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31 October 2014

National Historical Archives in Grodno moves into new premises

GRODNO, 31 October (BelTA) - The National Historical Archives in Grodno moved into new premises on 29 October, BelTA has learned.

At the official ceremony to open the new building Justice Minister Oleg Slizhevsky noted that in recent years the Grodno archives had experienced serious problems with storage facilities. The house the archives was located was built in the second half of the 18th century in the heart of the city which was in some ways symbolic. The archives, however, could not provide the necessary conditions for the preservation of documents, which are of great historical and cultural value, and the number of which was constantly increasing. Now the new facilities of the historical archives in Grodno are excellent, noted Vladimir Adamushko, the director of the department for archives and records at the Justice Ministry. The new facilities in Grodno can store up to 500,000 archival files.

The new three-storey building has a total area of approximately 3,500 square meters. Previously the archives occupied the premises of just 750 square meters.
The first and third floor are storage places, the second floor houses administrative offices. The storage rooms are fitted with modern wooden and metal racks, a combined extract-input ventilation system, temperature and humidity regulators. The storage facilities have no windows as sunlight affects the old paper, said the director of the archives Tatyana Afanasyeva.

The project was launched in 2008; the construction proper started in 2009 and was completed in April this year. It took half a year to fully fit the new building with necessary equipment. The project was part of the state investment program.

The National Historical Archives in Grodno is the guardian of 1,310 holdings featuring more 415,200 storage units (files), more than 17,000 units of research and reference documents, and also the records about the history of Grodno of the 19th – 20th centuries. The National Historical Archives has the documents dating back to the 16th-18th centuries, including those related to the biographies of such well-known personalities of the past as Michal Kleofas Oginski, Napoleon Orda, Ignatius Krashevsky, Tadeush Kostiushko, Eliza Ozheshko, Ludwik Zamenhof, and others.

According to Tatyana Afanasyeva, the archives will operate an exhibition hall. To celebrate the new home the archives arranged an exhibition of the documents with signatures of famous people, the books on the history of Grodno, and the items used by the archivists in the 19th-20th centuries.