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Archival news

03 June 2011
31 May 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 state of work on the popularization of official heraldic symbols at the Department for Archives and Records Management and the archival institutions within the State Archival Service of Belarus.

In 2009-2011 in their work for popularizing official heraldic symbols the Department and the archival institutions were guided by Presidential Decree of 7 August 2002 No. 441 "On the foundation of Heraldry Council under the aegis of Belarus President and some measures at improving the procedure of establishment and state registration of orders, medals and official heraldic symbols", resolutions of the Justice Ministry on improving the work in the creation, institution, state registration and use of official symbols. In the system of the State Archival Service of Belarus the establishment of new coat of arms and flags and restoration of historical symbols are the responsibility of the records management and archives divisions within the regional executive committees in Vitebsk, Gomel, Grodno and Mogilev. Presently the coat of arms and flags have been instituted for all regions and regional centres in Belarus.

In accordance with the decision of the Department Board of 22 September 2010, the archival institutions pay considerable attention to work with mass media in informing the government institutions and citizens about the institution and popularization of official heraldic symbols and territorial heraldry. In this period the Department and the regional archival institutions put especial emphasis on the preparation of scientific and popular publications in the field of heraldry.

The activities of the Heraldry Council under the President of Belarus, information about the established coat of arms and flags, and the history of Belarusian heraldry are featured in the archives magazine "Arkhivy i deloproizvodstvo" (Archives and records management), various scientific and popular editions, the republic-level and international conference papers.


27 May 2011
The Records Management Technical Committee held its organizing meeting in Minsk on 18 May 2011. Attending the meeting were representatives of the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Republic of Belarus, The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, the Operational and Analytical Centre under the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus, the Belarusian Research Centre of Electronic Records, the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Studies (BelNIIDAD), the Belarusian State Archives of Scientific and Technical Documentation, the Belarusian State University, the Institute of Applied Software Systems, the Electronic Office Company, and the Belarusian Automobile Plant.

The participants discussed and approved the Draft Regulation of the Committee and a list of standards required for development. Authorized representatives of the organisations concerned with the Committee's work adopted the Committee’s structure and membership. Andrei E. Rybakov, BelNIIDAD director was elected Chairman of Records Management Technical Committee. Natalia S. Maksimova, research assistant at BelNIIDAD documentation department was elected executive secretary.

The Records Management Technical Committee is intended to serve as a basis for cooperation between the government bodies, archival institutions and other interested organisations for work in the national, intergovernmental and international (regional) standardisation in the area of records management. In particular, the Committee has plans to review the State Standards of the Republic of Belarus and to adopt at national level a number of international standards in this sphere.

Interinstitutional cooperation within the framework of the Records Management Technical Committee is highly important for implementing a unified coordinated policy of standardisation in the field of records management and archival business in the country in line with current trends and international practices.
23 May 2011
The Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Science (BelNIIDAD) has released a new book of documents entitled Unknown Dunin-Martsinkevich. Biography Documents from the National Historical Archives of Belarus.

The book contains documents from the National Historical Archives of Belarus relating to the life of a founder of the new Belarusian literature, Vintsent Dunin-Martsinkevich (1808-1884).

The book is intended for historians, documentary editors, literary critics, philologists, archivists, specialists in local lore, and students.

16 May 2011
12 May 2011, A Workshop on Topical Issues in Development and Use of Electronic Archives was held in Minsk. It was organised by the Belarusian Research Centre of Electronic Records and the Institute of Applied Software Systems at the Ministry of Communications and Informatisation with the assistance of the Swedish Agency for International Development.

The workshop aimed to discuss the current practices and prospects in the development of electronic archives in the Republic of Belarus with consideration of foreign practices and the perspectives of e-government concept. More than 100 people attended the workshop. Among the participants were archive specialists, government officials, representatives of the institutions who develop information systems and those who run electronic archives or plan to create them in the near future.

The workshop consisted of two consecutive sections. The first was named "The Strategy for Advancement and Development of Electronic Archives", the second "Technical Systems and Practices in Management of Electronic Archives". In all, nine reports were given on theoretical, practical and legal issues in electronic archives management. The workshop participants acquainted with the practices of implementation of such archives at the National Agency of Sweden for Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration (Lantmateriet), the National Cadastral Agency at the State Property Committee of the Republic of Belarus, the Institute of Applied Programme Systems, the Fund for Social Protection at the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, and the Interbank Settlement System at the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus.
16 May 2011
12 May 2011, the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus adopted Draft Law On Archives Administration in the Republic of Belarus in its first reading.

Minister for Justice of Belarus Viktor Golovanov delivered a report on the draft law and answered the questions of House of Representatives members. The Director of the Department for Archives and Records Management Vladimir Adamushko took part in the discussions on the draft law in the session of the House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives Permanent Commission for Education, Culture, Science and Scientific-Technical Progress was authorised to finalise the draft law with consideration of the received proposals and comments and submit it for second reading at the ninth session of the National Assembly House of Representatives of the fourth convocation.
04 May 2011
28 April 2011, the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus received the software for the Electronic Database of Belarusian Villages Burnt during the Great Patriotic War. The database has been developed by the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics by request of the Belarusian Peace Foundation which coordinates an international project entitled Enhancing the Status of the Survivors of the Burnt Villages of Belarus.

The electronic database includes the following data:
1. Name of locality;
2. Current administrative division;
3. Military administrative subordination;
4. Number of households and population before the war;
5. Number of destroyed households and population;
6. Date of destruction;
7. Finding aids and data sources (archives, fonds, inventory, file, literature).

The second part of the database includes scanned archive documents, photographs, survivor's recollections of the tragedy in each village.

The database makes possible not only to search for information but also to conduct analysis on the number of burnt villages by district, region, year of destruction.

28 April 2011
26 April 2011, an exhibition was opened at the Central State Archives of Public Organizations of Ukraine in Kiev to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

At the exhibition’s opening, the Archival Service of Belarus was represented by the alternate director of the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, Nikolai K. Rudakovsky.

The organizers of the exhibition are the State Archival Service of Ukraine, the Federal Archival Agency of the Russian Federation and the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus.

The Belarusian archivists presented copies of 42 documents and photographs from the holdings of the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, the Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings and the State Archives of Gomel Region.


04 April 2011
31 March 2011, an exhibition of documents was opened at the exhibition hall of the Old Castle in Grodno to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War.

The exhibition is a joint project of the Grodno State Historical-Archaeological Museum and the State Archives of Grodno Region. On display are 40 archive documents that were previously stamped as confidential. These documents are now declassified and opened for access.

The exhibition runs until 3 June 2011.


01 April 2011
On 29 March 2011 the Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings, a leading archival institution and the only repository of audiovisual records in the country, celebrated its Jubilee.

The Archives was founded in 1941, when the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR adopted a resolution to create the State Archival Fonds and an archives network in the Soviet Union. As on 1 May 1948, the Archives held 6,530 photographic documents (negatives and positives) only. For comparison, presently the Archives holds over 250,000 photographic records, 37,000 film items, and nearly 15,000 sound recordings.

The Archives holds valuable photographic and film documents relating to the history of our country.

The Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings is a major repository of unique records and a research institution for the acquisition, preservation, description and utilization of records. The Archives is a permanent participant in the republic-level and international scholarly conferences, symposia, seminars and workshops.


01 April 2011
With the approach of the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War, the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus participates in a new international project entitled Enhancing the Status of the Survivors of the Burnt Villages of Belarus. This two-year project is part of the Meeting Place Dialogue Programme financed by the Remembrance, Responsibility and Future German Foundation, which made payments to the victims of Nazi persecution and continues to finance projects for assisting people who suffered from Nazi crimes.

The main purpose of the project is humanitarian. The project intends to attract the public's attention to the fate of the survivors of the burnt Belarusian villages and to assist them in solving social problems.

The project's second part is scholarly. There are plans to organise documentary exhibitions, round tables, meetings between generations, etc. A book of documents "The Tragedy of Belarusian Villages. 1941—1944" has been prepared and given to the publishers. An electronic database of burnt Belarusian villages is being compiled, to provide data on the number of burnt households and population, the dates when the villages were burnt, and the data sources. In addition, the database contains archive documents, photographs and the survivor's recollections of the tragedy.

On 28 March 2011, the National Archives of Belarus had a meeting with the surviving resident of the burnt village of Skirmuntovo in Derzhinsk district, Zinaida Petrovna Levanets, and the survivor of the burnt village of Gondarevo in Slutsk district, Stefanida Viktorovna Dovnar. Their accounts about the burning of villages by Nazis were recorded and will be used in the electronic database. The archive’s staff acquainted the guests with the documents relating to the tragedy of those villages.


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