Browse Primary Sources
Primary sources from world and global history, including images, objects, texts, and digitally-born materials – annotations by scholars contextualize sources.
International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience

International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience

The International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience is a network of organizations committed to teaching and learning how historic sites and museums can inspire social consciousness and action. The Gulag Museum helped to establish the Coalition in 1999. The second image is a map of founding members of the International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience.

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Gulag Museum Traveling Exhibitions

Gulag Museum Traveling Exhibitions

Gulag Museum traveling exhibitions, including one on repression that focuses on the 1930s and 1940s.

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History Lesson at the Gulag Museum

History Lesson at the Gulag Museum

Today Perm-36 is open to the public as a historic site and museum. The Gulag Museum has focused much of its energy on reaching out to school-age Russians, many of whom know little of the Gulag past. These students, and thousands of others from Russia and abroad, come to visit this restored Gulag camp.

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Perm-36 Camp Buildings

Perm-36 Camp Buildings

One of the International Memorial Society’s projects is the creation of the Memorial Museum of Political Repression History at Perm-36. Perm-36 camp buildings before and after the restoration.

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Memorial Society Activists

Memorial Society Activists

Memorial Society activists providing humanitarian aid to Chechnyan refugees, Iman Refugee Camp, Ingushetia, Russia, 1999.

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Sergei Kovalev

Sergei Kovalev

One of the founders and leaders of the Memorial Society and the human rights commissioner under Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Kovalev, a former prisoner at Perm-36, served as chairman of the Human Rights Committee in the Russian Parliament. Because of his adamant opposition to the Russian war in Chechnya, he was removed from his official government positions in 1995.

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Monuments in Honor of Political Repression Victims

Monuments in Honor of Political Repression Victims

Monuments in honor of political repression victims.

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Memorial Society Map

Memorial Society Map

On the eve of the Soviet Union’s collapse, some Russian historians, human rights activists, former Gulag prisoners, and others created civic organizations to help foster remembrance. One of the most prominent, the Memorial Society, erected small monuments throughout the country to commemorate victims of totalitarianism.

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Ogonyok Magazine Cover

Ogonyok Magazine Cover

A few well-connected Russians amassed fantastic fortunes during the period of widespread corruption when state-owned industries were privatized. According to Forbes magazine, Russia ranks second only to the United States in the number of multi-millionaires. Among the 100 richest people in the world, 27 are Russians.

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Homeless and Poor People in Moscow

Homeless and Poor People in Moscow

After years of brutal repression, Russians had great expectations for prosperity. Political and economic reforms could not quickly address the serious long-term structural problems of the Soviet system. In the 1990s, Russia was exposed as an unstable, weak, and vulnerable nation.

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