- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
- Project on Ethnic Relations
- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- Project on Ethnic Relations Records
- Public Policy Papers
- Permanent URL:
- 41 boxes and 64 items
- Storage Note:
Mudd Library collections are unavailable until further notice due to a renovation. See our webpage for the most current information.
The Project on Ethnic Relations (PER) was a not-for-profit organization based in Princeton, NJ concerned with the course of interethnic conflicts during the post-communist transitions in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and former Soviet Union, and the Balkans following 1989 and extending into the 21st century. The collection consists of paper and digital reports and records of consultations, meetings, roundtables (and discussions and preparations for roundtables), and correspondence with leaders of political parties and representatives of governments and international organizations.
Collection Description & Creator Information
The collection consists of paper and digital reports and records of consultations, meetings, roundtables (and discussions and preparations for roundtables), and correspondence with leaders of political parties and representatives of governments and international organizations. Some of the records are in the form of published reports that summarize the positions of the disputants and interlocutors and the substance of their debates, providing a detailed picture of the nature of their claims and counterclaims and changes over time. There are also private notes and correspondence among staff members; reports on current developments prepared by PER's representatives in several countries; and copies of press coverage and commentary on PER's efforts.
Arranged into the following series:
- Collection Creator Biography:
The Project on Ethnic Relations (PER) was a not-for-profit organization based in Princeton, NJ concerned with the course of interethnic conflicts during the post-communist transitions in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the former Soviet Union, and the Balkans following 1989 and extending into the 21st century. PER originated in 1991 as a project of the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), the American organization that was responsible for the principal exchanges of scholars between the United States and the USSR and Eastern Europe during the Cold War. IREX's then Executive Director, Allen H. Kassof (who was on the Princeton University faculty from 1961 through 1973), had had extensive prior contacts with leaders of the transitions. He planned the project in anticipation of the ethnic disputes that were to follow the collapse of communism. PER's cofounder was Livia Plaks, who was Assistant to the Executive Director at IREX. In 1992, Kassof stepped down as head of IREX and PER became an autonomous project. Kassof served as President of PER until his retirement in 2005, when Plaks, who had been PER's Executive Director, succeeded him. PER dissolved in 2012. One of PER's most intensive activities concerned Romania where, over a period of years in the 1990s and into the 2000s, PER helped to negotiate a series of agreements between the main political parties and the leadership of Romania's ethnic Hungarian minority to ease the tensions between them. In September 2013, Kassof was invited to visit Romania in order to advise senior government officials, including ethnic Hungarian leaders, on steps that might be taken to update the original agreements and understandings, some of which had fallen into disuse. Kassof visited Romania in January and March 2014 and recommended that a series of roundtables be held for political leaders, including several who were alumni of the original talks, as well as younger politicians who were unfamiliar with them. Following these consultations, two roundtables were held in Romania, in May and October 2014. A new Romanian NGO, The Roundtable on Ethnic Relations, was established in September 2016 to sponsor the renewal of PER's efforts.
Gift of Allen H. Kassof in 2010 [ML.2010.20]. An additional two boxes of audio-visual material were donated later that year [ML.2010.026].
Kassof donated the digital records that compose Series 10 in September 2016 [ML.2016.027].
- Archival Appraisal Information:
No material was separated during accessioning of Series 1 through Series 9 in 2011. One digital file, a recommendation letter, was deleted from the 2016 addition.
- Processing Information:
This collection was processed by Dan Santamaria on March 29, 2011. A folder list, MARC record and finding aid were created at this time. The MARC record and finding aid were updated to incorporate audiovisual and electronic materials; electronic records were copied to web-based storage at this time.
Materials from the 2016 addition were added to the collection by Rachel Van Unen in 2017. The collection-level description of the Project on Ethnic Relations Records was also updated at this time.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Select materials in Series 10 are closed until September 23, 2026. All other materials in this collection are open for research use.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, any copyright vested in the donor has passed to Princeton University and researchers are free to move forward with use of materials without anything further from Mudd Library. For materials not created by the donor, where the copyright is not held by the University, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. In these instances, researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.
- Special Requirements for Access:
Series 8 and 9 are composed of audiovisual materials in various formats. Access to this material follows the Mudd Manuscript Library policy for preservation and access to audiovisual materials.
- Credit this material:
Project on Ethnic Relations Records; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library65 Olden StreetPrinceton, NJ 08540, USA(609) 258-6345