Enhancing Openness of State Archives in Former Soviet Republics and Eastern Bloc Countries

Projects | Completed Projects 1 July 2019



Name of Project: Enhancing Openness of State Archives in Former Soviet Republics and Eastern Bloc Countries

Donor Organization: Open Society Institute Budapest Foundation (OSI)

Total Grant Amount: $78,980.64

Project Number:  OR2019-58650

Period of Performance: June 1, 2019 – May 31, 2020


Project Goal


Encourage the rethinking of Soviet and totalitarian past by fostering research and promoting the openness of state archives in post-Soviet and post-socialist countries. This goal is to be attained by two main objectives. Firstly, by expanding the ranking of the openness of Soviet and totalitarian archives to the Eastern Bloc countries. During the conference planned within the framework of the project meeting with new partners and experts of the project will be held. Additionally, a thorough study on the issues of post-Soviet space in terms of archive openness will be conducted to have clear vision on how and where to advocate for more openness.


Objective 1. Promoting the openness of state archives by expanding the State Archive Openness Rating. One of the main objectives of the project is expanding the network of NGOs to cover additional countries. The network will aim to launch active national and international advocacy campaigns to achieve changes in archives. Also, involved scholars will provide studies based on archival research and articles about Soviet past. 


Objective 2. Facilitating Soviet and Totalitarian Memory Studies. In order to attract public interest towards archives and Soviet period, IDFI plans to expand the scope of the project and implement memory studies based on archival documents on Soviet totalitarian period. We aim to work in two following directions: Politics of Memory and Discourse on Memory.


In order to lay a foundation where relevant stakeholders are more receptive to change, IDFI will encourage partner scholars to write easily understandable articles and blogs for the broader public on various topics of interest from the Soviet period which will be based on archival documents. Well-known experts will be invited to write articles in order to contribute to our online resource –www.open-archives.org. The project will also involve young scholars to write articles alongside invited experts. The project team will also identify important articles already written on relevant topics and translate them in order to increase their reach. Finally, the project team will organize important information revealed as a result of archival work and prepare easily digestible visualizations and short videos to be disseminated in target countries.




Planned Activities 


Project Budget


Activities Carried Out Withing the Project