“Diligently Collect Letters and Re-mark Sheets...”: Archives Day Celebrated in Russia

The professional holiday of archive workers, established by the Decision of the Board of the Federal Archive Service of the Russian Federation as of March 5, 2003, is annually celebrated in our country on March 10th. The date of the holiday was chosen in accordance with the signing of the first state act in Russia by Peter the Great, according to which archive workers (archivists) were required to “diligently collect letters, repair registers, and re-mark sheets...”. South Ural State University has its own archive called the Document Storage Department, the Head of which, Anastasiia Kulnevich, spoke about their work.

– Could you please tell us which documents are stored in the archives of our university?

– Our archive stores long-term documents. They are divided into 3 categories. The first type are documents of permanent storage, which the legislator classifies as historical ones. Examples of such documents include work plans, minutes of meetings and departmental work reports. However, it is worth noting that at the end of 2023 a new list was adopted, and according to the new storage periods, work plans of departments no longer belong to this category of documents. Therefore, the composition of these documents may change.

Among historical documents, perhaps the most valuable ones are the orders of the rector on the main activities of the university, which regulate the creation of new or the liquidation of previous structural divisions of the university. Such historical documents have a permanent shelf life.

The second category of documents are documents on personnel. I believe that they have even greater value because they confirm the social and legal guarantees of citizens. These include the personal files of dismissed university employees, alumni and exmatriculated students.

And the third category includes long-term documents that are stored for 50 years. After the specified period, they are destroyed on the grounds of an official act.

– How is the storage period for documents determined?

– First of all, the storage periods for documents are established by federal laws. Until the 1990s, the regulatory framework consisted of many lists that established storage periods for various types of documentation. After perestroika, cases began to appear in legislative activity when the same types of documents had different safekeeping periods established by federal laws.

In 2003, a list containing 2009 detailed entries was adopted. We use it to determine the storage period of documents.

– How many documents are stored in the SUSU archives in total?

– We have 9 storage facilities containing about five hundred thousand documents. The point is that they are all different. A document is not always a storage unit. For example, the rector’s orders on core activities may consist of approximately two hundred documents.

– Are SUSU students and staff members able to freely use the archives?

– Sure. The Document Storage Department stores documents the record management procedures for which are completed. Like documents of exmatriculated students and alumni who are no longer students of the university. The owner of personal data, that is, any alumnus or exmatriculated person, can contact us to obtain certain certificates. Usually these confirm a period of training or experience.

We also work with staff members, because quickly finding any information is one of the competitive advantages of an organization and the key to its good work. We constantly interact with all structural divisions of the university, for example, with the Human Resources Department, Centre for Doctoral Studies, Student Office, University Council, and more.

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