Prisoner’s diary

Notebook with diary entries, technical drawings and diagrams.

This unique prisoner’s diary was found in the prison hospital at the Barabanicha labour camp (Gulag construction No 503. railway Salekhard - Igarka) during the expedition in 2013. It was most likely forgotten when the camp was abandoned in around April 1953. The owner is unknown. However, he was most likely an expert in a technical field as most of the diary’s 90 pages is given over to various drawings, diagrams and tables, as well as descriptions of machines and physical and technical processes. A small proportion of the text consists of song lyrics and personal notes.

All of the drawings and notes are very carefully done by hand, perhaps on the basis of knowledge acquired or copied from technical publications, which were most likely available at the camp library. Such technical and engineering knowledge was highly valuable during the construction of the railroad.

The diary can be browsed electronically. We welcome any information or suggestions with regard to how to identify the original owner.

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