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About the Project

Millions of citizens disappeared throughout Russia after 1917 without a trace either for their families or their friends. Our own countrymen and foreign nationals. In exile, in prisons, in the camps-in the Gulag Archipelago. In peacetime and in war. Their exact number is completely unknown. Those who survived have been unable to forget the horror they experienced.

Now they are called victims of political repression, victims of political terror. But then they were "enemies of the people and of Soviet power" or "state criminals".

Little by little we are recovering their names. Archival materials have been studied and evidence from family archives has been collected. Books of Memory have been published. Communal and state organizations have been busy with that work.

In May 2000, representatives of those organizations from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus joined together for a conference in the city of Nizhny Tagil in the Urals. It was decided that the time had come for a digital data bank of the repressed, for a single Book of Memory. The project was assisted by the Ford Foundation and the "Point Support" Fund and designated "Recovered Names". Project coordination centers appeared in Nizhny Tagil, Krasnoyarsk, Almaty, Odessa, Moscow, and St. Petersburg.

The National Library of Russia (Public Library) is the publisher of the Book of Memory, the Leningrad Martyrology, 1937-1938, a book about the repressed, about those executed in Leningrad and in the Leningrad region, which then included the Novgorod, Pskov, Murmansk, and part of the Vologda regions. We have gathered documents from family archives and memoirs and photographs. We have collaborated for many years on the publication of other Books of Memory. Our library is a bibliographical center of local Russia lore and history. Our international contacts are virtually unlimited. We are safeguarding the memory of Russia and the Russian diaspora. The Institute of Genealogical Research works under the library's auspices. For those reasons we have unwaveringly taken an active part in the international project "Recovered Names".

At some point, a unified data bank of the repressed will be created. For that it remains to master a methodology, come to agreement about the fullest possible cooperation among the archives, and give the project the significance of a social and state program. But today we have already begun to present on the Library's website both published Books of Memory and those being prepared for publication.

We have opened that series with the five volumes of the Leningrad Martyrology. The digital book of memory will as we conceive it above all remain a Book-with simplified name searches and essential descriptive categories: individuals, documents, memorials. A section called "Memoirs, Biographies, Commentaries" will appear. In contrast to the print version, the digital Martyrology will not be limited to the years of the Great Terror nor to names of the executed. We are gradually presenting digital versions of other Books of Memory-for Arkhangelsk, Komi, Vorkutinsk, Karelia, Murmansk, Pskov, Novgorod, Tver, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Vologda, and Kaliningrad.

In 2004, we published an Annotated Index to the Book of Memory of the Victims of Political Repression in the USSR and presented a digital version of it on our website, to which we have added new names.

You can also consult the Russian version of the site containing the following options:

О проекте (About the Project),
Новости (News),
Регионы (Regions),
Памятные места (Memorial Sites),
Библиография: Указатель (Bibliography: Index),
Библиография: Новые книги (Bibliography: New Books),
Электронные Книги памяти (Digital Memory Books),
Поиск (Search),
Ссылки (References),
Обратная связь(Return Link),
Нам помогают (With Help from),
Из нашей почты (From Our Mailbox).

For more detailed information about the international project "Recovered Names", see the website http://www.vi.krsk.ru

Anatoly Razumov
Director of the Center for Recovered Names at the National Library of Russia

© The National Library of Russia, 2006-2010