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Archival news

02 February 2010
A new volume, entitled Belarusian State University. 1945-1961 is released in the Pamiats i Slava [Memory and Glory] Series founded in 2003.

This is an edition of documents relating to the history of the main university in Belarus from 1945 to 1961. The documents are available from the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, the Belarusian State Archives-Museum of Literature and Art, the Belarusian State Archives of Scientific and Technical Documentation, the archives and history museum at the Belarusian State University, the personal archives of former students and university staff, reminiscences, and materials concerning the university newspaper. In addition to written documents, the book contains over a hundred photographs mainly from the Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings.
28 January 2010
On 27 January 2010, the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus held an enlarged board meeting to review work done by the State Archival Service of Belarus in 2009 and set objectives for 2010.

The participants at the meeting were the First Deputy of the Minister for Justice of the Republic of Belarus, A.V. Bileichik, heads and deputy heads of justice administration and heads of the archives and records management divisions at the regional executive committees and the Minsk City Executive Committee, directors of the state archival institutions, and members of the Department for Archives and Records Management. In all, 78 members attended the meeting.

The Director of the Department for Archives and Records Management, V.I. Adamushko, delivered a report. Presently, the State Archival Service of the Republic of Belarus includes 169 agencies and institutions: the Department for Archives and Records Management, 7 administrative agencies in charge of archives in each region and in the city of Minsk, 12 central (republic-level) archival institutions, 9 regional and 16 local (zonal) state archives, and 124 municipal and district personnel archives, which hold over 13 million paper files, and over 300,000 items of audiovisual records. In 2009, the state archives handled nearly 29,000 enquiries from private and juridical persons; over 11,000 citizens visited and consulted the archives in person. A special attention was focused on handling citizens’ enquiries based on a "single window" principle. In 2009, the archivists organised 89 exhibitions, published 16 documentary editions, guides, and scholarly editions relating to the history of Belarus. 122 official heraldic symbols were entered into the State Heraldry Register of the Republic of Belarus.

25 January 2010
On 15 January 2010, Mogilev Oblast celebrated the 72nd anniversary since its foundation. To mark this event, the State Archives of Mogilev Region and the State Archives of Public Organizations in Mogilev Region conducted an exhibition of documents to illustrate the history of Mogilev Oblast, from the date of its foundation till the present time.

The exhibition displays documents concerning the foundation of Mogilev Oblast, the master plan of the city of Mogilev, the population census of 1939, the restoration of Mogilev after the war in 1944-45, concerning the establishment of Dneprovsk and Chechevichi districts in 1939, the reorganization of Propoisk district as Slavgorod in 1945, the establishment of Bobruisk Oblast in 1944 and its abolishment in 1945 etc., concerning the disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, and more.

The exhibition presents data on the top executives at the Mogilev Region Executive Committee in 1939-2009, documents concerning the commemoration of delegates to the Mogilev Region Council of the 1st postwar convocation, people who died at the war fronts, partisans, resistance members, the leading collective farms and enterprises in the region, pace-makers, and more.


21 January 2010
Two new guides, "Personal Fonds and Collections in State Archives of the Republic of Belarus" and "Archive Business in the Republic of Belarus, 1991-2008" are released by the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Studies (BelNIIDAD).

A multi-archive directory, "Personal Fonds and Collections in State Archives of the Republic of Belarus" offers for the first time information about all fonds and collections of personal papers held in state archives in this country. Personal fonds are grouped by archives and then in alphabetic order. At the end of each section are listed the collections of personal papers if available.

A bibliographic guide, "Archive Business in the Republic of Belarus, 1991-2008" is a systematised list of publications relating to archive business in the Republic of Belarus in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. This is intended for archivists, bibliographers, philologists, specialists in culture, and students in the humanities.

06 January 2010
On 29 December 2009, the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Republic of Belarus held a board meeting to address the following issues:

implementation of the Strategy for Automation of Archives in 2005-2010;
handling citizens’ enquiries in the State Archival Network of the Republic of Belarus in the second half of 2009;

execution of legislation in combating the corruption in the system of the State Archival Network of the Republic of Belarus in 2009;

conducting an inspection of financial and economic activities in subordinate institutions; measures to strengthen control over and increase savings in budgetary funds and physical resources;

Action plan of the Department for 2010.

On the first issue, it was noted that extensive work had been carried out in further automation of Belarusian archives. The Strategy for Automation of Archives in 2005-2010 provided for the automation of main activities in the state archives; automation of the Department’s activities; organization of interaction between archival state institutions based on electronic mail and the Web.

The automation of main activities in the state archives purposes to create in each archive an automated information system. In 2009 a network version was created for the Unified Archive Information System. At the same time, archives automation meets certain problems. According to the survey of computers in the archives, 14.2% of them are subject to replacement since they do not support the current software; 23% need upgrade (if possible) or replacement. Certain archives have no backup system. Of acute importance is the administration of local area network. The Archive Information System needs permanent hardware and software maintenance.

On the second issue, it was noted that handling citizens’ enquiries in the system of the State Archival Network of Belarus was conducted in strict accordance with regulations defined by Belarusian legislation. The Belarusian archives work effectively to respond to citizens’ enquiries based on an application alone, with no need for other documents to submit. The Department and the regional archive authorities exercise control over the archives in handling citizens’ enquiries. Thus, in the second half of 2009 the Department inspected the procedures of handling enquiries from private individuals and juridical persons at the Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings, the Belarusian State Archives of Scientific and Technical Documentation, the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Studies, the Belarusian State Archives-Museum of Literature and Art, and the Central Laboratory for Microphotocopying and Restoration of Records. The mentioned archives properly observe the current legislation in handling citizens’ enquiries. On the other hand, this work encounters certain difficulties caused by inadequate preservation of the personnel records of liquidated organizations.

The issue of combating the corruption in the system of the State Archival Network of Belarus was noted to be under permanent control by the Department for Archives and Records Management. The inspecting of financial and economic activities in the subordinate archival institutions focuses primarily on the issues of effective expenditure of funds, the procedures of preservation, use and disposal of public property.

30 December 2009
On 23 December 2009, the State Archives of Vitebsk Region hosted a presentation of a new directory entitled "Vitebsk Province: The State, Religious and Social Institutions. 1802-1917", released by the National Historical Archives of Belarus and the State Archives of Vitebsk Region. This is the second volume in a series of Belarusian directories on the history of institutions in the Russian Empire; the first book entitled "Vitebsk Province: The State, Religious and Social Institutions. 1793-1917" was published in 2006.

The book consists of an introduction, four sections, and appendices with data on the governors of Vitebsk and colored illustrations.

The directory illustrates the history of institutions that operated in the Vitebsk province and its predecessors – the provinces of Pskov, Polotsk and Belarus, beginning from 1772. The institutions here described have not been previously represented in any other printed edition. The book represents not only the history of institutions, but also the history of the Vitebsk Region, which can be of great interest to regional specialists and anyone interested in the history of the Vitebsk region.

The head of the Main Administration of Justice at the Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee, A.I. Leskovets, noted that the book provides readers with unbiased information and clear facts and can be of importance to historians, legal experts and anyone preoccupied with the history of judicial institutions, public prosecutor’s offices and other institutions in the Vitebsk region.


14 December 2009
On 8 December 2009, the National Historical Archives of Belarus was presented with the Certificate for the Radziwills’ Archives and Nesvizh Library Collection inclusion on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. The ceremony took place in the reading room of rare prints and manuscripts at the Central Ya. Kolas Library of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

The UNESCO "Memory of the World" Programme was established in 1992. At present, the World Register includes 197 documentary heritage items of world significance and outstanding universal value.

The Radziwills’ Archives and Nesvizh Library Collection was nominated for the UNESCO Register on the initiative of Belarus jointly with Lithuania, Poland, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Finland, the countries which preserve parts of one of the biggest personal archives and library collections in Eastern and Central Europe, which was formed during the 16th -20th centuries.


10 December 2009
The National Archives of the Republic of Belarus has released a book of documents and materials titled "Executioners Witness. The Extermination of the Jews in the Territory of Occupied Belarus in 1941-1944".

This book has been prepared by the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Republic of Belarus, the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, the Museum of Jewish History and Culture, and the Holocaust Foundation in Belarus. Compilers: V.I. Adamushko, I.P. Gerasimova, V.D. Selemenev; editor S.E. Novikov. The book features 112 documents of the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus illustrating Nazi crimes against Jewish people perpetrated in Belarus in 1941-1944. This consists of two sections and an appendix. The first section includes documents of German institutions and army formations; the second, testimonies of German prisoners of war. The appendix contains data on the places of mass execution and deportation of the Jews in Belarus. The edition is intended for historians, archivists, museum workers, and can be of interest to the general public.

03 December 2009
The tenth issue of the Belarusian Archaeography Yearbook has been released by the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Studies.

This annual edition contains information regarding the publication of historical documents, the science of archives, source studies, textual and code analysis, and the history of government institutions; publishes documents on the history of medieval, modern and contemporary Belarus, the surveys of archival collections, and other materials.
The edition is intended for historians, archivists, philologists, and specialists in local lore.


25 November 2009
The Belarusian Research Centre of Electronic Records has released a DVD entitled "Documentary Heritage of the Radziwill Family: Inventories of the Nesvizh Library and Museum Collections".

This electronic publication has been prepared as part of the UNESCO International Project for the Virtual Reconstruction of the Radziwills’ Documentary Heritage and Nesvizh Library Collection, which was in 2009 included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

The digitization of the library and museum inventories was done in 2009 by the institutions which preserve them: the Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw, the National Historical Archives of Belarus, and the National Library of Belarus. The Belarusian Research Centre of Electronic Records was in charge of overall coordination of activities and creation of the electronic publication.

The electronic publication is primarily intended for specialists engaged in the virtual reconstruction of the Radziwills’ book collection and those occupied with the actual reconstruction of the Nesvizh castle. Also, the published documents may be of interest to researchers into the history and culture of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Russian Empire, as well as anyone interested in history.


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