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Nation-State Formation in Belarus in 1918-1920s
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Archival news

10 June 2008
The presentation of book "Belarus in Resolutions and Instructions of the USSR State Committee for Defense. 1941-1945" took place at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus on 10 June 2008.
This directory is the next edition published jointly by Belarusian and Russian archivists. This includes data on 345 declassified documents on Belarus issued by the extraordinary highest government body in the war time, now being preserved at the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History. Among these are records concerning the formation of army units, combat operations, evacuation, and assignment of members of military councils, fronts and armies. Also included are materials on the guidance of Partisan movement and describing combat operations in the Vitebsk and Orsha directions in the years 1943 and 1944. The resolutions issued by the State Committee for Defense in 1944-1945 dealt with the restoration of economics, mobilization of military servicemen and civilians to various works, the supply, distribution and transportation of fuels, the repatriation of deported groups of population, the driving and distribution of captured cattle, the removal of equipment and property from Germany into Belarus, and more.

The contents of most resolutions have been declassified, with the most important published in full, the others presented as fragments or interpreted.

Participants at the presentation are Director of the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Republic of Belarus, V.I. Adamushko, Deputy Director of the Russian State Archives of Socio-Political History, V.N. Shepelev, Director of the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, V.D. Selemenev, and Director of History Institute at the Belarus Academy of Sciences, A.A. Kovalenia.

25 April 2008
Between 20 and 23 April, 2008, the Republic of Belarus hosted a delegation of archivists from the Republic of Latvia headed by Director General of the Latvian State Archives, Mr. Valdis STALS.

The Latvian archivists visited the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus and the Belarusian Research Centre of Electronic Records to examine best practices of Belarusian archivists in using information technologies for archive business.

On April 22, heads of the state archival services of Belarus and Latvia, V. Adamushko and V. Stals, held negotiations resulted in an agreement for identifying the documents on the history of these countries in the archives of Belarus and Latvia and the exchange of copies of the identified records.
14 April 2008
The Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Studies produced the monograph "The town of Kletsk in the 10th-18th centuries: the material and spiritual culture of the Belarusian feudal town" written by Valery S. Pazdnyakov, Ph.D. in history, chief of the archaeography department at this institute.
The monograph reconstructs, on the basis of archeological and written evidence, the history of the town of Kletsk from the 10th to 18th centuries, traces its genesis, the administrative and planning development, agriculture, handcrafts, trade, and the cultural life of its residents. The monograph is richly illustrated.
The paper is intended for professional historians, archivists, and archaeologists, as well as local specialists, undergraduate and postgraduate students and all those interested in the history of Belarus.
14 April 2008
The eighth issue of the Belarusian Archaeography Yearbook has been published by the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Studies. The issue contains materials on archival publications, archive science, source studies, textual and code analysis, and the history of government institutions.
The journal offers documents on the medieval, new and contemporary history of Belarus, the surveys of archival collections, and other materials. This is intended for professionals and postgraduateshistorians, archivists, philologists, and specialists in local lore.
14 April 2008
The new version of the electronic compendium "Normative and guidance documents in records management and archive administration" is compiled by the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Studies. This contains recent regulations and guidance to records management and archive administration as effective from March 1, 2008. The book also includes rules and regulations related to personnel recordkeeping.
01 April 2008
"After the sharp turn: Ideological and political struggle in Belarus, 1932–1936: Documents, materials, analysis" is a book of collected documents and materials prepared for publication by the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Studies, the National Archives of Belarus, and the Commission for Archival Publications at the Department for Archives and RM of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus.

The book is devoted to the events that took place in the political and spiritual life of Belarusian society after the "sharp turn in the politics of the party and the state" declared by Josef Stalin. The book provides the factual material describing the ideological and political struggle which involved not only the political structures but also the press, scholarly and cultural organizations and the government institutions as well. These documents and materials vividly demonstrate how the Belarusian society was gradually drawn into the political struggle that resulted in the catastrophe of 1937- 1938.

The book has been prepared by V. Adamushko, R. Platonov, V. Selemen, E. Falei. It is designed for scholars, politicians, teachers and students and all those interested in the history of Belarus in the soviet period.
30 January 2008
An enlarged meeting of the Department of Archives and Records Management of the Ministry of Justice of Belarus was held on January 24, 2008 to sum up the results of the State Archival Service of Belarus in the past year and to set objectives for 2008.

The meeting was attended by 70 people, among whom were Deputy Minister for Justice of the Republic of Belarus, A. V. Bileichik, heads and deputy heads of the main administrations of justice in regional executive committees and Minsk City Executive Committee, department heads for archives and records management in regional executive committees and Minsk City Executive Committee, directors of state archival institutions, and staff of the Department for Archives and Records Management.

V. I. Adamushko, Director of the Department of Archives and Records Management, spoke at the meeting with the main report. Eleven participants took part in discussions.

At present the State Archival Service of Belarus includes 11 republic-level archival institutions, 9 regional and 16 local state archives, and 124 municipal and district archives of personnel records, which preserve about 12.5 million paper files and about 283,000 audio-visual records. In 2007 the Belarusian state archives handled 27,400 social and legal enquiries; about 14,000 citizens directly visited and consulted the archives. Particular attention was paid to work with citizens based on a so-called "single window" principle of handling citizens' enquiries. In the past year the archivists published 12 collections of documents, directories, and scholarly-popular publications on the history of Belarus. 97 official heraldic symbols were entered into the State Heraldry Registry of the Republic of Belarus
30 January 2008
A collection of documents «Minsk Region in Documents and Materials – Issue 1 (January 1938 – June 1941)» was issued in January 2008 by the State Archives of Minsk Region in collaboration with the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus. This book, marking 70 years of Minsk Region, is the first collection of documents published by the State Archives of Minsk Region.

Documents posted in the book illuminate the economic, social, political and cultural life in the Minsk region in the first years of its existence as administrative territorial unit (1938 – 1941).

The book includes facsimile copies of documents, photographs, the map of Minsk Region of 1938, etc. In addition, the book contains comprehensive reference and finding aids.

The edition is intended for historian experts, graduate and postgraduate students, and all who are interested in the history of Minsk Region.
03 January 2008
On 21 December 2007, the documentary exhibition marking 500 years of the Charter of Prince Fedor Ivanovich Yaroslavich, one of the oldest records of Belarusian origin preserved in the Archives of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, was opened at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus (now located in the newly constructed building of the National Library of Belarus).

The exhibition was organized by the Department for Archives and RM of the Republic of Belarus and the Committee for Archives in Nizhny Novgorod Region (Russia) with the assistance of the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, the National Historical Archives of Belarus, the Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings, and the Central Archives of Nizhny Novgorod Region. The exposition was prepared under the Programme of Cooperation between the Republic of Belarus and Nizhny Novgorod Region, Russia for 2006 – 2010, and it was dated for 500 years of one of the oldest records of Belarusian origin preserved in the Archives of Nizhny Novgorod, «Charter of Prince Fedor Ivanovich Yaroslavich granting boyar Mikhail Dmitrievich, called Sherap, with land and peasants in his principalities of Pinsk, Slutsk and Kletsk…» (20 September 1507).

In addition, the exposition presents copies of other documents of Belarusian provenance preserved in the Central Archives of Nizhny Novgorod Region and the National Historical Archives of Belarus - charters of Prince Fedor Ivanovich Yaroslavich granting land holdings and peasants to various persons, royal edicts and letters, charters issued by clerics, Belarusian publications of religious character, the inventories and graphic descriptions of the towns of Kletsk, Slutsk and Pinsk. The documents presented at the exhibition span the years from the 16th to 19th centuries.
18 December 2007
On 10 December 2007, the joint board of the Federal Archival Service of Russia (Rosarkhiv) and the Department of Archives and Records Management of the Ministry of Justice of Belarus (Department) held a session to discuss three issues:
1. Records preservation practices in the archival institutions of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.
2. Plan of joint actions of the Federal Archival Service and the Department of Archives and RM, 2004–2006.
3. Plan of joint actions of the Federal Archival Service and the Department of Archives and RM, 2008–2010.

The participants of the session noted that the archival services in these countries conduct step-by-step activities for strengthening the material and technical base of the archives, provide organizational and scholarly guidance for ensuring optimum storage and preservation of archival holdings. At the same time a large number of issues are yet to be solved in the area of the technological strengthening of the archives; the amount of special processing and arrangement of archival holdings is to be increased, etc. The joint board made a decision on mutual exchange of organizational and guidance documents concerning records preservation, the study and exchange of best practices in records restoration and the creation of security copies for archival documents, as well as conducting the joint workshop for issues of security copies.

It was noted that all the activities set in the Plan of joint actions between the Rosarkhiv and the Department for 2004–2006 have been fulfilled. The Plan of joint actions between the Rosarkhiv and the Department for 2008–2010 has been adopted.
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