(Commission on the History of the October Revolution and the RCP [Bolshevik]). Istpart’s functions were the collection, scholarly processing, and publication of materials on the history of the Communist Party and the October Revolution.
Set up in August 1920, Istpart was first part of the State Publishing House; on Sept. 21, 1920, the Council of People’s Commissars adopted a resolution, which was signed by V.I. Lenin, placing Istpart under the People’s Commissariat for Education; and on Dec. 1, 1921, it was made into a department of the Central Committee of the RCP(B). Originally, Istpart had nine members appointed by the Council of People’s Commissars; subsequently its membership was increased. It was headed by a collegium (by a council from 1924). The presidium, of which M.S. Ol’minskii was chairman, M.N. Pokrovskii vice-chairman, and V.V. Adoratskii secretary, directed day-to-day work. Istpart consisted of two subcommissions: one on the history of the October Revolution directed by M.N. Pokrovskii and the other on party history directed by V.I. Nevskii. At various times the membership of Istpart included Adoratskii, A. Ia. Arosev, N.N. Baturin, Ts. S. Bobrovskaia (Zelikson), A.S. Bubnov, V.A. Bystrianskii, O.A. Varentsova, A.I. Elizarova, P.F. Kudelli, P.N. Lepeshinskii, M.N. Liadov, S.I. Mitskevich, Nevskii, S.A. Piontkovskii, and M.A. Savel’ev. A Polish commission was set up within Istpart to study the history of the Polish revolutionary movement. F.E. Dzerzhinskii, J. Un-szlicht, A.J. Warski, F. Ia. Kon, S.S. Dzerzhinskaia, and J. Marchlewski participated in this commission. In the 1920’s, Istpart had local bureaus in the larger cities and in the national republics and oblasts; in addition, groups for assisting Istpart were set up in factories, plants, Red Army units, and other organizations.
Istpart published more than 30 journals and various collections. It published the journals Proletarskaia revoliutsiia (Proletarian Revolution) and Biulleten’ Istparta (Istpart Bulletin), both from 1921; the Petrograd bureau of Istpart published the journal Krasnaia letopis’ (Red Chronicle) from 1922; and the Istpart of the Central Committee of the CP(B) of the Ukraine published the journal Letopis’ revoliutsii (Chronicle of the Revolution). Istpart collected a large amount of materials on party history and many documents of Lenin and laid the foundation for the archive on party history and the central party book depository. It published three editions of the book The ACP(B) in Resolutions of Its Congresses and Conferences and six volumes of chronicles of the October Revolution. It republished the minutes of the Second through Fourth and Sixth and Seventh Party Congresses and the Seventh All-Russian (April) Conference of the RSDLP(B) and the newspapers Iskra, Vpered, Novaia zhizn’, Proletarii, and Pravda (1917). It also published many collections of documents on party history (including Lenin’s documents), memoirs of persons who participated in the revolutionary events, biographical reference books, and scholarly and popular works. Istpart created archives, libraries, museums, and exhibitions on the history of the revolution. It also organized lectures, reports, and meetings with veterans. The State Museum of the Revolution of the USSR was set up in 1924; it grew out of exhibitions on the history of the RCP(B) (1921–22) and the exhibition Red Moscow (1922), which had all been organized by Istpart. Istpart became an important scholarly and publishing center of the country on the history of the party, the revolutionary movement, the October Revolution, and the Civil War. It united numerous cadres of Marxist historians. In accordance with the resolutions of the Central Committee of the ACP(B) of May 10 and Aug. 20, 1928, Istpart merged with the V.I. Lenin Institute. The network of local Istparts was reduced; by 1931 the largest commissions were transformed into research institutes on party history; and the remainder went out of existence by the late 1930’s.