The private collection, established in 2016, presents the life and work of Sevdalina Panayotova. It shows this literature teacher, theater director, public figure, and citizen daily and consistent opposition to the hypocrisy of the structures of state socialism and against the status quo. Sevdalina Panayotova, a teacher and cultural activist, was neither a well-known writer, director, nor a popular dissident, but her whole life and creativity was a rebellion against the attempt of the socialist state to impose narrow standards and norms on everyday life and thinking, a rebellion against pseudo-morals and pseudo-arts, against the principles of socialist realism in literature and theatrical art.The collection of books, scripts, photos from theatrical productions, interviews given by Sevdalina Panayotova and interviews with her, published articles, among others, shows an "ordinary" life of civil and cultural opposition. Sevdalina Panayotova pursued opposition through critical themes in literature and theater as well as through the use of innovative means of expression by resisting against imposed artistic forms. The collection highlights individual estrangement from the socialist state, the dynamics of criticism, and the risks criticism entailed for "ordinary" people. The collection shows the attempt of a "life of truth" and of repeated defiance borne out of a strong moral stance. It is also a good example of a small family collection that maintains personal memories without having a grand political agenda.
The Circle of History Students was a society for history students and lecturers at the University of Tartu during Soviet times which was officially part of the Students' Scientific Union. Although it was an official organisation, the Circle of History Students offered space for relatively free discussions between students and lecturers. It was a breeding ground for the growing protest spirit in the late 1980s. The Circle of History Students archive, which is preserved today in the National Archives of Estonia, contains various documents about its activities. Although it followed the formal rules for Soviet public speaking, these documents also display ironic and critical attitudes towards the regime, and reflect the free atmosphere for research and communication in the society.
The personal collection of Croatian philosopher and sociologist Rudi Supek contains documents and photographs that testify to Supek's intellectual activity, which had been prevented in some phases of his life. Supek was the editor of two critically-oriented Marxist journals, Pogledi and Praxis, and as one of the main protagonists of the Korčula Summer School of Philosophy, he expressed views that did not align with those promoted by the Communist authorities. Supek's disagreement with the practices of the communist regime stemmed from his understanding of the position of intellectuals in society and his stance that there is no socialism without democracy. This collection also illustrates Supek's work as one of the pioneers of the environmental movement in Yugoslavia.
The collection includes documents (archival material) stored in the archive of the "Commission for the Disclosure of Documents and Announcing Affiliation of Bulgarian Citizens with the State Security and the Intelligence Services of the Bulgarian People's Army", commonly called "Commission for Dossiers" (Comdos) in Bulgarian.
The collection documents developments among the Bulgarian intelligentsia during the communist regime through the perspective of the secret police and reveals their strategies of observation and persecution of critical intellectuals.
The Praxis and Korčula Summer School Collection includes significant books and articles by the Praxis thinkers and a complete set of all editions of the journal Praxis. It represents a first-class cultural legacy because it is the most comprehensive collection of the phenomenon, widely recognised not only in (the former) Yugoslavia but also internationally. During the socialist period, philosophers and sociologists of a predominantly Marxist orientation actively participated in the promotion of the culture of critical thought by writing for the journal, and by attending the summer school.
Zoran Đinđić Library at the Zoran Đinđić Foundation
Zoran Đinđić Library at the Zoran Đinđić Foundation
This is the collection of the prominent intellectual and dissident of the SFR Yugoslavia, Zoran Đinđić. During his studies at the beginning of the 70s, Đinđić was active in a leftist oppositional student movement. After being tried for attempting to organize an alternative independent student union, he left Yugoslavia for Germany and only returned at the beginning of the 90s. After the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Đinđić was one of the most important leaders of the opposition movement during the 1990s, and between 2001 and 2003 he served as prime minister of Serbia. The collection consists of books which Đinđić accumulated from his student days up until his assassination.
The High Consistory Collection includes mostly of documents issued by the High Consistory of the Evangelical Church of Augustan Confession of Romania in the period 1922–1990, together with the minutes of meetings of the High Consistory and documents concerning institutional communication with parishes and with the state authorities. The collection illustrates the opposition of the Evangelical Church A.C. of Romania to the policies of the communist regime in certain domains, such as religious education.
The Fištrović Collection of the Fran Galović Library and Reading Room in Koprivnica contains about 1,300 historical, political, economic and cultural books in English, many of which are the only copies in Croatia. The books were used by a group of Croatian intellectuals in Chicago in the 1990s to address the American public and advocate for a democratic and independent Croatia, which can be considered a final act of resistance to the Yugoslav socialist regime. The authors of some of the books are also intellectuals from the former Yugoslav republics, and their work, published in English, is evidence of their dissent against the Yugoslav system of government.
The collection includes the documents of the Danube Circle Association, which was a non-governmental organization in opposition to the government’s project to construct a River Barrage Dam near Nagymaros (Hungary) in the 1980s. The Danube Circle movement tried to prevent the construction of the dam with samizdats, public debates, and protests. The Circle was one of the new types of alternative movements, which expanded the base of the “traditional” intellectual opposition.
The private collection of historian Gábor Klaniczay (1950-) includes written, visual, and audio sources from the 1970s and 1980s. These sources all concern the alternative, underground cultural trends, art, music performances, and political oppositional movements of the period. The almost entire series of the samizdat publications from Hungary also constitute an important part of the collection, as do the leaflets and posters from his trips to Paris and New York.
The Zoltán Rostás private collection stands out as something unique in the context of the Romania of the 1980s and an extraordinary example of a passion that developed in the grey zone of tolerance permitted by the regime into a profession after the fall of the regime. The oral history interviews recorded by the owner of the collection, which capture not only societal changes but also the cultural diversity that still existed in the Bucharest of those years, contradict the official homogenising vision of the party-state and constitute documents of social history without parallel in the period in question. This collection also preserved the memory of the school of sociology that was destroyed by the communist regime and, after 1989, it made a decisive contribution towards the institutionalisation of oral history in the academic world of Romania.
Collection of the Calvinist youth congregation of Pasarét
Collection of the Calvinist youth congregation of Pasarét
The collection, which is the private property of István Viczián, illustrates the history of the Calvinist youth organization of Pasarét under socialism. The collection includes letters and photographs, which provide insights into the aspirations of the group to create an active religious community in an era when such communities were a threat to and contradiction of official communist youth policy.
The Jan Patočka Archives (AJP) studies and interprets the philosophical heritage of the Czech philosopher and dissident Jan Patočka (1907-1977). AJP is led by Patočkaʼs pupils and is a unique institute working with Patočkaʼs original texts and also with the attendees of his lectures.
Ferenc Erős’s interview collection includes in-depth interviews with second-generation Holocaust survivors. This project was one of the first which seeks to revive suppressed memories of the Holocaust and the effects of the psychological strategies used to grapple with these memories and the ways in which trauma are transmitted within families.
The Memory of Nations is an extensive online collection of the memories of witnesses, which is being developed throughout Europe by individuals, organizations, schools and institutions. It preserves and makes available the collections of memories of witnesses who have agreed that their testimony should serve to explore modern history and be publicly accessible. The collection includes testimonies of communism resistance, holocaust survival, artists of alternative culture and underground and many others.
Ferenc Fejtő was an original, democratic leftist thinker. His library is a unique trace of the criticism of Eastern European rightist, authoritarianist, socialist dictatorship, and Western European leftist romanticism. Fejtő, who maintained strong connections with European intellectual elites, left Hungary for France in 1938, yet remained deeply committed to the fate of freedom-lacking Eastern Europe.
The digital collection of the Oral History Center contains more than 2000 interviews with twentieth-century witnesses, which are divided into different themes and topics, thus presenting a unique collection of professionally created interviews and memories, many of which are related to the theme of cultural opposition.
The Czechoslovak Students’ Movement of the 1960s Collection (Ivan Dejmal Collection) at the Libri Prohibiti Library contains valuable sources documenting Czechoslovak students’ movement in the 1960s, and especially during the years 1968 and 1969. Materials, which were collected by the leading Czechoslovak student activist Ivan Dejmal, illustrate, among other things, students’ activities during the so-called “Prague Spring” or reactions of students’ milieu to Jan Palach’s self-immolation in 1969.
The Marian Zulean personal collection is an illustration of the fact that any act of cultural opposition is dependent on the societal context that generates it. It implicitly highlights the fundamental difference between Romania and other communist states in the last years of the period 1980–1989. The more than 400 newspapers, magazines, brochures and books, originating especially from the Soviet Union in the Gorbachev period, epitomise a reformist political discourse that had become relatively official in the rest of the Soviet bloc, but was considered dangerous by the Romanian Securitate.
Krunoslav Draganović Collection on World War II and Post-...
Krunoslav Draganović Collection on World War II and Post-war Victims
The Krunoslav Draganović Collection on World War II and Post-war Victims is an archive collection whose original collector was the priest Krunoslav Draganović, who, relying primarily on the testimonies of survivors and other witnesses, planned to publish a book on the crimes of the Yugoslav communists.
Ljubomir Tadić was a professor of philosophy, academic, and politically active intellectual over many decades. During the socialist period in Yugoslavia he was a prominent opposition figure and critically minded intellectual who struggled against the Yugoslav system. Ljubomir Tadić’s collection is located in the Archives of Yugoslavia in Belgrade.
Augustinas Janulaitis was a famous Lithuanian national activist, an active member of the Social Democratic Party, a lawyer and historian. In 1945, he became dean of the Faculty of History at Vilnius University, and later a member of the Academy of Sciences. The Augustinas Janulaitis collection, which is kept in the Wróblewski Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, holds various manuscripts of Janulaitis' work, and documents relating to his career and life in Soviet Lithuania. His letter to the president of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences reflects the difficult situation in 1946, when he was attacked by the Soviet authorities for bourgeois nationalism. To students, he was an example of an intellectual and a scholar of interwar independent Lithuania.
The collection documents the work of Croatian historian and political émigré Nikola Čolak (1914-1996). In 1966, he belonged to a group of academics and thinkers from Zadar, who officially sought to break the Communist Party's monopoly on truth by establishing the first journal not controlled by the Party. After the suppression of this initiative, Čolak was forced into exile in Italy. The so-called Movement of Independent Intellectuals represented the first attempt to create a formal cultural opposition circle not only in Croatia, but in Yugoslavia as a whole, which is recorded through this collection.