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06 December 2011
On 29 November 2011, the National Technical Committee on Standardization TC BY 28 "Records Management" held a meeting in Minsk.

The key issue on the agenda was the discussion of the draft of the Preliminary State Standard of the Republic of Belarus STB P ISO 15489-1 "Information and Documentation - Records Management. Part 1. General Requirements".

The main focus at the meeting was terminological contradictions connected with the translation into Russian of Standard ISO 15489-1:2001 being passed in the Republic of Belarus. The meeting participants had a vibrant discussion about the translation into Russian of such English terms as "record" and "document". In view of the necessity to define the translation of a number of other English terms (such as "procedure", "control", "retention") the voting on the final draft of STB P ISO 15489-1 was transferred to the next meeting of the technical committee.

The meeting supported the proposal by the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Science (BelNIIDAD) to join the ISO technical committees on standardization in the field of documentation at international level and to submit the required documents to the State Committee for Standardization of the Republic of Belarus (Gosstandart).

The meeting participants approved the plan of standardization in records management for 2012 and discussed the report of the technical committee for 2011.
25 November 2011
On 24 November 2011, the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus held a board meeting to discuss the results of a complex inspection at the Belarusian Research Centre of Electronic Records (BelNITsED) and the issues of the development by the state archives of the automated inventory system for records of the National Archival Holdings of the Republic of Belarus.

Having discussed the results of the inspection at BelNITseD, the Board accepted its work as satisfactory. The Centre was noted for its active participation in conducting applied research in provision of long-term preservation and access to electronic records, the introduction and development of information technologies for access to traditional archival records etc.

On the second issue the Board noted that the administrative bodies of the State Archives Service and the state archives achieved a positive success in the development of the automated state inventory system. The state records inventory system has a three-layer structure and is run with the software program package "Fonds Catalogue. Version 5.0", installed at the Department for Archives and Records Management and at the archives and records divisions in the regional executive committees, as well as the program package "Inventory. Version 4.1" installed in the state archives of the Republic of Belarus.

By the 1st January 2012, the database of the State Fonds Catalogue, the main information resource, will have been completed. The Belarusian Research Centre of Electronic Records is currently developing a technology for presenting the State Fonds Catalogue in the Internet.
22 November 2011
On 7-8 November 2011,an international scholarly conference of the 21st International Archival Day and Autumn Archival School took place in Trieste, Italy. The events were organised 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) for coordination and financial assistance to scholarly and cultural projects in the region’s countries.

The conference was attended by the IIAS members representing Austria, Belarus, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Montenegro and the guests from Great Britain, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Greece, Israel, Malaysia, Portugal, Rumania, Serbia, Sultanate of Oman, USA, Croatia, Switzeland and Estonia. The conference of the International Archival Day was attended by the Secretary General of the International Council on Archives (ICA) D. Leitch (Scotland), who addressed the participants with a greeting word, briefly outlining the main directions of the ICA on the issues chosen for the conference.

The topics at the conference were "European projects on archives (experiences, plans, future)" and "Archives in modern society (role, development, future)". The conference languages were English, Italian and Slovenian.

The conference was held in two sessions on the above topics. The Belarusian side presented a report on "Belarusian archives in modern society" (in English) delivered by the director at the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Science (BelNIIDAD) Andrei Rybakov. The conference papers and reports are published in ATLANTI 2011.

The IIAS Autumn Archival School was held on 9-12 November. Among the school’s students was a representative from Belarus, head for documentation department at BelNIIDAD Andrei Sukach. At the autumn school, young archivists from different countries were offered a course of lectures focusing on the same topics of the 21st IIAS International Archival Day. Lectures were given by the Institute’s members and some of the conference guests.

At the opening of the autumn school on 9 November Mr. Rybakov gave an interview to the First Channel of the Slovenian TV (in English), in which he outlined the objectives and aims of the IIAS events, dwelt upon the common problems in archives in different countries, and the importance of the topics chosen for the 2012 conference.

On the same day the Belarusian delegation visited the State Archives in Gorizia (Italy) and Pokrajinski Archive in Nova Gorica (Slovenia).
16 November 2011
11 November 2011 marks 190 years since the birth of the great Russian writer Fedor Dostoevsky, whose family has Belarusian roots and traces its lineage from the late 15th century. In 1506, his ancestors received a charter for the village of Dostoevo, Ivanovo district, Brest region. From this time on this village was named after the Dostoevsky family. The forebearer of the family is Danila Ivanovich Irtishchevich. In the written sources the village of Dostoevo was first mentioned in the 15th century.

Among the other prominent members of the Dostoevsky family are Pyotr, marshal of Pinsk (1598-1599), Yarosh, deputy head of Ovruch (1604), Pyotr, judge of Pinsk (1627-1632), Benedikt, deputy cupbearer of Pinsk (1635), Andrey, banneret of Volyn (1649) and others.

The National Historical Archives of Belarus holds a number of records relating to the Dostoevsky family and the village of Dostoevo dating from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. These include the Minsk Assembly of Noble Deputies File on the noble origin of the Dostoevskys (f. 319, op. 2, d. 941), minutes of the Minsk Assembly of Noble Deputies of 13 August 1800 on the confirmation of the noble status of the Dostoevsky family, coat of arms "Radvan" (f. 319, op. 1, d. 26), records on the history of the Dostoevsky family dating from the period 1506–1785 (f. 936, op. 1, d. 27), the 1819 description of the Uniate Church in Dostoevo, Pinsk district, Minsk province (f. 136, op. 1, d. 41258), the 1847 inventory of the estate of Dostoevo, Pinsk district, Minsk province (f. 142, op. 1, d. 1276), the 1862 Charter of the estate of Dostoevo of landlord Orda (f. 1595, op. 2, d. 2139), files concerning the purchase by peasants of land on the estate of Dostoevo from landlord Orda (f. 242, op. 2, d. 720, f. 1595, op. 2, d. 2139) etc.
16 November 2011
On 3 November 2011, a meeting was held at the headquarters of the Forum of Slavic Cultures in Ljubjana, Slovenia between the Forum representatives and the participants at the Second Conference for Archives of Slavic Countries. The meeting brought together representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Macedonia, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine. The Republic of Belarus was represented by the acting director at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus N.K. Rudakovsky and the director at the Belarusian Research Institute of Documentation and Archival Science A.E. Rybakov. The Czech Republic and Croatia did not participate in the event.

The Forum of Slavic Cultures was established by the initiative of culture ministries in 12 Slavic countries with the aim to promote cooperation, propaganda of cultural achievements, and joint projects. Attending the meeting was the Chairperson of the Forum of Slavic Cultures, member of Slovenian Parliament Ms. Andreja Rihter.

The joint session discussed the projects proposed by the Forum "Heritage of socialism" and "Archives in the capitals of Slavic countries".

The project "Heritage of socialism" will include several conferences. The first conference entitled "Culture of socialism" is scheduled on 13-15 September 2012 in Maribore, Slovenia, which has been declared a European Cultural Capital in 2012. As part of this conference the archive representatives would prepare reports on the contents of archival collections relating to the culture in the epoch of socialism, their appraisal and selection for further preservation or disposal etc. In the perspective, the data on fonds and records available on the topic could have been posted in the Internet. However, the discussion of the archives’ participation in this conference has revealed a number of difficulties of organisational and content character in some of the Slavic countries needed to be further examined.

The second project will include an exhibition of records from the archives in the capitals of Slavic countries. The exhibition is to be held in May 2011 in the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

On completion of the Forum meeting, its participants moved to Lipica, Slovenia, where the Second Conference for Archives of Slavic Countries was held between 4 and 6 November 2011. The Conference was organised by the Forum of Slavic Cultures (Slovenia), the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia, the State Archives in Trieste (Italy) and the Society of Historian Archivists of Slovenia.

The Conference discussed two topics: "Important technical issues in archives" and "Important issues of information transfer between archives". Participants at the conference were representatives of 11 out of 13 member states (excluding Croatia and the Czech Republic).

In view of the close cultural traditions and languages in the member states, the reports at the conference were made in national languages. The Belarusian side offered presentation reports on "Important technical issues at the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus" (N.K. Rudakovsky) and "Construction and reconstruction of archive buildings as a main condition for records preservation" (A.E. Rybakov).

The second day of the conference addressed the issues of information transfer between archives. Most of the reports and papers dwelt with the issues of archive records presented in the internet as the most simple and universal means of information exchange (Belarus, Bulgaria, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Montenegro). Especial attention was drawn to the report by M. Marosz (Poland) on the APEnet Project (European Gateway for Documents and Archives). According to the concept of this project, not only archival records but also archival guides and directories that help to search records in archives are to be posted in the internet (in all, over two million description units have been made available in the internet).
11 November 2011
On 8 November 2011, the director of the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus V.I. Adamushko submitted a draft law On Archives and Records Management in the Republic of Belarus for consideration at the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus (Parliament).

The draft law was approved by the Council of the Republic and within ten days in accordance with Article 100 of the Constitution of Belarus is to be sent to the President of Belarus for his signature.
02 November 2011
Gomel archivists released a Guide to Holdings of the State Archives of Public Organizations in Gomel Region.

The Guide contains data on the fonds of parties and public organisations held at the State Archives of Public Organizations of Gomel Region.

The compilers are N.V. Yakovtsova, the archive’s director and A.L. Fedorenko, chief of the information, records publication and scholarly use department.

The book includes descriptions for 3247 fonds with the end dates 1879-1880, 1898, 1901, 1917-1941, 1943-2010, including 22 fonds of public institutions and political parties of the Gomel region which were transferred to the Archives for permanent preservation during the period from 1993 to 2009.

The edition is intended for archivists, scholars, undergraduate and postgraduate students, regional specialists, and researchers into the history of Belarus.
28 October 2011
On 27 October 2011, the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus held a board meeting to discuss the progress of work on the scholarly and technical processing of census records, their transferrence to the state archives for preservation and the work of state archives in the provision of information to foreign residents.

On the first issue, the state regional archives and the Belarusian Research Centre for Electronic Records carried out a considerable amount of work in scholarly and technical processing of census data filled in during the 2009 census campaign in the Republic of Belarus and their preparation for transfer to the state archives for preservation. The organizational and procedural guidance for the scholarly arrangement of census records was provided by the Department for Archives and Records Management. The arrangement and transfer of records to the state archives for preservation is mainly to be completed in the year 2011. As on 1 October 2011, the state regional archives arranged 55 261 files; 36 819 files have been transferred to the state archives for preservation.

On the second issue, the department board noted that in the period from 2006 through the first half of 2011 the state archives of the Republic of Belarus performed 30 183 inquiries (17,6% of the total number) received from foreign citizens, including 17 353 social legal, 9 973 thematic and 2 857 genealogical inquiries. In the reported period 1 052 foreign users (5,5% of the total number) worked in the reading rooms of the state archives in Belarus. Almost half of them was recorded at the National Historical Archives of Belarus in Minsk (412) and the state archives of Grodno Region (58). An important part of the archives activity in the provision of information to foreign residents was the cooperation in joint use of records in the frames of international exhibition and publication projects and the exchange of records copies with foreign archive institutions based on two-party agreements.
28 October 2011
An exhibition of heraldic symbols for administrative and territorial units has recently opened at the Gramyka Arts Gallery in Vitebsk, entitled "The heraldic garland of the Vitebsk region". On display are 37 heraldic symbols for towns and villages in the Vitebsk region. The exposition starts with the National Emblem of the Republic of Belarus and the heraldic symbol of the Vitebsk region.

The organizer of the exhibition is the archives and records management department at the Vitebsk Region Executive Committee.

The present exhibition is already incomplete. By his decree of 28 February 2011, the President of Belarus has established another five coat-of-arms, the coloured images of which have not yet been framed under glass. Therefore, presently there are 42 heraldic symbols for administrative and territorial units of Vitebsk region that have been officially registered. The same number is in the Brest region, which is higher than in the other regions of the country.

The heraldic symbols of the Vitebsk region are widely used in public life. Their images are placed on special shields at the entrance to the district or town. Last year the similar exhibition was staged in Vitebsk, this summer in Polotsk and in Glubokoe, and now in Orsha. These towns were selected not at random but as the important centres of archival service in the region, where the state archives are located.


24 October 2011
On 20 October 2011, the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus approved in second reading a draft law on archives and records management in the Republic of Belarus.

This draft law forms the basis for the legal regulation of activities of government agencies, other institutions and citizens in the acquisition, preservation and use of records and in the field of records management.
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