#European Memories of the GuLag
This website is trying out an alternative model of scholarly publication, aimed at researchers, teachers, and the general public. As a sort of “living book”, this type of publishing platform is able to regularly update its account of a research project’s findings.
Combining presentations intended for the general public with peer-reviewed academic contributions, the online platform is intended to provide both teaching material and discussion points for further research. Unlike publishing that presents a fixed state of knowledge, this dynamic form gives all users a vision of ongoing scholarship and reports on new approaches, including those that are still hypotheses subject to critical debate.
This platform arises from a research project that began in 2007 on forced population transfer in Stalin’s Soviet Union. The research was backed by CERCEC (EHESS and CNRS), Radio France International and INED, and has already collected 200 accounts from former deportees to Gulag camps and Soviet “special settlement” villages, with photos, private and public archival material, and films. Many topics remain to be studied, particularly from the archives and testimony collected by Russian, East and Central European institutions.
Our aim in combining presentation for a general public and peer-reviewed scholarly contributions is both educational and as a basis for discussing further research. Unlike those publications that disseminate the state of accepted knowledge, this more dynamic form reveals science in progress for people from all backgrounds, reflecting new approaches, including hypotheses still open to criticism. All site content (presentation texts, research articles, sound and video archives, illustrations) is free to access. The publication is supervised by an international advisory committee and an editorial committee comprised of publishing and documentation professionals, as well as of French scholars specialized in this field of research. The review procedure for submissions as seen by the Editorial Committee is based on the standard practice of scholarly publishing, whereby each proposed contribution is submitted to two outside reviewers, specialists in that thematic field, whether geographical, historical, or methodological (peer review system).
The research PROJECT→
The initial project, which involved conducting the first 160 interviews in 13 countries, led to the development of the virtual museum “Sound Archives: European Memories of the Gulag”, which constitutes the basis for the current website.