Originally part of the Radio Liberty's Samizdat Archive, the Soviet Informal Press and Soviet Regional Press collection was considered to be the best and richest of its kind in the West. Although the Radio organized these publications into two series, it was sometimes not clear why a certain publication was placed in either of the series. The not very strict division is also suggested by the fact that the two series had one integrated printed catalog. Though the collections include a certain number of pre-Perestroika issues, they consist mainly of publications from the period between 1987 and 1992.
Printed catalog: Katalog russkoiazychnykh periodicheskikh izdanii, nakhodiashchikhsia v sobraniiakh neformal'noi i mestnoi pechati Issledovatel'skogo instituta RSE/RL, 1984-1993; Каталог русскоязычных периодических изданий, находящихся в собраниях неформальной и местной печати исследовательского института РСЕ/РС, 1984-1993.
The Regional Press collection covers all the republics and regions of the former Soviet Union. Printed mainly in Russian language, the 1.709 titles were small-circulation, locally distributed publications, not controlled centrally. According to the Soviet regulations, foreign institutions such as the Radios could subscribe only to the central press. Thus, regional newspapers or local variants of the central newspapers, publications of factories, plants, trade unions, or other organizations were smuggled or delivered to the Radios by personal contacts or by the listeners themselves in a more or less organized way. As a result, we usually do not have full sets of these publications. Regional Press is a valuable supplement to the official, mainstream press collection of the Archives.