The Prozhito project was created in 2015 as a platform for collecting and publishing the texts of personal diaries in Russian and Ukrainian. The first years the project existed as a volunteer initiative, while in 2018, project participants registered "Prozhito", the non-profit foundation for the support of humanitarian research. In 2019, the Center for the Study of Ego Documents of the European University at St. Petersburg was created.
Our task is to create a digital "People's Archive", not limited in the size of an archive shelf. This will make it possible to accept, process and enter into scientific circulation documents that rarely fall into the classical archives. The center works with written sources that fall into the broadest possible interpretation of the concept of "ego-documents" - texts that testify about the past in the first person: diaries, memories, correspondence, etc. We are engaged in searches, digitization and publication of a wide variety of materials - we do not care about the age, gender or social trajectory of the author's life, we believe that each diary will find its interested reader and grateful researcher. The electronic archive of the centre also contains copies of handwritten folklore collections, demob albums, school questionnaires, chronicles, genealogies, etc.
The centre accepts digital copies of sources for safekeeping and deposits electronic texts. Access to the text, conditions and terms of its possible publication are regulated by the agreement. The centre works in partnership with research centers, libraries, museums and archives, and is also part of the EDAC (European Diary Archives and Collections) community. The centre is developing a corpus of personal diaries "Prozhito" - an electronic library of dated personal records, which allows users to work not only with specific diaries, but also with the entire set of texts of the era: get samples by dates, gender, age, place of keeping the diary, etc. The corpus includes texts in Russian and Ukrainian. More than 6,000 authors have been annotated, 2,000 of them have uploaded diaries, about 500 diaries are the first publications of the project. The total volume of the corpus is more than half a million daily records of the 18th-20th centuries.
Our corps is a civil science project. During the existence of Prozhito, more than 850 people took part in our work on the search, copying, decoding and publication of handwritten diaries. Twice a year, internship students from several Russian universities join project's volunteers. We regularly hold Prozhito laboratories - meetings open to everyone, at which we, together with volunteers, transcribe and discuss previously unpublished manuscripts. A total of 60 laboratories were conducted in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Perm, Irkutsk and Smolensk.