National Geographic : 1966 Mar
Flame of faith lighting her face, a supplicant offers a candle in a Russian Orthodox church. Schools teach militant atheism and church mem bership closes the door to good jobs, but religion persists despite decades of persecution. Hallowed Virgin of Vladimir, a 12th-century Byzantine masterpiece, hangs in Moscow's Tret yakov Gallery. It inspired many icons by Russian artists during an age of religious fervor. me politely and efficiently, though the library had some rather strange regulations. Many books, newspapers, and magazines were not included in the card catalogue because they were considered too heretical for the general public. Publications considered especially dangerous were kept in a secret part of the library called the "Special Fund," inaccessi ble to all but the most stalwart supporters of the Communist regime. Though Lenin Library proved useful, the most important place for my research was the Central State Historical Archive. It contains invaluable original source materials-letters, diaries, government records, and other un published materials that exist nowhere else in the world. 330 When my application to study in Moscow was sent to the Soviet authorities in the spring of 1963, I stated clearly that I wished to do research in archives, and I listed the archives by name. I stated further that I would do pre liminary reading on my topic in the United States, using a 15-volume series of documents published by the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Red Tape Drags On for Months On my arrival in Moscow in February, 1964, the university said that before using the archives I must first submit a "Research Plan" -my work, like everything else in the Soviet Union, having to be planned. I prepared the plan, emphasizing again that my main inter est was in archival materials.