Tsentropechat’ (Central Agency for Supply and Distribution of Printed Works)

Центропечать (Центральное агентство ВЦИК по снабжению и распространению произведений печати)

Tsentropechat’ (Central Agency for Supply and Distribution of Printed Works) was created in November 1918 by VTsIK (All-Russian Central Executive Committee) to disseminate books, pamphlets, newspapers, and material dedicated to the Bolshevik cause. The system of Tsentropechat’ was built on the existing network of kiosks developed in the Imperial era by Aleksei Suvorin, a Russian newspaper and book publisher. During the Russian Civil War, Tsentropechat’ supplied Red Army troops with free publications and even phonograph records of speeches, including those given by Vladimir Lenin. In 1922, during the NEP (New Economic Policy) era, Tsentropechat’ was replaced by the joint-stock company Kontragenstvo Pechati (Press Contracting Agency). In 1930, the agency’s functions were transferred to Soiuzpechat’ (All-Union Press Distribution Agency).

Sources & Citations

Kenez, P. (1986). The birth of the propaganda state: Soviet methods of mass mobilization, 1917-1929. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. [Formation date of Tsentropechat', its general history and information on A.S. Suvorin]
Gleason, A., Krenz, P., Stites, R. (1985). Bolshevik culture: Experiment and order in the Russian Revolution. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. [Kontragenstvo Pechati (Press Contracting Agency)]
Berlina, A. (2017). Viktor Shklovsky: A reader. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. [Mention of Tsentropechat' and Gubpechat' functions]