The Davis Center Library recently digitized its Soviet Information Bureau Photograph Collection. Intended to document the reconstruction of the Soviet Union following World War II, these nearly 5,800 black-and-white photographs provide a stunning visual record of daily life, culture, and politics at the start of the Cold War.
Subjects range from famous historical figures, including Joseph Stalin and Dmitrii Shostakovich, to ordinary people from all parts of the USSR pursuing work and leisure. Commissioned by the propaganda arm of the Soviet state and intended for dissemination by foreign news agencies, most of the images bear reverse-side captions—often in English—identifying the location, subject(s), and photographer.
Thanks to a massive effort by REECA master's and Slavic Ph.D. students who transcribed and translated these captions, all text accompanying each image is fully keyword-searchable. The resulting digital resource is invaluable for teaching and research.
Ten must-see images from the collection:
Links to the full-size images and information are available below.