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Between 2003 and 2006, three teams of researchers from the Memorial Society in St Petersburg, Moscow and Perm recovered several hundred family archives (letters, diaries, personal papers, memoirs, photographs and artefacts) that had been concealed by the survivors of the Stalin Terror in secret drawers and under mattresses in private homes across Russia. In each family extensive interviews were carried out with the oldest relatives, who were able to explain the context of these private documents and relate them to the family's history. This represents a unique collection of documents and testimony about private life in the Stalin period, reflecting the interior world of ordinary families and individuals.

A selection of these archives, transcripts and sound extracts of the interviews, and English translations of some of the transcripts can be accessed on this site.

The project was led by Orlando Figes with support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Leverhulme Trust.

Click here to read the reviews for The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia

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