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Microform Collection: Congresses of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1955-1986

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Tanja Lorkovic
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 Sezdy Kommunisticheskoi partii Sovetskogo Soiuza, 1955-1986

From the holdings of Russian State Archive of Contemporary History, Moscow, Russia = iz fondov Rossiiskogo gosudarstvennogo arkhiva noveishei istorii, Moskva, Rossiia

While not the ultimate decision making body of the Soviet state, Party Congresses were nonetheless monumental events. Carefully planned, the congresses were essential for ratifying the designs, ambitions and policies of the Soviet leadership. At the Twentieth Party Congress, for instance, held in February 1956, Nikita Khrushchev further advanced his position within the party by denouncing Stalin's crimes in a dramatic "secret speech.." Three years later, he consolidated his power with a sustained attack on the "antiparty" group which had nearly upset his leadership in 1957, and, in 1961, he intensified his campaign against Stalinism by winning approval to remove Stalin's body from the Lenin Mausoleum.

Later, at the Twenty-Fourth Congress in 1971 Leonid Brezhnev would proclaim the era of "Developed Socialism" and, in 1986, Mikhail Gorbachev would launch cautiously his program of reform. This collection contains the full records of the Party Congresses of the CPSU from 1955 through 1986. Included are the 20th through the 27th Congresses, in, respectively, 1956, 1959, 1961, 1965, 1971, 1976, 1981 and 1986. The collection provides not only the full record of deliberations but, significantly, relevant protocols, agendas and supporting documentation. The collection is arranged chronologically with each opus containing the files for a specific party congress.

Yale possesses 192 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 B18362