For volunteers

If you're interested in becoming a volunteer of International Memorial we ask you to sign the following form.
If you have any questions write to Vasiliy Starostin, the volunteer coordinator at International Memorial at [email protected].

International Memorial volunteer form

In this section we’re going to post advertisements for a large spectre of volunteer work. We tried to sort them in such a way, that everyone could choose a job that fits their interests and so that everyone could plan their schedule to their need.

Project «Encyclopedia of 1968»

2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of 1968 – an important milestone in many areas. The UN declared it the year of human rights which is hard to forget if you think about that year. Europe and the rest of the world experienced global changes which one could call a revolutionary shift in public conscience. Naturally, 1968 was different in France, The US, Germany, Czechoslovakia and The USSR, nevertheless it was a year of awakening in every country and it was different compared to 1967 or 1969. The Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia, the student revolution in Paris, the publication of the first independent periodical «Chronicle of Current Events», the demonstration on the Red Square, the soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia, the arrest of dissidents and the suppression of protests, the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. International Memorial is compiling the Encyclopedia of 1968: recovering the chronology of events, searching for various chronicles, collecting testimonies and interviews with active participants, witnesses of that year of any age any status from various countries. We invite volunteers to take part in this project.

Possible activities:

  • telephone interviews with people born before 1955, based on our list, to which you can contribute by adding your relatives or professors;
  • video interviews with active participants of those events;
  • compiling chronicles of events from various countries into one whole chronology (knowledge of foreign languages appreciated);
  • researching texts, images and audio files valuable for 1968;
  • searching and collecting authentic archive documents on 1968 from possible donors and respondents.

Write to Alexandra Polivanova at [email protected].

Working on the digital database «Victims of political terror in the USSR»

The database «Victims of political terror in the USSR» is one of the most important directions of work of International Memorial. This database is created on the basis of the information from the regional memorial books and other sources, including documents and evidence from family archives handed over to Memorial. Materials from family archives very often contain numerous miscellaneous documents abounding with inaccuracies and «gaps» hindering the compilation of full and verifiable biographical data. Memorial needs volunteers who are ready to specify the information from family archives. In this regard it is necessary to send enquiries to state archives, mostly to the FSB archives where the greater part of case files of the repressed is kept.
This work does not demand a special qualification – you only need some free time and a home computer: enquiries can be sent by e-mail. In response a letter of verification will be sent from the archive, which will allow to enter another name in the database.
The staff of International Memorial archives will provide all the necessary assistance to volunteers, will share enquiry templates and addresses of relevant institutions. For those who want to find out the fate of their repressed relatives, this work will help to acquire the necessary skills and restore the history of the family.

Soviet Dissent archive

Digitizing and describing the photo archive

International Memorial Soviet Dissent archive holds camera rolls related to the history of dissent in the 1950s to the 1980s and also a collection of rolls made by the photographer Dmitry Borko in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The rolls are kept in various state of preservation and are in need of accurate digitizing on a film scanner and description.
Work on digitizing starts on the first of february 2018 in International Memorial (Karetny ryad, 5/10). Volunteers will receive a certificate of completing archive internship. Possible work time – Monday to Friday from 11 am to 7 pm. 

Write to Alexandra Polivanova at [email protected].

International Memorial Library

Describing the Collection of Newspapers and Documents from 1987-2017

The collection includes more than 2 thousand newspaper and document (including leaflets) names, which adds up to more 40 thousand volumes of archive. Right now this collection is not systematized and not described. At the moment only the first part of processing is finished – sorting the documents in alphabetical order based on the names of publishments and organizations. A thorough description of the collection would make it possible to use it in a scientific way. The results of the work will be published on the website of International Memorial Library and be available to everyone. In perspective this will help to digitize and publish the collection as a whole. At this point we want to analyze the collection and to do a bibliographical description in Pro-cite. Learning to work with the program does not take a lot of effort and the head of the library, Boris Belenkin, will help you in your work. Main qualities required – perseverance and most of all interest in this theme. The work can be done in several stages, describing parts of the fragments or the fund, each stage is expected to be done from 3 to 4 months, assuming the volunteer works 4 or 5 hours per week.
We can provide a workplace in International Memorial (Karetny Ryad st., 5/10) and all necessary consultations.
If you’re interested, write to Boris Belenkin at [email protected].

The Collection of Documents on the History of Forced Labor in Germany

Describing and Digitizing the Ostarbeit Archive

Memorial International holds more than 320 thousand letters sent in 1990 from ostarbeiters, people sent from occupied territories to forced labor in Germany and who returned to USSR after the war. Many of those letters include original photographs and documents from the times of the german occupation or their residence in Germany. We want to make a complete description of this collection and publish the most valuable of those historical documents on a separate website, which is currently in development. This work demands accuracy, however the hardest part is to establish the place where those documents were made, based on the limited or faulty information given in the letters, the toponyms are given with a lot of errors. We hope to finish digitizing the collection by mid-november.
Place of work – International Memorial (Maly Karetny per., 12), if possible on your own laptop. After the work the volunteer will receive a certificate of completion of the archival internship. Possible time – weekdays from 11 am to 7 pm. It is preferable to come for 3 or 4 hours per day.
Write to Nikita Lomakin at [email protected].

Verification of the «Ost labor in The Third Reich» Database

Memorial created a database based on the 320 thousand letters of ex-ostarbeiters sent in 1990. In it we tried to reflect the personal information of our correspondents and most importantly their place of work in The Third Reich, from their own words. Unfortunately the toponyms are written with errors, or the settlements changed their names or ceased to exist. Thus, a complicated two-step system of verification was created to correlate the locations given by the ostarbeiters and the current geographical locations. Volunteer help is required on second stage – to dismiss or to verificate the validity of the already complete geolocation. This can be done by following the instruction for volunteers at the website. You will receive special points for this work which we will happily exchange for Memorial’s books and for a certificate of the completion of the internship.
Remote work on the website.
Write to Nikita Lomakin at [email protected].

Memorial School Contest

Digitizing the Works of the School Contest «People and History XXth Century Russia»

Since 1999 International Memorial holds a contest of historical works for high school students. Since then we received more than 40 thousand works. This is unique material, students from all over Russia and beyond tell about their families, about the collections of their local and school museums, about old buildings and villages. Many early works are hand written and include original photographs dated as far as the early XXth century. Because of the various judicial reasons we cannot publish all of those works, however, in order to have an opportunity to describe and preserve them we are conducting a large digitization of this archive. Those works are required to be made ready for digitization – sort the papers in order, take off the paper clips and etc.
Work in International Memorial, we provide a workplace and a good company. Possible time of work – from 11 am to 7 pm. Preferable to come for 3 to 4 hours per day.
Write to Vasily Starostin at [email protected].

Examining the Entry Forms of the Participants of the School Contest «People and History XXth Century Russia»

Each year the contest receives more than 1500 works. Since 2016 the participants can register online on the Lessons in History website. Unfortunately the authors can sometimes fill out the forms incorrectly with their attached research. We need a person who could examine the correctness of the forms and, if needed, could get in contact with the authors or register their work.
You can work from 3 to 4 hours per day for a few times a week in the main office of International Memorial (Karetny Ryad st., 5/10). This work is relevant in january after the holidays and in february. The participants of this program will receive books in gratitude and well deserved respect.
Write to Lyuba Grishina at [email protected].

International Memorial Archive

Inventory of audiotapes of the Oral History Center archive

The archive of the Oral History Center affiliated with International Memorial contains a dozen of audiotapes with interviews recorded in 1991-1998. The interviews were gathered by students and structured in several collections – Family history, Perestroika journalists, Arbat intelligentsia. We invite volunteers to make up an inventory and sort out the tapes. The work will take place at the office of International Memorial (Karetny Ryad st., 5/10).

Recartoning of memoirs fonds 

For decades of work many folders and envelopes containing archive files of the GULAG memoirs fonds has worn out and demand renovation. We invite volunteers to repair and replace folders, make up front pages and new tags. The work will take place at the office of International Memorial (Karetny Ryad st., 5/10).

Numeration of Personal Cases

International Memorial archive continues to analyze personal cases of individuals who went through GULAG and wrote memoirs and saved their correspondence from those times. Often enough the documents can’t be sent to the reading hall because of a just one small but nevertheless very important thing – the numeration of the papers. This job demands much accuracy and responsibility, however the results outweigh the time spent on the work.
Work with folders in the building of International Memorial (Karetny Ryad st., 5/10) at any time from 11 am to 7 pm (by agreeing with the time in advance). You will not need a computer for this work.

Write to Alena Kozlova at [email protected].

Processing the archive materials on the history of Moscow of 1987-1991

The collection of documents from the Perestroika times include political brochures, newspapers, materials from public events and meetings. Their description and digitization will help to create a thematic index and afterwards to publish the whole collection in form of layers on, exhibitions and other projects. After the work the volunteer will receive a certificate of completion of the archival internship.
Work in the office of International Memorial (Karetny Ryad st., 5/10), preferable (but not necessary) to bring your own laptop. Remote work possible (with interview).
Write to Ekaterina Melnikova at [email protected].

Creating The Book on Repressed Muscovites Memory

Around 100 thousand archived cases dated to 1932-1938 on politically repressed citizens of Moscow and Moscow oblast are kept at the State Archive of the Russian Federation. Right now fragments of these cases are being digitized in agreement with the State Archive, MSU and the «Protyani Ruku» fund. These fragments will help to collect the forms on those who were repressed. Volunteers are needed to process the massive collection of those documents and for the creation of a virtual book of memory. Thousands of records on the people repressed in 1930-1940’s will be published for the first time.
Education on accurate description of the records is part of the seminars for volunteers, afterwards remote work is possible. For this work you will receive a certificate of the completion of internship. Preferable to bring your own laptop.
Write to Sergei Bondarenko at [email protected].

Collecting Bibliography on Russian Socialists and Anarchists from the 1910-1930’s

As part of the research and educational program of the Historical and Educational Center Memorial «Russian Socialists and Anarchists – Participants of the Resistance to the Bolshevik Regime» we collect and publish documents, memoirs and research work dedicated to the freedom movement in Russia in XIX-XX century and resistance of socialists and anarchists to the bolshevik regime on the website. We desperately need help of all interested, first of all, to create a bibliography and to search for works published on the web. Volunteers are offered take this work under the guidance of the head of the program, doctor of historical science, Konstantin Morozov.
Remote work from your own computer is expected. In case of visible success the volunteer will receive a certificate of completion of research internship.
Write to Konstantin Morozov at [email protected].

Research program «History of Dissent in the USSR»

After-Stalinist and the late soviet society did not yet disappear in the past, therefore there is a great chance that you can make some findings and discoveries in this field of research. It should be also added, that this era is represented in family memory. You can get practical experience in research work in these projects: 

  • preparing the book «Some interviews about Samizdat» for publishment,
  • research and publication of «Chronicle of Current Events»,
  • final editing of the online version of the «Soviet Samizdat Periodicals» and editing the print publication of the book,
  • making transcriptions of interviews from the collection of the program,
  • promoting the retro-sociological initiative «Saving the Memory of The Samizdat»,
  • editing the work on the history of poetic readings and the informal meetings of youth on Mayakovskaya square (1958-1961),
  • creating an exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the literary critic Raisa Orlova,
  • research initiative «History of late-soviet visualism» (creating the website ad presentation of the first results of the research),
  • posting and development of the new online version of the «Samizdat Catalogue».

Line of work:

  • transcription of verbal memoires,
  • interviewing and categorizing those involved in samizdat activities,
  • compiling and editing commentaries to the publications,
  • making digitized copies of archive and bibliographical materials,
  • computer composition and reading,
  • translating (primarily from english to russian and from german to russian),
  • editing and posting audio and video materials,
  • programming,
  • editing scientific material and creating infographics,
  • bibliographic search and description of materials,
  • archive research.

There are no obstacles for working from your home, anybody can try their hand at this, not only those involved mostly in humanities disciplines. Those who strive to the career of a secretary will have an opportunity to practise their skills in work communication, compiling project and report papers, systemizing materials of scientific projects, and if our mutual work will prove to be successful you will get a recommendation.
Every project has their own schedule, and we can optimize the appropriate temp of the volunteer work. University students can work as part of an internship. We are going to respond to letters of high school students (10th-11th grades), concerning volunteer work. Your workplace is going to be provided in the building of International Memorial (Karetny Ryad st., 5/10, Maly Karetny per., 12), it would be preferable if you brought your own laptop for work.
Contact Yulia Reifschneider +7 (495) 699-50-31 or write to Gennady Kuzovkin at [email protected].

Human Rights media project OVD-Info

Database work

An improtant part of the OVD-Info work is collection, systematization, verification and procession of data. Various information and human rights project such as or The Map of Protests are created based on those colletions of data. At this time there are some projects in the making and they require volunteer help. This work does not demand any special skills, however you must have perseverance and must be able to search for information in open sources.

OVD-Info hotline

Normally all telephone calls are being taken by the workers of OVD-info, however, on the days of mass protests or other public gatherings the number of telephone calls rapidly increases, and because of that we need to ask for volunteer help. It takes some time to learn about the responsibilities of a telephone operator, and it is important that we have a group of people ready to answer those calls in case of an emergency so that no call to the hotline is left unanswered. No special skill required, you mustn’t be afraid to talk on the telephone. Work from OVD-Info headquarters.

Jurisdictional assistance

Lawyer help is needed in OVD-Info on days of mass arrests. Moreover we are developing various human right services such as OVD-Info bot and Instruction how to defend yourself in court. We need help for projects such as these too- first of all from senior year students from law faculties and those who passed the school of human rights defender course.


If you can present articles, news or infographics in a understandable way using html, css and js, you can help us support the website and its mobile version. Our website is being used by those whose who are oppressed, their relatives and friends, Mass Media and human rights organizations.
If you know php and drupal you can help us make the website better: increase publication speed, help making navigation personalization and communication with the users easier.
If you know python or specialize in computer linguistics, you can come and help us create our system for automatic monitoring of Mass Media and gathering facts.
If node.js is closer to you, then you can help to optimize the interface of this system.

The situation changes all the time, and we have answer for new needs. If you can do something that wasn’t mentioned in the list above, let us know, we can probably find a task suitable for you.
Write to the coordinator of volunteers of OVD-Info Olga Nikolaenko at [email protected].
OVD-Info Volunteer form