Citizen visits to the Soviet Union, the Portland-based Ground Zero Pairing Project and the Northwestern University 1986 conference on U.S.-Soviet Relations provided the impetus to form a group of citizens to initiate a sister city relationship with a Soviet city. A group of 22 local citizens organized a trip to the Soviet Union to meet with officials in three cities – Chernigov, Orel, and Vladimir. Vladimir was chosen, and the citizens approached the McLean County Board and the city councils of Bloomington and Normal for official support.
The collection was compiled by the Vladimir/Canterbury Sister City Association Historian, Ann B. White. The scrapbooks contain news articles, photographs of events, event publicity, annual reports, and newsletters that cover the history of establishing the relationships, association events, and exchange of visitors. Additional folders provide more in-depth material on the establishment of educational and medical exchanges, association newsletters, meeting minutes, committee reports, grant programs, and miscellaneous projects from 1986 – 2016. Box 6 contains books, magazines, pamphlets, and media items (DVDs, VHS tapes) related to Vladimir, Canterbury, or Bloomington-Normal.