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28 October 2010
Regular events were held in the framework of the 20th International Archival Day and the Autumn Archival School in Trieste, Italy, from October 10th to 16th.

The events were organized by the International Institute for Archival Science of Trieste and Maribore (IIAS) with the support of the State Archive of Trieste and the Central European Initiative (CEI).

The main topic at the 20th International Archival Day Conference was "Archival Legislation" (with accent on the legal regulation of access to archival documents). The other topic was "Web Sites Dedicated to Archives". Participants at the conference were the IIAS members representing Austria, Belarus, Germany, Israel, Spain, Italy, Canada, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, France, Montenegro and Czechia and the guests from Great Britain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, Malaysia, Romania, Oman Sultanate, Croatia and Estonia.

The working languages were English, Italian and Slovenian.

The conference (11-12 October) was held in two sessions on the above topics. The Belarusian side presented a report on the topic "Access to Archival Information: Legislation and Practice" (in English) delivered by the Director of the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Science (BelNIIDAD) Andrei Rybakov. Summary of the papers presented at the conference are published in "Atlanti" 2010.

In debates on the first day of the conference it was recognized that most clearly and transparently the issues of access to archives and archival documents are reflected in the Belarusian legislation. Ch. Kecksemeti, Former General Director of ICA, stressed in his speech that the legal regulation of access to archival information in Belarus meets to the highest degree the recommendations on the issue adopted in 2000 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and in their implementation in national legislation Belarus is ahead of many countries of the European Union. The Italian archivists became interested in the legislation norms on administrative responsibility for the illegal refusal of access to archival documents established by the Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Belarus and the practices of their use.

In the framework of the IIAS Autumn Archival School (13-16 October) the BelNIIDAD director A. Rybakov and the VNIIDAD director M. Larin offered to the school audience a joint lecture on the topic "Archival Web Sites in Belarus and Russia" (in English), with the presentation of websites "Archives of Belarus", "Archives of Russia", and other websites of research institutions in their charge. The presentation was prepared as part of the Plan of Joint Actions of the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus and the Federal Archival Agency of Russia. When answering the audience questions, the lecturers noted of the website role and potentiality to meet the users needs for archival information, the distribution of responsibilities between archivists and software engineers in design and content development of archival websites, perspectives of website development and improvement.
28 October 2010
The First Conference on the Archives of Slavic Countries was held in Lipica, Slovenia, 8-10 October 2010.

The Conference was organized with the support of the Forum of Slavic Cultures (Slovenia), the Ministry of High Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia, the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia, the State Archives of Trieste (Italy), and the Society of Historians and Archivists of Slovenia. The financial support was provided by the Directorate of State Archives, Ministry of Culture of Italy.

The organizational committee included members of the International Institute for Archival Science of Trieste and Maribore, P. Klasinc (Slovenia, director of the IIAS), M. Larin (Russia, director of the Russian Research Institute of Documentation and Archival Science), J. Hanus (Slovakia, director at the Department of Archives and Registries, Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic), A. Rybakov (Belarus, director of the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Studies), Ì. Marosz (Poland, director at the State Archives of Cracow).

The topic of the conference: "Current Issues of Archival Theory and Practice". The conference participants represented 12 out of 13 slavic countries: Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Macedonia, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Ukraine, Croatia and Montenegro.

In view of close cultural traditions and languages in the member countries, the conference reports were delivered in the national languages. The Belarusian side offered a report on the topic «Issues of the formation of national legislation as a basis for management of archives and records in the Republic of Belarus" to address the main aspects and principles of development of archival legislation, problems and complexities in this work, possible ways of their solution.

The reports analysis showed that most archival problems appeared to be common for all slavic countries, including in particular:
- the development of unified national archival legislation;
- the formation of archives management system, definition of archives types, their legal status, centralization of archives management;
- system of relationships between state archival agencies and institutions and non-government institutions;
- preservation of archival documents, search of areas, construction of buildings and facilities for records storage;
- scholarly and procedural support of archival business, including the development of principles and methods of work with electronic records and their archival storage;
- professional training;
- financing of archives, social protection of archivists, increasing the level of their salaries.

For more information on the conference, see the Russian-language version of the website.

22 October 2010
20 October 2010, the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus held a board meeting to discuss issues of improving the physical condition of records at the state archives, the condition and amount of records of the National Archival Holdings of the Republic of Belarus held in various institutions-sources of records acquisition for the state archives as on 1 January 2010.

The improvement of the physical condition of records and their preservation is a major field of activity in archival institutions. This work is directly connected with strengthening the material and technical basis of the archives as reflected in the Archives of Belarus State Programme for 2011-2015.

The state archives permanently work on identifying and selecting records that require special treatment. It is enough to mention that 7 percent of all stored files need disinfection and restoration, 8 percent need binding and filing. At the same time a positive dynamics is evident– the overall need for restoration decreased from 7,6 percent to 6,9 percent. The average rate of files placed in cardboard boxes is 80 percent.

During the discussion of the second issue it was noted that the status and development of archive business is connected with improving records preservation at the agency archives, strengthening their legal, organizational, material and technical basis, increasing the efficiency of the agency archives.

As on 1 January 2010, 8643 institutions have been registered as acquisition sources for the central, regional and local state archives in Belarus (government institutions – 7485, nongovernment – 1318, public – 992); of them 8259 institutions hold administrative documents; 384, scientific-technical records, films, photographs, sound records, and electronic records.

It was noted that certain institutions do not meet modern requirements for records preservation; agency archives lack proper material, technical and personnel basis. Inadequate supply of personnel staff and specially equipped facilities at the agency archives is usually explained by the lack of attention the institution managers give to the issue of records preservation.

As on 1 January 2010, 1,706,972 permanent files for the years 1917–2009 are held in the custody of the agency archives. Of them only 74,3% have been prepared for transfer to the state archives for preservation. Especially alarming is the situation with records preservation in the institutions-sources of acquisition for the state archives of public organizations in the Gomel, Grodno and Minsk regions. In all, 511,147 files that expired agency retention period are still held in various institutions, that is 29,9% of the total number of permanent records held by the institutions.

15 October 2010
13 October 2010, the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus held a meeting of the director at the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Republic of Belarus V.I. Adamushko, the director of the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus V.D. Selemenev with the members of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Tracing Service, Udo Wagner-Meige and Karen Strugg.

The adviser to the International Committee of the Red Cross for matters of the International Tracing Service, Udo Wagner-Meige, spoke of the new objectives the ITS set after the opening in 2006 of an archive for conducting historical research. In this connection the ITS is now occupied with spreading information about its activities and the scope of archive records, as well as attracting foreign researchers, among whom they also want to see research organizations from Belarus.

The adviser to the ITS director Karen Strugg handed to the Belarusian side materials on ITS activities, Belarusian victims of Nazi persecutions, and a survey of records on the National-Socialist practices of persecution in Eastern Europe, held at the ITS Archives.

The Belarusian side made a proposal to organize an exhibition devoted to ITS activities and archive records.

The guests got acquainted with the history and work at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, storage conditions of archival records.


06 October 2010
1 October 2010, the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus and the Federal Archival Agency of the Russian Federation together with the Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War present an exhibition The Soviet Society and the War 1941-1945 staged at the Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War.

THE SOVIET SOCIETY AND THE WAR. 1941-1945.

The exhibition The Soviet Society and the War 1941-1945 is a final event in the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. The exhibition presents electronic copies of records available from the archives in the Russian Federation and the original documents held in the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus.

Many previously unknown documents and archival complexes have been identified and introduced into scholarly practice for the last few decades as a result of studies conducted by archives and research institutions in Russia and Belarus. This made possible to develop new and more objective approaches to the history of the Great Patriotic War, reassess many of its heroic and tragic pages.

The displayed records are focused on the social and spiritual aspects of an individual’s life in the ordeals of the war years. The central part of the exhibition are the witness evidences, the previously unknown documents pertaining to the daily life at the fronts, in the Soviet rear, besieged Leningrad, the conquered districts of the USSR, the mass heroism of the Soviet people, and the costs of the Victory. The documentary evidence of the Nazi punitive regime and the heroic resistance of the Partisans demonstrate the massive scale of the tragedy and the struggle in the enemy’s rear.

The rare archives show how the Soviet leadership used emergency measures in the economic administration in the war, the complex process of economic transformation on a war scale, industry evacuation to the East, construction of aviation plants, production of weapons and military equipment. Previously unknown facts, data and statistics help reassess the economic life of the country in the war years.

The lend-lease problem outlined the complexity of relations between the allies, their political and ideological contradictions in the first months of the war. The economic aid provided to the Soviet Union by the USA and Great Britain has long received a high assessment in Russia.

The exhibition organizers are the Department for Archives and RM at the Ministry of Justice of Belarus, the Federal Archival Agency of the Russian Federation and the Russian State Archives of the Economy.

The exhibition was held successfully in Moscow during the celebration of the Great Victory. In Minsk, the unique archival records, which show new perspectives in the study of social policy and public awareness in the war time are on display from October to December in the rooms of the Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War.


06 October 2010
A regular three-party meeting of the heads of state archival services and institutions in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine was held on 28-30 September 2010 in Gomel, Belarus.

Among the participants were the head of the Federal Archival Agency of Russia A. Artizov, the chairman of the State Committee on Archives of Ukraine O. Ginzburg, director at the Department for Archives and RM at the Ministry of Justice of Belarus V. Adamushko, directors of central state archives in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

The plenary meetings discussed the issues of records acquisition in the state archives and the creation of holdings of security and reference copies.

The participants visited the State Archives of Gomel Region and the Zonal State Archives in Rechitsa to learn the best practices of Belarusian archivists. At the Rechitsa District Executive Committee the participants met with the ideology workers in this district.

06 October 2010
17 September 2010, the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus held a workshop on the Issues of Preservation and Acquisition of Electronic Records and Information Resources of the National Archival Holdings of the Republic of Belarus organized by the Belarusian Research Centre of Electronic Records (BelNITsED).

The participants were archivists from central, regional and local archives, specialists from the archives and records management divisions at the regional executive committees, representatives of the Department for Archives and Records Management at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus.

The workshop presented three reports.

V. Nosevich, director at BelNITsED, reported on the issues of terminology and legislative basis in work with electronic records and information resources.

O. Zhuk, head of records acquisition at BelNITsED, informed the participants on the issues of appraisal of electronic records and information resources, the procedures of records preservation in an institution, the practices of acquisition of electronic records and information resources at BelNITsED’s Electronic Archive, and the selection of acquisition sources.

The issues of work with electronic mail and the use of electronic digital signature in ongoing recordkeeping were outlined in the report by the documentation chief at the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Studies (BelNIIDAD), A. Sukach.

The reports were accompanied by multimedia demonstrations provided to the participants on an electronic disc.

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