The Department Board examined the functioning of websites run by the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus (NARB), the National Historical Archives of Belarus (NIAB), the Belarusian State Archives-Museum of Literature and Art (BGAMLI) and the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Science (BelNIIDAD). An increasing access to archival information is ensured through online exhibitions of archival documents posted on the websites of the state archives (currently more than 50 exposition projects have been launched) and the information about the system of finding aids to archival records which provide a remote search and access to archival guides and directories about the composition and contents of archives. The websites of NARB, NIAB and BGAMLI contain information about the composition of their holdings and the secure copies of the most unique and especially valuable archival records. The website of BelNIIDAD offers information about the scholarly activities in the field of archives and records management.
The Department Board approved the Thematic Plan of Research and Development for 2016 and the Report of Research and Development for 2015.
The presentation took place on the eve of the anniversary of the tragedy that took place in the village of Khatyn on 22 March 1943. The book tells about 66 places of mass executions of civilians and military servicemen commemorated on the Wall of Memory at the Katyn Memorial.
The book includes 134 documents available from the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, the Central Archives of the Committee for State Security of the Republic of Belarus, the State Archives of Brest Region, the State Archives of Gomel Region, the Yad Vashem National Memorial (Jerusalem), the Regional Museum in Borisov. The book features reports and certificates issued by the regional, district and town commissions of the Extraordinary State Committee, transcripts of interrogation of eyewitnesses, victims and hangmen, reminiscences etc. The book is illustrated with photographs of the Khatyn State Memorial Complex and the monuments erected in the places of the tragedy commemorated on the Wall of Memory.
The event was opened by V.I. Kurash, Director of the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus. A welcome speech was delivered by V.I. Adamushko, Director of the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry. V.D. Selemenev, head of the author’s group, chief archivist at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus reported about the work done for the preparation of the book.
Among the participants and speakers at the event were A.M. Litvin, chief of the military history and inter-government relations at the History Institute of the Belarusian National Academy of Sciences; G.V. Skorinko, assistant chief curator of the Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War etc.
The event included an exhibition of archival documents and photographs dedicated to the tragedy of the Belarusian people in the Second World War.
The Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Studies (BelNIIDAD) released Procedural Guidance on Organizational and Legal Provision for Creation of Archives and Records Appraisal in Government Institutions / Authors: E. Davydova, E. Dernovich – Minsk: BelNIIDAD, 2016. – 80 p.
These methodical recommendations are designed to assist in organizing the work of archives and records appraisal in institutions of various forms of ownership, legal organization and field of activity.
The appendixes include samples of regulations on central archives, archives which transfer or do not transfer records to the state archives, regulations on central and agency expert commissions, etc.
On the first issue, the results of the Archives of Belarus State Program include the major repair of buildings at the State Archives of Brest Region, the Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings and the Central Laboratory for Microfilming and Restoration of Records, the expansion of storage area for records at the Local State Archives in Lida, the improvement of security and fire protection at the National Historical Archives of Belarus, the regional state archives in Vitebsk, Grodno and Mogilev, and the local state archives in Pinsk and Bobruisk. The software has been designed for the web-portal “The system of open access to the National Archival Holdings of the Republic of Belarus”. The automated information system for audio and video records has been created at the Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings. All the state-run archives have currently local computer networks and upgraded computer equipment. In all, 39,9 billion rubles have been spent on the implementation of the Archives of Belarus State Program in 2011-2015.
On the second issue it was noted that the state archives organize their work with non-government organizations in accordance with the Belarusian legislation in the sphere of archives and RM, provide the required consultation, procedural and practical assistance to non-government organizations in work with documents and their preparation for transfer to the state archives for permanent preservation.
The Department Board advise the state archives to strengthen control over appraisal services, work of NGO archives, and the development of local normative legal acts in archives and RM at the non-government institutions.
Attending the meeting were First Deputy Minister for Justice V. Kulakovsky, heads and deputy heads of the main justice boards at the regional executive committees and the Minsk City Executive Committee, heads of the archives and records divisions, directors of the state archival institutions, members of the Department for Archives and Records Management. In all, 72 people attended the meeting.
Director of the Department for Archives and Records Management V. Adamushko delivered a report. Directors of the state archival institutions and local representatives participated in the debates. In 2015 the state archival institutions completed the implementation of the Archives of Belarus State Programme for 2011-2015. In all, 40,8 billion roubles were spent on this project.
As on 1 January 2016, the state archives preserve 48,622 fonds of 1,2678,254 paper records, 13 fonds of 635 electronic records, 41,072 film records; 257,087 photographic records; 18,889 sound records; 4,670 video records; 738 museum items.
An important field of activity is the provision of information services and the execution of social and legal requests. In 2015 the state archives handled 356 genealogical inquiries, 2,827 subject inquiries, 11,702 biographical inquiries, 28,318 social and legal inquiries. Over 12,000 people visited the archives in person. 50 official heraldic symbols were added to the State Heraldry Register of the Republic of Belarus.
In 2015 the state archival institutions released 12 editions, including nine books of published documents, two annual periodicals and one monograph, prepared 88 exhibitions of documents.
The State Archives of Grodno Region published a book of documents The Grodno Orthodox Eparchy 1921–1939: Documents and Materials.
The book includes 40 documents (originals or their authorized copies) translated from the Polish language into Russian. These are the unique archival documents on the history of Grodno Orthodox Eparchy in the period between the world wars, which are held at the State Archives of Grodno Region. Most of the documents have been published for the first time.
The edition is designed for historians, local specialists, graduate and postgraduate students of the humanities and everyone interested in the history of this country.
On 18 January 2016 at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus the lists of Austrian Jews deported to Belarus in the Second World War were handed over to Belarusian side. The lists include nearly 10 000 family names.
Director of the Department for Archives and Records Management of Belarus Vladimir Adamushko and Director of the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus Viktor Kurash took part and spoke at the event.
Belarusian Archaeography Annual 16th Issue
The book contains papers on issues related to archaeography, archival science, source studies, code and text science, history of government institutions. Publishes documents on the medieval, new and contemporary history of Belarus, reviews of archival holdings, and other materials. The book is designed for archivists, historians, local specialists and philologists.
Terminology Dictionary “Electronic Document Circulation: Terms and Definitions”
Contains 220 terms related to the documentation of business processes and the exchange of documentation with the help of information technologies. These are based on the terminology used in legislative and technical normative acts of the Republic of Belarus and a number of international standards.
Methodical Recommendations on Organization and Legal Regulation of Paid Services Provided by State Archival Institutions in Scientific and Technical Processing of Records Held by Government Institutions
Cover the issues related to legal provision and organization of works in scientific and technical processing of records of government institutions performed by the state archival institutions on a paid basis. Describe the procedure of work planning, contractual agreements, acceptance of performed works, organization of accounting and reporting, etc.
The department board noted that inquiries from citizens and legal entities have been handled in strict compliance with Belarusian legislation. The work of the archive institutions in this area in the reported period was directed at the timely and qualitative execution of inquiries and petitions. The Department for Archives and Records Management and the regional archives and records authorities execute permanent control over the observance of legislation in this sphere. No violations of legislation have been found.
The department board discussed and approved the draft Plan of Actions of the Department for 2016.