Content and structure
Scope and content (narrative)
The subject files include clippings from Russian and Western press, news agency releases, RFE/RL research papers, transcripts of radio broadcasts, and other information that aided SA staff in ascertaining the authenticity of Samizdat documents, contextualizing them and generally understanding the situation in the Soviet Union as well as the early years of post-Soviet transition.
The series covers the major topics of Soviet political and intellectual life (power and state, ideology, legislation, international relations, punitive bodies, human rights, nationality policy, censorship and mass media). A substantial part of the series materials is devoted to the political processes and social movements of the perestroika era. Several subject categories deal with the dissident movement and the history of Samizdat, its production and circulation. In addition to this, the subject files include documents on some more specific aspects of Soviet and early post-Soviet everyday culture, for example, housing, public health, prices and consumption, pop-music, rumors and jokes, mafia, drugs, as well as the life of women, children, homosexuals and people with disabilities.