All librarians of our state for the 20th time celebrate their professional holiday – the Day of Libraries, approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated 09/08/2001 No. 483 and timed to coincide with the foundation day of the main library of the country on September 15.
The history of library institutions in Belarus is several centuries old. The first book depositories were established at the turn of the 10th and 11th centuries. During their almost thousand-year history of existence, Belarusian libraries have experienced both periods of prosperity and periods of decline, of total devastation, and new periods of prosperity. The history of the development of libraries is closely related to the history of the Belarusian state.
For more than 40 years, the National Library of Belarus has been conducting the study of trends, features of the formation and development of the library industry in Belarus. The employees meticulously restore the course of the formation of library institutions, studying the storages of the national, state, regional and departmental archives.
The result of many years of work has become six printed collections of documents and materials on librarianship, each of which is dedicated to a specific chronological period and serves as a source base for studying the country's library industry at various stages of its historical development, starting from the 30s of the 19th century.
On the basis of the collected material, scientists describe the events of various historical eras, demonstrating how the network of libraries of the Republic developed.
Despite the fact that this research work has been carried out by the staff of the National Library of Belarus for almost half a century, much has not yet been studied, some of the documents still remain in the field of view of researchers. Therefore, work is ongoing in this area.
In order to make the accumulated materials more accessible to a wide range of users, the National Library started developing a corporate database "Belarus Library in Documents and Materials" for its 100th anniversary. The resource will contain full texts of documents on the history of librarianship, stored not only in national and state archives but also in regional, archives of individual organizations. A wide territorial coverage will allow to reveal the peculiarities of the development of individual libraries, the library sphere in the regions, to comprehensively cover the history of the country's librarianship.
You can have a look behind the scenes and get a vivid picture of how the history of library formation and development is being studied in a video clip created as part of the IX Scientific and Practical Conference "Electronic Culture" held at the National Library of Belarus in May 2021.
Bibliology Research Department