This article traces changes in Soviet-area archives through 1991. Despite increasing evidence of glastnost' in access to archives and to their internal finding aids, the failure of perestroika under Glavarkhiv has left a legacy of problems. The article discusses archival reform during the last months of Glavarkhiv's administration of state archives throughout the Soviet Union and the rise to pre-eminence of the Russian archival service, Roskomarkhiv. Roskomarkhiv has taken over the nationalized Communist Party archives, KGB archives, and most all-union archives on Russian territory. Russia and other republics are drafting archival laws which will open new claims and potential areas of conflict regarding their archival patrimony and jurisdiction over records. At the same time, questions have been opened anew about jurisdiction over Russian records abroad, records captured by the Soviet Union during World War II, and access to Soviet World War II prison-camp records. The article ends by describing the legacy of problems which effect the research use of records and summarizes foreign collaborative assistance.

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