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15 April 2013
Presently 79 official heraldic symbols for administrative and territorial units in Vitebsk Region have been approved by decrees of the President of the Republic of Belarus – 42 coat of arms and 37 flags. Their use in everyday life is expanding with each year. The relevant coat of arms have been installed at the entrance roads to nearly all the districts in Vitebsk Region. The illuminated boards with images of coat of arms for Vitebsk Region and the old town of Vitebsk have been fixed on the high edifices in Vitebsk.

An interesting idea was proposed by the director of the Vitebsk State Vocational School, Irina Kiseleva, to use the coat of arms of Vitebsk towns and districts in their educational process. The college teachers and students have designed, tailored and embroidered a series of evening holiday dresses with the images of coat of arms on them and the names of the relevant district inscribed.

The collection now includes 22 heraldic dresses. The most beautiful of these indeed presents the coat of arms of the Vitebsk Region itself. The college girls have already shown their original collection of heraldic dresses at a number of contests, youth presentations, and such important festivals in Belarus as the 1150 anniversary of the town of Polotsk and the Day of Written Language in Glubokoe.

03 April 2013
On 2 April 2013 an exhibition of records was opened at the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus entitled The Glorious Sons of Belarus. The Project is dedicated to the 110th anniversary of the birth of V. Kozlov, 100th anniversary of S. Pritytsky, and 95th anniversary of P. Masherov. The exhibition was prepared by the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus on the basis of records available in its holdings. The opening of the exhibition was accompanied with the newsreel presented by the Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings.

The chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus V. Andreichenko, deputy chairman of the House of Representatives V. Guminsky, the first deputy head of the Presidential Administration A. Radkov, deputies of the House of Representatives and the invited persons who assembled at the opening of the second session of the Parliament’s lower chamber got acquainted with the exposition.

The director of the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus V. Adamushko made a review of the records on display.

28 March 2013
On 27 March 2013 the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus held a board meeting to discuss the issues of the commercial operation of the Automated State Archives Information System (Archive AIS) in the state archives, the Department’s Thematic Plan of Research and Development in 2013 and the Final Report on R&D in 2012.

On the first issue it was noted that the main task of the commercial operation of the Archive AIS is to create the conditions for its stable work and the preservation of the database contents. In ensuring the effective functionality of the Archive AIS the Department, the archive and RM agencies and the state archives solve issues of legal, organizational, software, hardware, and personnel matters. The department board took a resolution aimed at improving the Archive AIS and enhancing its operational performance.

The department board has approved the Thematic Plan of R&D in 2013 and the Final Report on R&D in 2012.

25 March 2013
On 21 March 2013 the press centre of the Press House held a press conference for mass media representatives from the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation devoted to the publication of a collection of documents and materials, Winterzauber. Nazi Punitive Operation in the Belarusian-Latvian Border Areas, February -– March 1943. The book was prepared and published by the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus (Department) and the Russian Historical Memory Foundation for Assistance to Urgent Historical Research (Moscow).

Participants at the event were the Department’s head for scholarly use of documents and information division G. Zholnerkevich, the chief archivist at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus V. Selemenev, deputy chief editor of the newspaper Zvyazda V. Kluchnik, coordinator of the international project Raising of the Status of the Surviving Residents of the Burned Villages in Belarus N. Kirillova, the director of the Russian Historical Memory Foundation for Assistance to Urgent Historical Research (Moscow) A. Dyukov.

The press conference dealt with the issues of the Nazi policy in the struggle against the Partisan movement in Belarusian territory, in particular the history of the punitive operation named Winterzauber in February-March 1943 in the area of Osveya, Drissa, Rossony (Republic of Belarus) and Sebezh (Russian Federation) districts. During the operation 439 inhabited localities were burned by the Nazis, more than 10,000 residents perished, and over 6,000 people were sent to forced labour.

The participants at the press conference gave special attention to the issues of increasing the status of the residents of the burned Belarusian villages and discussed the preparation of an electronic database of the Belarusian villages burned in World War II 1941-1944 and its placement in the Internet.

20 March 2013
On 20 March 2013 a mobile exhibition was opened at the Minsk-based Johannes Rau International Centre for Education and Exchange dedicated to the opening of the international scholarly conference Khatyn 1943 – 2013. Events. People. Memory.

The organizers of the exhibition are the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus, the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, the Khatyn State Memorial Complex, the Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings in Dzerzhinsk and the Zonal State Archives in Borisov.

The exhibition is created in two versions: a stationary exposition of the original records exhibited at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus and a mobile exposition of the digital copies of the documents and photographs placed on eight stands at the Johannes Rau International Educational Centre in Minsk.

The bulk of the exhibition are the records from the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus that detail the crimes committed by the Nazi occupants and their accomplices against the civilian population in the village of Khatyn. These are the documents created by the Partisans and the local people, the German inquests and reports concerning the events of that day, the Partisan press, the certificates and lists of the victims, documents submitted by the eye-witnesses of the Khatyn tragedy and by the war criminals who were punished after the war.

Khatyn was not the only village destroyed by the Nazis in 1941-1944. In all, 628 villages in Belarus shared the fate of Khatyn. The reports and lists of the victims displayed at the exhibition bear testimony to the punitive operations carried out by the Nazis and the burning by them of other Belarusian villages.

The Khatyn Memorial Complex is one of the sites in Belarus most visited by the Belarusian citizens as well as the foreign guests and tourists from different countries.

18 March 2013
The Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus, the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus and the Belarusian Peace Foundation with the support of the Russian Historical Memory Foundation for Assistance to Actual Historical Research present an electronic database of Belarusian Villages Burned in World War II.

18 March 2013
The Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Science (BelNIIDAD) has published a reference book, Watermarks in the Belarusian Archive Records of the 16th to early 20th Centuries (in the Belarusian language). The book offers an album of watermarks from the given period found on paper records available at the National Historical Archives of Belarus. In all, the directory contains about 700 images of the watermarks. One of the sections in the book gives the description of the marks, their semantics, provides information on the place and time when the relevant paper was produced, and gives links to similar marks in other albums. In addition, there is a table listing the watermarks placed in the book with data on where and when the watermarked document was used, with the respective archive code. The watermarks placed in the book are the photographic images that were specially processed on computer and are maximum close to the original. This method of making the watermark images was used for the first time in world practice.

The directory of this kind was published in Belarus for the first time.

06 March 2013
About international cooperation activities conducted by the State Archives of Mogilev Region

Beginning from 1993 the State Archives of Mogilev Region has received a great number of applications from citizens to confirm the staying in captivity and forced labour in Germany or to give information of their relatives who were lost in the Second World War.

The State Archives of Mogilev Region holds a collection of records created by the Committee for State Security Administration (UKGB) for Mogilev Region relating to the Soviet citizens repatriated in 1945-1946 from Germany, Austria, Poland and other countries in Western Europe, filtration files registers, and captured German cards on Soviet POWs.

In 1993-2003 these records were most intensively used by the archivists in their activity. Nearly 50,000 archival certificates were issued to the citizens in this period. Presently these documents are in high demand too.

The fate of many Soviet prisoners of war are so far unknown. The archival filtration records remained long unknown to the researchers into the Second World War.

As part of the international cooperation between the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus and the Association Saxon Memorials (Germany) the Mogilev Archives signed an agreement in 2011 with the Centre for Documentation at the Association Saxon Memorials (Dresden) for creating an electronic database on Soviet POWs born in Mogilev Region.

The German side passed to the Archives the required money funds, equipment and software needed for the work organization. Presently the work on the project has been completed. 20,544 cards on 10,460 POWs have been scanned. It is even now obvious what a great importance this will have not only for the close relatives of the POWs who died or survived but also for the methodology of the scholarly research. Besides, until the present moment the attempt to combine into a single computer base the archival data from the Russian, Belarusian and German archives has no equals in the contemporary historical science.

In September 2012 the archive staff conducted the identification of the names of the POWs born in Mogilev region, inmates of the Mauthausen concentration camp (Austria) who were born in Mogilev region. At the request of the Austrian side, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus submitted to the Mogilev Regional Executive Committee a list of 14,146 camp prisoners written as the citizens of the USSR. In this list the archive staff found 51 people born in Mogilev region, with their full names and place of residence.

This work was done as part of the Austrian project the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, which aims to personify the memory of the individual nazi victims and to give a more interactive character to the memorial while safeguarding the historical authenticity.

Presently, under the agreement with the Yad Vashem National Holocaust (Shoah) and Heroism Memorial (Israel), the Mogilev Archives conduct the identification and copying of records which contain data on the fate of the Jewish people in World War II in Belarus. They review the records of the Mogilev city administration, residence cards of citizens in Mogilev and Bobruisk, documents of the Extraordinary State Commission for Investigation of Nazi Crimes in Mogilev Region etc.

In the nearest time all the materials will be transferred to the Embassy of Israel in the Republic of Belarus for subsequent transference to the Museum in Jerusalem, which for more than fifty years collects the names of the victims, documents and testimonies connected with the Holocaust, conduct the research and educational work.

04 March 2013
On 28 February 2013 the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus held a board meeting to discuss the issue of creating file inventories in electronic form at the state archival institutions of the Republic of Belarus. Having heard the report by the chief specialist at the records preservation, state inventory and information technologies division, T. Labaznova, the department board emphasized the development of information retrieval resources as a major task in the activity of the state archival institutions. The file inventories in electronic form are being created in accordance with the schedule. The archives convert the file lists into electronic form by means of digitization; entering data on computer in MS Word or MS Excel; maintenance of databases. The electronic inventories can be submitted to the staff of the state archives and the researchers at the reading rooms. Access to electronic inventories is provided at the official website of the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus (http://narb.by).

The discussion of the issue revealed the necessity for the development of a unified approach to creation of electronic inventories, their preservation and provision with wide access, in particular by means of the internet.

27 February 2013
The Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings holds the unique sound records of news, documentaries and artistic features on the events in the public, political, economic and cultural life in this country. In the framework of the new project Voices of the Age launched jointly by the Archives and the web portal TUT.BY you can hear the speeches of the prominent politicians, the voices of our writers and poets, the dialect of the common Belarusians. The first issue offers the speech of the outstanding statesman of Belarus, Hero of the Soviet Union, Hero of Socialist Labour, Petr Mironovich MASHEROV at the Second All-Union Conference of the Supporters of Peace in Moscow in 1952. 26 February 2013 marks 95 years since the birth of Petr Masherov.

The material is prepared by the chief archivist at the information, publications and records use division at this Archives, Elena Poleshchuk.

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17 March 2014
The National Historical Archives of Belarus in Grodno temporarily ceased its work to move into a new building More >>
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18 April 2014
Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry held a board meeting More >>
03 April 2014
Exhibition of records opens at the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus More >>
26 March 2014
Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry held a board meeting More >>