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Microform Collection: Departmental records of the Central Committee of the Communist Party

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During the almost seven decades-long existence of the USSR, the leading organs of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) invariably acted as the principal regulating and directing powers in all spheres of activity of Soviet society. In the majority of cases, before documents came to the leaders of the Party and state, they were laboriously worked on by the various Sections of the Party's Central Committee apparat. These Sections received voluminous and varied information about Soviet life and world events, including information and communications from ministries, departments and social organizations; letters by Soviet and foreign citizens; and much more. Within these Section, a peculiar initial selection of the documents took place; part of them were archived, while the remainder were directed to a higher level of authority, becoming the basis for important state decisions and resolutions. Sections of the Central Committee apparat, in fact, exercised the Party's control over the entirety of Soviet society, influencing (at times quite substantially) the character of the development of political and socioeconomic processes within the USSR and beyond its borders.

The collection of declassified documents from Fond No. 5 ("Departmental Records of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union") of the Russian State Archive of Contemporary History (RGANI), offered here to researchers, consists of documents from different sections of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, which in the 1950s and 1960s supervised Party development work, ideology, propaganda, science, education, culture, and agriculture. At different moments within this period, the structure and content of documents deposited in these Sections changed, while the structure of the Sections themselves were repeatedly reorganized, their names and functions changing, sectors or subdivisions within them continuously being created or abolished. As a rule, these changes were connected with the strivings of the Communist Party leadership to improve the structure of Party and state administration, in order to optimize the functional tasks of the Party apparat. These efforts continued in later years as well; however, the period of Khrushchev's rule (1953-1964) was marked by the most frequent and radical (also far from always justified) structural transformations of the CC apparat.

This collection allows us to trace in detail important structural and functional changes within the Central Committee, giving researchers the opportunity to understand better how the Soviet system of administration operated in the post-Stalin period. Among the voluminous and diverse documents in the collection can be found drafts of resolutions of the Communist Party Central Committee and USSR Council of Ministers; notations; letters; information; accounts; shorthand transcripts; manuscripts; memos from Sections and their subdivisions, local Party and soviet organs, ministries, departments, Soviet missions abroad, scientific and cultural institutions, scholarly institutions, individuals and more.

A significant portion of the documents relating to Party work covers the role of Soviet trade unions in state, economic and cultural development, questions of Party leadership of the Komsomol, the structure and personnel of Party organs, improvement in the style and methods of Party leadership, and improvement in the level of ideological, educational and leadership work with the masses. The Propaganda Sections are represented by memoranda and inquiries relating to certain questions involving the ideological work of the Chinese Communist Party; information about heightened anti-communist propaganda; about letters by Soviet citizens who emigrated to Israel; about statements by foreign tourists who visited the USSR; about the various forms of Soviet propaganda aimed at foreign countries; and the propaganda activities of Soviet embassies and other Soviet establishments abroad. The documents from the Science and Education Sections include various materials concerning the work of scientific establishments and scientific research institutions; concerning the activity of the USSR Academy of Sciences, the academies of the union republics, their subdivisions, branches and scientific-research institutions; concerning the participation of Soviet scholars in international and all-Union congresses, conferences, meetings and expeditions. The Culture Sections' documents reflect reference materials, memoranda, and reports on an inspection regarding the implementation by the nation's theaters, as well as documents concerning the work of writers' organizations and literary journals and newspapers, the activities of the A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature, as well as the situation in the Moscow writers' organization. The documents of the agricultural Sections reflect their activities concerning the implementation of the Party's directives and resolutions on agricultural matters. During the rule of Nikita Khrushchev, the problems of agriculture were given heightened attention, and therefore the documents on this topic encompass the widest range of issues: from material and technical assistance given to sovkhozy and kolkhozy to the opening up of new virgin-soil lands.

Presented in a unified complex of documents, the Collection's materials substantially expand our opportunities for the study of Soviet history in the second half of the twentieth century; they introduce into scholarly circulation a significant mass of new, previously classified archival documents. Together with previously published complexes of documents from the holdings of RGANI (the CPSU Congresses and Plenary Sessions of the Central Committee, the General Section of Central Committee and the CC Section for Relations with Foreign Communist Parties), they promote an improved understanding of the processes involved in the formulation and adoption of decisions by the Soviet political leadership with regard to the various problems of domestic and foreign policy in the USSR. Documents included in the Collection may be used for the study of such problems as the mechanisms of Party leadership and the administration of science and culture, the problems of Party organization in the USSR, the socio-economic transformations in the Soviet village during the rule of Nikita Khrushchev, the role of ideology in Soviet society, etc. The Collection's materials will be of significant interest to historians, researchers, journalists and a wide circle of readers wishing.

448 reels. Printed guide has call number: Microtext Ref. Z2519 .D47 2003 (LC)+ Oversize.

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LOCATION: SML, Microform (Non-Circulating)
CALL NUMBER: Film B18986