Soviet and Post-Soviet History Dissertation Database

Why Soviet and post-Soviet history dissertations?

History writing in the region is a great source of data and ideas for current historians, and it represents an important cultural artifact. In the Soviet Union, the study of history played a central role in the political ideology of the regime. A fundamental element of Soviet Marxism was the idea that the history of human society progresses in predictable stages, ending with communism. Soviet historiography attempted to provide scholarly proof of the USSR's correct progression down this path. At the same time, changes in the regime's goals--particularly with changes in its leadership--frequently marked important shifts in the focus of historians (e.g., the disappearance of Stalin from dissertations in the mid-1950s). In post-Soviet states, history has important political and cultural implications as these societies try to make meaning of the Soviet past and new political regimes look to history for lessons and legitimacy.

What dissertations and kinds of information are here?

This site contains meta-data from 25786 total dissertations written from 1945 to 1964 and from 1976 to 2013. Records include both candidate and doctoral dissertations. The listing of dissertations is not complete, particularly for dissertations from the later period. Dissertations are mostly from the USSR or post-Soviet states although a few listings are from neighboring countries.

The English translations of dissertation titles are not great.

They were generated automatically using Google Translate. You can help! If there is a dissertation title translation you would like to see updated, click on the English title and enter your translation in the prompt. I'll review and update the translations every so often.

Can you show a random dissertation?

Input search criteria in :

Author Last Name:
Beginning Year: End Year:
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Record 7

Author:Anashkin, Eduard Nurimanovich
Title:Formation and development of training teachers for pedagogical universities and secondary schools in the Urals
(Становление и развитие системы подготовки кадров преподавателей для педагогических вузов и средней школы на Урале)
Degree:Candidate of Sciences
Institution:Not Specified
City:Chelyabinsk (Челябинск)
Link:Permanent Link to Entry

Where is this information from?

This site uses the listings from the history journal Вопросы истории [Voprosy istorii--Questions of History] and those collected at the website Dissercat.

How complete are the listings?

Because Вопросы истории was the official history journal of the Soviet Union, my impression is that the listings I collected from it are quite complete. These include the dissertations from 1945 to 1964 and doctoral dissertations from 1976 to 1986. On the other hand, the Dissercat listings seem to be more complete from the late 1990s and 2000s but less so before then.

Why are some of the listings missing information?

Unfortunately, Вопросы истории was not consistent with the information it published in its dissertation records. For example, all the listings from 1945-1950 contain just the title of the dissertation, the year and the institution where it was defended but not the author's name or whether the dissertation was for the candidate or doctoral degree.

I noticed that X is incorrect, can it be fixed?

Yes! Please send the correct information to me.

I noticed that dissertation X is missing, can you add it?

Yes! Please send the information to me and I'll add it if it is a dissertation written by someone from the USSR or former Soviet Union.

Where can I get one of these dissertations?

The Russian State Library has these dissertations. Many of those published in the 2000s are available in electronic form at their central Moscow location (Lenin Library). Older dissertations are available in physical form at their location at Khimki. Dissercat sells pdf copies of many post-Soviet dissertations for 2,000 rubles, although the ethics of using their services to purchase work produced for free is questionable.

Who made this site?

I am a historian of modern Europe specializing in Russian and Soviet history. I am also a computer science enthusiast. I completed my PhD at the University of Toronto in 2013 and currently hold a postdoctoral fellowship at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Thanks go to Aya Bara for her help digitizing dissertation records.

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© Seth Bernstein 2013 contact: seth [at] abstractualized [dot] сom