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UCL now has access to the Soviet Woman Digital Archive, 1945-1991

By Sarah Gilmore, on 21 July 2022

UCL staff and students now have access to the Soviet Woman Digital Archive, 1945-1991 from East View

Established in the aftermath of WWII in 1945, Soviet Woman proclaimed its fundamental mission: “A magazine devoted to social and political problems, literature and art…” It began as a bimonthly illustrated magazine tasked with countering anti-Soviet propaganda by introducing Western audiences to the lifestyle of Soviet women, including their role in the post-WWII rebuilding of the Soviet economy, and their achievements in the arts and the sciences. Originally published simultaneously in Russian, English, German and French, the magazine went on to add more foreign language editions aimed at reaching an even wider audience both in the West and elsewhere to balance the Western narrative about the Soviet Union in these countries with a pro-Soviet ideological counterweight.

Over the years the magazine developed regular sections covering issues dealing with economics, politics, life abroad, life in the Soviet republics, women’s fashion, as well as broader issues in culture and the arts. One of its most popular features was the translations of Soviet literary works, allowing readers across the globe a peek inside the hitherto insular Soviet literary world. An important communist propaganda outlet, the magazine continued its run until the collapse of the USSR in 1991

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