Connecting databases on the Soviet system of repression

The aim of the project is to create in cooperation with Russian partners a unified information platform that would connect, by means of a shared thematic search engine, current diverse contemporary databases focused on political repression in the former Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries. This would simultaneously give rise to the most comprehensive and complete website possible, offering lay people and experts alike user-friendly access to information on that system of repression and its institutions, as well as its victims, locations, related archival documents and objects.

We discussed the possibility of sharing information from individual databases with representatives of the Moscow, Ryazan and St. Petersburg branches of Memorial during a special workshop we held in Prague on 2–4 March 2016. There we identified nine important databases that contain an extensive set of data and could be linked within the framework of a unified information search platform.

These are:

We are currently working on a technical solution and individual database processing. In this context, a second joint workshop took place from 10–11 May 2017 in Prague, during which we focused on the technical aspects of our tool and possibilities for the involvement of other future projects.

Pilot version should be launched at the turn of 2017/18.