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Rubinov Papers: A Topical Guide to Articles Referenced in the Collection

Anatoliĭ Zakharovich Rubinov (1924-2009) served as an editor for the Russian newspaper Literaturnaia gazeta. Providing a view into the social attitudes of the late Soviet period, this guide indexes articles referenced in the many letters to the editor.

Introduction

Envelopes of letters from the Rubinov Papers. Library of Congress European Division.

Anatoliĭ Zakharovich Rubinov (1924-2009) was a journalist and sub-editor for the popular national Soviet weekly newspaper Literaturnaia gazeta. Over the span of his 30-year career, Rubinov published hundreds of articles addressing pressing contemporary economic and social issues. These articles strongly resonated with readers and many flooded the newspaper's editorial office with letters of response.

The Rubinov Papers in the European Division is a manuscript collection preserving these responses from readers. The collection was donated to the Library of Congress by Mr. Rubinov in 2000. The letters are a rich primary source that reveal the attitudes and life experiences of everyday Soviet citizens. The topics covered in the collection are vast, ranging from the personal (marriage and family) to the social (low-level institutional corruption).

Overall, the collection contains letters responding to about 80 articles published in Literaturnaia gazeta from 1968 to 1996. Most of the articles discussed by readers in the letters were written by Rubinov, although articles by other journalists are also represented. It should be noted the collection contains additional materials, including a series of letters from Soviet government agencies addressing readers' concerns and transcripts from round table discussions organized by the newspaper. Furthermore, the collection has a series of bulletins that were used by newspaper staff. These bulletins are letters from readers that were retyped and printed for internal use. This guide describes the articles that are related to the letters from readers and also to the bulletins. For a more detailed description of the collection's contents, please see the Rubinov collection finding aid (PDF) prepared by European Division staff in 2011. The finding aid also describes where readers' letters responding to a particular article are stored in the European Reading Room.

This guide is meant to enhance the existing finding aid by offering an additional approach to the collection. While the finding aid reflects the collection's chronological arrangement based on when each article was published, this guide organizes the articles by topic. This gives a sense of what areas of research are possible using the collection. It also makes it easier to discern which articles (and thus collection materials) are useful for a research project if a particular topic is in mind. In addition, since an article's main idea is not always clear from its title, brief summaries for each article are provided in this guide.