This blog post is the first in a series in which C3W team members will write about our adventures in the archives.
Posted by C3W Admin on June 20 2022
The Society for Co-operation in Russian and Soviet Studies (SCRSS) is a venerable organisation founded in 1924 in the wake of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Britain and the new Soviet state. Originally called the Society for Cultural Relations between the Peoples of the British Commonwealth and the USSR, founding members included artists and intellectuals from both nations, including Virginia Woolf, EM Forster, Bertrand Russell, Alexei Tolstoy and Konstantin Yuon. You can read more about the history of the SCRSS here.
Housed in an anonymous building in Brixton, South London, the SRCSS houses a fantastic library and archive of materials relating to the social science, arts and humanities of the Soviet Union, as well as SRCRSS’s own archive. The arts and cultural sectors are particularly well represented, including arts and architecture, theatre and cinema, music and dance and literature: the enticing colourful shelves of children’s books are unique in the UK and provide an unbroken record of children’s literature in Russian from the early Soviet period onwards.
In my first forays into the collections housed at SCRSS, I have found already found plenty of material of interest for our project at C3W. From the complete bound volumes of Soviet Weekly and booklets on health, gender and international cooperation in the archive to rare books in the library, the resources here are rich vein to be mined. Below are a small selection of some of the materials relevant for our various projects within C3W’s larger mission of investigating global socialist health and socialist internationalism.