The Novosti Press Agency Photograph Collection consists of approximately seventy thousand photographs and related documents previously assembled in the Press Office of the former USSR Embassy in Ottawa. The materials had mostly been generated by the Novosti Press Agency in the Soviet Union for overseas dissemination or staff use in such offices.
The materials generated and disseminated by Novosti provide a two-way mirror that is additionally useful when seen in historical perspective - both those materials used in Novosti's own periodicals and other publications, and those supplied to foreign wire services, newspapers and periodicals, notably through Novosti's overseas offices attached to Soviet embassies. Textual materials were buttressed with the enormous output of captioned photographs, and the collection acquired by Carleton consists largely of the photo files of the Novosti office in Canada, extensively supplemented by interfiled briefing notes, press releases, pamphlets and other generally short items.
Many of the photographs at Carleton have a caption of several typed lines, in English, or French or sometimes Russian, affixed to the verso; some bear a manuscript note written directly on the verso, and filed with many are relevant press releases, articles or working notes in these languages. Several files consist of textual material only (typescript or printed). The photographs are almost all black-and-white, and most are about 18 by 24 cms. Their condition ranges from predominantly good to excellent, and as some are in duplicate or even multiple copies, these factors suggest that Novosti photographs were mostly distributed rather then lent or used for reference. Separate accompanying notes sometimes show annotation and wear from repeated use.
The Collection offers not only an encyclopedic visual official portrait of the Soviet Union itself; the portraits of other countries and their cultures, especially that of Canada, are doubly valuable as records of the observed as well as of the observer. The USSR-Canada files are extensive and would be of great interest to a student of Canadian foreign policy, particularly with regard to trade and international relations.
This fonds is comprised of twenty-five series which include: State and structure of the USSR, Government structure, Parties in the USSR, Treaty of union and Referendum, Russian Revolution 1905, October Revolution 1917 (Early Soviet History), V.I. Lenin (founder of the Soviet Union), Soviet Army, Second World War, USSR-Canada, USSR-USA, Science, Industry, Architecture and Construction, Communications, vehicles, public transport, Agriculture-farming, Social aspects and services of Soviet Society, women and family, Religion, Education, Culture in the Soviet Union, Republics-Autonomous regions, Northern regions-Major cities and towns, Athletics, Soviet Russian Embassy in Ottawa-standard forms-applications and trivia, Late Soviet material.