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Archival news

29 December 2011
On 21-28 December 2011, the republic-level state archive institutions held meetings of work collectives to summarize the results of work in the year 2011 and set up objectives for 2012. Attending the meetings were chiefs and division heads at the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus.

Participants at the meetings noted that all planned assignments in the main directions of archive activity have been fulfilled. In 2011 the central state archives and institutions performed the activities within the Archives of Belarus State Programme for 2011–2015, conducted intensive work on the security protection of archival fonds, strengthening of material, technical and resources basis in archives, the formation and acquisition of the National Archival Holdings of the Republic of Belarus. The important directions were, as before, the provision of information service to users, use of archival records, provision of information to government institutions and local self-government. The main directions of archive activities have been automatized, which makes possible a transfer to new, more effective methods of work.
At the same time there are many unsolved issues. Due to objective reasons, the reconstruction of a number of archive buildings have not been finished. The material and technical base of archives needs further development, etc. Belarusian archivists are expected to solve these tasks in the new year 2012.
23 December 2011
On 21 December 2011, within the framework of the New Year charity action Our Children, the deputy director at the Department for Archives and RM of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus O.A. Ledovskaya, the chairwomen of the primary trade union organizations at the National Historical Archives of the Republic of Belarus and the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Science V.A. Khodina and I.N. Shpilevskaya, visited a Social Orphanage in the Sovetsky district in Minsk. The orphanage children were presented with New Year gifts.
12 December 2011
On 25 November 2011, President of Belarus signed the Law of the Republic of Belarus on Archives and Records Management in the Republic of Belarus. On 7 December, this law was published in the National Register of Legal Acts No. 136 and will become effective on 18 December 2011.
07 December 2011
On 6 December 2011, at the meeting of the ninth session the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus discussed a draft of the Law of the Republic of Belarus on Official Heraldic Symbols. The report on the issue was delivered by the Director of the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus V.I. Adamushko. Mr Adamushko noted that this Law is aimed at conducting a single government policy in the creation, establishment, state registration and use of official heraldic symbols and the legal regulation in this field.

The draft law was adopted by the deputies in first reading.
06 December 2011
On 29 November 2011, the National Technical Committee on Standardization TC BY 28 "Records Management" held a meeting in Minsk.

The key issue on the agenda was the discussion of the draft of the Preliminary State Standard of the Republic of Belarus STB P ISO 15489-1 "Information and Documentation - Records Management. Part 1. General Requirements".

The main focus at the meeting was terminological contradictions connected with the translation into Russian of Standard ISO 15489-1:2001 being passed in the Republic of Belarus. The meeting participants had a vibrant discussion about the translation into Russian of such English terms as "record" and "document". In view of the necessity to define the translation of a number of other English terms (such as "procedure", "control", "retention") the voting on the final draft of STB P ISO 15489-1 was transferred to the next meeting of the technical committee.

The meeting supported the proposal by the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Science (BelNIIDAD) to join the ISO technical committees on standardization in the field of documentation at international level and to submit the required documents to the State Committee for Standardization of the Republic of Belarus (Gosstandart).

The meeting participants approved the plan of standardization in records management for 2012 and discussed the report of the technical committee for 2011.
25 November 2011
On 24 November 2011, the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus held a board meeting to discuss the results of a complex inspection at the Belarusian Research Centre of Electronic Records (BelNITsED) and the issues of the development by the state archives of the automated inventory system for records of the National Archival Holdings of the Republic of Belarus.

Having discussed the results of the inspection at BelNITseD, the Board accepted its work as satisfactory. The Centre was noted for its active participation in conducting applied research in provision of long-term preservation and access to electronic records, the introduction and development of information technologies for access to traditional archival records etc.

On the second issue the Board noted that the administrative bodies of the State Archives Service and the state archives achieved a positive success in the development of the automated state inventory system. The state records inventory system has a three-layer structure and is run with the software program package "Fonds Catalogue. Version 5.0", installed at the Department for Archives and Records Management and at the archives and records divisions in the regional executive committees, as well as the program package "Inventory. Version 4.1" installed in the state archives of the Republic of Belarus.

By the 1st January 2012, the database of the State Fonds Catalogue, the main information resource, will have been completed. The Belarusian Research Centre of Electronic Records is currently developing a technology for presenting the State Fonds Catalogue in the Internet.
22 November 2011
On 7-8 November 2011,an international scholarly conference of the 21st International Archival Day and Autumn Archival School took place in Trieste, Italy. The events were organised by the International Institute for Archival Science of Trieste and Maribore (IIAS) with the support of the State Archive of Trieste and the Central European Initiative (CEI) for coordination and financial assistance to scholarly and cultural projects in the region’s countries.

The conference was attended by the IIAS members representing Austria, Belarus, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Montenegro and the guests from Great Britain, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Greece, Israel, Malaysia, Portugal, Rumania, Serbia, Sultanate of Oman, USA, Croatia, Switzeland and Estonia. The conference of the International Archival Day was attended by the Secretary General of the International Council on Archives (ICA) D. Leitch (Scotland), who addressed the participants with a greeting word, briefly outlining the main directions of the ICA on the issues chosen for the conference.

The topics at the conference were "European projects on archives (experiences, plans, future)" and "Archives in modern society (role, development, future)". The conference languages were English, Italian and Slovenian.

The conference was held in two sessions on the above topics. The Belarusian side presented a report on "Belarusian archives in modern society" (in English) delivered by the director at the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Science (BelNIIDAD) Andrei Rybakov. The conference papers and reports are published in ATLANTI 2011.

The IIAS Autumn Archival School was held on 9-12 November. Among the school’s students was a representative from Belarus, head for documentation department at BelNIIDAD Andrei Sukach. At the autumn school, young archivists from different countries were offered a course of lectures focusing on the same topics of the 21st IIAS International Archival Day. Lectures were given by the Institute’s members and some of the conference guests.

At the opening of the autumn school on 9 November Mr. Rybakov gave an interview to the First Channel of the Slovenian TV (in English), in which he outlined the objectives and aims of the IIAS events, dwelt upon the common problems in archives in different countries, and the importance of the topics chosen for the 2012 conference.

On the same day the Belarusian delegation visited the State Archives in Gorizia (Italy) and Pokrajinski Archive in Nova Gorica (Slovenia).
16 November 2011
11 November 2011 marks 190 years since the birth of the great Russian writer Fedor Dostoevsky, whose family has Belarusian roots and traces its lineage from the late 15th century. In 1506, his ancestors received a charter for the village of Dostoevo, Ivanovo district, Brest region. From this time on this village was named after the Dostoevsky family. The forebearer of the family is Danila Ivanovich Irtishchevich. In the written sources the village of Dostoevo was first mentioned in the 15th century.

Among the other prominent members of the Dostoevsky family are Pyotr, marshal of Pinsk (1598-1599), Yarosh, deputy head of Ovruch (1604), Pyotr, judge of Pinsk (1627-1632), Benedikt, deputy cupbearer of Pinsk (1635), Andrey, banneret of Volyn (1649) and others.

The National Historical Archives of Belarus holds a number of records relating to the Dostoevsky family and the village of Dostoevo dating from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. These include the Minsk Assembly of Noble Deputies File on the noble origin of the Dostoevskys (f. 319, op. 2, d. 941), minutes of the Minsk Assembly of Noble Deputies of 13 August 1800 on the confirmation of the noble status of the Dostoevsky family, coat of arms "Radvan" (f. 319, op. 1, d. 26), records on the history of the Dostoevsky family dating from the period 1506–1785 (f. 936, op. 1, d. 27), the 1819 description of the Uniate Church in Dostoevo, Pinsk district, Minsk province (f. 136, op. 1, d. 41258), the 1847 inventory of the estate of Dostoevo, Pinsk district, Minsk province (f. 142, op. 1, d. 1276), the 1862 Charter of the estate of Dostoevo of landlord Orda (f. 1595, op. 2, d. 2139), files concerning the purchase by peasants of land on the estate of Dostoevo from landlord Orda (f. 242, op. 2, d. 720, f. 1595, op. 2, d. 2139) etc.
16 November 2011
On 3 November 2011, a meeting was held at the headquarters of the Forum of Slavic Cultures in Ljubjana, Slovenia between the Forum representatives and the participants at the Second Conference for Archives of Slavic Countries. The meeting brought together representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Macedonia, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine. The Republic of Belarus was represented by the acting director at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus N.K. Rudakovsky and the director at the Belarusian Research Institute of Documentation and Archival Science A.E. Rybakov. The Czech Republic and Croatia did not participate in the event.

The Forum of Slavic Cultures was established by the initiative of culture ministries in 12 Slavic countries with the aim to promote cooperation, propaganda of cultural achievements, and joint projects. Attending the meeting was the Chairperson of the Forum of Slavic Cultures, member of Slovenian Parliament Ms. Andreja Rihter.

The joint session discussed the projects proposed by the Forum "Heritage of socialism" and "Archives in the capitals of Slavic countries".

The project "Heritage of socialism" will include several conferences. The first conference entitled "Culture of socialism" is scheduled on 13-15 September 2012 in Maribore, Slovenia, which has been declared a European Cultural Capital in 2012. As part of this conference the archive representatives would prepare reports on the contents of archival collections relating to the culture in the epoch of socialism, their appraisal and selection for further preservation or disposal etc. In the perspective, the data on fonds and records available on the topic could have been posted in the Internet. However, the discussion of the archives’ participation in this conference has revealed a number of difficulties of organisational and content character in some of the Slavic countries needed to be further examined.

The second project will include an exhibition of records from the archives in the capitals of Slavic countries. The exhibition is to be held in May 2011 in the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

On completion of the Forum meeting, its participants moved to Lipica, Slovenia, where the Second Conference for Archives of Slavic Countries was held between 4 and 6 November 2011. The Conference was organised by the Forum of Slavic Cultures (Slovenia), the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia, the State Archives in Trieste (Italy) and the Society of Historian Archivists of Slovenia.

The Conference discussed two topics: "Important technical issues in archives" and "Important issues of information transfer between archives". Participants at the conference were representatives of 11 out of 13 member states (excluding Croatia and the Czech Republic).

In view of the close cultural traditions and languages in the member states, the reports at the conference were made in national languages. The Belarusian side offered presentation reports on "Important technical issues at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus" (N.K. Rudakovsky) and "Construction and reconstruction of archive buildings as a main condition for records preservation" (A.E. Rybakov).

The second day of the conference addressed the issues of information transfer between archives. Most of the reports and papers dwelt with the issues of archive records presented in the internet as the most simple and universal means of information exchange (Belarus, Bulgaria, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Montenegro). Especial attention was drawn to the report by M. Marosz (Poland) on the APEnet Project (European Gateway for Documents and Archives). According to the concept of this project, not only archival records but also archival guides and directories that help to search records in archives are to be posted in the internet (in all, over two million description units have been made available in the internet).
11 November 2011
On 8 November 2011, the director of the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus V.I. Adamushko submitted a draft law On Archives and Records Management in the Republic of Belarus for consideration at the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus (Parliament).

The draft law was approved by the Council of the Republic and within ten days in accordance with Article 100 of the Constitution of Belarus is to be sent to the President of Belarus for his signature.
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