The Communist International (Comintern) was established in March 1919 to foment world revolution. Within a few years, communist parties existed in nearly all the countries of Europe and by 1930 in most countries of the world. These generally small, often illegal parties looked to Comintern headquarters in Moscow for support and guidance. After the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) took custody of the organization’s records. The Comintern archives constitute an important resource for the study of world history during the inter-war period and early years of World War II. The archives also contain interesting biographical material from the Cold War era, when the International Department of the CPSU continued to add personal files.