The Belousovich Collection of Samizdat and independent press is composed of various periodicals, manuscripts, and miscellaneous documents ranging from the 60s to the early 90 from the Soviet Union.
The series PERIODICALS forms the largest section of the collection. It includes publications dating predominately from the late 80s and early 90s. As the Soviet Union was undergoing strong political changes under Mikhail Gorbachev, many political organizations became more public with their activities and beliefs. This phenomenon was due to Glasnost, a policy introduced by Gorbachev that called for political openness of governing institutions, as well as, diminished censorship and greater freedom of speech. The majority of the periodicals in the collection date to this historical period and are of political nature. Many of the periodicals are the publications of various political parties and movements. The material is organized alphabetically by periodical title, and within each title by date.
In addition to periodicals, the Belousovitch collection also includes a large MANUSCRIPTS section. Many of the manuscripts date to the 70s and the 80s and are in Samizdat form. Among some of the most notable manuscripts in the collection is a 1700-page memoir by Maria Shapiro about her experiences in the Soviet gulag, and various works written by Dmitrii Dudko and Vladimir Albrekht. The material is arranged alphabetically by author.
The OTHER section consists of miscellaneous documents dating from the 60s to 80s. A notable number of original anguished appeals from the Soviet Union, written to U.S. officials, is one of the highlights. Another section of the collection that is worth special mention is the older Samizdat material. It contains various documents pertaining to Yurii Orlov’s Helsinki group, as well as, many other interesting documents. The material is ordered alphabetically according to broad subject categories, such as Court Cases, Human Rights, or Religion.