English version by Eliza Biță

The iconographic archive of the National Institute for the Study of Totalitarianism gathers more than 2,300 photographs illustrating aspects of the totalitarian phenomenon in Romania for as long as it lasted and covers most of its manifestations, from the repressive nature to facets of the social, political, economic and cultural lives. From a thematic point of view, the photographs cover a broad and representative range, starting with the Inter-War period, King Charles the Second’s Regime, the Legionary Regime and Marshal Ion Antonescu’s one; the period of the communist regime in Romania is the best illustrated one.

Thus, NIST has available for consultation one of the most comprehensive photographic and audio-video archives regarding the phenomenon of the communist repression, which includes rare materials on the locations of imprisonment, penitentiaries (Aiud, the Danube-Black Sea Canal, Dăeni, Făgăraş, Galaţi, Gherla, Jilava, Piteşti, Timişoara, Sighet), labour colonies, portraits of the members of the resistance movement, important leaders of the historic parties, intellectuals, journalists, people of letters, political figures, architecture and totalitarian architecture, aspects of the systemisation of Bucharest, the churches that were demolished during the communist regime, the illustration of domestic and foreign events etc.

The photographs originate in various sources, such as the Historic Archives of the Library of the Romanian Academy, which are now a resource of the National Archives of Romania, the archives of the Romanian Intelligence Service - SRI, which is now a property of the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives, the National Archives of Romania, the Union of Visual Artists, as well as in personal archives donated to NIST by various individuals: all these have enriched NIST’s collection of original pictures.

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