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Archival news

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)




22 April 2009
A book entitled "Khatyn. Tragedy and Memory: Documents and Materials" has been recently published in Belarus. The compilers are V.I. Adamushko, director at the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Republic of Belarus, I.A. Valakhanovich, department chief at the Central Archives of the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus, N.V. Kirillova, director at the Khatyn State Memorial Complex in the years 1998-2007, V.D. Selemenev, director at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus (NARB), V.V. Skalaban, chief of the publications department at the NARB, and N.E. Kalesnik, chief archivist at the publications department at the NARB.

The book presents all the documents so far identified relating to the destruction of the Belarusian village of Khatyn by the Nazis on 22 March 1943, and those describing the establishment of the memorial complex on the site of the tragedy, which marks fourty years on 5 July 2009. In all, the book includes 150 documents selected from the National Archives of Republic of Belarus, the Central Archives of the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus, the Belarusian State Archives of Scientific and Technical Documentation, the State Archives of Minsk Region, the Zonal State Archives in Borisov, the Archives of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus, the personal collection of L.M. Levin, the Collection of Resolutions of the USSR Government, as well as documents published by the underground party press and in the postwar periodical editions. Most of the documents are introduced to scholars for the first time.

The book is illustrated with photographs selected from the Khatyn State Memorial Complex, the Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings, the Central Archives of the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus, and from the collections of personal papers relating to E.V. Gil, T.A. Izokh, L.M. Levin, and a witness to the Khatyn tragedy, A.P. Zhelobkovich.

The supplement contains fragments from the L.M. Levin ’ s diary kept from 5 January to 30 June 1969, narrating the last months of his work on the memorial.


22 April 2009
A collection of documents and materials "Brest in 1919-1939" is the first collection of documents published in book form by the State Archives of Brest Region in collaboration with the History Faculty of the Pushkin Brest State University.

The edition presents documents relating to the history of Brest from 1919 to 1939, which are held at the State Archives of Brest Region. These illuminate the activities of local self-government and police, the demographic situation in the town, economics, municipal services, the social and political situation, 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. The book is illustrated with the copies of documents and photographs.

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


16 February 2009
The first volume of the three-volume Great Historical Atlas of Belarus has been recently published in Minsk. This is the first cartographic edition which gives the most nearly complete picture of the earliest periods and events in the history of Belarus.

This solid edition was created by joint efforts of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences History Institute, the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Republic of Belarus, and the National Historical Archives of Belarus.
Vladimir Adamushko, director at the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Republic of Belarus is a deputy chairman of the editorial board. The chief editor is Viacheslav Nosevich, director at the Belarusian Research Centre for Electronic Records, who is also the author of 21 maps (including the General Map of Belarus "Belarusian Lands in the 16th Century" in 51 pages, compiled together with M. Spiridonov) and five introductory articles, and the compiler of chronology and historical-geographical index.

The first volume covers the period from the earliest times to the mid 16th century (until the Union of Lublin in 1569, when Belarus, which belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithiania, became part of the Rzeczpospolita (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth).

The second volume, scheduled to appear in 2010, will cover the period when the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was included into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the period when it was part of the Russian Empire. The third volume, scheduled for 2012, will illustrate the period from the beginnings of the Belarusian National Movement in the second half of the 19th century to the present days.


13 February 2009
The first issue of the Belarusian Archives and Records Management Journal ('Arhivy i deloproizvodstvo') was released on 5 March 1999. During ten years 60 issues were published. The total circulation reached 137 206 copies.
The number of subscribers increased by four times and the annual circulation, over three times. Nearly 1 500 publications were placed in the pages of the journal. The authors were 220 specialists in various fields from 23 towns in Belarus (Brest, Ivanovo, Pinsk, Vitebsk, Orsha, Polotsk, Postavy, Rossony, Tolochin, Gomel, Zhlobin, Narovlia, Rechitsa, Grodno, Vasilishki, Minsk, Borisov, Dzerzhinsk, Zaslavl, Molodechno, Slutsk, Stankovo, Mogilev), as well as their colleagues from Briansk, Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow (Russia), Astana (Kazakhstan), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), and Bern (Switzerland).

During this time the leading specialists in the field answered 248 questions from readers relating to archives and records management.

Among the journal authors are the leading experts and professionals in archives and records management in Belarus. These are Emma N. Davydova, Andrei E. Rybakov, Marina M. Elinskaia, Tatiana I. Sedliarevich, Mikhail F. Shumeiko, Sergei V. Zhumar, Viacheslav V. Nosevich, Andrei N. Sukach, Tatian V. Kekeleva (Minsk), Elena M. Bondareva (Vitebsk), Natalia Yu. Abramova (Gomel), Galina A. Dudareva (Zhlobin), Evgeny N. Zhebrun (Grodno) and many more.

The journal illustrates the main activities and the most interesting events in the field of archives and records management being held in Belarus and elsewhere. During ten years the readers together with the journal authors "visited" 29 cities in 16 countries, where various important events—congresses, conferences, symposiums, workshops, presentations etc.—were held and which were covered in the pages of the journal. The readers "participated" in three congresses of the International Council on Archives—in Seville in 2004, in Vienna in 2004, and in Cuala Lumpur in 2008. Also, the journal featured the events held in Briansk, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, St. Petersburg and Smolensk (Russia), Dnepropetrovsk, Kiev, Lvov and Truskavets (Ukraine), Bialystok, Warsaw, Pultusk, Szczecin and Elblong (Poland), Berlin and Koblenz (Germany), as well as Graz (Austria), Budapest (Hungary), Triest (Italy), Riga (Latvia), Vilnius (Lithuania), Astana (Kazakhstan), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Washington (USA), Prague (Czechia), and Bern (Switzerland).

04 February 2009
The collection of documents and materials titled "The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. 1928-2008" was published by Belorusskaia Nauka Publishing House in Minsk.

The book is a joint project of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences History Institute and the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus. The first section, which makes the main part of the book (pages 11—698), includes resolutions by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus Bureau relating to the BSSR Academy of Sciences for the years 1928—1991 and the related materials which are now held at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus (NARB. Fond 4ï. Opis. 1, 61, 81, 117, 123, 128, 134, 140, 144, 150, 160); the second section includes resolutions by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus, decrees, edicts of President of the Republic of Belarus, laws of the Republic of Belarus adopted in 1991 and relating to the Academy's activity and science development in general.
Editors V. I. Adamushko, V.D. Selemenev et al. Compilers I.N. Shishenok et al. The publication is timed to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.
26 January 2009
On 22 January 2009, the Department of Archives and Records Management of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus held an enlarged board meeting for summing up the activities of the State Archival Service of Belarus in 2008 and setting the objectives for the year 2009. The department board also examined the issue of fulfilling by government institutions the Instruction of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 05/226-206 of 3 May 2007 on developing the agency records schedules.

Among the participants at the meeting (in all, over 70 people) were V.G. Golovanov, Minister for Justice of the Republic of Belarus, the department board members, heads of the administrative departments of justice and the archives departments at the regional executive committees and the Minsk City Executive Committee, directors of the central archival institutions and the regional and local archives.

V. I. Adamushko, Director of the Department of Archives and Records Management, made a report on the past year's results and the objectives for the current year. The second issue was addressed in the report by E. N. Davydova, head of the department of records management and the formation of the national archival holdings at this Department.

At present the State Archival Service of Belarus includes 11 republic-level archival institutions, 9 regional archives, 16 local archives, and 123 municipal and district archives of personnel records, which hold over 12.4 mln paper files, 35,778 film records, 244,802 photographic records, 12,974 sound records, and 1048 video records. In 2008 the state archives of Belarus handled 30,000 social and legal enquiries; over 14,000 citizens visited and consulted the archives in person. A special attention was paid to work with citizens based on a "single window" principle of handling citizens' enquiries. In the past year the Belarusian archivists organized 86 documentary exhibitions, published 13 collections of documents, directories and scholarly publications relating to the history of Belarus. 110 official heraldic symbols were entered into the State Heraldry Registry of the Republic of Belarus


05 January 2009
On 18 December 2008 the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus and the National Library of Belarus opened an exhibition of documents and books titled "The History of Belarus: the Formation of National Statehood" dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic.

1 December 1918 came into history as a day of the establishment of a new sovereign state, the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR). The new state was born in harsh conditions of the recently finished world war, in the heat of the military intervention of foreign powers into the country, as the national movement became more and more stronger. In the whirl of these events at the turn of the 20th century the first real national Belarusian state appeared on the world map.

The National Archives of the Republic of Belarus offers to the public over a hundred original documents from the period of 1917-1919 that illustrate the sweeping and contradictory nature of the process of self-determination of Belarus. These are documents created by the Belarusian National Commissariat, statute charters of the Belarusian National Republic, delegate mandates for the Workers Communist Party (of Bolsheviks) Sixth North-West Conference, minutes of sessions of the Central Bureau of the Communist Party of Bolsheviks of Belarus. The Manifesto on Declaration of the BSSR is exhibited in the original copies with handwritten notes and in the first official publications. A large complex of documents illustrate the dramatic moments of establishing the Provisional Workers and Peasants Soviet Government of Belarus and the role of Joseph Stalin in this process. Minutes of government sessions and materials created by the national commissariats for land, for post and telegraph, and for health narrate about the first steps in the life of the Belarusian state. Documents on the historiography of the Belarusian statehood have been presented to the public for the first time.

The National Library of Belarus exhibits nearly 300 publications, including encyclopedias, research works, collections of documents and materials, monographs, textbooks.

The exhibition will be staged at the National Library of Belarus (Third Floor) until 20 January 2009.


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