At the beginning of 2015, Romanian Cultural Centre in London (RCC)
and Ratiu Foundation opened “The World through the Eyes of
Young Ion Rațiu”, a virtual exhibition comprising a selection of archival documents from the Rațiu and the Tilea archives, and showing a particular vision of the world during and immediately after the WWII. All the documents displayed had been authored, collected, and consciously kept by Ion Rațiu in his personal archives. The exhibition was the informal opening of the archives to the public, and it proved, once again, the invaluable resources hidden in those boxes.
The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes & Ratiu Foundation collaboration protocol
The Ion Ratiu Archive had been carefully curated over decades, but it still needs to be fully investigated as it has never been catalogued by a professional archivist. That is why, in order to make sure we offer the best access to the archives and to a wider audience, this summer,The Raţiu Family Charitable Foundation
and The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER) have signed a protocol of collaboration committing both parties to working on professionally archiving and digitizing the Ion Ratiu Archive,
as well as the V.V.Tilea Archive.
This August IICCMER has sent to London an expert archivist to catalogue and digitize the two archival collections. At the end of this process, a digital copy of the two archives will be available in the IICCMER Archive dedicated to the Romanian exile for all those interested in studying recent history. The originals will continue to be held at the Ratiu Foundation in London.
About The Ion Ratiu Archive
A well-organised man, Ion Ratiu filed almost every one of his papers starting
from the late 1930s, continuing up to his death in 2000. The London archive contains over 2,000 folders, amongst which correspondence with numerous important Western politicians, personalities and journalists, members and leaders of the Romanian diaspora from the UK, Western Europe, USA and Australia, and a great number of documents and letters covering the work the exile groups with which Ion Ratiu was associated: the Romanian Students Association, the Free Romanian Movement, ACARDA - the British Romanian Cultural Association, and the World Union of Free Romanians (whose elected president was Ion Ratiu), as well as a wide range of documents relevant to the international Romanian diaspora's socia l and political movements and Ion Ratiu's own human rights activism, unique material which will add to a better understanding of recent history.
Currently the archive is in the possession of the Ratiu Foundation/ Romanian Cultural Centre in London.
The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER) is a governmental body which analyzes, investigates and supports public awareness on the history of communism in Romania through research, educational, publishing and museum projects. The activity of IICCMER analyses the nature, purpose and effects of totalitarianism in Romania during 1945-1989 and also the memory of this regime in the Romanian exile and in the post-communist period.
Note: As the Archives are currently in the process of cataloguing and digitizing, they will be closed to the public until later this autumn. We’ll keep you up to date.
Images: Ion Ratiu Archive/London