About the Photo Collections
The SCRSS Photo Library holds over 60,000 images covering all
aspects of social and cultural life in Russia and the former Soviet
Union from pre-1917 to the present. It offers an invaluable visual
resource for publishers, picture researchers, designers and drama
students, and is backed up by the excellent SCRSS
Library and Archive.
The SCRSS Photo Library was established in 1943, when Britain
and the Soviet Union were allies in the fight against Nazism.
The war produced a galaxy of brilliant Soviet war photographers
whose pictures were sent to the Society for use in exhibitions
and fund-raising events to support the war effort. In the post-war
years the SCRSS Photo Library continued to receive photographs
from the Soviet Union on all aspects of Soviet life. It grew further
with the donation of the important Cicely Osmond and Huntly Carter
Collections covering the 1920s-30s. It also includes the Society's
own photographic records.
General Photographic Collection
The SCRSS's general photographic collection is in the process
of digitisation and is available online through TopFoto at www.topfoto.co.uk.
The general collection covers a wide range of themes. It includes
images of early collective agriculture, industry, education and
daily life in the new Soviet state. There are photographic records
of key historical events and individuals, including the Tsarist
period, the Russian Revolution, the Great Patriotic War (World
War II) and the first moves into space. There is a wealth of material
on cultural life - film, literature and ballet (including production
photographs and portraits of key figures), Soviet posters and
sport. The collection also covers cities, regions and the republics
of the former Soviet Union.
Special Photographic Collections
These special photographic collections are held in the SCRSS
archives. With the exception of the SCRSS Photo Archive, they
are fully digitised, but not available online. The Society can
provide publishers with low-resolution thumbnails by email to
Cicely Osmond Collection
This important collection provides a detailed visual account
of everyday life in the Soviet Union during the 1920s-30s, with
particularly rich material on Soviet education and training. Find
out more about the collection.
Huntly Carter Collection
This important collection comprises over 300 photographs relating
to Soviet theatre in the 1920s-30s (theatrical production stills,
photo-portraits of leading figures in the Soviet theatre, and
snapshots of journalist Huntly Carter with Soviet actors and directors).
There are also photographs of street scenes and new architecture
in Soviet Russia in the same period. Find
out more about the collection.
SCRSS Photo Archive
This collection holds the Society's own photographic record of
events and personalities from the 1940s to the present. Find
out more about the SCRSS Archive (including non-photographic
Visiting the Special Photographic Collections
The Special Photographic Collections are open to SCRSS members
and non-members on a research basis only. Access is strictly by
appointment only. Research fees and image reproduction fees apply.
Please always contact the Society in
advance and by email to discuss visiting the Special Photographic