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28 December 2012
On 27 December 2012 the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus held a board meeting to discuss the issues of research provisions at the state archive institutions: the condition, problems, perspectives; handling the inquiries of citizens and legal entities at the state archive institutions of the Republic of Belarus in the second part of 2012; execution of legislation on combating the corruption at the republic-level archives in 2012; results of financial and economic inspections in the subordinate institutions and measures to strengthen the control and economy of budget funds, preservation of material assets, and other issues.

On the first issue it was noted that research and development at the Department, the records and archives bodies and the state archive institutions are provided by the Belarusian Research Institute of Records Management and Archival Studies (BelNIIDAD) and the Belarusian Research Centre for Electronic Records (BelNITsED). In all, 54 research topics were developed in the period 2007-2011 (36 by BelNIIDAD, 18 by BelNITsED). Presently 44 topics are completed (29 by BelNIIDAD, 15 by BelNITsED).

On the second issue the department board noted that work with citizens’ petitions and inquiries and the issue of archival references at the state archives are conducted in strict accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus. Archival references and other information are issued to applicants on the basis of written applications. The Department and the archives and records divisions at the Minsk city and regional executive committees execute permanent control over the observance of legislation on handling the inquiries of citizens and legal entities at the archive institutions. No legal violations in this respect were reported. At the same time the archive institutions encounter certain difficulties in work with citizens’ inquiries connected with the poor preservation of the personnel records of liquidated organizations.

The issue of the execution of legislation on combating the corruption at the central archive institutions is under permanent control by the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry. In accordance with the Coordinative Plan for Control (Inspection) Activities in 2012, the Department conducted a complex inspection of the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus and the financial and economic revisions at the Belarusian State Archives-Museum of Literature and Art and the Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings. In addition, the mentioned institutions were inspected for the observance of legislation on handling the inquiries of citizens and legal entities. The facts of corruption practices were not found.

The department board discussed and approved the draft Plan of Action for 2013.

22 December 2012
The book The Modern Heraldry of Belarus by V.I. Adamushko and M.M. Elinskaya was presented to the public at the bookstore “PResentation” of the Petrus Brovka Belarusian Encyclopedia Publishers on 19 December 2012. Attendees at the event were the publishing company’s chief for historical and socio-economic sciences editorial board Yu.V. Bazhenov, the book’s editor V.V. Fedkovich, the faculty and students of the Belarusian State University, members of the Heraldry Council V.A. Lyakhor and D.V. Yatsevich, and those interested in modern Belarusian heraldry and symbols.

In his speech V.I. Adamushko told the participants about the structure and contents of the book, the importance of the official heraldic symbols in the life of the modern society, and the principles of work at the Heraldry Council under the President of the Republic of Belarus. He noted, in particular, that the book was written during a number of years and presents 197 coat of arms and 150 flags of the administrative and territorial units in this country, the official heraldic symbols instituted by the decrees of the President of Belarus starting from 2002. These constitute the essential part of the State Heraldic Register, the maintenance of which is in charge of the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry. V.I. Adamushko also noted that the reconstruction of historical arms, the creation of new arms and flags, their appraisal, institution and use are conducted in accordance with the Belarus Law On Official Heraldic Symbols adopted on 26 May 2012.

M.M. Elinskaya spoke on the specific features of the territorial heraldry in Belarus, starting from the origins of the ancient national symbols. She briefly touched on the conferring of coat of arms to the towns and boroughs by Grand Dukes of Lithuania and the Polish kings in the 16th to18th centuries and to the governorships and provinces in the Russian Empire in the late 18th and 19th centuries. She noted that the modern Belarusian heraldry has adopted the best practices accumulated by the predecessors during the past several centuries. It was emphasized that the Belarusian specialists in heraldry also make use of the international experience, applying to classical knowledge as well as to modern technologies in the creation of the complete heraldic complex for the inhabited localities of different level.

V.A. Lyakhor, who prepared the master images of coat of arms and flags and proposed the artistic design of the edition, told about the specifics and problems in the reconstruction of the historical heraldry and the different stages in developing the new symbols. He emphasized that the book preserves with maximum identity the icon-painting of the 16th to 19th centuries and conveys the atmosphere and artistic trends of the time when these arms appeared. The modern territorial heraldry of Belarus is noted for the variety of subjects and methods in their creation. The arms and flags presented in the new book demonstrate a unique national style of the Belarusian heraldry and vexillology and its specific characteristics.

19 December 2012
On 18 December 2012 as part of the New Year charity action Our Children the deputy director at the Department for Archives and RM of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus O.A. Ledovskaya, director at the Central Laboratory of Microfilming and Restoration of National Records of the Republic of Belarus I.V. Silin, and deputy director at the Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings E.M. Grinevich visited the social orphanage in the Sovetsky district in Minsk. The orphanage children were presented with new year gifts.

17 December 2012
A mobile exhibition of records entitled The Currency Reform of 1947 was opened at the building of the Belarusian State Economic University Library on 11 December 2012. Participants at the exhibition include:

• Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus
• National Archives of the Republic of Belarus
• Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings
• National Bank of the Republic of Belarus
• Belarusian State Economic University
• Federal Archival Agency of the Culture Ministry of the Russian Federation
• Russian State Archives of the Economy
• State Archives of the Russian Federation
• Russian State Archives of Socio-Political History
• Russian State Archives of Documentary Films and Photographs.

This exhibition project resulted from the constructive cooperation between Belarusian and Russian archives. The bulk of the exposition are the previously unknown records illuminating the preparation, mechanisms and results of the currency reform whose main objective was to normalize the money circulation in the Soviet Union, including that in Belarus, to overcome the destructive consequences of the Great Patriotic War (the Second World War in the USSR), and to create the conditions needed for the restoration of the national economy and citizens’ life.

The exposition displays the banknotes of 1938, the new exemplars of the paper currency of 1947, food cards and public bonds.

10 December 2012
The State Archives of Brest Region has prepared a virtual exhibition called Archival Images of History. The exhibition is featured at the official website of the Brest Region Executive Committee Main Justice Board at

The exhibition offers non-traditional archival records selected from various archival collections covering different time periods. These include maps, plans, announcements, posters, placards, photographs, music and printed editions and other material.

03 December 2012
The State Archives of Mogilev Region has completed an electronic database of Soviet prisoners of war born in Mogilev region.

The State Archives of Mogilev Region holds a collection of records from the Administration of the Committee for State Security (UKGB) for Mogilev Region relating to the Soviet citizens repatriated in 1945-1946 from Germany, Austria, Poland and other countries in Western Europe. These are filtration files, filtration file registers, and captured German cards on Soviet POWs.

The fate of many Soviet prisoners of war are so far unknown. According to incomplete data, more than five million Red Army soldiers and officers found themselves in the German captivity. The archival material remained long unknown to the researchers into the Second World War.

As part of the international cooperation between the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Justice Ministry of the Republic of Belarus and the Association Saxon Memorials (Germany) the Archive of the Mogilev Region has become the first of the Belarusian archives to sign an agreement in 2011 with the Centre for Documentation at the Association Saxon Memorials (Dresden).

The German side transferred to the Archive the monetary funds, equipment and software needed for the work organization. Schedules for digitization activities were agreed for the years 2011 and 2012.

Presently the work on the project has been completed. 20,544 cards on 10,460 POWs have been scanned. On 22 November the database was handed over to the leading research fellow at the Saxon Memorials Documentation Centre, Alexander Kharitonov. After the records are processed in Germany, the disc with the digitized information will be handed over to the Archive to be used in handling social and legal inquiries.

The attempt to combine into a single computer base the archival data from the Russian, Belarusian and German archives has no equals in contemporary historical science. It is even now obvious what a great importance this will have not only for the close relations of the POWs who died or survived but also for the methodology of scholarly research.

The next archive to conduct the scanning of the similar documents is the State Archives of Grodno Region.

On the photo is the Mogilev Archive’s director Pyotr Shevchik handing over the database to Aleksander Kharitonov.

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