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Archival news

17 August 2011
Chernobyl Accident. 1986-1991A new book, Chernobyl Accident. 1986-1991, came out.
The edition is prepared by the Department for Liquidation of Consequences of Chernobyl Accident at the Ministry for Emergency Situations, the Department for Archives and RM at the Justice Ministry, the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, and the State Archives of Gomel Region.
The book is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe and continues the 2006 edition, Chernobyl. 26 April 1986 - December 1991. The new edition contains 114 documents, including 100 from the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, 12 from the State Archives of Gomel Region, and 2 from the Russian State Archives of Contemporary History, most of which have been published for the first time. These are resolutions, memoranda, data, certificates, meeting minutes, decisions by the Government Commission. A number of documents pertain to the activity of the Commission for Liquidation of Consequences of Chernobyl Accident. There are also documents that describe the population resettlement from the contaminated areas, the construction of housing for resettlers, the state of public health and medical care in the districts affected by the disaster, the international assistance, meetings, the demands of the work collectives. Of interest are the documents relating to the historical and cultural values that remained in the contaminated districts.

The aftermath of the Chernobyl accident in Belarus had no precedent in history: due to the meteorological conditions the country—s territory received nearly 35% of Cesium137 emitted from the Chernobyl reactor; the area of 46,5 thousand square kilometres was contaminated (23% of the country—s territory); about 3600 inhabited localities found themselves in the area of radioactive contamination, including 27 cities with the population of 2,3 million people; the total damage inflicted by the catastrophe to the country is estimated at 235 billion dollars. Of especial importance in this respect are the primary sources, archival records, which make possible to understand the situation in those days.
16 August 2011
On 11 August 2011, the State Archives of Brest Region celebrated the official opening of its new building. The Archives new building is equipped with up-to-date ventilation and air-conditioning systems, security and fire alarm, gas fire suppression system, and video monitoring.
Attending the opening ceremony were the director of the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus V.I. Adamushko, administrative director at the Brest Region Executive Committee A.S. Stelmakh, administrative director at the Brest City Executive Committee V.V. Chernov, and head of justice administration at the the Brest Region Executive Committee A.I. Gushchin.
03 August 2011
On 28 July 2011, the Department of Archives and Records Management of the Republic of Belarus held a board meeting to discuss the issues concerning the work with people’s inquiries at the State Archives Service of the Republic of Belarus in the first part of 2011, the preservation and maintenance of the security copies of the records of the National Archival Holdings at the Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings, and the results of work at the Department of Archives and Records Management in the first six months of 2011.

On the third issue, the Department of Archives and Records Management conducted its work in the first half year of 2011 in accordance with the Plan of Actions for 2011, the ordinances by the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Belarus, the Government, the Ministry of Justice, and the Department.

A draft law "On Archives in the Republic of Belarus" was adopted in first reading and now under review for approval in second reading by the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus. A draft law "On Official Heraldic Symbols" was prepared, approved by all concerned parties and submitted to the Council of Ministers. On 21-23 June 2011, Minsk hosted a regular session of the Consultative Council of the heads of state archives services of the CIS member states, the 12th General Conference of the ICA Eurasian Regional Branch, and the international scholarly conference "State Archives Services and Private Archives: Experience of Cooperation".
01 August 2011
2014 marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.
The Belarusian Society of Archivists supports the actions taken by the Commission on Implementation of International Humanitarian Law at the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus chaired by the Justice Minister of Belarus V. G. Golovanov to mark a respect for the memory of Fatherland defenders and war victims and to draw the public’s attention to the war graves of the First World War in Belarus.

Belarusian archivists make their contribution to the interpretation of this war’s events. In 2010, the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus together with the Academy of the Interior Ministry of Belarus and Austria’s Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research on War Consequences published a book entitled War Graves of the First World War in Belarus.

The National Historical Archives of Belarus is preparing a book of documents, Belarus in the First World War. 1914-1918, scheduled for publication in 2013-2014.

In addition, the National Historical Archives of Belarus submitted to the Minsk City Executive Committee the records that were used in the work on improving the former Communal cemetery of the WWI victims, opened in Minsk on 29 November 1914 at the initiative of the Alexander’s Wounded Committee "for reminding the future generations of the victims of the First European War".
01 July 2011
On 28 June 2011, the National Archives of Belarus held a Workshop on issues related to the creation of digital copies of the records of the National Archival Holdings of Belarus. The workshop was organised and conducted by the records preservation, state inventory and information technologies division at the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus (Department) together with the Belarusian Research Centre of Electronic Records.

The workshop discussed issues related to the creation of reference or convenience copies on digital media (fond polzovaniya), conducted an analysis of the digital copies accessioned into the Fonds of Digital Copies, gave practical recommendations on the digitization of archival records. The workshop also discussed issues concerning digitization of photographs, their processing (on the example of the Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings and the Belarusian State Archives-Museum of Literature and Art), identification of digital copies (on the example of the National Historical Archives of Belarus). Representatives of the National Archives of Belarus shared their experience in the use of robotized libraries in preserving digital copies of archive records and informed the participants of some results in digitizing records of the Great Patriotic War.

The workshop brought together over 60 representatives from various archival institutions: the Department's deputy director, heads and deputy heads of the regional archival authorities, directors and deputy directors of the national, regional and local state archives, chiefs of the archive laboratories, archivists, specialists responsible for the creation and preservation of reference digital copies.

The workshop participants discussed the state of work on the creation of digital reference copies and noted this direction as one of the most important among the preservation activities of the State Archives Service of Belarus. The workshop recommended to continue work on records digitization, to use scanning equipment most effectively, to enhance scholarly and procedural assistance to this activity; to further work on digitizing microphotocopies with purpose to stop the use of the most valuable records which have security microphotocopies; to strengthen inter-archive cooperation in the area of records digitization. To support the digitization of records of the regional and local state archives it is necessary to continue work on the creation of the regional digitization centres.
28 June 2011
The website of the Gomel Frantsisk Skorina State University http://www.gsu.by posts online exhibitions of archive records entitled The Chernobyl Catastrophe dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the accident at the Chernobyl NPP and Dedicated to the Great Patriotic War. The expositions are prepared by staff members of the information, scholarly use and publication of records division at the State Archives of Gomel Region.

The expositions offer documentary photographs from the holdings of the Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings and the State Archives of Gomel Region.

28 June 2011
On 27 June 2011, an exhibition entitled The Town of Baranovichi during the Occupation of 1941-1944 was opened at the Local State Archives in Baranovichi.

The exhibition presents photocopies and xerocopies of documents relating to the period of the Nazi occupation of Baranovichi, 1941-1944.

28 June 2011
On 23 June 2011, the Federal Archives Agency of Russia (Rosarkhiv) and the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus (Department) held a joint board meeting in Minsk.

The meeting participants from the Russian side were Rosarkhiv deputy head V. P. Tarasov, head of the records management and acquisition division T. A. Meshcherina, head of the international relations division K. G. Chernenkov, head of the Main Archival Administration at the Council of Ministers of Tatarstan D. I. Ibragimov, head of the Archives Service of the Republic of Komi V. V. Romanovich, director at the Russian State Historical Archives in St. Petersburg A. P. Sokolov, director at the Russian State Archives of Economics E. A. Tyurina, director at the Russian Research Institute of Documentation and Archival Science M. V. Larin, deputy director at the State Archives of the Russian Federation E. L. Lunacharsky.

Attending the joint board from the Belarusian side were Department director V. I. Adamushko, first deputy director O. V. Biryukova, deputy director O. A. Ledovskaya, head of the organization and procedures division P. A. Levchik, head of the records management and acquisition division E. N. Davydova, head of the records preservation and information technologies division A. V. Kochetkova, head of the information and scholarly use of records division V. P. Kryuk, chief state inspector for archives and records management T. V. Stolina, alternate director at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus N. K. Rudakovsky, director at the National Historical Archives of Belarus A. K. Golubovich, chief editor of the journal "Arkhivy i Deloproizvodstvo" S. M. Asinovsky, director at the Belarusian State Archives-Museum of Literature and Art A. V. Zapartyko, director at the Belarusian Research Centre of Electronic Records V. L. Nosevich, director at the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Studies A. E. Rybakov, director at the Central Laboratory of Microphotocopying and Restoration of Records of the National Archival Holdings of Belarus I. V. Silin.

The main issue on the agenda was "On practices of the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of Belarus and the Federal Archives Agency of Russia on coordination of agency records retention schedules". The speakers were head of the records management and acquisition division at the Department E. N. Davydova and head of the records management and acquisition division at Rosarkhiv T. A. Meshcherina.

The joint board discussed the Plan of Joint Actions of Rosarkhiv and Department for 2011-2013 and other issues related to mutual cooperation between Belarusian and Russian archivists. Partaking at the discussions were the Department Director V. I. Adamushko, Department First Deputy Director O. V. Biryukova, Rosarkhiv Deputy Head V. P. Tarasov.

22 June 2011
On 21 June 2011, the conference hall of the CIS Executive Committee in Minsk hosted a regular session of the Consultative Council of heads of state archives services of the CIS member states, the 12th General Conference of the Eurasian Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (EURASICA), and the international scholarly conference "State Archives Services and Private Archives: Experience of Cooperation".

Among the participants and speakers at the Consultative Council and the 12th General EURASICA Conference were Justice Minister of Belarus V. G. Golovanov and First Deputy Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee V. G. Garkun.

The Consultative Council discussed the development of archive business in the CIS countries in line with the intergovernmental Agreement on principles and forms of cooperation between CIS countries in use of archival information of 4 June 1999, adopted the Regulations of the Consultative Council, and discussed issues concerned with the execution of the Consultative Council's decisions taken on 21-23 May 2010 in Odessa, Ukraine. Vladimir Adamushko, director at the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of Belarus was elected Chairman of the Consultative Council for the next period.

The 12th General EURASICA Conference aimed at promoting cooperation between the national archives services and all institutions concerned with the preservation, use and management of archives, assisting the events on preserving and safeguarding the documentary heritage, improving the professional training of archivists, and organizing scholarly conferences and workshops. The participants also discussed the project "Documentary Heritage of Soviet History: problems, trends and research methods".

The international scholarly conference "State Archives Services and Private Archives: Experience of Cooperation" placed emphasis on the issues of cooperation between state archives and archives of nongovernmental organisations, public institutions and individual persons. The conference participants shared experience in the issues of interaction between state archives services and private archives, put forward optimal interaction strategies and outlined their cooperation perspectives.

The next session of the Consultative Council and EURASICA will be held in 2012 in Tashkent (Republic of Uzbekistan).
15 June 2011
On 14 June 2011, the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus held events to mark the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War (World War II in the Soviet Union 1941-1945) prepared as part of the international project on Enhancing the Status of the Survivors of the Burnt Villages of Belarus.

The events included the presentation of a book of documents,The Tragedy of Belarusian Villages. 1941-1944, an electronic database on Belarusian Villages Burnt during the Great Patriotic War, and a documentary exhibition entitled Sacred Memory. Tragedy of Belarusian Villages.

The organisers are the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus and the Belarusian Peace Foundation.

Among the speakers at the event were the director at the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry V. I. Adamushko, the alternate director at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus N. K. Rudakovsky, the coordinator of the "Enhancing the Status of the Survivors of the Burnt Villages of Belarus" N. V. Kirillova, the chief archivist at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus V. D. Selemenev, the honored architector, winner of the USSR Lenin Prize and the State Prize of Belarus L. M. Levin.

Partaking at the event were the surviving residents of the burnt Belarusian villages Ippolit I. Kostyukevich and Kvetenia G. Voitekhovich (Kushtali village, Sharkovshchina district, Vitebsk region), Zinaida P. Levanets (Skirmontovo village, Dzerzhinsk district, Minsk region), Sergey A. Golovko (Malaya Kolpenitsa village, Baranovichi district, Brest region).

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