Between 1946 and 1991, the Institute of Language and Literature of the Moldovan branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences recorded dialects of the Romanian-speaking community in the USSR. The collection represents the only large-scale collection of dialects in the region between the rivers Prut and Dniester.
The collection of recordings housed at the Institute of Romanian Philology “Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu” in Chişinău represents the only dialectological material gathered on a large scale with appropriate methodology in the Romanian-speaking communities of the USSR. The material describes ethnographic customs and folkloric creations which are no longer in use. Due to their remoteness, the Romanian-speaking communities of the USSR were the most conservative ones in the whole area of Eastern Europe.
The inappropriate storage conditions, combined with the rather low quality of the original paper and magnetic tape, render the material vulnerable to natural degradation and to human damage. Manuscripts and tapes have been damaged by humidity and some tapes have become demagnetised. The material is not accessible by scholars, and access to the storage building is restricted even to staff.
Following a previous project which digitised recordings of folkloric creations, the project discovered 608 tapes and 726 notebooks on the subject, dating from 1946 to 1973. 607 tapes and all notebooks were digitised and most material re-housed in the Institute of Romanian Philology of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research. The material is accessible to scholars through the project website at https://folclor-dialectologie.md/.