Epistolary heritage as a source for studying the problems of transformation of collective memory

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The purpose of the article is to identify and analyze historical stories that were updated in the space of collective memory of residents of large Siberian cities (Omsk and Novosibirsk) in the conditions of democratic transformations in the country and society in 1985–2000; to achieve this goal, the author set the following tasks: to establish the factors of evolution of collective memory that arose during the period under review; to identify new features of translation of memory about the past; to reveal the stages and content of reflection of residents of large cities of Western Siberia on the theme of the historical past, taking into account the transformations that took place in the sphere of collective memory. The problems of studying the collective memory of modern Russian society, the politics of memory, and the factors of manipulation of historical consciousness have caused acute scientific and journalistic discussions for several years. An informative (due to its mass character) source for studying the transformations of collective memory is the letters of the citizens of the country as a response to various published materials related to the history of the country. The relevance of this topic is justified by the need to understand the processes that led to the formation of the views of residents of post-Soviet Russia about the past. The scientific novelty lies in the analysis of previously unclaimed archival sources that illustrate the process of evolution of the views of «ordinary» people on Russian history and, directly, the history of Siberia. The research was carried out within the framework of the problem field memory studies, which is characterized by the development of new interdisciplinary methods and approaches in the study of specific features of collective memory, as well as practices of historical policy; traditional retrospective and genetic methods of historical research were also used. Based on the reference to Omsk and Novosibirsk materials, we conclude that the stories on the theme of collective memory that were updated in the years of perestroika and the post-perestroika period are similar. First of all, these are the events of the revolution and Civil War in Russia, the events of the period of the 1920-ies–1930-ies, the Great Patriotic war, but, at the same time, uncharacteristic for collective ideas about the past «before 1985», an appeal to pre-revolutionary history, as well as a high degree of emphasis on the problems of modernity in their «binding» to historical facts. Transformations of ideas about the past in the 1985–1990-ies are characterized as global, which served as an impetus to the awakening of civil activity in society. The stages of strengthening and weakening of people's interest in historical subjects are determined depending on various political and socio-economic factors.


About the authors

S. S. Naumov

Омский государственный университет имени Ф.М. Достоевского

Author for correspondence.
Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7256-4708

аспирант кафедры современной отечественной истории и историографии


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