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15 September 2009
The exhibition "World War Two: the lessons of history and the present" is being staged at the National Library of Belarus from 28 September to 30 September, 2009 to mark seventy years since the beginning of the Second World War.

Within the frames of the exhibition the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus presents previously confidential documents telling about the local population’s attitude to the Non-Aggression Pact between the Soviet Union and Germany, the military trainings in September 1939, public panic over the events in Europe, etc.

Of especial interest among the 300 new publications on World War Two presented at the exhibition are war bulletins of the foreign press published at the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army Fifth Administration selected from the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus holdings. These small in size publications dating from September 1939 already bear clear witness to the scale of the catastrophe of the late 1930s.

28 August 2009
The UNESCO International Advisory Committee at its meeting in late July 2009 added thirty-five new items of documentary heritage to the Memory of the World Register, among them, the Radziwills’ Archives and Nesvizh Library Collection, submitted by the Republic of Belarus in cooperation with Lithuania, Poland, Russian Federation, Ukraine and Finland. The decision was announced on 31 July.
The successful inclusion of the nomination on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register has become an important achievement of the Archival Service of the Republic of Belarus, which completed major work in the project. The nomination dossier, describing the ten surviving parts of the Nesvizh collection and showing their cultural and historical significance, was prepared in late 2007 by the Belarusian Research Centre for Electronic Records with the financial support from the UNESCO Moscow Office and with the participation of specialists from the member countries. To show the contents and the significance of the Nesvizh collection, the Belarusian Research Centre for Electronic Records also prepared a compact disc with the illustrating materials, including the digital copies of the most representative archival documents, early illuminated books and ex-librise bookplates of the Nesvizh library, as well as samples of archival signatures and archivist's handwriting. The digital copies were made by the archives and libraries participating in the project. Part of these can be found on the UNESCO official website, together with the nomination text:

The Nesvizh collection is one of the largest collections of documents on the history of Central and Eastern Europe. The collection was created from the 15th to 18th centuries by members of the Radziwill family, one of the most prominent aristocratic families in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The holdings, preserved during the course of history in different Radzwills’ estates, included archive and library in which invaluable historical and cultural information was accumulated. The extent of the collection, its continuous expansion through new acquisitions and comparatively high level of preservation make it a unique archival complex of world value. This collection is now dispersed among archives and libraries in Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, and to a lesser extent in other European countries.

Belarus now holds a considerable part of the collection. First of all, these are over 20,000 documents from the "Radziwill Princes" Holding at the National Historical Archives of Belarus. Several thousand books from the Nesvizh library, newly reconstructed by its owners in the 19th century, are at the National Library of Belarus, the Central Academic Library of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences and the Presidential Library.

The UNESCO listing and international recognition of the universal significance of the Nesvizh collection will serve, we hope, as a powerful impulse to scholarly and cultural cooperation in the region and will promote the integration of the peoples and their mutual enrichment.

30 July 2009
A compendium of documents has been prepared for publication by Belarusian and Russian archivists jointly with the History Institute of the Belarusian National Academy of Sciences to mark seventy years since the reunification of Western Belarus and the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic.

In addition to the texts of historical content, the book presents rare photographs and facsimile copies of documents selected from the Moscow archives, which were not available so far. These include autographs by Stalin, Molotov, Voroshilov, Ponomarev and Khrushchev, as well as documents indicating that in March, 1941, the Communist Party Politbureau abolished the status of the Belovezhskaia Pushcha (Bialowieza) Forest as a natural reserve, permitting for one million cubic meters of wood to be cut there annually. According to the document, only the sites of palaces and museums and the animal nurseries located in the area of ten thousand hectares had retained he status of the national park

Of importance is a document concerning the People's Assembly of Western Belarus, testifying that the Assembly was initially planned to be held in Bialystok or in Baranovichi.

The book also presents a photograph showing members of the People’s Assembly Plenipotentiary Commission for Western Belarus together with the USSR leadership in the Big Kremlin Palace.

This book is not the first joint work of Belarusian and Russian archivists. Previously they jointly prepared and published the following titles: "…The Western Special Military District, late 1939-1941", "The USSR State Committee for Defence has decided…" comprising declassified records of the extraordinary higher authority in the USSR in WWII relating to Belarus, "The Grodno Province. 1919-1926", "Belarus in the first months of the Great Patriotic War", "…Evacuation of prisoners from Belarus in 1941", "Liberated Belarus", "Documents on Belarusian history in the Special File of J. Stalin" etc.

01 July 2009
The eighth meeting of archivists from the Gomel, Briansk and Chernigov regions took place near the Friendship Monument at the border of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine (the village of Senkov, Dobrush district, Belarus) on 26 June 2009. This year’s meeting, held within the framework of the international youth festival "Friendship 2009", was organized by the Belarusian side. Among other events, the program included a round table titled "The issues of documents acquisition, maintenance, preservation and use".

The Belarusian archivists told the participants about the presentation of a scholarly edition titled "The Gomel Province, 1919-1926. Documents and Materials" and read their papers addressing issues of documents acquision at the state archives, documents maintenance and preservation at the State Archives of Gomel Region, new technologies for creating security copies of especially valuable documents of the National Archival Holdings of the Republic of Belarus, and the prospects of documents digitization.

The Ukrainian archivists told about their two new editions: a collection of documents marking 200th anniversary of Nikolai Gogol, "N.V. Gogol in documents of the State Archives of Chernigov Region. A collection of documents and materials" and a monograph titled "The formation and development of the system of local organs of state power and administration in Ukraine in the 2nd half of the 19th and early 20th centuries" written by R.B. Vorobei, Director of the State Archives of Chernigov Region.

The Russian colleagues dwelt on the issues of acquisition at the state archives of Briansk Region and the issues of documents transference from agency archives for preservation by the State.

The next meeting is to be organized by the Ukrainian side.

01 July 2009
On 26 June 2009, the Minsk Regional Executive Committee hosted an exhibition of documents from the State Archives of Minsk Region dedicated to the 65th Anniversary of Belarus’ liberation from the Nazi invaders.

The exhibition presented the archive’s documents relating to partisan and underground movement in Belarus in WWII, combat operations in Minsk area, crimes committed by the occupation regime, the liberation of Minsk area in the summer of 1944, etc. Also on display were documents from personal collections – diaries, personal papers and awarding documents of WWII veterans, memoirs of participants in partisan and underground movement in Minsk region, etc.

29 June 2009
The National Archives of the Republic of Belarus offers two exhibitions based on the unique documents relating to partisan and underground movement in the Second World War.

The exhibition "The Unconquerable Belarus" prepared in collaboration with the National Library of Belarus presents materials of partisan and underground press dating from the years 1942-1944.
In all, the Archive’s collection totals 177 titles of newspapers of Belarusian underground regional and district executive committees, and partisan units.

In 1942, when the struggle against the Nazis on the occupied territory rapidly increased, only nine underground newspapers were published using a printing press, five of which are displayed at the exposition. At that time newspapers were brought into the occupied area of Belarus from the Soviet home front, entailing great difficulties. But already in the late 1942, publishing activities began to spread behind the enemy's line with the use of typewriters and hectographs.

Newspapers published by underground organizations, despite their short print run and small size, played an important role in raising the population to fight against the occupiers.

The exhibition also presents memoirs and reports of partisan brigades and detachments about combat operations and common people’s life in the enemy’s rear. Of especial interest are the drawings and pictures made by direct participants in the struggle against the enemy.

Another exhibition, prepared by this Archive in collaboration with the Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings, has been staged at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus. In addition to underground press and drawings, this exhibition presents archival documents relating to Belarus’ liberation from the Nazis.

15 June 2009
On 10 June 2009, during an official visit of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, K. Masimov, into Minsk, Belarus, an agreement was concluded for cooperation in archives between the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The agreement was signed by the Director of the Department of Archives and Records Management under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus, A. Adamushko, and the Chairman of the Committee for Information and Archives under the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan, B. Omarov.

The Agreement promotes further cooperation between the state archives and other institutions in these countries in the sphere of documents preservation, management and use. This creates a legal basis for cooperation in archive business between the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The Agreement provides cooperation in the following areas: the provision of security to archival holdings; the creation of good conditions for documents storage and preservation; the development of international archive projects in the State registration and maintenance of archival documents and the development of finding aids; the submission of information regarding the composition and contents of archival holdings; the exchange of copies of documents on the history and culture of the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The Parties agreed to provide mutual assistance in the use of documents needed for answering social and legal queries submitted by citizens and institutions in both countries.

The Agreement ensures the exchange of normative and legal acts, documents and other information in the field of archives and records management, as well as the exchange of archival publications of mutual interest. Also, the exchange of best practices in archives will be promoted, particularly through familiarization visits, training workshops, and consultations, on the basis of programs and agreements concluded between the archival services of these countries.

15 June 2009
On 10 June 2009, the Gorki Library in Brest hosted a presentation of the scholarly edition entitled "Brest in 1919-1939. Documents and Materials" prepared by the State Archives of Brest Region in collaboration with the faculty of the Brest Pushkin State University history department.

The book presents 187 documents relating to the history of the town of Brest in the years 1919-1939, which are held at the State Archives of Brest Region. These illuminate the activities of the local self-government and the police, the demographical situation in the town, economics, municipal services, the social and political situation, healthcare and education, cultural life and religious situation, as well as the situation in the town on the eve and in the early days of the Second World War. Almost all documents have been published for the first time. The book is illustrated with copies of documents and photographs.

The edition is intended for scholars, historians, local specialists, and all who are interested in the history of the town of Brest.

08 June 2009
On 28 May 2009, a 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 in Vitebsk, Belarus, to discuss the issue of "Archival practices in the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation in the creation and development of finding aids to the documents of the National Archival Holdings of the Republic of Belarus and the Archival Holdings of the Russian Federation".
The session also discussed the fulfillment of actions according to the Plan of joint actions of the Rosarkhiv and the Department for the years 2008–2010 and other issues of bilateral cooperation between the Belarusian and Russian archivists.

It has been noted that archival institutions in these countries view the creation and development of archival finding aids as an important part of providing access to and use of information resources of the national archival holdings in the interests of individual citizens, society and the State and that they have achieved certain positive results in this sphere.

In the Republic of Belarus there are now twenty two multi-archive guides and guides to individual state archives; another twenty guides covering various archives are being in preparation, a system of catalogues has expanded, holdings surveys and thematic surveys are being in extensive use. In the Russian Federation the number of published guides has increased significantly, with guides to holdings of selected federal archives being published in many volumes.

Both the countries now provide their citizens with access to information about the composition and contents of the declassified records. The finding aids to social and legal records are also being extensively developed.

In the Republic of Âelarus there are 64 automated information retrieval systems and 86 thematic databases. Archival documents are being digitized within the frames of "The Concept of the digitization of the documents relating to the State part of the National Archival Holdings" designed by the Belarusian Research Centre for Electronic Records. The Finding Aids software module is currently being designed for the Unified Archive Information System intended for the creation of electronic finding aids.
Also, the Russian Federation has implemented a number of big projects for the creation of electronic finding aids, including those with the records images attached; the number of digitized inventories and catalogues is increasing.

The archival services in these countries continue work to make their reference aids available in the Internet. In Belarus several archival guides and directories have been made available for download in Zip Doc format on the official archival website of this country. Among the major online projects of the Russian archivists are "The Comintern Archive" for the documents of the Russian State Archives of Socio-Political History, the electronic catalogue of documentary films at the Russian State Archives of Documentary Films and Photographs, the Guides to Russian Archives Database etc.

14 May 2009
The official website of the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus has been included into the State Register of Information Resources of Belarus (No. 1030900633 of May 6, 2009)

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