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ArcheoBiblioBase: Archives in Russia: B-10

Last update of repository: 8 June 2017

Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv fonodokumentov (RGAFD)


Total: 765 fonds, 244,190 units, 1898–2014
gramophone records (original and copies)—135,000 units; magnetic tapes (cassettes)—48,931 units; matrix moulds (preservation copies)—1,420; CD-ROM—176,062 units; tonefilms—808 units; wax cylinders (original and copies)—557 units; sound recordings from Vladimir Branch of RGAKFD—5,768 units (5,117 titles) (1936–1990)

RGAFD serves as a centralized repository for documentary and artistic sound recordings from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. Its holdings include wax cylinders, recordings from talking-picture films made with mechanical and photographic methods, metal gramophone mouldings and records, magnetic and paper tapes, and laser disks.
        The official state accession of archival copies of sound recordings began in 1934, when the archive was a part of TsFFKA SSSR. At that time early accessions from recording studios brought the first originals and matrix-moulds of prerevolutionary and early-Soviet gramophone records. Until the 1950s, the archive as a rule acquired only metal matrix-moulds of gramophone recordings. In that period the archive also acquired some sound recordings fixed on wax cylinders—for example, the folklore collection of the M.E. Piatnitskii State Folk Chorus.
        Acquisitions continued in the 1960s and 1970s from the State House of Sound Recordings and Broadcasting, the State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting, the All-Union Gramophone Recording Studio “Melodiia,” and from the record libraries of museums, libraries, creative professional unions, and private individuals.
        There are many original literary and artistic recordings by Soviet and foreign authors, as well as performances by leading theater, music, and folklore groups.
        At the present time RGAFD is accessioning recordings produced by the country’s most popular television and broadcasting companies (the RGTRK Ostankino and Radio Rossii); record companies (VTPO “Melodiia” of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the joint-stock company “Russkii disk”); film studios, such as the Central Studio for Documentary Films (TsSDF, 1944–) and the Central Studio for Documentary Films (“Tsentrnauchfilm”); and various educational institutions (Moscow State University, the Moscow State Conservatory Laboratory of Sound Recordings, the Russian Academy of Music, and others). Sound recordings are also being acquired from “houses” of creative workers (the Central House of Workers in the Arts—TsDRI, and the Central House of Writers—TsDL), socialorganizations, unions, and political parties (including the Central Commitee of the Young Communist League—TsK VLKSM), religious organizations of different denominations (primarily the Moscow Patriarchate), cultural-educational institutions (the N.E. Zhukovskii Scientific-Memorial Museum andthe Russian State Library), and Moscow theaters.
        Valuable sound recordings have been acquired for state deposit from record collectors (I.F. Boiarskii and V.D. Safoshkin), radio journalists (I.V. Drobyshevskaia and P.V. Plekhanov), and private individuals (the heirs ofA.N. Vertinskii, M.I. Romm, and N.S. Khrushchev).
        In recent years, RGAFD has been systematically promoting “oral history” with the creation of its own recorded productions about past and current events in the social, political, and cultural life of the country.
        Since 1997, sound recordings from the former Vladimir Branch of RGAKFD (B–11) have been transferred to RGAFD and integrated with the previous RGAFD holdings. The RGAKFD branch in Vladimir (formerly TsGAKFFD RSFSR) had been accessioning recordings of particular significance for the RSFSR, and after 1991 the Russian Federation, from republic- (and now federative-) level sources, such as studios for news broadcasts and sound recordings, from oblast-level radio broadcasting companies and from private citizens. These reflect social, political, economic, and cultural events from the late nineteenth century to the present.
        Among the Vladimir holdings of special interest are taped recollections of participants in the Civil War and the Second World War, witnesses to collectivization in the 1930s, and delegates to various congresses. Individual recordings range from the voice of A.V. Belyshev, first commissar of the cruiser “Aurora,” to those of cosmonauts V.N. Kubasov and and P.R. Popovich. Gramophone records also are retained from exchange fonds (1938–1958) of folklore of the peoples of Russia (including Tatars, Bashkirs, Mordovians, Tuvinians, Udmurts, and Ingush).

N.B. Many sound recordings used for broadcast on state radio are held by the State Fond of Television and Radio Programs (Gosteleradiofond—C–17).

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