Georgian Party Archive: extraordinary Soviet History

Quite some time ago, Georgia has opened up the party archive of the Soviet period to researchers. This is a pretty unique resource for researchers. Georgia deserves particular praise for making that history accessible. Few countries of the CIS have made this important step.

Yesterday, the relevant working group launched their first Archival Bulletin, in Georgian and English. The working group consists of some employees of the Archive Department of the Ministry of Interior, as well as some engaged enthusiasts that dedicate much of their spare time to making historical materials accessible.

The launch in the well-done Museum of the Soviet Occupation was attended by some historians, foreign scholars and representatives of the Ministry of Interior, including Minister Vano Merabishvili.

Sure, there are various challenges in Georgia, and lustration remains a contentious topic. But releasing this material marks an extraordinary achievement. Many topics could be of interest. How, for example, did officials look at de-Stalinization? How do documents reflect the stagnation in later periods of the Soviet Union? And, countless tidbits: what do the archives show about various international visitors, such as Fitzroy McLean or John Steinbeck?

Ideally, let many people know about this resource. Some background on the Georgian Freedom of Information is here, and here is the link to the actual archive (Georgian only, so far). We will keep you updated.