CONFERENCE “WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED FROM THE SOVIET ARCHIVES?”, UPPSALA, SWEDEN, MAY 10 – 11, 2013

Our understanding of the Soviet experience was greatly enhanced by the so called archival revolution in the 1990s. As the Soviet Union disintegrated, a wealth of primary sources previously closed off to research was suddenly made available.

Location: Gustavianum Universtitetshuset, Uppsala, Sweden
Organizer: Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies

Even though access to important sources still remains partial, the revelations made in the last two decades within a number of important areas of research are certainly significant enough to warrant the locution “revolution”.

Access to the archives of the former Soviet Union has been of fundamental importance, providing an opportunity to reassess and reinterpret not only the history of Russia or any other former Soviet republic, but the history of the twentieth century as such. Virtually all fields of the social sciences and humanities – economics, political science, history, military studies, international relations and literature – have been touched by the availability of previously inaccessible sources.

The main purpose of this conference is to bring together a group of international specialists in different fields, in order to answer two closely related questions: What have we learned from the Soviet archives in the last twenty years? And what potential challenges lie ahead, in terms of access to further primary sources as well as conceptual issues and interpretation?

The conference is organized with generous financial support from the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation.

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