The Sary-Kol Archive

The Eastern Pamir Through the Eyes of a Local Newspaper

An archival research project.

by Daler Kaziev

Sary-Kol (Сары-Кол) is the name of a local Tajik and Kyrgyz newspaper published in the Murgab District of Tajikistan. Initiated in the 1930s by the regional Party Committee in the context of Soviet modernisation efforts, it was first published under the title Eastern Pamir (Чыгыш Памир). Subsequently, the it was renamed Stalinchi (Сталинчи), Murgab Communists (Мургаб коммунист) and finally Sary-Kol (Сары-Кол). The paper reported on local events and covered a variety of topics.

The aim of this project is to collect and systematically work through the archive in order to get a more fine-grained understanding of the local history of the Eastern Pamir and its role and position in the Soviet Union and later the Tajik Republic. A special focus thereby lies on key events in the history of the region and the larger transformations they were embedded in. These include the construction of the Pamir Highway, the beginning and the end of Moscow provisioning, the difficult years in the 1990s and the Aga Khan Supply chain from Osh, the opening of the Kulma Pass and the arrival of the Chinese in 2005, and migration and return migration to and from Kyrgyzstan.

Archives of the newspaper are maintained in several regional libraries. In addition, many local readers collected the paper.

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