The fall of the Berlin Wall almost twenty-five years ago raised the hope that the new-found political unity of Europe would bring about both an intensification of cultural and intellectual exchanges between its Eastern and Western confines and a much broader, differentiated and inclusive understanding between traditions that had been either oblivious or deeply suspicious of one another for about half a century.
Such a process has indeed happened but to a much more limited extent than one could have hoped for initially. In effect, many thinkers and theories from Eastern and Central Europe have remained at the periphery, if not completely under the radar of most Western European discourses and Western European cultural awareness, or in many cases have continued to be subjected to some of the ideological distortions and willful mutual ignorance resulting from the Cold War.
Countless reasons could be given to explain this situation, but one stands out in particular: the lack of ready access to surprisingly large corpora of significant texts and cultural heritage from Eastern and Central Europe in almost all the fields of the humanities and the arts. As such, an increasingly obvious imperative is finally to provide a much better, easier and contextualised access to the rich yet neglected cultural heritage of Eastern and Central Europe. The Public Archives of Central and Eastern European Modernities sets itself precisely that aim.