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Editorial

The Digital Handbook of Russian and East European History and Culture aims to provide something of an introduction to selected topical issues and research approaches.

The handbook not only brings to the fore individual subject branches, such as military, economic and social history, but also sheds considerable light on methodological approaches, for instance gender-specific, media-oriented or those focussing on the history of everyday life or mentalities, in terms of their applicability to the history of Eastern Europe.

The individual overview articles present the current state of discussion and furthermore invariably provide the reader with a selected bibliography, suggestions about internet sources and, in many cases, also information about organisational matters, for example tips about additional projects, research centres, libraries, archives etc.

Through this handbook, the richness of research into Eastern Europe  is coupled with the advantages of digital publishing: a digital medium affords the possibility of linking individual articles to one another so that contiguities as regards contents emerge more clearly, thematically related elements are associated more swiftly with each other and the reader is guided comfortably through the myriad of information and materials.  Moreover the medium of the internet affords also the possibility of systematic updating and continual re-writing.

It is not the intention of the handbook to present depictions of historical processes or to portray the development of individual regions, countries or demographic groups.  Countless relevant works for these fields are already in existence and a handbook focussed purely on methods has long been desired by those researching Eastern Europe.  In 2002, the same year that this handbook was conceived, a second volume of the “Study Handbook Eastern Europe: A History of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union”, edited by Thomas Bohn and Dietmar Neutatz, was published by the Böhlau Verlag.  With regards to the representation of certain terms, regions and historical developments, it is certainly differently designed from the Digital Handbook and can therefore be regarded as a very valuable supplement.

 
   

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