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Microform Collection: The General Department of the Central Committee, 1953-1966

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Tanja Lorkovic
Email: tatjana.lorkovic@yale.edu
Phone: (203) 432-1861
Fax: (203) 432-7231
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From the holdings of Russian State Archive of Contemporary History, Moscow, Russia = iz fondov Rossiiskogo gosudarstvennogo arkhiva noveishei istorii, Moskva, Rossiia

The papers of the General Department record the political process at the highest echelons of the USSR. Nearly all matters requiring a decision by the Central Committee or Politburo/Presidium came first -- and last -- to the General Department. The Department assigned matters to appropriate CC agencies and to government ministries. And, once a decision had been made, the General Department monitored its execution. Furthermore, the department was responsible for the preparations for party congresses and plenums of the Central Committee.

The collection covers the years from Stalin's death through the Khrushchev era and into the first years of the Brezhnev regime and contains the reports, memoranda, agendas and records of deliberation involving a broad range of Soviet policy. Included are:

  • Directives to the KGB And Ministry of Interior (MVD)
  • Records of foreign policy decision making
  • Briefing papers for the Supreme Soviet and Council of Ministers
  • The documentation of attempts to reform industry and agriculture
  • Reports on measuring and containing internal dissent
  • Documents revealing the changes in and maintainance of ideology in the party and state apparatus of the USSR and Warsaw Pact nations
  • Files dealing with the process of de-Stalinization begun with Khrushchev's "Secret Speech" to the Twentieth Party Congress in 1956
  • Procedures for the security classification of all incoming documents

Yale possesses 118 microfilm reels of the collection. Scholars can consult these sources in the Microtext Reading Room, which is in the basement of Sterling Memorial Library.

Sterling Library's hours of operation
LOCATION: SML, Microform (Non-Circulating)
CALL NUMBER: Film B18327