two dozen institutions, including the US National Archives, several US presidential libraries, the CIA-CREST database and the Hoover Institution Archives. The documents, some of which were previously classified as top secret, thus offer researchers a unique opportunity to explore these chapters of the Cold War.

Cold War Intelligence

Read our post about the source collection on the OstBib blog!

The database includes two collections:

  • Lexicon Gregorianum Online
    The result of more than three decades of dedicated scholarly research by the Forschungsstelle Gregor von Nyssa (Münster), the Lexicon Gregorianum constitutes the most comprehensive Greek-German dictionary ever of the language used by Gregory of Nyssa. It is, and will be for the foreseeable future, the only dictionary available specifically addressing the vocabulary of late Classical Greek.
    Far from being a simple word list, this seminal reference work documents Gregory's complete vocabulary, taking account of the syntax, meaning and connotations of every occurrence of a key word in his writings.
    The complete Lexicon Gregorianum Online will comprise 10 volumes, totaling more than 13,000 entries.
  • Gregorii Nysseni Opera Online
    Gregorii Nysseni Opera Online is the ultimate online critical text edition of Gregory of Nyssa's works based on all available known manuscripts, introduced with a complete discussion of the textual transmission and accompanied by extensive annotations on the biblical, classical and patristic sources, and indices.

Gregory of Nyssa Online

The portal contains around 12,500 digitised documents from a total of 24 international archives and libraries. Among the digitised material are self-testimonies (e.g. diaries, letters, postcards, experience reports, bequests and interviews with contemporary witnesses) as well as personal photos, propaganda materials (e.g. field newspapers, posters and flyers), classified documents (e.g. government and military files, rare printed matter) or art from the war period. Around 1,000 items are directly related to the theatres of war in Eastern Europe or to the warfare in those regions.

The First World War Portal

Read our post about the source collection on the OstBib blog!

For more than half a century, the daily reports of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) were the U.S. government's source par excellence for globally freely accessible information. Founded in 1941 within the Office of the Coordinator of Information and subordinate to the CIA since 1947, FBIS's mission was to monitor, record, transcribe, and ultimately translate from more than 50 languages intercepted broadcasts of foreign governments, official intelligence, and secret broadcasts from occupied territories worldwide in the service of policymakers and analysts. The database is significant for Eastern and Southeastern European studies because it contains a wealth of information from Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and Central Asia. 

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports

 

The Hungarian Reformation Collection contains 98 titles on the reformation in Hungary, which are hardly ever used in Germany, with a total of about 35,000 pages. The collection was compiled by Graeme Murdock of Trinity College Dublin. The collection documents the diverse Reformation currents in early modern Hungary from the 1540s to the middle of the 17th century. These original writings shed light on a facet of the Reformation Age that has been little researched.

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

Immigrations, Migrations and Refugees: Global Perspectives, 1941-1996

 

Integrum Social Networks (ISN) enables the analysis of public posts in diverse social networks. Would you like to know what has been posted on the subject of "Eastern Europe"? Create a search in ISN and the analysis tool will automatically save and evaluate all published articles in a number of social networks for you.

Access for researchers of Russia, East and Southeast Europe is free of charge throughout Germany.

To get a password, please send a request to fidost-lizenzen(at)bsb-muenchen.de with the following information or attachments (as scans):

  1. Professors, members of research institutions, lecturers, post-doctoral and doctoral students: Proof of affiliation to a relevant institution, research department, chair, etc., e.g. with a link to the staff list of the institution, certificate from the secretariat, etc. OR confirmation of the project supervisor and proof of German residency (e.g. copy of valid identity card). Members of a German research institution abroad must provide proof of their residence abroad;
  2. Students, graduates: Confirmation of the Eastern European project topic (e.g. by the project supervisor stating the university) and proof of German residency (e.g. copy of valid identity card).

Login to ISN with an English user interface

Login to ISN with a Russian user interface

Find out more:

Instructions with an overview of the functions

Live Presentation (Video)

 

The database provides full-text access to more than 61,000 books published between 1460 and 1850, as well as 466 series and occasional periodicals from before 1906 - nearly 12 million pages in total. The focus is on economics in the broadest sense, including political science, history, and sociology, as well as other special collections on transportation, banking, finance, and crafts.

Making of the Modern World: Economics, Politics and Industry

 

The e-book collection includes 48 digitized titles from the field of Finno-Ugric studies from the period of 19th to 21st centuries. The titles were published in Russia.

MIPP E-Books FinnUg

The collection contains over 100,000 pages of ego-documents (letters, diaries, pamphlets, autobiographies), which documented reports and experiences on immigration in North America (USA, Canada). Approximately 35,000 pages are from the Ellis Island Oral History Interviews. They document the experiences of immigrants from different countries, from Asia to Russia and Central and Southern Europe. The collection of sources focuses on the years 1890-1920.

North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories

 

"Periodicals Archive Online" is a comprehensive archive that provides back issues of electronic journals in the humanities and social sciences, giving access to full text of a growing number of digitized journals indexed in its related database "Periodicals Index Online". Currently, "Periodicals Archive Online" includes over 700 journals with more than 3 million articles and 15 million article pages.

Periodicals Archive Online

 

"Periodicals Index Online" is an electronic index to millions of articles published in more than 6,000 periodical titles in the humanities and social sciences. It currently indexes more than 20 million articles dating back to 1665.

Periodicals Index Online 

The central theme of the database is the history of Displaced Persons (DP) in Europe. For this purpose, about 3,000 documents have been collected, which are offered as image files and via full text search. The data are mainly from the Wiener Library in London and from the National Archives of the UK with holdings from the General Correspondence of the Foreign Office, the Control Office for Germany and Austria and the Control Commission for Germany. This project was accompanied by Dan Stone (Royal Holloway College, University of London). Thanks to the collections of the Wiener Library, there is a certain focus on Jewish DP history.

Post-War Europe: Refugees, Exile and Resettlement 1945 - 1950

The digital collection contains a total of 100 works in several Slavic languages, in particular in Church Slavonic, created in ca. 30 Eastern European locations as well as in Berlin and Venice. The digital reproductions are copies of bibles and other religious books from the collection of the Lomonosov State University in Moscow which has one of the most important collections of early and rare Slavic prints in the world.

Slavonic Bibles Online

Read our post about the collection on the OstBib blog!

"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. Providing a counterpoint to Western perceptions of communist states and their actions, the films illuminate how socialist countries saw themselves and the world around them during the major political and social events of the twentieth century. The footage was originally sourced from communist states, then versioned into English language for private distribution in Britain and the West. A huge variety of topics can be understood through the communist lens: war, peace, revolution, Cold War tensions, the transformation of society, industry, memory, culture and more. This is the largest film collection of its kind to survive in Western Europe and is now held at the British Film Institute’s National Archive. These films have been conserved, digitised from the original 16mm and 35mm reels, and are fully transcribed and searchable.

The films in the database have been grouped into 24 sub-collections. Films from the following collections are of particular interest for the Central, Eastern and Southeastern European studies:

  • Lenin & the Russian Revolution
  • The Second World War & the Rise of Fascism
  • The Holocaust & War Crimes
  • Global Tensions & the Cold War
  • Soviet Newsreels & Cinemagazines
  • Youth & Education
  • Women
  • Health & Medicine
  • Agriculture
  • Politics & Society
  • Technology, Space & Science

Socialism on Film: The Cold War and International Propaganda

Read our post about the collection on the OstBib blog!

This digital collection contains handwritten records and rare printed material from the Wiener Holocaust Library in London, the oldest Holocaust museum in the world. It offers access to personal accounts of life during National Socialism, providing insights into the domestic politics of National Socialist Germany, Jewish life in Germany from 1933 to the post-war period and life in concentration camps, the underground and in exile. All sources are full-text searchable. Most of the content is written in German.

Testaments to the Holocaust

This collection of over 4,000 formerly classified U.S. government documents provides a comprehensive survey of the U.S. intelligence community’s activities in Europe, including Eastern Europe, Turkey and Cyprus, covering the time period from the end of World War II to the fall of the Iron Curtain and beyond.

U.S. Intelligence on Europe, 1945 - 1995

WBIS Online is the most comprehensive biographical database available, providing biographical information on over 6 Million people from the 8th century B.C. to the present. Included are 8.5 million digital facsimile articles from biographical reference works. Each Biographical Archive covers a different language and cultural area. For the individual archives the original texts of biographical articles from various reference works were taken and facsimile reproductions made. In WBIS Online these articles are presented as exact copies of the original articles. WBIS Online offers worldwide biographical information on persons covered in reference sources published from the 16th century to the end of the 20th century. 

The following biographical archives with digitalized articles concerning Eastern Europe are available:

  • Greek Biographical Archive
  • Polish Biographical Archive
  • South-East European Biographical Archive
  • Czech and Slovak Biographical Archive
  • Hungarian Biographical Archive

World Biographical Information System Online

The collection brings together diverse global responses to major social movements of the 20th century into a single fully searchable resource, offering researchers across disciplines valuable insights into the protests and reforms that changed the course of world history. For Eastern and Southeastern European Studies, it offers reports on the following topics:

Anti-war Movements:

  • Sakharov, Andrei, 1921-1989
  • Soviet-Afghan War, 1979-1989
  • War crimes

Labor Movements:

  • Solidarity (Polish trade union)
  • Strikes
  • Wałęsa, Lech, 1943-

Nationalist and Separatist Movements:

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Lithuanian independence
  • Ukraine/Crimea

Political and Economic Reform:

  • Dissidents/dissent
  • Hungarian Revolt, 1956
  • Prague Spring, 1968
  • Solzhenit︠s︡yn, Aleksandr Isaevich, 1918-2008

World Protest and Reform Movements: Global Perspectives, 1945-1996

 

Search databases

Further databases and digital source collections on Eastern and Southeastern Europe can be searched via the Database Information System (DBIS).

Database Information System (DBIS)

Database Wish List

Do you have questions regarding access to or use of the licensed database? Please contact the Eastern Europe Department of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

Wish List: Web Content