Annual scientific reports
SCIENTIFIC REPORT FOR THE YEAR 2011
Research project with the title
The Abolitionist Movement in the Context of Civil and Political Emancipation in Modern Romania, project code: PN -II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0655
The activities developed by the research team in the period 5 October-15 December 2011 and the ones that shall develop in the period 16-31 December 2011, are the ones proposed in the project plan.
Organization of the research activity
The main preoccupation was the projecting of the research activity. For this purpose, we organized, on 18 November 2011, a round table with the title “The emancipation of Gypsies as a historiography problem", with the participation of the research team’s members and of other researchers from the “Nicolae Iorga" Institute of History. Within the round table, the presentations made by the four team members - Viorel Achim, “The emancipation of Gypsies in the historiography"; Venera Achim, “The sources of the study of slavery and emancipation of Gypsies"; Raluca Tomi, “Romanian abolitionism and its international connections"; Cătălin Turliuc, “Civil and political emancipation in modern Romania" - stood stock of research to date regarding the emancipation of Gypsies and the civil emancipation in the Romanian principalities and then in Romania during the 19th century and they tried to place our project on the Romanian and international research map in the field. One of the purposes of the round table was to test the expectations that the Romanian historians have from a research like ours. At the round table the participants talked about the precarious situation of the Romanian scholarship regarding the abolitionism, the only valid contributions in the field, compatible with the nowadays standards of the international research, being the few studies previously published by the members of our group.
Within the round table and within the two meetings the research team had (on 9 November and 18 November current year) we established the aspects that make the object of our investigation. We made a first structuring by chapters on the monographic work, which shall be the main result of the project. The book’s final structure shall though be determined by the results of the researches that we shall perform in the archives. We made a distribution of the tasks assigned to the four members of the team, according to the expertise each one has, his/her research interests and on the needs of the project. Each researcher has to write a few chapters and/or subchapters of the monograph, and some parts shall be written in collaboration by two authors.
At the same time, we established the structure of the document collection, remarking the types of documents included here. The collection, which shall be a few hundred pages long, shall be edited by Viorel Achim, Raluca Tomi and Venera Achim.
We made an activity planning for the three years. Each researcher know from the very beginning what the problems he would deal with are, what types of materials he is using, what archives and/or libraries in the country or abroad are, his/her role in elaborating the publications we engaged at, etc. Of course, our research is an exploratory one and we are open to all knowledge experiences the archives and libraries shall offer us and, as a result, we cannot but largely anticipate the results we shall get with our research, but we tried to provide an efficient organization of the team, following the criterion of excellence and efficiency and seeking to avoid intersections.
This project involves a long research in archives and libraries, where there are materials allowing the reconstitution of the abolitionist movement in the Romanian principalities and its connections to the political, ideological and social realities of the country, as well as of the external conditioning of the Romanian abolitionism. The documentation activity started in October.
According to the plan of research in archives and libraries that we have made from the beginning, we began the research with the National Central Historical Archives (Bucharest), where the archive funds created by the institutions of the principality of Wallachia are and, after 1859, of Romania. In 2012 we are to start working at Iaşi County National Archives, where there are the archive funds of the central institutions of the principality of Moldavia. The archive funds from Bucharest and Iaşi, as well as the manuscript collection of the Romanian Academy Library are essential for our research, because they contain the majority of the Romanian documents we are interested in. Three of the research team members participated to the archive documentation activity.
Viorel Achim and Venera Achim worked at the Central Historical National Archives (Bucharest). Raluca Tomi searched a number of 10 funds and collections of manuscripts from the Romanian Academy Library and from the National Library of Romania.
The research in the archives and in the manuscript collections of the Romanian libraries mentioned above involved the study of inventories of those funds, the detection of files referring to the problems of interest for the project, the selection of pages and their study. We proceeded to copying the documents of interest for us, through photography, scanning or Xerox-copying.
Cătălin Turliuc worked in the libraries of Iaşi, and between 10-18 December he makes a research stay in London, United Kingdom.
We started to organize a data base. It is thought as a work instrument, serving the research team members. The data base includes: documents taken from archives (photographs, scanned, photocopied); articles from the time’s press (copied); epoch books (copied); bibliographical lists by issues (for example, the bibliography of studies regarding the history of the Gypsies in Romania) etc. The materials are arranged by files.
The project is in the beginning, in the stage of collecting the documentary material, and we expect that towards the end of 2012 we can come with our firs publications. At the first meeting of the research team we made a plan on the dissemination in 2012, in the form of conference papers and articles, of a part of the materials discovered in archives.
The only activity related to the dissemination of work made so far within the project is a paper with the title “Instituţionalizarea statisticii - un aspect al modernizării Principatelor Române (1831-1862)" [Institutionalization of Statistics - An Aspect of Modernization in the Romanian Principalities (1831-1862)], presented by Venera Achim at the Annual Meeting of the “Nicolae Iorga" Institute of History, Bucharest, 6-7 December 2011. The paper referred to the statistics of Gypsies - slaves or emancipated - in Wallachia and Moldavia in the mentioned period, as well.
The Internet page
In the activity plan for 2011 we proposed to us to create a Web page on the Internet site of the “Nicolae Iorga" Institute of History. We chose to have a special site of our research team, in order to obtain a better visibility. Here we shall present our activity and we hope that by this means we can easier establish contacts with the possible partners in the country and abroad. The site address is www.iini-minorities.ro. The site is under construction and it shall be made public by the end of the year.
The activity developed in the period October-December 2011 by the group working on the project entitled The Abolitionist Movement in the Context of Civil and Political Emancipation in Modern Romania went according to the planning and we believe that the results obtained so far in the documentation work are a premise for a quality and original research, on an important topic for the actual preoccupations of the world historiography.
Bucharest, 15 December 2011
Dr. Viorel Achim