Online archive helps people learn more about Abkhazia

Sokhumi, capital of breakaway Abkhazia, 1988. Photo by A. Rukhadze., 07 Jun 2015 - 16:27, Tbilisi,Georgia

People who feel nostalgic for Abkhazia but can’t visit this breakaway region of Georgia due to restrictions imposed by occupation forces can now enjoy photos, videos, books, newspapers, manuscripts, maps and family archive materials of Abkhazia on a new online archive.

The Georgian President's Reserve Fund has financed the creation of the Abkhazian Virtual Archives (AVA), a web-based database that stored various information about Abkhazia.

"The website was created for people interested in this topic,” the website said.
"It is a virtual space that brings together documentary materials. The archive information is accessible to all users.”

In addition to official archived information and materials, AVA was also interested in collecting family archives. People with relevant material can send their information to AVA, who will make the content available to users of the online archive.

The Georgian National Archive, the Literature Museum, the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia, the Academic Centre for Georgian-Abkhaz Relations, Georgian Art Palace, Georgian Public Broadcaster and the Ministry of Internal Affairs were involved in the AVA project.

Abkhazia is a region of Georgia that is currently occupied by Russia. The region is situated in the north-western corner of Georgia with the Black Sea to the south-west and the Caucasus Mountains and Russia to the north-east.

More than 200,000 Georgians were forced to leave their homes in Abkhazia and become internally displaced persons (IDPs) during the Abkhazian conflict in the early 1990’s. Since then these people have never returned to their hometowns.