The Сenter of Acquisition and Studying of the Documentary Heritage of Belarusans Abroad

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The scientific-creative initiative "Center of Acquisition and Studying of the Documentary Heritage of Belarusans Abroad" is an archival consulting and researching structure aimed at assisting to reveal, preserve, describe, study, and popularize the documentary heritage of Belarusans abroad on the basis of the Belarusan State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art.

The Center was founded on 16 June 2014. Its creation has to do with the necessity to regularly collect documents, printed sources, and artifacts that have been created by Belarusans outside their mother country. If before the functions of such collecting were to a certain extent executed by emigrational establishments in the West such as, for example, the Belarusan Institute of Science and Art in New York, the Belarusan Library named after Francysk Skaryna in London, or the Francysk Skaryna Center in Minsk, then nowadays, when the geography of Belarusan diasporas widens, there is no regular purposeful collecting of foreign compatriots’ heritage. As a result, a valuable part of the Belarusan cultural heritage is lost for contemporary and future researchers.

Within several decades, the Belarusan State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art has already been collecting gradually foreign Belarusans’ materials. The well-known figures Masiej Siadnioŭ, Aleś Alechnik, Janka Zaprudnik, and Vitaŭt Kipiel have presented it their archival materials. In April 2014, the Archive received a big collection of documents of the already mentioned Belarusan Institute of Science and Art. Thus, the newly created Center has a good base for its activity.

The primary goals of the Center are:

  1. to find Belarusan documents in foreign archives, museums, and libraries of organizations of Belarusans abroad and in those of individuals;

  2. to organize the acquisition and creation of archival funds of Belarusan public-cultural organizations abroad and public figures of Belarusan diasporas as part of the Belarusan State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art;

  3. to scientifically describe the documentary heritage of Belarusans abroad within the framework of the Belarusan State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art;

  4. to assist in preserving the documentary heritage of Belarusans abroad;

  5. to contribute to the scientific studying of the documentary heritage of Belarusans abroad;

  6. to popularize the awareness of the activity of Belarusan organizations abroad and renowned people of Belarusan origin in Belarus’ society.

In conformity with its tasks, the Center:

  1. gathers data on the documentary heritage of Belarusans abroad in private, public, and state collections in Belarus and abroad;

  2. completes and carries out examination of the value of the documentary heritage of Belarusans abroad within the pale of the Belarusan State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art;

  3. carries out scientific description of the documentary heritage of Belarusans abroad in the Belarusan State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art;

  4. provides preservation of the documentary heritage of Belarusans abroad;

  5. expands the information on collections of documents of Belarusans abroad in the funds of the Belarusan State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art;

  6. carries out consultations for interested persons and organizations concerning the preservation, description, and studying of the documentary heritage of Belarusans abroad;

  7. helps to find and study documents of Belarusans abroad;

  8. promotes publications of documents and studies concerning the subjects of Belarusans abroad;

  9. organizes the activity aimed at popularizing the information on the documentary heritage of Belarusans abroad in the mass media.

Today it is extremely important to gather documents and printed sources of the existing organizations and communities and to preserve archives of public figures who live(d) abroad. Therefore, the Center invites to cooperate all interested persons and organizations both abroad and in Belarus lest the rich heritage of Belarusans abroad disappear.

For cooperation in the questions which have to do with the preservation and studying of foreign Belarusans’ materials, it is possible to address to Hanna Zapartyka, director of the Belarusan State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art, or Natalla Hardzijenka, head of the Center.

Contacts:

Address: Belarusan State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art, Belarus, 220030, Minsk, Vulica Kiryły i Miafodzija (Saints Cyril and Methodius Street), 4.

Phone: +375 (17) 327-47-81; +375 (17) 327-25-00

Fax: +375 (17) 327-25-00

E-mail: bdamlim@tut.by or nhardzijenka@gmail.com

 

The chronicle of the activity of the Center:

16 June 2014 – the Center of Acquisition and Studying of the Documentary Heritage of Belarusans Abroad is founded;

06 October 2014 – the Belarusan State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art received valuable materials from the Belarusan Institute of Science and Art (New York), among which there are autographs of Janka Kupała and Uładzimir Žyłka. More details on this event: http://nn.by/?c=ar&i=136538#!nn