The Soviet Gulag: An Online Resource

"Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives" @ http://gulaghistory.org/ Today’s digital technologies create strong imperatives for collaboration between academic historians and museums, libraries, and archives across the world. "Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives" is one example of such collaboration. The website located at http://gulaghistory.org/ is supported by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University in Virginia in association with the Gulag Museum in Perm’, Russia and the International Memorial Society in Moscow, Russia. The project is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities; Title VIII, The U.S. Department of State; Kennan Institute; and Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. "Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives" presents an in-depth look at life in the Gulag through exhibits featuring original documentaries and prisoner voices. From the front page, one may navigate tothe Archive, Exhibits or the Resources page. The Archive page may be browsed and searched either by keywords or by tags. The page contains text documents as well as photographs and other graphic resources related to the history ofthe Gulag. All materials are supplied with short bibliographic descriptions in English. Scanned copies of original documents in Russian are provided in a PDF format. The Exhibits link takes visitors on a thematic exploration of Gulag life, including a virtual tour of the reconstructed camp and museum made possible by the Gulag Museum in Perm, known as the gateway to Siberia. Online Exhibitions are available in Russian as well as English. The Resources page provides a list of recommended readings and curricula materials for history teachers. An important asset of this online resource is contribution of Steve Barnes, a Professor of History at George Mason University who hosts “Episodes in Gulag History,” designed as a series of conversations with scholars about the history and legacy of the Soviet Gulag system. Due to the fact that the website is still very much work-in-progress, only Episode 1 is available from the Resources page at this time (http://gulaghistory.org/podcast/). Episode 1 features a conversation with Lynne Viola, a Professor of History at the University of Toronto. It is available for download via Windows Media Player. The website allows you not only to subscribe to the Episodes via RSS feeds, but also to engage in a scholarly discussion in the blog area provided. Although the website appears to be in the process of construction, and it is hard to pinpoint the time of the last update, we recommend it as a useful resource for scholars interested in the Gulag history. Its major strength lies in its connection to the Museum in Perm’ and International Memorial Society in Moscow allowing instant access to materials that would be otherwise hard to obtain.