The Stalin Era

In this section of the guide you can find various archival collections related to the history of the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin (1924-1953).

The Stalin Era : Collections


Stalin Digital Archive

A web-based archive of primary and secondary research documents from the recently declassified Stalin archive in the holdings of the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI), a result of collaboration between RGASPI and Yale University Press. The database contains a selection of documents from Fond 558, which covers Stalin’s personal biography, his work in government, and his conduct of foreign affairs:
Opis 1: documents written by Stalin from 1889-1952.
Opis 2: documents written by Stalin from 1911-1944.
Opis 3: over 300 books from Stalin’s personal library with his marginal notes.
Opis 4: Stalin’s biographical materials.
Opis 11: Stalin’s correspondence and documents. This Opis covers a period from 1917 to 1952.

Also included: digital versions of Yale’s Annals of Communism series. 

Everyday Stalinism 

A collection of microphotocopies of documents related to sociological surveys conducted by the Soviet government between 1926 and 1939, covering topics such as the participation of various social groups in political meetings, in the Stakhanovite movement, in the organization "Prepared for Labor and Defense," in sport societies, etc. The surveys also covered topics such as education levels, use of libraries, book ownership, recreational activities, monthly salaries, housing, medical care, food consumption and household budgets. The findings are broken down by city, republic, social/occupational group (workers, collective farmers, engineers/technical personnel, etc.), and ethnic group. Collection includes secret reports on workers' household budgets and income from 1926-1929, 1932, and 1934-1939. Data from Central Administration for Statistics, 1926-1939 (Soviet Acronym TsSU; later TsUNKhU) held at Russian State Archive of Economy (RGAE).

1141 microfiche cards (27,584 archival pages).


Fiche no. 1-254: Statistics on labor, income and expenditure of Soviet citizens, 1925-1939. 

Fiche no. 255-1141: Inquiries into cultural and political interest, 1936-1938.

Peasants under Stalinism, 1938-1939 : mentality and way of life 

A microfilmed collection of unpublished letters sent by collective farm workers (kolkhozniki) to the editorial board of Krest’ianskaia gazeta, a newspaper published by the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (TsK VKP(b)) during the years 1938-39. Originals held by the Russian State Archive (RGAE), Moscow.

119 microfilm reels.

Online finding aid in Russian

The All-Union Population Census, 1939 : Vsesoi︠u︡znai︠a︡ perepisʹ naselenii︠a︡ 1939 goda

Contains Soviet Censuses of 1937 and 1939. Guide on reel 1 contains notes on census methodology and history.

319 reels