EAD Finding Aid


Finding Aid

World of Children in the USSR

Artek Pioneer Camp Archives, 1944-1967

Published by IDC Publishers, 2007

Descriptive Summary

Creator: V.I. Lenin All-union Pioneer Camp "Artek"
Title: World of Children in the USSR: Artek Pioneer Camp Archives, 1944-1967
Dates (inclusive): 1944-1967
Abstract: Documents connected with the running of the Soviet Young Pioneer camp Artek in the Crimea.
Languages: Materials predominantly in Russian
Extent: 495 archival files; 52 microfilm reels; digital images available in the IDC Digital Library (www.idc-digilib.nl)
Order no.: KA-1

Location of Originals

Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI) in Moscow

History note

In the onset of Soviet rule, children’s health and well-being were declared to be among the main priorities of the government. A promotion of the Soviet Childhood model was aimed to facilitate induction of children into the adult world saturated with communist ideology.

Founded in 1925 as medical rehabilitation centre for children, Artek soon became the model of children’s communist paradise intended as a showcase for achievements of the State’s political and propaganda technologies. Indeed, the superb living conditions and facilities for the children staying in the camp were a dream come true compared with the usual living conditions of most Soviet people.

By the 60s, tens of thousands of children from various countries were passing through each camp session. The list of celebrity guests who visited Artek in the 40s and 60s includes Nikita Khrushchev, Clementine Spencer-Churchill, the British Prime Minister's wife, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Yuri Gagarin.

The influence of the Soviet school system and public organisations on children was much stronger and more profound than family influence, which for many years had been helping to ensure formation and continuous reproduction of that special social type dubbed Homo Sovieticus.

Scope and Content

Artek’s Archive reflects the recreation camp’s history in the period between 1944 and 1967. It contains government documents on Soviet social and health policies, administrative, medical and financial records, transcripts of meetings, materials on educational and ideological work carried out in the camp statistical reports, food rations and provision standards, letters from Soviet and foreign children, diaries etc. These documents provide an insight into everyday life and mentality of Soviet children. The archive is a valuable resource for a wide circle of researchers in such fields as sociology, cultural studies, philology and political history.

All earlier records were lost during the Second World War when Artek was under German occupation. The camp’s records covering the 70s and 80s are stored within the camp, and it is difficult for researchers to access these materials.

Organization and Arrangement

The archive consists of one fond, which in its turn consists of one opis', divided into 628 archival files.

Access Restrictions

Some files could not be filmed due to the fact that these materials stayed behind at Artek. All files on the Artek personnel are kept separately; these are also held at Artek and were not available for filming. Some of the files with a low information content were also not filmed.

Selected Search Terms

Vsesoiuznaia pionerskaia organizatsiia imeni V.I. Lenina.
Geographic Areas
Vsesoiuznyĭ pionerskiĭ lager' "Artek" im. V.I. Lenina (Ukraine)
Child welfare--Soviet Union.
Children--Soviet Union--Societies and clubs.
Communist education--Soviet Union.
Internationalism--Soviet Union.
Medical assistance, Soviet.
Patriotism--Soviet Union.
Youth movement--Soviet Union.
Youth--Government policy--Soviet Union.


The following persons, organizations and geographic names are mentioned in the container list of this finding aid:


  • Bychkov, P.I.
  • Bychkova, E.A.
  • Chekhova, M.P. (Mariia Pavlovna), 1863-1957.
  • Lenin, Vladimir Il'ich, 1870-1924.
  • Pokryshkin, Oleksandr.
  • Solov'ev, Zinoviĭ Petrovich, 1876-1928.
  • Solov'ev-Sedoĭ, V.P. (Vasiliĭ Pavlovich), 1907-
  • Solov'eva, Margarita Ivanovna.


  • Central Committee of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League.
  • Council of Ministers of the USSR.
  • Directorate of Resorts on the South Crimean Coast.
  • Dubrava Highland Tourist Holiday Centre.
  • Main Directorate of Resorts and Sanatoriums.
  • Main Directorate of Resorts, Sanatoriums and Resthouses.
  • Ministry of Health of the Ukrainian SSR.
  • Ministry of Health of the USSR.
  • Pskov State University.