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Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies Research Guide: Primary Sources

Guide to doing research on Russia and the former Soviet republics and the countries of Eastern Europe

Getting Started

 The first step in identifying primary source material is to read the bibliographies and scan the footnotes in the secondary works on your subject. Read also the preface and acknowledgments: authors often identify particularly useful works, libraries, or archives there.

Contemporary Articles

Newspaper and periodical articles written at the time of an event or period under study are primary sources. Search discoverE for newspapers we own.  Other Russian and East European newspapers may be available on loan from the Center for Research Libraries.

Russian Central Newspapers
Delivers same day full text access to some of the most influential Russian daily and weekly editions. The search mechanism enables complex querying and global searching across all newspapers within the database, as well as within individual titles and issues. Covers 1990's to the present.

Christian Science Monitor -- Historical(1908-1995)
Full text. For material after 1995 search for  Christian Science Monitor on E-Journals

Current Digest of the Russian Press (1949-present)
Encompassing the entire run of The Current Digest of the Soviet/Post-Soviet Press, the digital archive is a comprehensive retrospective digest of the news presented to the Soviet and Russian public for more than a half-century, from the beginnings of the Cold War through the emergence of Russia in the new balance of power.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (1941-1996) This database is an index to English translations of print and broadcast media from around the world. The actual translations of Soviet material can be found at:
Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report: Soviet Union (FBIS-SOV)
PREX 7.10: FBIS-SOV-76-1 to 92-002 (2 January 1976-3 January 1992)
These microfiche are in the Government Documents Microfiche cabinets on Level 1.

Humanities Source Ultimate

New York Times Historical (1851-2005) Provides the full text of every article as well as search capability by key word. For issues after 2005 use New York Times.

Reader's Guide Retrospective (1890-1982)
The great index to U. S. (and some British) popular and general interest magazines of the Twentieth Century. It includes news magazines.

Times Digital Archive (1785-2011)
The Times of London. This database provides full-text images of each page of every issue of the Times. For material after 1985 use LexisNexis™ Academic.

Washington Post Historical (1877-2000)
For articles after 1992 use Washington Post

Personal records, Memoirs, Diaries


Generally, you will identify memoirs and diaries by searching discoverE under the name of a person (as Author, not Subject) ) you have identified through secondary readings . Check also  WorldCat to identify works that other libraries may have. Try also:

Biography Reference Bank Provides full text articles from various biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias. Also lists articles about the person, books about the person, and books by the person.

Government Sources

Indexes to Government Records


Access UN An index to United Nations publications from 1946 to the present. We will have all publications of the General Assembly and the Security Council in Government Documents.

Proquest Congressional Indexes and identifies a huge number and variety of Congressional publications including reports, bills, and Congressional hearings. For East European subjects its main value will be for the period after 1918. Select "Historical Indexes" to search documents from 1789-1980. Emory should have almost everything you will turn up but you may have to consult with a reference person in order to find the material.


Government Records: selected source collections

  British Documents on Foreign Affairs: Reports and Documents from the Foreign Office Confidential Print.
Series A, Part I: Russia 1859-1904 JX632 .B74 1983
Series A, Pt. II: Soviet Union, 1917-1939 DK266 .A3 B68 1984
Series A, Pt. III: Soviet Union, 1940-1945 JX632 .B7762 1997
Series A, Pt. IV: Soviet Union, 1946-1950 JZ632 .B77 1999
The "Confidential Print" was a means of distributing diplomatic dispatches and other papers among selected government offices and agencies. These documents were generally reports of conditions in a country or area that observers, diplomatic, military, or civilian, thought important to communicate to the Foreign Office. All of these volumes have a table of contents with two or four word descriptions of the contents of each document.

Confidential U.S. Diplomatic Post Records. Russia and the Soviet Union. Part I: 1914-1918
Microfilm 1704
See the guide shelved at Microguide Micfilm 1704 to get an idea of the contents of this collection.

Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files: The Soviet Union, 1945-1949
Micfilm 2093

Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files: The Soviet Union, 1950-1954
Micfilm 2094
These cover both internal and foreign affairs. Refer to the guides: for 1945-1949 at Microguide Micfilm 2093, for 1950-1954 at Microguide Micfilm 2094 

Foreign Relations of the United States (1861 to present)
Documents S1.1:
An annual which reprints correspondence, reports and other material from State Department and private sources concerning conditions and actions in other countries and regions of interest to the U.S. After 1918 it becomes an important source of English language material on Eastern Europe. A few volumes after 1945 are available online.

Records of the U.S. Department of State Relating to the...
...Internal Affairs of Austria, 1945-1949 (Microfilm 4198)
...Internal Affairs of Austria, 1950-1954 (Microfilm 4199)
...Internal Affairs of Czechoslovakia, 1945-1949 (Microfilm 1672) (Microguide Micfilm 1672)
...Internal Affairs of Czechoslovakia, 1950-1954 (Microfilm 2052) (Microguide Micfilm 2052)

...Internal Affairs of the Russian Zone (East Germany), 1950-1954 (Microfilm 2053) (Microguide Micfilm 2053)

...Internal Affairs of Hungary, 1945-1949 (Microfilm 1653) (Microguide Micfilm 1653)
...Internal Affairs of Hungary, 1950-1954 (Microfilm 4200)

...Internal and External Affairs of Poland, 1945-1949 (Microfilm 3192) (Microguide Micfilm 3192)
...Internal and External Affairs of Poland, 1950-1954 (Microfilm 3193) (Microguide Micfilm 3193)
...Internal Affairs of Poland, 1945-1949 (Microfilm 1628) (Microguide Micfilm 1628)
...Internal Affairs of Poland, 1950-1954 (Microfilm 2051) (Microguide Micfilm 2051)

...Internal Affairs of Romania, 1945-1949 (Microfilm 1738) (Microguide Micfilm 1738)

...Internal Affairs of Yugoslavia, 1945-1949 (Microfilm 1654) (Microguide Micfilm 1654)


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