I S T O R Y
the 80+ years since the Russian Revolution, the film and photo images
of Soviet life released to the world, and even to the Russian people,
have been carefully controlled and severely limited.
Archive Media Project (AMP), RAO's parent, was originally formed
as a Russian-American partnership through a USAID Internews grant
to open to the world the Russian State Documentary Film and Photo
Archive at Krasnogorsk. Out of this partnership grew the idea for
an online gateway providing access to the historic images via the
World Wide Web: Russian Archives Online.
A Project Called
marketing and development initiative was begun in 1997, designated
"ROCK" for "Russian Online Culture and Knowledge." ROCK was envisioned
as the ultimate digital library of Russian culture. In order to give
a physical representation to the vision of ROCK, demonstration Web
sites were created showing the various options for information dissemination.
Additionally, a network was established of interested international
Russian history experts to provide ongoing guidance to the online
and educational aspects of AMP.
March 6, 1998, Abamedia and Internews Network, an international
non-profit supporting independent media in emerging democracies,
held a planning conference hosted by the Library of Congress in
Washington, DC, to discuss aspects of Russian Archives Online services
with academic advisors and potential funders. The primary interest
of academics attending the conference was in the area of visual
materials on the history of Russia, and the major recommendation
from the conference was that AMP first continue its concentration
on improving accessibility to the Krasnogorsk Archive, while making
contacts with and providing ancillary information on other image
archives as needed. Therefore, the immediate definition of ROCK
was revised to give focus to the Krasnogorsk Archive.
Online Digital Cataloging
Krasnogorsk Archive film cataloguing is underway with new Russian-language
entries added monthly to the online searchable database. (See Catalogues
for access to this database.) A sample 2,000 entry English-language
database is also available. A brief photo catalogue of Krasnogorsk
images is online to provide a glimpse of the Archive's holdings,
though by no means comprehensive in nature.
1998 the Russian partners of AMP were awarded a Russian Digital
Library Program grant to continue the development of a digital library
and corressponding cataloguing software programs. Currently, Abamedia
and Archive Media Project are applying for additional funds froma
variety of sources to continue the development of the databases
and cataloguing software.