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Outline of Archival Resources in the Repositories of Belarus

by Nancy Holden

Remember to use the search capability on the Home Page of the Belarus SIG for more record lists.  Enter a Town, an LDS film number, a record group title and use advanced search techniques like "AND" "OR" and "NOT" as identifiers.


    Introduction to the Belarus SIG and how-to-use our resources (Our FAQ)


Historical Timeline as a basis for understanding Record Creation/Collection
    Timeline and Chronology of Jewish presence in Belarus
        Shifting Regional Political Control Listings by Ellen Sadove Renck
    History of Records and Records Collection
        Categories of Records
               Introduction (Part 1) by Oleg Perzashkevich
               Introduction (Part 2) by Oleg Perzashkevich
               How to find records: an example using the town of Slutsk
    Time Period I: Pre-Russian records (before 1772 / 1795)
        Types of Records Created / Records Groups
               Court records
               Official records
               Land records
               Business records
 

            Grand Duchy of Lithuania - History of Jewish settlement

                Minsk Gubernia
                Grodno Gubernia (Part 1)
                Grodno Gubernia (Part 2)

            Period I - Record Repositories:

                                           Central Historical Archive of Poland in Warsaw

                                           Lithuanian State Historical Archives in Vilnius
    Time Period II: Russian Imperial period 1772/95-1917 (The Russian principality)
        Types of Records Created/ Records Groups
                Castle court act records
                District court act records
                Lithuanian Metrica records (The Great Lithuanian Princedom)
                Noble family records

                Property maps         

                Jewish Community Leaders 2

 

        Specific Record Groups created

                Revision List (Reviskie skazki) 1765 1858
                1897 All Russian Census

                Voter lists (Duma Lists)

                Real estate owners lists

                Court records

        Period II - Record Repositories:                 

                                           Central Historical Archive of Poland in Warsaw

                                           Lithuanian State Historical Archives in Vilnius

                                           National Historical Archives of Belarus
                                           National Historical Archives of Belarus in Grodno
     The Autonomous Jewish Community and the creation of Jewish records (Introductory article in progress)
            Introductory information
                The history of the Jewish community of the town of Slutsk
                What was a starosta?
                Documentary Sources for the Study of the Grodno Gubernia by Ellen Sadove Renck
                Review of the Records in the Lithuanian State Historical Archives by Galina Baranova

                Documentary Resources for the study of towns in Grodno Gubernia
                1804 Russian set of laws concerning Jews by Vitaly Charny
                Archival Documentation of the Lida District
                Newsletter-Grodno Genealogy Group June 1999 Vol 2, Issue 1
                Minsk before 1917 by Oleg Perzashkevich
            Kahal records3
                The concept of the kehilla
                Brest kahal-Slutsk Kahal JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA
                Candidates and Electors of the Ruzhany Kahal, 1838--1841
                Brest Kahal
            Box and Candle tax
                Jewish Communities and Box and Candle Tax Lists
            Revision Lists
                Jews from Bobruisk in the 1816 Revision List by A.L. Bell
                Grodno Archives
                Belarus Records Inventory
                1784 Lubcha tax list
                Szczuczyn
            Jewish Tavern Keepers (Cretchmas)
                Jewish Tavern Keepers - Lyakhovichi (1805) Foreword by Neville Lamdan
            Duma Lists          
                 Minsk    Pinsk    Borisov    Mozyr   NovoGrodok   Slutsk (In Progress)  Bobruisk (In Progress)

Time Period III: Post-Imperial records Documents for 1917 - present 1
        Types of Records Created/ Records Groups
                Elections of local officials, including Jewish community officials*
                Passports
                Polish Business registers
                Polish and Soviet police reports
                Personal files on persons
                Russian business registers (Vsia Rossia)
                Soviet labour union and labour activity records
                Registers for place of personal residence
 
        Specific Record Groups created
               
                Vital Statistics Records (Births, marriage, Death and Divorce)
                Military Records (Conscription, Failed to appear, Discharged)
                Law Courts
                Administrative and Economic Offices of City and Town Governments
                Offices of the Governor
                Police, and Prison Inspectors
                Educational Establishments
                City and Business Directories


    Period III - Records Repositories
        National Archives of Belarus
            National Archives of the Republic of Belarus: records for the period after 1917 4
            Regional and Zonal Archives
            ZAGS Provincial Archives5
            Archive of KGB or KDB6
            Archive of MVD or MUS7
            Belarusian State Archives of Films, Photographs and Sound Recordings
            Belarusian State Archives-Museum of Literature and Arts
            Belarusian State Archives of Scientific and Technical Documentation
        State Provincial Archives: These contain the documents for the period after 1917.

            Regional and Zonal Archives: Brest, Gomel, Grodno, Minsk, Moghilev and Vitebsk.
                Brest region (oblast) State Archives of Brest Region
                State Archives of Brest Region
                Zonal State Archives in Baranovichi
                Zonal State Archives in Kobrin
                Zonal State Archives in Pinsk
                Vitebsk region (oblast) State Archives of Vitebsk Region
        State Archives of Vitebsk Region
            Zonal State Archives in Glubokoe
            Zonal State Archives in Orsha
            Zonal State Archives in Polotsk
        State Archives of Gomel Region  Gomel region (oblast)
        State Archives of Gomel Region
        State Archives of Public Organizations of Gomel Region
            Zonal State Archives of Zhlobin
            Zonal State Archives in Mozyr
            Zonal State Archives in Rechitsa
        State Archives of Grodno Region Grodno region (oblast)
        State Archives of Grodno Region
        State Archives of Public Organizations of Grodno Region
            Zonal State Archives in Lida
            Zonal State Archives in Novogrudok
        State Archives of Mogilev Region Mogilev region (oblast)
        State Archives of Mogilev Region
        State Archives of Public Organizations of Mogilev Region
            Zonal State Archives in Bobruisk
            Zonal State Archives in Krichev
        State Archives of Minsk Region Minsk region (oblast)
        State Archives of Minsk Region
            Zonal State Archives in Borisov
            Zonal State Archives in Molodechno
            Zonal State Archives in Slutsk             

               

The Belarus SIG website Introductory Information How to Use this Site

    Jewish Holdings by Regional Archives of Belarus referenced on Belarus SIG
            Brest
            Vitebsk
            Gomel

               The Rechitsa 1906 Duma Voters Database (Gomel Oblast, Minsk gubernia) ABD
            Grodno

                Conscription Lists
            Mogilev
                Collection #2151 - Mogilev Revision Lists and Jewish town dwellers  Vlad Soshnikov
                Vsia Rossiia, 1911 Mogilev Gubernia
                List of Mogilev Gubernia Records Found in National Archives of Belarus (Minsk)
            Minsk
                Minsk Surnames Database
                Sources from the National Historical Archives of Belarus in Minsk
                More Records Uncovered in the Minsk Archive Ragas Source
                Collection #330 of the Minsk City Government for Town Dwellers 13
                1894 - Family List of Jewish Town Dwellers of Minsk
                Vsia Rossiia - 1903 & 1911 Minsk Gubernia
                Slutsk School Records (Minsk gubernia) Compiled by Oleg Perzashkevich

                Inventory of certain files (mainly Slutsk and Novogrudok uyezds) in the National Historical Archives of Belarus (NHAB) in Minsk

                Combined list of records for Minsk Gubernia In Progress
Libraries 8, 9
    The National Library of Belarus in Minsk
    The Library of Belarusian Academy of Sciences in Minsk

    Family History Library of the Church of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City

        Translated and transliterated LDS films on the Belarus SIG website
Museums 10, 11, 12
    The National State Museum of Belarus in Minsk
    The State Museum of the Great Patriotic War (World War II) in Minsk
    The State Museum of Religion in Grodno

Web Links to Archived Resources

    Roots to Routes - Miriam Weiner

    JewishGen - Search engine on Home Page

 

Notes:

1. The period of Polish-Soviet principality and independence of Belarus. 

2. Other Jewish records sources: rabbis, Chevra Kadisha, pinkes, teachers, community board and treasurers etc.

3. Kehilla (Kehillot is the plural form), an officially recognized local Jewish community, dates to medieval times in Poland. In 1789, Austrian Emperor Joseph II divided Galicia Province into 140 official Jewish communities or kehillot to keep vital records, supervise education and collect special taxes among the Jewish population. All permanent Jewish residents of a town were members of its kehilla. Each kehilla was headed by a kahal, a three-man governing board elected by the men of the Jewish community, and a Chief Rabbi who was officially recognized by the government as the person in charge of keeping the vital records. Often, the kahal had employees and staff, which might include (depending on the kehilla's size and wealth) additional rabbis, scribes and even a few civil servants to work in the Jewish neighborhood as street cleaners or watchmen. Over time, as the government wanted more and more to end the separateness of the Jews from the rest of Austrian society, the kehillot were stripped of their civil powers (for example, as of 1875 Jewish birth, death and marriage records were kept by civil authorities, but were still kept within the recognized Jewish community).

4. Central Historical Archives: These contain almost all the surviving documents for the period before 1917. There are two such archives, the National State Historical Archive in Minsk and the State Historical Archive in Grodno.

5. ZAGS: literally from Russian and Belarusian meaning "Recording of Acts of Civil Position". These are the divisions of Belarusian Ministry of Justice. The records for birth, marriage, divorce and death of every person since 1917 should be there. There may also be similar records for the late 19th and early 20th century.

State Archives of Register Offices (ZAGS)

6.  KGB: literally from Russian and Belarusian meaning "Committee of State Security". This archive contains some records on persons who were under the control of that institution control in 1918. These documents are called "personal files".
Archive of the Ministry of Defense: It stores military records, including information about persons who were in military since 1918.

7. MVD:(literally from Russian and Belarusian meaning "Ministry of Internal Affairs"). These are Police records, storing information about persons who were involved with the police in criminal or civil cases since 1918.

Regional and Zonal Archives: Belarus today has 6 Provinces ("Oblast" in Russian, "Voblast" in Belarusian)

8. The National Library of Belarus in Minsk: Contains the majority of books and published documents before and after 1917.
9. The Library of Belarusian Academy of Sciences in Minsk: Almost the same as the National Library, but this depository is smaller.

10. The National State Museum of Belarus in Minsk: Contains almost nothing on personal history.
11. The State Museum of the Great Patriotic War (World War II) in Minsk: Contains a huge fund of information for the events of the war, but not too much on the Holocaust.
12. The State Museum of Religion in Grodno: Stores documents on confessional history, but it is relatively new, so it is of interest only for current times or the recent past.

13. Minsk: Collection #330 of the Minsk City Government for Town Dwellers. It contains a family list of Jewish town dwellers of Minsk in 1894 (884 families). These names were translated from Russian to English and appeared in the RAGAS Report.


2002 Belarus SIG