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30 December 2013
On 26 December 2013 the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry held a board meeting to discuss the issues related to the remaking of Lists No 1 and No 2 of records creating organizations who are sources and not sources of records acquisition at the central state archives; on handling the petitions from individual persons and legal entities at the Belarusian archival institutions in the second part of 2013; on the execution of legislation on struggle against the corruption at the central state archival institutions in 2013; on the results of the inspection of financial and economic activity at the subordinate institutions and the measures for strengthening the control and saving of the budget funds, preservation of tangible property and other issues.

Reporting on the issue of work with petitions from individual and legal persons at the state archives in the second part of 2013, the department board noted that handling of inquiries and the issue of archival certificates was conducted in strict compliance with the Belarusian legislation. The work of archival agencies and institutions was aimed at a timely and qualitative execution of inquiries from citizens and legal entities. The submission of archival reference and information documents was conducted on the basis of written applications.

The issue of the observance of legislation on struggle against the corruption at the state archives was under permanent control by the Department for Archives and Records Management. In accordance with the Coordination Plan for Control (Supervision) Activities in 2013, the Department carried out the audit of financial and economic activities at the Republic-level Technical Laboratory for Security Microfilming of Permanent Records (in Gomel) and a complex inspection, including a financial auditing, at the Belarusian State Archives of Scientific and Technical Documentation. The facts of corruption have not been revealed.

The department board discussed and approved the draft Plan of Actions of the Department for Archives and Records Management in 2014.

26 December 2013
On 18-24 December 2013 the republic-level state archives and institutions held annual meetings of employees to summarize the results of work in 2013 and to set up objectives for 2014. Attending the meetings were the chiefs and division heads from the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus.

The meetings noted that all scheduled tasks in the main areas of archival activity have been fulfilled. In 2013 the central archive institutions continued the activities under the State Programme Archives of Belarus 2011-2015, conducted intensive work for the protection and security of archive fonds, strengthening of archives logistics and resources basis, the formation and stocking of the National Archival Holdings of the Republic of Belarus. An important area of archival activity remains, as before, the provision of information service to the public, the use of archival records, provision of information to government institutions and local self-government. The automation of main activities at the state archives has made it possible to switch over to the new, more effective methods of work.

In pursuance of the President’s Decree of 12 April 2013 No. 168 “On certain measures to optimize the system of government bodies and institutions and the number of their staff” adopted 20.04.2013, the central (republic-level) archive institutions carried out optimization of the structure and staff number of their employees.

The meetings raised the issues of the material and technical basis, increase of wages to archive employees, etc.

18 December 2013
On 16 December 2013 as part of the New Year charity action Our Children the deputy director of the Belarusian Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry O. Ledovskaya, director at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus N. Rudakovsky and director at the Belarusian Research Centre for Electronic Records V. Nosevich visited the Social Pedagogical Centre of the Sovetsky District at Minsk, whose inmates were presented with new year gifts.

03 December 2013
The 20th International scientific and practical conference Documentation in Information Society: Effective Management of Electronic Records was held in Moscow on 20-21 November 2013. The conference was organised by the Federal Archival Agency of Russia (Rosarkhiv), the All-Russian Archival Science and Records Management Research Institute (VNIIDAD), the Eurasian Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (EURASICA) with the participation of the Russian State University for Humanities (RGGU) and the Russian Society of Historians-Archivists.

Participants at the conference were representatives from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Ukraine and France. The Archival Service of Belarus was represented by A.E. Rybakov, director at the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Science (BelNIIDAD), member of the conference organising committee and T.V. Stolina, chief inspector for archives and records management at the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus.

On the first day the plenary meeting heard 20 reports and presentations. On the second day the work was organised in three sections: section 1 “Electronic records. Electronic recordkeeping”; section 2 “Methods and approaches to electronic records preservation”; section 3 “Preparation of personnel for electronic government”. In all, over 80 reports were submitted at the sections.

The participants from Belarus made presentation reports on topics “Acquisition of electronic records at Belarusian archives: state, problems, perspectives” (A.E. Rybakov, plenary meeting) and “Legislative and normative base for electronic recordkeeping: Belarusian experience” (T.V. Stolina, section 3).

Opening the conference, VNIIDAD’s director M.V. Larin noticed that the 20th international scientific and practical conference was held for the first time under the auspices of EURASICA, which made possible to largely expand the geography of its participants. The EURASICA’s President, director of the National Archives of Armenia A.S. Virabian addressed the participants with words of greeting and wishes of fruitful work.

For more detailed information on the conference see the Russian version of the website.

03 December 2013
On 1 December 2013 an exhibition of archival documents “Vivat notariat!” was opened at the website of the Minsk Region Executive Committee’s justice administration timed to the Day of Lawyer.

The exhibition was prepared by the staff members of the State Archives of Minsk Region in connection with the jubilee celebrations of the notarial system in the Republic of Belarus.

On display are the legislative records governing the activity of the notaries public in Belarus in the 1920s – 1950s and the exemplars of the main notarial actions: certification of transactions and agreements (purchase and sale, donation, development of land etc.), imposition of a ban on the disposal of property.

The exhibition shows an original copy of I.D. Lutsevich’s (Yanka Kupala) application to the Minsk municipal service requesting to submitt documents for the house sale to the notary officer. Also on display is an agreement for a socialist competition between the notary’s offices at Kletsk and Nesvizh.

28 November 2013
On 27 November 2013 at the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus the director of the State Archives of Vitebsk Region received a copy of the plan of Vitebsk from 1664 created by the Russian State Archives of Early Records (RGADA) at the request of the Belarusian archivists.

We express gratitude to the chief of the Federal Archival Agency of Russia A.N. Artizov and the RGADA’s director M.P. Ryzhenkov for the presented historical document that will take a worthy place in the National Archival Holdings of the Republic of Belarus.

28 November 2013
In November 2013 the State Archives of Minsk Region released the next book of published documents in the series “Minsk Region in Documents and Materials” founded in 2007. The present edition is dedicated to the history of Minsk Region in the tragic period of the German Occupation 1941-1944. The book includes 94 documents from the archive’s holdings, all of which have been published for the first time.

The book illustrates the main activities of the Occupation administration in Minsk Region, the daily life of the civilian population in the unhuman conditions under the Occupation and a large scale of the Partisan movement. The edition is illustrated with the photographs of archival documents, has a geographical index and a preface. This is intended for historians, regional specialists, history students and readers interested in the history of the Great Patriotic War (World War Two).

19 November 2013
On 14 November 2013 the State Archives of Minsk Region with the support of the Minsk Regional Executive Committee Main Justice Administration held a republic-level scholarly conference History and Archives: 20th and 21st Century Documentary Heritage of Belarus, dedicated to the 75th anniversary of this Archive.

The event took place at the Pushkin Regional Library in Minsk and brought together faculty members and postgraduates from different institutions in Belarus. Participants at the plenary meeting heard 20 reports. From the State Archives of Minsk Region the reports were made on the topics:

“Records of the State Archives of Minsk Region relating to the activity of the state security service and interior bodies in the Belarusian SSR and the USSR during the Great Patriotic War and in the post-war period” (by the head of the records use and publication department Vasily M. Matokh)

”Records of the State Archives of Minsk Region as a source into the history of rendering medical aid to the Partisans during the occupation of Belarus in 1941-1944” (by the archivist at the records use and publication department Yulia V. Milevskaya).

During the conference the participants discussed a number of issues on the history and practices of archive business in Belarus and the most topical issues and perspectives of development in the regional archives of the Republic of Belarus.

The conference papers will be published as a separate book.

The conference was concluded with a friendly dinner and a tour to the Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War.


Conference participants

19 November 2013
On 12 November 2013 the Museum of Military History at Vienna hosted a presentation of the book, Military Burials of World War One in Belarus prepared by the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, Austria’s Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research on War Consequences and the Academy of the Interior Ministry of the Republic of Belarus with the support of the Austrian Black Cross and the People’s Union of Germany for the Care of War Graves.

The event was attended by the Ambassador of Belarus to the Austrian Republic Valery Voronetsky, President of the Austrian Black Cross Peter Rieser, General Secretary of the German People’s Union Reiner Ruff, director of the Boltzmann Institute Stefan Karner, the book’s authors Anatoly Sharkhov and Viacheslav Selemenev, and representatives from Austria’s Interior Ministry, Ukrainian and Austrian embassies, scholarly and social institutions.

06 November 2013
The Fourth Conference of Archives in the Slavic Countries was held on 18-19 October 2013 in the Slovene town of Lipica. The Conference was attended by the representatives of archives from Belarus, Macedonia, the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro.

Eight reports were delivered as part of the conference on the topic of “Archives and Present Day Requirements”. Following the tradition, the reports were presented in national languages. From the Belarusian side, the director of the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Studies (BelNIIDAD) Mr A.E. Rybakov delivered a presentation report on the “Archives in Belarus in Conditions of Contemporary Requirements”.

The analysis of the reports and the following discussion made it possible to the four main issues which are presently of the most importance for archives in the Slavic countries:

Organisation of the system of administrative bodies in charge of archive business and state archival institutions;

Building of an efficient system for their relationship with the bodies of state power and government;

Records preservation in the context of the provision of required buildings and facilities for archives, preservation of electronic records;

Financing of state archives;

Professional training of archivists, provision of personnel for state archives, perspectives of development in archival science.

One of the conference events was a meeting with the director of the Forum of Slavic Cultures, Andreja Rihter. The participants summed the results of the exhibition “The History of the Capitals of Slavic Countries in the Light of Archival Records” opened in May 2012 in the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. This project, initiated at the Second Conference of Archives in the Slavic Countries in 2011, covered 13 Slavic countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Macedonia, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia, Czechia, Montenegro and Ukraine.

As part of the conference, Mr. Rybakov held a working meeting with the director at the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia Bojan Cvelfar and the senior advisor at this Archive Natalia Glashar. The Slovenian side showed interest in the possibility of organising a joint Belarusian-Slovenian archival project relating to the life and work of Gabriel Gruber. In 1769 Gabriel Gruber began lecturing at the Higher School of Engineering at Ljubljana; Gruber Palace (now the building of the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia) was built according to his project, in 1784 he arrived in Belarus and until 1799 taught architecture and physics at the Jesuit College at Polotsk. Thanks to his efforts, the Polotsk College expanded its scholarly basis and turned into a large technical centre. Presently, the National Historical Archives of Belarus holds a collection of the Polotsk Jesuit College and they now have to the availability of the documents relating to Gabriel Gruber in their collection.

***

On 21-22 October 2013 the 23rd Conference of International Archival Day took place in Trieste (Italy), which was organised by the International Institute for Archival Science of Trieste and Maribore (IIAS). The conference opened with the greeting of Charles Kesckemeti, a honoured member of this institute, General Secretary of the International Council on Archives from 1962 to 1988, who celebrated his 80th anniversary this year.

In all, the conference was attended by 100 people from Austria, Barbados, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, India, Spain, Italy, Macedonia, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Rumania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, USA, Turkey, Ukraine, France, Croatia, Montenegro, Czechia, Chili, Estonia and the Republic of South Africa.

The conference covered the two main topics: “History of archives and archival science from the 1950s to the present day” and “Communications of archives with the young generation and institutions in the area of cultural heritage”.

The bulk of the reports on the first topic was dedicated to the history of archives in different countries, while the greater interest was aroused by the reports on the problematic issues in the development of archives and international cooperation in archive business. The General Secretary of ICA, David Leitch (Scotland) informed the participants on the key directions in the ICA activities. In his words, the priority importance for archives now lies in the necessity to solve the issues of documentation and records managements and the development of relevant norms, regulations, recommendations and their adoption in the international standards. The ICA put a special focus on this issue in conditions of the adoption of modern information technologies.

BelNIIDAD’s director A. Rybakov delivered a presentation report formation and development of archival science in the Republic of Belarus” (in English).

The conference papers and reports have been published in the ATLANTI journal.

Following the completion of the conference, the IIAS 7th Autumn Archival School was opened on 23 October 2013 and the 29th Assembly of IIAS members. The assembly participants heard the report on the Institute’s activities in 2012-2013, discussed the acceptance of new members and the topics for the next conference of International Archival Day. The two main topics were adopted for the next conference: “The First World War” and “Archives, Political Power and Society (in context of access, data security and advocacy)”.



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