The Vera & Donald Blinken Open Society Archives collects historical documents and artifacts, and has traditionally seen its mission in collecting, processing, preserving, multiplying, and making publicly available such materials. The institution acquires records by donation or deposit. The Archivum's thematic focus on the history of Communism, Cold War, the human rights movement, and the Soros Foundation Network is preconditioned by the Archives' initial assignment to serve as an important regional source for the post-communist societies in their transition to democracy.
Individuals, organizations valuing their past and want to have their original records become part of the collective memory, or testimonies aware of endangered archives, lost collections, documentation worth of public access can contact the OSA Archivum for assistance. By donating such materials to OSA Archivum, we will safe-guard the physical status of the records, will ensure digital curation of the files, and broaden public access according to the donors will and legislative requirements.
Blinken OSA seeks collections from the post World War II period till the recent history with special attention to Central and Eastern Europe.
Desirable materials include records such as:
- Broadcast archives and their background documentation from the Cold War period
- Personal papers of well-known figures, politicians, intellectuals from the post World War II era
- Archive of private, unofficial organizations, non-profit organizations specialized in human rights, civil society issues or dedicated to the alternative culture in the Communist period
- Home movies, film or photo collections of individuals, organizations with no successor representing an interesting sample on the everyday life culture
- Datasets, digitally born records, digital copies of hard copy archive if their quality is adequate for archival preservation
- Oral history archive from the given period
Individuals, organizations wishing to donate material to OSA Archivum must complete a Deed of Gift agreement. The agreement gives an indication of the basic content of the records being donated, the types of materials, and the approximate quantity of material. The agreement also records information on the chain of custody of the records, prior to their arrival at OSA Archivum. Every donor has the right to impose reasonable access restrictions on the materials to protect confidentiality as determined through a mutual agreement between the Archivum and the donor. The General Restriction Statement of the Archivum provides the basic principles for access rights over the holdings of the institution, more specific restrictions are determined at the time of donation, and are for a fixed period of time specified in the Deed of Gift.
The OSA Archivum requests that all materials donated be accompanied by a general description of the contents and their approximate dates. Photographs, films, art works should be donated with information identifying their content, as well as information on copyright and reproduction restrictions. Items offered for donation will be examined for historical merit by archival staff members under the direction of the Director of OSA Archivum before being accepted by the OSA Archivum.
It should be noted that the following materials are not accepted for donation: records unrelated to the Acquisition Policy of OSA Archivum; widely available, published information like books; personnel, financial and administrative records; copies; printouts from the internet; CD and DVD materials in commercial circulation without the consent of the publisher and producer; and materials containing mildew or mold which can endanger other records. The Chief Archivist will review the condition of all incoming records to determine their stability for acceptance in the archives.
Blinken OSA provides information about all of its holdings and collections in its on line catalogs, but it is unable to process, describe newly accessioned materials immediately.
Please contact us here to start a conversation about donating materials to OSA.