Main menu
Archives and records authorities and the state archives network
Archival directories
Subject guides and databases
Genealogy/Family history
Professor M.V.Dovnar-Zapolsky

National Historical Archives of Belarus in Minsk

Historical background

The National Historical Archives of Belarus was founded in 1919 as an archival repository of the Mogilev Archival Bureau, and it was then located in the city of Mogilev.

In 1924, the repository was reorganized as a district archives, and in 1927 as the Mogilev Historical Archives. In 1930, the latter was made a division of the Central Archival Administration of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR).

In July 1938, the Archives was reorganized as the Central Historical Archives of the BSSR. 

In the Second World War, during the German occupation of Belarus, most of the archives' documents and finding aids were destroyed. Some material was taken away by the Nazis to Germany and the city of Riga.

In 1943, the Central Historical Archives of the BSSR was renamed the Central State Historical Archives of the BSSR (in Mogilev).

After the war, the archivists managed to retrieve 38 054 files out of 700 archival fonds, none of which had survived in totality. In 1947, the Archives acquired the remaining prerevolutionary fonds of the state regional archives in Gomel and Vitebsk.

In 1963, the Archives relocated from Mogilev to Minsk and assumed the name of the Central State Historical Archives of the BSSR in Minsk. The Archives acquired the prerevolutionary documents from the State Archives of Minsk Region, and a complex of early records from the Central State Historical Archives of the BSSR in Grodno.

In 1992, the Archives was consolidated with the Central Party Archives of the Communist Party of Belarus into the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus.

In 1995, the Archives was reorganized as a separate institution on the basis of the records of the 14th - early 20th centuries previously held at the Central State Historical Archives in Minsk, and assumed its present name of the National Historical Archives of Belarus.

For significant contributions made to the archive business, preservation of documents relating to the history of Belarus of the 14th to the early 20th centuries and organization of their comprehensive use in scholarly research into the history of Belarus, archival studies and related historical disciplines the Archives was awarded a Honorary Diploma of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus (Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 986 of July 2, 2008)

New on the site
05 September 2017
The website presents a virtual exhibition of documents to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Prof. Mitrofan DOVNAR-ZAPOLSKY More >>
Archival news
16 March 2018
An international scholarly conference “The Belarusian National Republic in the history of the Belarusian national statehood” More >>
16 March 2018
An exhibition “1918: The Belarusian National Republic – The Idea. The Region. The State. The Way to Independence” at the National Historical Museum More >>
03 March 2018
A retrospective show of documentary films from BGAKFFD Archives More >>
05 February 2018
Methodical recommendations “Preparation and staging of exhibitions of archival documents” have been released More >>