The task of the archive is to accumulate, take into account, replenish the museum’s archival fund with valuable sources of cultural and scientific significance, which could comprehensively tell about the life and activities of the museum and preserve this historical baggage for the future.
The archive was created in the structure of the museum in 1994. Its creator and permanent custodian for a long time was Valentina Baslyk. Over 25 years of painstaking work, more than 10.000 archival files were collected and processed, valuable scientific files and collections of personal documents of famous Belarusian artists, art historians, scientific staff of the museum and its first directors (N. P. Mikholap, E. V. Aladova and Yu. A. Karachun) were collected.
Dmitry Khabarov, Svetlana Kitanina, Tamara Orlova, Valentina Bashak and Tatyana Khomich worked in the archive over the years.
Scientific and technical processing of documentary information coming to the archive from scientific departments of the museum and from individuals requires careful study. Modern requirements in document management determine the need for special knowledge and skills in working with documents, and core education.
The following documents are stored in the archive of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus:
- managerial documentation on the museum’s core activities: orders, plans, reports, minutes of the meeting of scientific boards, conference proceedings, proceedings of seminars and round tables, etc.;
- from personnel: staff members’ personnel files, personnel record cards, personnel orders, etc.;
- negatives and photos, video and audio cassettes, slides: museum collections, reports on creative expeditions and significant events in the field of culture and art;
- information of exhibitions over the years as a part of history: catalogues, booklets, press releases, explanations, posters, visitors’ reviews, etc.;
- reference apparatus is presented as 16 card indexes in different fields of the museum’s activities.
There are archival fonds of personal provenance in the archive. They include creative materials of creators: drawings, sketches, sketches, ex-libris, personal documents, correspondence, information on creative, official and civic activities, photos. These are funds of well-known Belarusian artists and fine art experts who devoted most of their lives to the study and promotion of art: Yevgeny Tikhanovich, Aleksandr Mozolyov, Anatoly Tychina, Veniamin Basov, Leonid Drobov and Valentin Savitsky.
The archive of Viktor Shmatov, a Belarusian artist, a fine art expert and a researcher of F. Skorina’s creativity, and the archive of Nadezhda Usova, a museum employee, a fine art expert and a research worker are being prepared for processing.
The archive also stores the author’s handwritten texts of articles, studies, attributions, which subsequently formed serious research works: monographs, sections of encyclopedias, authoritative attributions and catalogues.
A separate fund stores documents received from art researchers who worked at different times in the archives in our country and abroad, from the descendants of the creators of our architectural, historical and artistic heritage, from modern creators and their families. They consider it their duty to share their finds, rare photos and materials with the archive.
These documents capture the names that are the pride of the Belarusian cultural tradition. Some are known to a narrower circle of specialists – historians and fine art experts. Others left their unique creative mark not only in Belarus, but also far beyond its borders. Among them are artists of various academic schools and trends: romantics Valenty Vankovich, Apollinary Goravsky, realist Ivan Khrutsky, master of architectural landscape Napoleon Orda, artist, philosopher and cosmist Yazep Drozdovich, great poet of Belarusian landscape Vitold Byalynitsky-Birulya; artists of the Paris School from Belarus Marc Chagall, Chaim Soutine, Pinkhus Kremen, Shraga Tsarfin and Mikhail Kikoin; researchers of Belarusian culture – Nikolay Shchekotikhin, Aleksandr Palees; a galaxy of venerable artists of the second half of the 20th century – Anatoly Anikeychik, Vladimir Basalyga, Gavriil Vashchenko, Valentin Volkov, Viktor Gromyko, May Danzig, Aleksandr Kishchenko, Raisa Kudrevich, Aleksey Marochkin, Pavel Maslennikov, Mikhail Savitsky, Sergei Selikhanov, Ninel Schastnaya and Leonid Shchemelyov.
The history of the National Art Museum and the history of the archive continue. Archival documents are in demand for museum researchers to write scientific articles, to research, and to create exhibitions.
With the permission of the museum administration, the archive materials can also be used by employees from other institutions, graduate students, students and teachers from educational institutions of the country, writers, artists, and representatives of the media.