The Keston Digital Archive contains materials documenting religious persecution under Communist and other totalitarian regimes, primarily during the Soviet period. Amassed and held by the Keston Institute in Oxford, the collection was donated to the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society at Baylor University in 2007.
Baylor’s Keston Center houses the world’s most extensive collection of samizdat (underground dissident publications) relating to religious liberty and persecution. The Keston Library and Archives contains Keston News Service reports, clippings, pamphlets, manuscripts, and court documents as well as 4,500 photographs, 17 works of art, 738 audio-visuals, 69 propaganda posters, rare items and more. A library of about 8,000 books and nearly 900 periodicals accompany the 1,400 linear feet of archives.
The materials represent at least 33 languages and 30 religious denominations, including Baptists, Adventists, Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentecostals, Orthodox, Catholics, and Seventh Day Adventists. The scope covers not only the former Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries but nations as diverse as Angola, Afghanistan, Cuba, China, Vietnam, and Mozambique.
The Keston Digital Collection encompasses a variety of selections from across the Keston Library and Archives, including samizdat, photographs, posters, Keston News Service reports, and other audio-visual material.
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This collection is considered an active collection. Items will be added periodically as they are acquired by Baylor University and processed through the Digitization and Digital Collection Preservation Services group.