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Structure of the Slovene Archives Sector, Archival Holdings and Digital Archive Project

Structure of the Slovene Archives Sector, Archival Holdings and Digital Archive Project

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Published by: Slovenian Webclassroom on Oct 11, 2011
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You are here:Welcome to the Slovenia Cultural Profile>Culture in Slovenia>Archives>OVERVIEW> Structure of the Slovene archives sector, archival holdings and digital archive project
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OVERVIEW:IntroductionHistory anddevelopment of the archives sector Structure of theSlovene archivessector, archivalholdings anddigital archiveprojectSupportorganisationsInternationalcollaboration andexchangeSources used inthis section
Structure of the Slovene archives sector, archivalholdings and digital archive project
The present-day Slovene public archivesservice comprises theArchives of theRepublic of Slovenia (ARS)and sixregional archives - theHistorical ArchivesLjubljana, theHistorical Archives of Ptuj, theHistorical Archives of Celje, theRegional Archives of Koper , theRegionalArchives of Maribor and theRegionalArchives of Nova Gorica.TheArchives of the Republic of Slovenia (ARS)is an administrative institutionwithin the organisational structure of theMinistry of Culturewhich receivesfunds directly from the state budget. The ARS was the only stateadministrative body to acquire the status of a research organisation in 1999,allowing it to engage in independent research activity in archival science andhistory and to be registered at theMinistry of Higher Education, Science andTechnology. In 1968, theSlovene Film Archives(
Slovenski filmski arhiv 
, SFA)was established and organised as a special department within theArchives of the Republic of Slovenia (ARS).The six regional archives were founded by the state and also enjoy the statusof public institutions. They are dependent on theMinistry of Culturewithrespect of both finances and programmes.Archival organisations in Slovenia are notorganised according to the typicalhierarchical structure, though theMinistryof Culturesupervises the work of thenetwork. As far as the custody of archives is concerned, the ARS as anadministrative institution carries outprofessional and administrative taskswhich are of general importance for theRepublic of Slovenia as a whole.The seven public archives (the ARS and the six regional archives) keep11,036 record groups and collections, amounting to 58,434 archived metres of written records. Public archives also hold 6,535 films, 1,673 video recordings,12,072 rolls of microfilms, 8,311 microfiches, 367,511 photographs and 1,129sound recordings. The oldest archival materials kept in Slovene archivalinstitutions are manuscripts dating from the 11th century and a collection of charters from the 12th century onwards, both held by the ARS; charters from1147 onwards, kept in theArchiepiscopal Archives of Ljubljana; chapter charters from 1082 onwards, kept in theDiocesan Archives of Koper ; andchapter charters from the mid 13th century onwards kept by the Piran Unit of theRegional Archives of Koper . Other archival institutions keep archivalmaterials from the 14th century onwards. The greater part of the older materialheld by the Slovene archives is written in German using Gothic characters,because German was the official language of the territory until 1882.Archival material held in Slovene archival institutionsis generally classified according to time periods. Sincemost of the present-day territory of Slovenia formedthe Habsburg provinces of Carniola, Styria, Carinthiaand the region of Gorizia from the second half of the13th century, archival material kept in both the ARSand most of the regional archives is groupedaccording to the historical periods pre-1848, 1848-1945 and post-1945. A notable exception is thearchival collection of theRegional Archives of Koper (Piran Unit), which covers territory (the southPrimorska region) controlled by the Venetian Republicuntil the end of the 18th century and is thereforeorganised according to the historical periods of theVenetian Republic from the 13th century down to 1797, the French period1809-1813, the period under Austria 1813-1918, the period under Italy 1918-1943 the eriod of the Socialist Reublic of Slovenia 1954-1991 and the
Cultural Profile
,period of the Republic of Slovenia since 1991.The smallRegional Archives of Nova Goricais the only archival institutionhoused in purpose-built premises. In general, Slovenia's archives areaccommodated in older and often listed buildings which have been speciallyadapted for their new function. One highly successful example of this practiceis provided byRegional Archives of Koper , which is accommodated in an oldmonastery building. The creation of a storage facility by installing a new steelstructure within the existing walls of the monastery's old church successfullypreserves the artistic and historical qualities of the space. The opening of newARS premises at a refurbished ex-barracks in 2005 enabled the institution torationalise its use of space; this new building houses storage rooms, theConservation and Restoration Department, the Archival Centre for Professional Development and theSlovene Film Archives(including a newfilm screening hall).The most important private archives inSlovenia are those of the Roman CatholicChurch, which are currently housed inthree institutions: theArchiepiscopalArchives of Ljubljanain Ljubljana(
kofijski arhiv Ljubljana
), theDiocesan Archives of Koper (
kofijski arhiv Koper 
) and theDiocesan Archivesof Maribor (
kofijski arhiv Maribor 
). TheArchives Act of 1997 defines holdings of the Archives of the Roman Catholic Church as private archives. Thesearchival holdings (totalling 2,163 metres) have been placed under apreservation order as a cultural monument and as an important part of theSlovene cultural heritage, theMinistry of Culturealso provides part-funding for their activities. The database of KEY CONTACTSincludes further informationon the following archives: in the capital theSeminary Library, Ljubljana, theUrsuline Archives, Ljubljanaand theFranciscan Archives and Library,Ljubljana; in the Gorenjska region theFranciscan Archives and Library,Kamnik; in Eastern Slovenia theMinorite St Petrus and Paulus MonasteryArchives and Library, Ptuj; and in South Eastern Slovenia theFranciscanArchives and Library, Novo Mestoand theSti
na Cistercian Abbey Archives.Another important Slovene archive is theRTV Slovenia Archives andDocumentation Service(
ba za arhiviranje in dokumentacijo TV Slovenija,RTV Slovenija
) in Ljubljana. This institution functions as a documentationcentre for the needs of national radio and television.The Slovene Archives and Archival InstitutionsAct of 1997 also permitted certain institutionsto set up archival services for their own needs.However, only two organisations have thus far been established as a result of this legislation:theUniversity of Ljubljana Historical Archivesand Museum(
Zgodovinski arhiv in muzej univerze v Ljubljani 
) and the Institute for Slovene Emigration Studies at the ScientificResearch Centre of theSlovene Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU)(
titut zaslovensko izseljeni 
tvo pri Znanstvenoraziskovalnem centru Slovenske akademije znanosti in umetnosti 
). Archivalholdings of Slovene political parties are treated today as private archives, andpublic access or use of their material is still not possible, as the multi-partysystem in Slovenia has only existed since 1990.Some smaller archival organisations relate to specific fields of activity, eg theArchives of Institute of Ethnomusicology(
Glasbeno narodopisni in
), theArchives of Slovene Philharmonics(
 Arhiv Filharmonije
) and the Archives of theSlovene National Theatre (SNG) Ljubljana - Drama(
 Arhiv SNG Drama
).They have undergone considerable development to the point that evenexternal users can now gain access to their archival collections (on the basisof a special agreement). These archives work within the organisationalstructure of their respective parent institutions.TheNational Manuscript Collection(
Nacionalna rokopisna zbirka v Narodni inuniverzitetni knji 
nici v Ljubljani 
, NUK) is a special collection within theNational and University Library (NUK), functioning as a national literaryarchival institution with the most extensive collection in this field in Slovenia.Again, it works within the organisational structure of the University and isdependent on it as far as both funding and programmes are concerned.Specialised archival collections such as those of theStudia SlovenicaArchives Research Instituteenjoy private status. There are relatively fewsmaller archival institutions of this kind.
 Modern regional archives keep the archival material of state authorities andtheir organisational units and of bodies exercising public authority or performing public services provided by the state on the territory of one or morelocal self-government communities over which the regional archive hascompetence. Use and accessibility of archival holdings is contingent uponrelevant legislation, internal regulations of archival institutions and, in the caseof private record groups and collections, the stipulations of the persons whohave transferred them. Changes in the socio-economic system and in propertyrelations in the Republic of Slovenia have resulted in a massive increase inthe use of archival material, mainly for the purpose of issuing variouscertificates for administrative and legal procedures.Most public archives in Slovenia published new, up-to-date guidebooks fromthe 1990s onwards, and in recent years information from these guidebookshas also been published on the Internet, mainly in Slovene. Inventories,archival catalogues and lists of acquisition are also available. The spread of information technology over the last few years has substantially improvedaccess to and use of archival material.To date the ARS has carried out two digitisation projects: in 2002-2003 theEmperor Francis' Cadaster (land survey register and maps) of 1824-1867 wasscanned in its entirety, covering 28,000 recordings or 2,800 recordedcadastral municipalities with 28,000 cadastral maps, which are freely availableon ARS website. The second project in 2004-2005 was the scanning of theCharters collection (5,984 charters), the oldest archival material kept in theARS (from 12th to 19th centuries), which generated 31,200 recordings.However, the database on Charters is currently available only in the ARSreading room.In 2001 a project team consisting of IT experts and archivists from the ARSand six regional archives embarked on a project to create the Info-Arhapplication, which was later developed into the Co-operative ArchivalComputer Information System of Slovenia (AERISS), a state-of-the-artcomputer information system created on the basis of ISAD/G and ISAAR/CPFstandards. (this presentation is available athttp://www.sa.dk/sa/omarkiverne/english/activities/euseminar/mn.htm). Thissystem will offer online access to the database of all archival institutions inSlovenia, containing information on archives and archive creators andallowing access to digital archives, as well as the possibility of ordering andviewing specific digital archives. The project forsees the creation of acomprehensive information system with several stages of development, sothat international exchange of experience and practical work will be extremelyimportant. A special team of experts from the Government Centre for Informatics, the Ministry of the Interior, the ARS and the now defunct Ministryof Information Society was assembled to prepare regulations containingguidelines for the acquisition and preservation of electronic archives, as wellas to ensure the financial means for its implementation.The ARS has presented its activities and organisation on a videocassette andCD-ROM and has issued a summary publication in three languages (Slovene,English and German). TheSlovene Film Archiveshas for the past five yearsorganised 'Evenings of the Slovene Film Archives' in theSlovenianCinemathequeonce a month, with screenings on various themes (eg 'DistantPast', 'Films from the 1950s', 'Feature and Documentary Films', 'The Mirror of Time', 'Slovene Regions from Smithies from Kropa to Dances by Kolpa', and'Dazzling Shine of Sports').Exhibitions organised by the ARS have been predominantly domestic.Between 1993 and 2001 the ARS held three important exhibitions: 'Conventsin Medieval Charters in Slovenia' (1993), 'Slovenia in Papal Charters' (1996, inhonour of Pope John Paul II's visit to Slovenia) and 'From Dream to Reality'(2001, in honour of the 10th anniversary of the independence of Slovenia).However, in 2003 the ARS did mount an exhibition for overseas consumptionentitled 'Slovene Towns Through Time' (the presentation of 16 towns inSlovenia), which was presented initially in Beijing, China. This exhibition hassince been presented in Warsaw, Poland and Skopje, Macedonia in 2004; inVienna, Austria in 2006; and in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in Munich,Germany in 2007.
The Slovenia Cultural Profile was created in partnership with theMinistry of Cultureof Slovenia and theBritish Council Slovenia
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Date updated: 17 November 2007

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