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Harvard Acquires Communist Records

October 5, 1999

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) _ An extensive collection of previously classified documents from the Communist Party archives in the former Soviet Union has a new home at Harvard University.

The 25 million sheets of material include the archives of the Gulag, the system of Soviet forced labor camps; documents from the organization responsible for internal purges of the Communist Party; the archives of the Soviet police; and a variety of records detailing deliberations within Communist leadership between 1903 through the Gorbachev period of the 1980s.

Until now, the archives have been available only to Russians with top secret clearance.

The collection, named in honor of George and Abby O’Neill, who donated the funds to acquire the materials, will be stored on 10,000 reels of microfilm and housed within the Harvard College Library.

Another related gift, the Elizabeth H. and Ernest E. Monrad Library Collection of materials from the former Soviet Union, will enable Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian Studies to build a computer data bank and add to its Soviet collection.

Both collections will be dedicated at a ceremony Oct. 28.

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