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#6 - JRL 7228

MOSCOW, June 18 (RIA Novosti) - The archives of Communist International, or Comintern, an early twentieth-century umbrella organization of communist parties from different countries, is going digital. The Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History (RGASPI) told RIA Novosti that along with Russia, the Council of Europe and the International Council on Archives were part of the international project.

Comintern was created in 1919 on the initiative of Soviet Russia and existed until 1943. The records of the secretive group were classified and researchers could not access them until after 1991, when the Soviet Union had ceased to exist. Since then, the archive has been stored in Russia. Electronically, it will be available to researchers everywhere.

Comintern's documentation system had a highly complex structure and was multilingual, containing papers in more than 90 languages. The effort to create an e-version brought together specialists from Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Italy, Spain and the United States. The e-version includes a database of more than 220,000 entries and a collection of digitized documents.

The Comintern e-archive will be officially opened on June 27. Archive compact discs will be transferred to all countries that participated in the effort. In Moscow, it will be available to all visitors of a special reading room at the RGASPI.

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