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Nation-State Formation in Belarus in 1918-1920s

State Archives of Grodno Region

Description of holdings

Amount of holdings: 1 738 fonds, 10 collections, 544 064 items

Chronological scope: from 1919 to the present

Geographical coverage:

  • Western Belarus as part of Poland (certain areas)
  • abolished Vasilishki, Zheludok, Porozovo, Skidel, and Sopotskin districts
  • the town of Grodno and the Berestovitsa, Volkovysk, Grodno, Zelva, Mosty, Svisloch and Shchuchin districts of the Grodno region


The earliest records date from the early period of Soviet power in Grodno Region, when the military and revolutionary committees came into existence (the 1920s). These are records concerning the creation of the Communist Party and Komsomol organizations in the region; instructions and proceedings of the district and village revolutionary committees on the issues of political, economic and social life; lists of localities, data on the number of settlements, estates and granges and the number of their inhabitants; materials relating to the Grodno theatre, and more.

The Archives holds a substantial complex of documents created by the Polish institutions that functioned in the Novogrudok voivodeship (except the Baranovichi and Volozhin districts), and in the Volkovysk and Grodno districts of the Bialystok voivodeship. The economic situation in the region, the agrarian reforms, the creation of small peasant farms (khutors), and the taxation policy are illustrated in the documents of the Novogrudok voivodeship administration, district councils, land offices and forestries.

The fonds of the teachers colleges and schools contain instructions issued by the ministry of religions and public education, the trusteeships of the Warsaw and Vilnius school districts, proceedings of school council meetings and state exams, lists of teachers and students, and more.

The reports and legal cases of the police judicial institutions and the Grodno prison contain information on workers' political and social movement and the mass meetings in 1935 and 1936 in defense of the revolutinary member S. O. Pritytski sentenced to death by the Polish court; information relating to poets M. Mashara, F. Pestrak, and V. Tavlai who stayed in the Grodno prison. Records of the Polish period are mainly in Polish.

Records of the Nazi Occupation, represented by the fonds of the institutions that functioned at that time in the occupied territory, illustrate the policy pursued by the German authorities. 

The largest complex of the archive's holdings are the records of Soviet period. Records from the period 1939-1941 reflect the history of reunification of Western Belarus with the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic, the socialist transformations in economics and culture on the eve of the war. The main bulk of the post-war records are documents of the government institutions, public control, courts and prosecutor's, justice, planning and statistics, financing, state insurance, agriculture, forestry, construction and architecture, communal services, transport and communications, trade, public education, culture, arts, mass media, health care, welfare, physical culture and sports, labour and other social organizations. These records illustrate the main activities and functions of the mentioned organizations.

Records of the organizations and enterprises that functioned in the 1990s are represented in the fonds of the tax inspections, the committee on state property, open joint-stock companies, agricultural cooperative associations, etc.

The personal fonds contain records relating to the life of Ia. N. Marash, doctor of historical sciences, professor at the Kupala State University of Grodno; A. O. Makovelski, correspondent member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, native of Grodno; the writer A. Karpiuk; the director of the State Archives of Grodno Region, Merited Worker of Culture of Belarus A. N. Pleshevenia; professor, doctor of medical sciences V. I. Brzeski; director of the National Historical Archives in Grodno, Merited Worker of Culture of Belarus K. P. Batrakova; professor at the Kupala State University of Grodno, candidate of historical sciences V. N. Cherepitsa.

The Archives holds collections of records relating to the participants in the October Revolution of 1917, the Civil War, the revolutionary movement in Grodno Region, and the Partisan movement in the Second World War; records on repatriated civilians and Soviet prisoners of war, filtration cases on citizens who returned from Germany; personnel records for the years 1944-1962; documents on the history of the Belarusian Border District collected by V. P. Verkhos; a collection of digital master copies of the Extraordinary State Commission for Investigation of Nazi Crimes and Damage Caused to Citizens, Collective Farms, Public Organizations and Government Institutions in the USSR for the city of Grodno and the districts of Berestovitsa, Vasilishki, Volkovysk, Grodno, Zelva, Mosty, Porozovo, Radun, Svisloch, Skidel, Shchuchin in Grodno Region, BSSR, received from the State Archives of the Russian Federation..

05 September 2018
A professional contest “The Best Archivist of Belarus” is held in Belarus in 2018 More >>
New on the site
17 September 2018
New online exhibition of documents, Nation-State Formation in Belarus in 1918-1920s has been posted on the website More >>
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A source guide “Monuments of Law in Belarus in the 14th-16th Centuries: Regional Charters of Privilege” has been released More >>
16 October 2018
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12 October 2018
Meeting with Mr Piotr Dymmel, Director of the State Archives in Lublin, Poland More >>
09 October 2018
The Russian Federal Archival Agency and the Belarusian Department for Archives and Records Management held a joint board meeting in Novgorod, Russia More >>
09 October 2018
The professional meeting of the heads of archival services and institutions of Russia and Belarus took place in Novgorod, Russia More >>