Complete Tolstoy archives to be put online

Leo Tolstoy telling grandchildren "A fairytale about the cucumber", 1909, RIA Novosti
Leo Tolstoy telling grandchildren “A fairytale about the cucumber”, 1909, RIA Novosti
The complete archive of Russian writer Leo Tolstoy is to be digitised and put online for free public use. The project, to be known as All Tolstoy in One Click, is the brainchild of Tolstoy’s great-granddaughter Fyokla Tolstoya, and will take in Tolstoy’s novels, diaries, letters and philosophical texts.

All the documents have been scanned, and will now be divided up into 20-page extracts, to be proof-read by volunteers, before their work is checked once again by professional editors.

Within 24 hours of the scheme being announced, more than 500 volunteers had already registered and were hard at work.

“When I discussed the project with my friends, many of them said: ‘That’s a good idea, you should make sure that no one steals it from you”, said Ms Tolstoya.

“But my main objective is different: You can take whatever you like and reprint it. I guess Leo Nikolayevich would approve of what we are doing and support the free distribution of his works. His publishing activity and refusal to accept fees prove this.”

At the end of the project, all the documents will be available for free through the website. It is hoped the first material will be available for public access by September 9, the anniversary of Tolstoy’s birth.