Saving the Dialectological and Ethnographic Archival Material Preserved in Chişinău, Republic of Moldova

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

Project Details

Location: Moldova, Eastern Europe, Europe Organiser(s): Endangered Archives Programme (EAP) Project partner(s): Association Eurocentrica Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £35,870 Commencement Date: 09/2019 Project Status: Completed
Project owner? Update this project

Related Projects

EAP1402 Pub003

19th-century documents from the Peruvian asylum el Manicomio del Cercado

The Victor Larco Herrera Hospital in the centre of Lima, Peru, was closed in 1917. Its archives, dating back to 1859, consist of medical documentation as well as administrativ…

Explore project
EAP1306 Silk Museum

The Caucasian Silk Circle: Digitising Photo Collection of the State Silk Museum in Georgia

The State Silk Museum of Georgia holds the only documentary evidence of the practice of sericulture in the 19th century. Taken during expeditions of the Caucasian Sericulture …

Explore project
EAP1294 team

Safeguarding for Posterity Two Private Collections of Palm-Leaf Manuscripts from the Tamil Country

The Kalliṭaikuṟicci and Villiyampākkam collections are palm-leaf collections held privately in India. The collections are essential to study the prevalent reading practices in…

Explore project