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Welcome to the Stalin Digital Archive. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions. If you do not see your question answered, please check the site's User Guide for a comprehensive overview of the site's functionality. You can also email the SDA Support Team at email@example.com.
Table of Contents
Purchasing Access and Logging in to the Archive
Functionality and Usage Concerns
About the Archive
The Stalin Digital Archive (SDA) contains primary and secondary source material related to Joseph Stalin's personal biography, his work in government, and his conduct of foreign affairs. A majority of these documents are scanned page images and corresponding bibliographic records in Russian created by the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI). The archive also contains full transcriptions of all of the volumes in Yale University Press's acclaimed Annals of Communism (AOC) series.
RGASPI and Yale University Press have decided to include approximately 28,000 unique documents containing 404,000 pages from RGASPI's holdings. All 25 volumes in the AOC series, and their accompanying primary source documents, are available in the archive database.
The Stalin Digital Archive is available for sale on an institutional basis. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the Information Request form at http://yalepress.yale.edu/sda to request free trial access to the site.
Purchasing Access and Logging in to the Archive
The Stalin Digital Archive is available for sale on an institutional basis. Please send an email to email@example.com or fill out the Information Request form at http://yalepress.yale.edu/ to request free trial access to the site.
Once you have institutional access to the site, you should see the message "Access provided by [Institution Name]" in the center of the screen header (Please see Figures 1 and 2 for an example of this message).
Figure 1: SDA Header with Institutional Access
Figure 2: SDA Header with Institutional Access - Detail
If you are sure that your institution has access and you still do not see this message, please log in to your institutional Virtual Private Network (VPN) or relocate to another computer within your institution's network. If you would like to request institutional trial access to the site, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the Information Request form at http://yalepress.yale.edu/sda.
All visitors to the site can use the search and browse functions to view document metadata and thumbnail images, but only those with institutional access will be able to open documents at full size in the Document Viewer; supplement documents with tags, annotations, and bookmarks; and access the MySDA area, which is the site's center for personal and community content.
In order to access the user-generated content within the Document Viewer, you MUST log in to your personal MySDA account. This account will allow you to add tags, annotations, and bookmarks to documents directly from the Document Viewer; save and organize documents to personal or shared folders; and participate in Research Interest groups and discussion forums.
To create your account, please click on "Register" in the top right corner of the screen, and fill out the subsequent registration form.
After you submit your registration form, you will be sent an email with your username, password, and a link for a one-time log in to the site. If you do not receive this email, or if you have any questions about the registration process, please send an email to email@example.com.
On any subsequent visit to the site, you must first log in to your personal MySDA account before you can add bookmarks, tags or annotations to documents in the Document Viewer. To log in to a pre-existing personal account, please click on "Log in" in the top right corner of the screen, and enter your username and password in the right-hand panel.
Functionality and Usage Concerns
All documents included in Yale University Press's Annals of Communism series have been translated into English. All other documents from RGASPI's holdings, which appear within the archive as digitized images, are in Russian. The SDA Editorial Team is in the process of translating a portion of these documents into English. If you would like to submit an English translation of one of the archive's Russian documents, or would like to suggest a document for translation, please contact the SDA Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that all submitted translations are subject to review and, whether published or not, become the property of the Yale University Press.
When conducting a search by document identification number, you should employ the following format, paying special attention to add a single space after each comma:
f.558, op.11, d.1, doc.1
The structure of this search query corresponds to the structure of the archive’s database: Fond, Opis, Delo, Document.
If your keyword search does not yield any results, the archive’s search engine will provide 5 terms that do exist within the archive’s database and that are alphabetically similar to your initial query. This list of 5 words will change depending on what you are looking for. Clicking on one of these terms will conduct a keyword search of the archive’s contents.
The Boolean search tool allows you to search the database with such operators as AND, OR, NOT, and NEAR. For an introduction to the Boolean operators used on the SDA site, see http://sphinxsearch.com/docs/current.html#boolean-syntax. Some additional helpful resources for Boolean search can be found at http://libguides.mit.edu/content.php?pid=36863&sid=271372 and http://library.duke.edu/services/instruction/libraryguide/advsearch.html.
Yes, you can use the wildcard * in any keyword search. The * functions as an auto-complete for a given keyword. For example, a search for “sta*” will search the database for all words that begin with “sta”.
Whenever you conduct a keyword search of the archive’s contents, your search results will display full-text “snippets” from the first three instances of that keyword in a given document. These “snippets” are pulled from the Transcription, Translation, and Public Annotations associated with a document.
“Snippets” only appear after you have conducted a keyword search. They are displayed in the search results list by default in “Detail View” and “Thumbnail View,” and are an optional column in “List View.” Clicking on a “snippet” will open the viewer and take you to that specific location within the document.
Similarly, the “# of Hits” field keeps track of how many times a keyword appears within a document’s Transcription, Translation, and Public Annotations. This field also appears by default in “Detail View” and “Thumbnail View,” and is an optional column in “List View.”
The Stalin Digital Archive recognizes text written in both English and Russian Cyrillic.
When searching, note that the site’s search functionality is language-specific for all categories except “author” and “recipient.” This means that a search typed in Russian will only return Russian results, and a search typed in English will only return English results. However, a search within the categories of “author” or “recipient” will return results in both languages, regardless of the language in which you entered your search.
In addition to the bilingual search function, users can browse the site’s contents using Names, which appear in both Russian and English, and Subjects, which are currently available only in Russian.
Yes, you can print or download up to 10 pages at a time from documents with the appropriate print permissions. To do so, simply click on the "Print/Download" icon in the Document Viewer toolbar.
In order to successfully download a document from the Document Viewer, you must make an exception for the SDA in your browser's pop up blocker. Below are instructions for how to make this exception for several different browsers. If you have any further difficulties, please email us at email@example.com.
The text viewer panel of the Document Viewer consists of two tabs: Transcription and Translation. The Translation tab contains the English translation, where available, of Russian primary source documents found in RGASPI's archive. Currently, all of the documents associated with YUP's Annals of Communism (AOC) series have English translations, available in the Translation tab. The Transcription tab will display the original Russian of these documents. Both Russian transcriptions and English translations will be added to the archive as they are completed.
If you would like to submit an English translation of one of the archive's Russian documents, or would like to suggest a document for translation, please contact the SDA Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that all submitted translations are subject to review and, whether published or not, become the property of the Yale University Press.
Yes. Both the image viewer panel and the text viewer panel allow for full screen viewing. Simply click on the “Expand” icon in the top right of the image panel or the text panel. To return to regular size from full screen, click on the “Retract” arrow.
The pagination tool advances based on system-recognized pages, while the page numbers in the text panel are what appear in the actual book (the same applies to printing). The reason for this discrepancy is that most books do not begin at page 1 (i.e. they begin at i.v. or 3); the pagination tool, however, has to recognize the first section of content in the text viewer as a discrete page, regardless of what the page number is listed as in the text. Thus, page numbers in the pagination tool will always differ from page numbers in the text panel.
To return from the Document Viewer to the page from which you originally opened the document, simply click on the “Return” link located at the top left of the Document Viewer. Remember that you can also save searches to your MySDA account by clicking on the “Save Search” button found at the top left of the search results page.
NOTE: The “Return” link does not exclusively link back to the search page. Rather, it will return you to the last page you were on, no matter where you were (i.e. Browse, Resources, MySDA, etc.). If you are returning to a Search or Browse page, then the "Return" link will remember and reconduct your initial Search or Browse query.
You can easily maneuver between documents from within the viewer itself by clicking on the “Next” or “Previous” Document links located above the Document Viewer toolbar. If you are viewing a RGASPI document, these buttons will take you to the document with the next/previous archival ID #. If you are viewing an AOC document, these buttons will take you to the next/previous AOC document in alphabetical order.
Bookmarks allow you to identify and easily access individual passages within a particular document, while tags allow you to draw thematic connections between different passages in the same document, or between multiple related documents.
Both bookmarks and tags allow you to jump to a particular section of a document by means of the Document Info panel in the right-hand side of the Document Viewer. Tags are limited to one word, while bookmarks can be up to 25 characters in length (annotations, on the other hand, have no character limit, and can therefore be multiple sentences). Bookmarks are personal by default, but you can share a link to those bookmarks with other users by clicking on the "Chainlink" icon beneath the Bookmark text in the Document Info panel. Tags, on the other hand, can be either personal or public. You can search documents by tags in the Search or Browse pages, manage personal tags in the MySDA area, and view relevant public tags on Research Interest group pages.
Personal tags and annotations are only visible to the user who has created them. Public content tags and annotations are visible to all SDA users. You can edit the visibility of your own tags or annotations by means of the Document Info panel in the right-hand side of the Document Viewer. You cannot edit public tags or annotations created by other users.
The SDA Editorial Staff has the ability to "approve" certain annotations that they deem noteworthy for their scholarship or insight. When an SDA Editor has approved a particular annotation, a green checkmark icon will appear above the annotation in the appropriate section of the Document Info panel of the Document Viewer.
You can adjust the visibility of annotations, tags, and bookmarks based on their status (e.g. personal, public, editor approved, all) by selecting the desired category from the drop-down menu located below each tab. You can also remove user-generated content from view in the text by clicking on the “Show/Hide Icons” eye-shaped button on the Text Viewer toolbar. Finally, you can hide the Info Panel using the “i” toggle on the right side of the toolbar.
Is there a limit to how much content I can create and save on the site (e.g. bookmarks, tags, annotations, saved documents, etc.)?
No. There is no limit to the amount of content you can create and save on the site.
Your institution, geographic location (city and country), and Research Interests will always appear to all users viewing your profile. Otherwise, you have complete control over how much of your personal information is visible. You can edit personal content as well as update the visibility of your email address by clicking on the the Manage Profile link in the upper-right corner of the screen and selecting the Edit tab.
Some discussion forums are associated with particular Research Interests. You must be a member of a Research Interest in order to participate in that group's discussions. You can join any Research Interest on the Research Interests home page, accessible via the left-hand navigation panel in the MySDA section of the site.
In certain Discussion Forums, you may find a grey-colored post from a Yale University Press administrator that provides a general description of the entire forum. It is not possible to reply to these posts.
A discussion post you have written could be deleted for two reasons. First, another user may have reported your post as inappropriate to the site administrators, who then deleted it. Second, the creator of the topic thread to which your post belonged may have deleted the topic thread, thereby deleting every post in that thread, including yours.
If you leave a Research Interest, your posts in its discussion forum will not disappear. The documents you have added to its public folder, coupled with their associated public annotations and tags, will remain as well.
You can report inappropriate annotations or discussion posts to the site administrator. To report an inappropriate annotation, click the Report button—marked with an exclamation point—in the upper-right corner of the annotation in the Document Info panel of the Document Viewer. To report an inappropriate forum post, click the Report Post link on the far right side of the post. Reporting any type of content opens your default email client, allowing you to write a message to the site administrator at email@example.com. The email will automatically contain a link to the inappropriate annotation or forum post. Please provide a brief explanation of why the content is inappropriate. The SDA Admin will then decide whether or not to delete the post in question.
Is the Stalin Digital Archive compatible with citation management software such as Endnote, RefWorks, or Zotero?
You may recover limited bibliographic information from documents using Zotero on either Firefox or Google Chrome. The Stalin Digital Archive is not currently compatible with Endnote or RefWorks.
A message appeared on my browser saying I was automatically logged out of the site. What does this mean?
The SDA does not allow for simultaneous log-ins. If you are already logged in to the site on one computer and log in to the site on a second computer, the site will terminate your session on the first computer. If you have any concerns about your account's security, please send an email to the SDA Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some documents in the SDA, particularly the AOC Volumes, are so large that opening them in your browser may take a few seconds. There are a few strategies you can use to ensure optimal performance of the SDA on your computer.
First, simply refresh your browser page if it happens to be running slowly.
Second, although the SDA supports all major web browsers, we suggest accessing the site using the latest version of Google Chrome or Firefox in order to enjoy a seamless, fully functional online experience. The site is, however, compatible with Internet Explorer 9.
If you are encountering consistent problems with site performance, you might need to clear your browser cache. Web browsers build up large amounts of information about commonly visited sites. This information can impede a browser's performance after too much accumulation. Below are instructions for clearing the cache in the three primary browsers:
On Internet Explorer 9
On Google Chrome
For more information on how to refresh your browser cache, please go to http://www.refreshyourcache.com/en/home/.
The site’s structure and appearance are optimized for display on Firefox and Google Chrome, so pages might occasionally display improperly on other browsers. We recommend that you use the latest versions of Firefox or Chrome to access the site.
Furthermore, the site is optimized for a widescreen display. In the case that you are using a computer with a smaller default screen resolution, portions of the site may appear cut-off or crowded. To alter the screen resolution on a Windows computer, simply access the Control Panel, click “Adjust Screen Resolution” under “Appearance and Personalization,” and select a higher resolution.
On a Mac Computer, select “System Preferences” from the Apple menu. Under the Hardware heading, click “Displays” and select the appropriate screen resolution.
If you continue to have problems with the site's presentation and performance, please contact the SDA Support Team at email@example.com.
If you are experiencing trouble opening the user guide, make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer. You can download the latest version at http://get.adobe.com/reader/.
If you see an error on the site or experience something that does not seem to be working properly, click the "Contact" link at the bottom of the page and send a description of the error to firstname.lastname@example.org. If possible, take a screenshot of the problematic page (hold Cntrl+PrintScr on a PC or Command+Shift+3 on a Mac) and include the image in your email.