Gulag Online — virtual museum
The Gulag Online virtual museum presents the basic form and dimensions of Soviet repression through a virtual reconstruction of a Gulag camp, specific life stories, selected objects, documents and texts. We have attempted to deliver a representative selection of essential information; our ambition is not to cover every detail of the Soviet system of repression.
The virtual museum is built around a complete 3D tour of a Gulag camp illustrated by the testimonies of survivors, literary excerpts and a tour of authentic objects and documents. All of this is supplemented by a bibliography and basic texts on the history of the Gulag and Soviet repression. Individual documented locations and the stories of survivors are shown on an interactive map that illustrates the geographic extent of Soviet repression. The map allows for switching between various layers – for instance, satellite images or detailed military maps.
The results of the Gulag.cz team’s documentation work are also presented within the project – individual mapped camps, 3D models of them, unique panoramic photographs and other mapped locations linked to repression. The virtual museum therefore makes it possible to visit, at least remotely, places that are otherwise virtually inaccessible.
The Gulag Online project will be further expanded. We are planning more expeditions to abandoned Gulag camps, the incorporation of further stories and survivors and the supplementing of the interactive map, both with more mapped locations and a database of data from individual Gulag camp administrations.
It is a project of the Gulag.cz association, whose activities include mapping and documenting abandoned camps in the former USSR. It's partner is the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, which as part of its research tracks the fates of Czechoslovak citizens persecuted in the USSR. The establishment of the museum has been financed by the support of the public on the Hithit website and the Vodafone Foundation’s Technology for the Future programme.