Hoover Institution

Narrative Index

Within Hoover's extensive collections on twentieth century Russia and other former Soviet republics, certain areas are particularly well documented. The late prerevolutionary Russian Empire (ca. 1870-1917) is represented by a large collection of publications, many rare and even unique in the United States. There are especially strong holdings on

  • the rise of political parties
  • Imperial Russian diplomatic archives
  • the revolutionary movement
  • Asiatic Russia and its colonization
  • the "Okhrana" (tsarist secret police)
  • the Russo-Japanese War
  • Russia's participation in World War I

Nearly complete documentation is available in the library on Russian legislation, the dumas, and the first general census of 1897. Files of prerevolutionary periodicals and newspapers are abundant.

In addition, Russian and Soviet materials are among the most significant of the Hoover Institution's archival holdings, comprised of approximately 1000 individual collections. They document the tsarist regime between 1880 and 1917 (especially diplomacy), revolution and counterrevolution, war relief, civil war, emigre' movements, and the USSR.

The Hoover collection on the 1917 revolutions, the provisional government, and the civil war is probably the best collection in the West. Documentation on the provisional government, including official gazettes, legislation, and ministerial publications, is extensive, as is research material on the civil war, including activities in Ukraine, Byelorussia, Siberia, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Mongolia.

The largest part of the library collection deals with the Soviet period. Subject areas particularly well covered are

  • War communism, 1918-1921
  • terror and forced labor
  • anti-religious action
  • separatist movements and the nationality question --including the "Ukrainian Tsentral'na Rada," the Ukrainian National Republic, the Western Ukrainian Republic, the Transcaucasian Republics, and the Basmachi in Central Asia
  • the New Economic Policy (NEP) period, 1921-1927
  • the peasant question and collectivization, especially in Ukraine and Kazakhstan
  • economic planning
  • Soviet foreign policy
  • the Comintern
  • trade unions
  • the Soviet military
  • the Russo-Finnish War, 1939-1940
  • the Soviet Union in World War II

Outstanding coverage is found for

  • the Soviet Communist Party -- including minutes of party congresses, plenums, secretariat documents, etc.
  • dissident and opposition movements (including "samizdat" materials)

For the post-communist period strengths are found in

  • the "opposition" political press,
  • postcommunist political parties,
  • postcommunist elections, and
  • ethnic policy and ethnic conflict (in Russia and other former Soviet republics)

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