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Albanian Human Rights Project
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Existence and Location of Originals
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Contributing Institution: USC Digital Repository
    Title: Albanian Human Rights Project,
    Identifier/Call Number: /repositories/13/resources/2554
    Physical Description: 147 Files Testimonies of Albanians who were politically imprisoned or interned from 1944-1991 during Albania's communist regime. 96 interviews.
    Date (inclusive): 2005-2013
    Language of Material: Albanian, English.

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection consists of digital files preserved in the USC Digital Repository. The files are not publicly accessible online. Researchers wishing to request access should email uscdr@usc.edu

    Biographical / Historical

    "In 1991, at the dawn of the collapse of Albania's communist regime, Rose Dosti accompanied her husband Luan Dosti to Albania to locate and reunite with her husband's siblings after a lapse of 47 years. The seven Dosti siblings, aged 5 to 16 when they were rounded by the Communist regime in 1945, were imprisoned and interned until 1991 as punishment for being the sons and daughters of Hasan Dosti, a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and co-founder of Albania's first Democratic party in opposition to the regime. Rose and Luan did not know their whereabouts, or if, in fact, they were alive. All seven siblings by now married with children were located in the Gradisht prison camp, a dilapidated collection of small mud huts with dirt floors with only plastic tarps covering the structure. All the Dostis, then in their 70's and 80's, had spent 47 years in prisons and slave labor camp with only 16 ounces ration of bread per day, an outhouse accommodating 40 families, a water well a mile off, no access to food products, deprivation of all human and civil rights, daily humiliation and terror of punishment. It was soon clear that the Dosti's were not alone and that the story of imprisonment of more than 50,000 Albanian citizens—about 10% of the population every year-- must be told. But how? In 2004, Rose, along with like-minded friends, produced "Prison Nation: Albanian 1943-1990" a 12 minute documentary film to raise awareness in the United States of Albania's little known tragic history of this period. It was clear that a foundation was needed to raise funds to collect and preserve as many testimonies of former political prisoners as possible before their stories were lost. In 2008, the Albanian Human Rights Project (AHRP) was formed with an illustrious Board of Directors including the first American Ambassador to Albania William E. Ryerson, among others. AHRP began its time-sensitive goal of recording testimonies, primarily from survivors in their 70's and 80's, so their stories would not be lost. These testimonies would be accessible as historical documents for scholarly study, education and inspiration. Thus far, 100 DVD testimonies have been filmed and are now preserved at the Albanian Central Archive in Tirana, Albania, as well as the Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War, in Los Angeles where scholars, through its Open Access online catalog, may study them. Original footage is also digitized and archived at the USC Digital Repository at the University of Southern California for access to scholars globally." As per the 'About AHRP' page of the Albanian Human Rights Project website: https://www.albanianhumanrightsproject.org/learn.

    Existence and Location of Originals

    This is a digital post custodial collection for preservation. As a post custodial collection, the physical oral histories and supporting archival materials are located at the Wende Museum of the Cold War, 10808 Culver Boulevard, Culver City, California 90230. Researchers wishing to request access the collections should contact research@wendemuseum.org or call 310-216-1600.

    Scope and Contents

    The original collection received in 2016 contained 134 VHS tapes that were converted to .mp4 files for access copies in the Digital Repository. An additional 15 .mp4 files were added at a later date, resulting in 147 .mp4 files of oral history interviews with 96 former political prisoners.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from oral histories must be submitted in writing to the USC Digital Repository at uscdr@usc.edu. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Digital Repository as the owner of the digital items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Human rights advocacy