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Referat pročitan na Međunarodnoj arhivskoj konferenciji  "23. Međunarodni arhivski dan", Trst, 21-22. oktobar 2013.

Tekst članka možete preuzeti ovde: Slobodanka Cvetković, Razvoj arhivske službe u Srbiji u drugoj polovini 20. veka, Atlanti, International Institute for Archival Science of Trieste and Maribor, State Archives of Trieste, Vol. 23 (2013), N.1, Trieste-Maribor, 2013, 215-234;

 

Verzija na srpskom

The influence of the society and the state on the development of the archives and archival service in every state is undeniable and unavoidable. Depending on the historical circumstances in which a state and its people are developing, the relation towards the archives and archival materials depends. Serbia had an unfortunate situation that it was always on the way of European conquerors, the ones that came from the East, so as the ones that came from the West. More than five centuries spent in the system of the Ottoman state had an effect on underdevelopment of Serbia’s institutions so as on the awareness of preserving written documents. Only at the beginning of the 19th century, during the fights for liberation from Turkish empire, during the so called “Serbian Revolution” as historian Leopold von Ranke called it, constitution of state institutions started, but also awareness of the need to save written traces for the next generation. Despite the appeals and attempts of Serbian intellectuals middle of the century, more than half century had to pass while the first Law of the State Archive was brought in (1898) and the establishment of the first State archive in Belgrade in 1900 as the only institution for preserving in Serbia. During the period of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1918-1941), the State archive in Novi Sad was established in 1926 on the territory of Serbia. The First and the Second World War brought hardship to these establishments too, and the archival material from them was taken away systematically by the occupational forces. Great damage to the archival materials during the WWII was inflicted by the partisan units too that destroyed archival materials as the relict of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

 

During the second half of the 20th century Serbia was one of the six federal units of the Socialist Yugoslavia and the only one that was territorially and governmentally divided in three parts – inner Serbia and two autonomous regions - Kosovo and Vojvodina. That fact was of key importance on the development of archival service. Communist/Socialist Yugoslavia during that period of more than half century went through different social and political transformations that had an effect on archival service in Serbia. Few phases of the development can be noted during that period: post-war (1945-1951), period of the establishing of archival service (1951-1974), period of the rise but also of decentralisation (1974-1990), centralisation of the service and functioning in war situation (1990-2000).

Just after the WWII efforts on preserving archival materials can be noted but along with the regulations that were supposed to enable preservation, others, contradictory, that ordered collecting of old archival material for the needs of the paper factories, were brought in. For the lack of the archival institutions that would save archival materials, application of these regulations inflicted irreparable damage to written cultural heritage of Serbia. The conflict with Stalin in 1948 brought about the question of preserving archival materials and documents because without them it was not possible to prove “the correctness of the revolutionary path” and to prove own identity. Since then an intensive work has been done on establishing archival institutions and archival network. In the biggest towns in Serbia archival centers had been established and when the federal Law of the Archives (1950) and the Law of the State Archives of the People’s Republic of Serbia (1951) were brought in, they became state archives.  During the first post-war decades archival networks were established and organized and archival materials were collected, archival cadre was being organized and educated. The challenges were great, there was a lack of the space and equipment, a lack of professionals, a lack of understanding of the society and of government… In given circumstances in 1954 the Society of Archival Workers of Serbia was created, and the next year the first issue of the magazine “Archival Review” was published. With constitutional reforms in 1963 self-governance was inducted as a form of socio-political system, and republics, provinces and municipalities as socio-political organizations received governing authorisation.  As a result of constitutional reforms and reorganization of the socio-political system, in 1968 in Serbia the new Law of Archival materials and Archival Service was brought in and even today it is considered to be one of the best legal solutions. It encompassed archival materials as a whole, obligation of both creators and possessors are defined but also of archives, deadlines for submitting materials, files were established, conditions for establishment of archives were defined, centralism of the Archive of Serbia was established and the National Archives Assembly of Serbia was formed. The National Archives Assembly is responsible for bringing in even 19 professional instructions in only few years, which are, for the most part, still in use. The foundations of archival service were laid and all the segments of archival activity went up.

The Constitution from 1974 additionally weakened territorial wholeness of the Republic of Serbia by passing on autorisation to autonomous provinces, even the right of enacting laws regarding archival service. Thus, until the nineties, in Serbia, three archival legislations were in use, three professional organizations of the archivists existed so as the three central archives. With all that, the wholeness of the profession and the archival network was broken. But despite all that, the seventies were the time of the greatest rise of the archival profession. The number of the people working in archives increased, the structure of the cadre regarding education improved, a long-term planning was inducted. The Review of the Fonds and Collection of the Socialist Republic of Serbia was published but without the fonds of the autonomous provinces that published their Reviews independently. A great number of archives made their own guides through their archival materials. Collections of archival materials were published, archival magazines were published, and two buildings were specially built to fulfill the needs of the archives, the building of the Historical Archive of Belgrade and the Archive of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo, while the buildings of other archives were adapted. The Society of Archival Workers of Serbia during the seventies made effort to gather archival workers and preserve the unity of the profession. Magazine “Archival Review” with its high-quality articles tried to enhance professional knowledge of the archivists in Serbia. The important role in that period had the Community of the Archives of Serbia as an association of all archives, established in 1969. During its existence it had a great impact on the standardization of work in the archives, on education of the archivists by spreading professional literature and organizing conferences. The climax of the work of the archivist from former Yugoslavia, including those from Serbia, was Dictionary of Archival Terminology that was presented at the VII congress of the International Archival Council in Moscow in 1972. The Archive of Serbia became member of the International Archival Council in 1978.

After the death of Josip Broz Tito (1980) problems occurred in keeping the unity of the state since he was its main bearer. In the federal units of Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia politicians did not show intent to keep the unity of the state, while its citizens started to be afraid of the future, of the collapse of the state, they started to fear each other. All that created climate for development of galloping nationalism which resulted in wars during the nineties. As a result of political instability and intent to divide SFRY in all federal units, and in Serbia too, constitutional changes occurred. The new constitution from 1990 reduced the governing authorisation of the autonomous provinces. In accordance with the new constitution the new Law of Cultural Heritage was brought in for the whole territory of the Republic of Serbia, so as delegated legislation. During the nineties, political turbulences happened, the collapse of the federal state, wars, economic crises, moral crises, the collapse of value system and the establishment of the new one and all other “illnesses” of the society in transition, and the archives were once again marginalized. However, even in those times there were efforts to move things in positive direction. The Society of Archival Workers of Serbia was activated again; a work to instate unique information system was undertaken; delegated legislation in accordance with the Law of Cultural Heritage was brought in; archival network was instated so as the authority of central archives; awards for archivists and archives were founded.

Archival network consisted of 37 archives with the Archive of Serbia as the central institution of preservation, the Archive of Vojvodina, the Archive of Kosovo and Metohija and 34 “historical archives.” A big ordeal for the archives in Serbia at the beginning of the 21st century was NATO bombing in 1999. As a warning to all of us who protect archival materials I will mention the Historical Archive of Sumadija in Kragujevac that, during the bombing, was damaged greatly.  

The year 2000th hundred years since the establishment of the Archive of Serbia and since the first organized archival activity started in Serbia, was marked with different activities of which I would like to point out the exhibition “Treasure of the Archives of Serbia” in which all the archives of Serbia participated with their materials. That was a good way to enter a new century.

Prevod na engleski: Danijela Jovanović

 

   
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