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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Digital Humanities in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia: Projects

This guide is designed for scholars interested in the digital humanities field in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia.


This page provides a small selection of example projects carried out by different digital humanities centers and communities in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. This list is not comprehensive, but rather aims at showing the wide variety of current digital humanities initiatives in the area. It is an ongoing project, and new items will continue to be added to this list.

Arzamas Academy: Arzamas - like its historical predecessor - is a unique collective of intellectuals and scholars in Russia for "enlightenment and humanist knowledge". Arzamas' affiliates are over fifty public intellectuals and researchers from different institutions in Russia. The collective's project is to build an online academic community, an academy that continuously develops and expands. Materials developed for this academy are all accessible free of charge on the Arzamas website. The materials that Arzamas develops and shares on its website primarily consist of (series of) online seminars, and a large number of online (often interactive) articles about a wide range of topics related to culture and people: history, literature, art, anthropology, and philosophy, from antiquity to the present. The materials focus on Russia and other parts of the world, as well as relations and conflicts between different countries and communities. In addition to lectures and texts, the website also explores other types of materials. Examples are an interactive comparative timeline for Rus', the West, and the East between the ninth and the eighteenth century, and Arzamas' series on the history of eighteenth-century Russia in games for school children, with games on topics such as the life of Russian peasants, the workings of international diplomatic relations, the reforms of Peter the Great, and the intrigues of dynastic marriages. Every day, Arzamas Academy also provides a new link to other digital humanities projects in Russia.

Archive of Maria Janion: This project is a joint initiative of the "Women's Archives Team", the Digital Humanities Laboratory of Warsaw University, and the Polish Academy of Sciences, with the goal to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of renowned Polish scholar, feminist, and literary critic and theoretician Maria Janion. The website is dedicated to her life, ideas, and scholarly achievements. It includes an extensive biography; an overview of her work; an alphabet with concepts as interpreted by Maria Janion; and an digital archive with an impressive collection of recordings of Maria Janion's lectures and other public performances. Many visitors have also been making use of the opportunity to write a note of appreciation to Maria Janion, and all these messages are displayed on the home page of the website. The Archive of Maria Janion is a wonderful example of how to make an archive of the life and achievements of a remarkable individual accessible to a broad public. 

HSE Centre for Digital Humanities: Extracting network data from Mayakovsky's play "The Bedbug" (1928/1929) 
And a Soviet and Post-Soviet History Dissertation Database of more than 25,000 dissertations, written 1945-1963 and 1976-2013 
And a Digital semantic edition of Leo Tolstoy's complete works: this project includes an accessible advanced full-text search system, Tolstoy's texts in TEI format, interactive War and Peace visualizations, and a digital index of Tolstoy's works.

Memorial: Topography of Terror

Kalashnikov Izhevsk State Technical University: Corpus of medieval Slavonic Manuscripts of the X-XV cc

Siberian Federal University: Historical and cultural heritage of the town of Yaniseisk

The Prozhito Project is a project launched in 2015 that is aimed at creating an electronic archive of thousands of digitized Russian diaries from the twentieth century. The database provides the option to read individual diaries, but also to investigate a larger corpus based on name, location, period, and other search criteria.

Open List: large database on the victims of political repression in the USSR (1917-1991)

Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, Lviv: Project Lviv Interactive, an interactive historical map of the city of Lviv.