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Microform Collection: Bund Archive

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Tanja Lorkovic
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Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI)

The Bund (Algemeyner Yidisher Arbeter Bund in Lite, Poyln un Rusland ) was a Jewish political party espousing social democratic ideology as well as cultural Yiddishism and Jewish national autonomism, founded as a clandestine revolutionary organization in Vilna (now Vilnius in Lithuania) in 1897. The Bund demanded national-cultural autonomy (with Yiddish as national language) for the Jews, since they constituted a distinct nation, not just a separate religious group. This demand was combined with a belief the Jews would find their redemption, not in the ancient world of Palestine, but rather in Eastern Europe, in the lands where they had been rooted for so long.

This microfiche collection includes documents in various languages (Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, German, French, Ukrainian, Polish) and covers a broad range of topics: History of Jews in Eastern Europe (Russia, Poland, Ukraine); Anti-Semitism in Tsarist Russia pogroms, Yiddish culture in Russia; Russian revolutionary parties; Jewish Labour movement; Jewish political movement; International socialist movement; Socialist International, Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), socialist parties in Germany, Great Britain, France and other European countries, biographies; correspondence of prominent leaders of socialist movements such as K. Kautsky, A. Bebel, L. Trotsky, A. Plekhanov. The Bundist publications included range from leaflets and pamphlets to complete runs of periodicals. The collection also includes photographs, posters, minutes, reports, correspondence, financial ledgers, manuscripts, and biographical materials.

Scope
The collection of RGASPI (fond 271) consists of 2 parts (opisi) and 632 storage units (delo). Inside opisi the documents are arranged in files (delo or storage unit) which might contain from 3 to several dozens documents (pages). Opis 1 (506 storage units) covers predominantly the pre-Revolutionary period of Bund's history, 1894-1917. The records from opis 2 are dated 1917-1921 (dealing with history of the Bund in Bolshevik Russia). The records are systematized thematically and chronologically.

em>Provenance
Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv sotsial'no-politicheskoi istorii (RGASPI) [Russian State Archive of Social and Political History], Moscow
The collection of RGASPI consists of two big groups of documents disclosed in two opisi, which differ on the basis of their provenance and content. Most of the documents of opis 1 are the attested and edited copies from "abroad" archives of Bund, which were bought in 1924-1927. At the end of 1924 N.S. Angarskii (as representative of Institute of Lenin and ISTPART) started the negotiations with one of the holders of "abroad" archives of Bund, Franz Kurskii and the representatives of Polish Bund in order to buy the archive and the library of Bund. Later the Bund archives were moved to Berlin and there under the supervision of F. Kurskii many documents were copied. However the documents were not only retyped; remarks and explanations to unclear passages were made, the nicknames were replaced by original names, the data was checked, sometimes the text had to be "decoded" and " deciphered". The Institute of Lenin got a part of printed and hectograph materials of Bund. This collection was held first at the Institute of Lenin and then in the Central Party archive, where the documents were disclosed and systematized in 1940. The second group of documents (from opis 2) was received from the Leningrad Museum of Revolution, which from 1918 started to gather the " new" archive of Bund. It called "new" because the "old" one was taken away abroad after the revolution 1917. With a few exception (files 1-7 from the "abroad archive of Bund"), this opis contains original records. The most of the documents are dated 1917-1921. Part of the records was transferred in 1949 from the Russian State archive of the Russian Federation GARF (former TsGAOR). (formerly Rossiiskii tsentr khraneniia i izucheniia dokumentov noveishei istorii (RTsKhIDNI) [Russian Center for Preservation and Study of Records of Modern History])

Yale possesses 2,162 microfiches of the collection. Scholars can consult these sources in the Microtext Reading Room, which is in the basement of Sterling Memorial Library. Brief print finding guide in the Slavic Reading Room Reference, call no. DS135.E82 2002

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LOCATION: SML, Microform (Non-Circulating)
CALL NUMBER: Fiche B4154