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Archival news

25 November 2008
A regular joint meeting of the boards of the Department of Archives and Records Management under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus (Department) and the Federal Archival Agency of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation (Rosarkhiv) took place on 19 November 2008 in Moscow.

The sides exchanged experience in declassifying records of the Communist Party and Komsomol institutions conducted in the years 1991 – 2008.

It was noted that the archival services of these countries, guided by the national legislation for the protection of state secrets and the archival business, work much in declassifying records created by the Communist Party and Komsomol organisations, which are held in the state archives. In the Russian Federation the interagency expert commissions for declassifying records of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) function in this field with the participation of the archivists. Since 2001, a considerable part of work in declassifying records of the higher and central bodies of the CPSU has been done by the Interagency Commission for Safeguarding State Secret. In the Republic of Belarus, the activity on declassifying records of the former party archives has been carried out by the commissions of seven state archives.

For the past period these countries have declassified considerable amounts of archival records. The Rosarkhiv regularly publishes the bulletins of declassified records from the state archives. In Belarus, 2, 7 million files of the former party archives have been declassified, with 1,4 million files (51% of the total) added to restricted access…


25 November 2008
A scholarly conference "The fourth international bibliology readings on new technologies in safeguarding documentary heritage" took place on 20-21 November 2008 at the National Library of Belarus. The conference brought together librarians, archivists and museum custodians from Belarus, Germany, Iran, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Czechia.

The conference discussed the issues of creating and preserving documentary heritage, the introduction of modern technologies in archives, libraries and museums, and the joint projects aimed at safeguarding and providing wide access to book and archive collections.

The representatives of the State Archival Service of the Republic of Belarus actively participated in the conference.

The reports read by the Belarusian archivists dealt with the following issues:
• The use of information technologies in preserving documentary heritage in public archives (by O.A. Ledovskaya, chief of department of preservation, state registration and automated technologies at the Department of Archives and RM of the Republic of Belarus)

• Belarusian genealogical sources in the Internet (by T.S. Mikheenok, chief of department of automated archival technologies at the National Historical Archives of Belarus)

• The creation of electronic catalogues at the Belarusian State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art (by T.B. Bakovets, chief of department of information retrieval systems at the National Historical Archives of Belarus)

• Practices of presenting documents of the National Archival Holdings of Belarus on the Website "Archives of Belarus" and creating thematical resources in the web (by A.B. Pashkevich, scholarly secretary at the Belarusian Research Centre of Elecronic Records).



05 November 2008
31 October 2008, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Republic to Belarus Marian Serwatka visited the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus.

The Slovak ambassador became acquainted with the activities of various departments at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, contents of its holdings, storage conditions, and the archival publications, including those relating to the Czechoslovak crisis in 1968. The ambassador showed especial interest in the documents concerning the Slovaks' involvement in the Partisan movement in Belarus during World War Two. An agreement was reached about the preparation of the project dedicated to this problem.

03 November 2008
24 October 2008, the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus hosted a presentation of two scholarly editions published within the frames of the international conference "The Prague Spring and the International Crisis 1968" organized by the Austrian Boltzmann Institute for Research on War Consequences, the Russian State Archives of Contemporary History, the History Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences, the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, and other scholarly institutions.

A two-volume book, "The Prague Spring and the International Crisis 1968" and a directory, "Records in the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus relating to the 1968 crisis in Czechoslovakia" were presented to the audience memembers.

The two-volume book is in 2,900 pages. The first volume includes 70 articles written by scholars from different countries. Among these are the articles by V.D. Selemenev, director at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus and A.V. Sharkov, department chief at the Ministry of Internal Affairs Academy of the Republic of Belarus. The second volume presents documents selected from various archives in 37 countries, with 5 documents from the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus.

The directory, "Records in the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus relating to the 1968 crisis in Czechoslovakia" offers data on 99 documents relating to the topic. Many of these are published in full. The supplement includes information materials issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which are held at the Russian State Archives of Contemporary History.

Among the participants at the presentation were Peter Ruggentaler from the Austrian Boltzmann Institute for Research on War Consequences, Viktor Ishchenko, deputy director at the History Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Belarusian archivists, and media representatives.
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