New East Digital Archive

Tolstoy archive launches with 90 volumes of writing

Tolstoy archive launches with 90 volumes of writing
Leo Tolstoy. Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

10 September 2013

A free website offering detailed information about Leo Tolstoy’s life and work, including 90 volumes of his writing, has gone live this week. Although the website is in Russian it is in the process of being translated into English.

The project to digitally archive the Russian writer’s work was launched by Fekla Tolstaya, Tolstoy’s great-great-grandaughter and the director of development at the Leo Tolstoy State museum. The works featured on the website were scanned and proofread by more than 3,000 volunteers from 49 countries, according to state news agency RIA Novosti. Volunteers from more than 250 cities in Russia but also from Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the US, Germany but also Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand and Thailand offered up their services for the ambitious project.

Tolstaya said: “We were sure that some people would undertake moderate efforts to help us in certain things, but that we would have to do most of the work ourselves. You can imagine our surprise when volunteers managed to get the work done in just two weeks – work that otherwise would have taken years to complete.”

Now, all of his novels, short stories, essay and personal letters will be available to download in a variety of formats including those recognised by e-book readers. The website is a fitting tribute to the writer whose dying wish was for his works to be made available to the masses.