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The 115th anniversary of Ms Faina Milchyna, a highly qualified specialist from the galaxy of employees who stood at the origins of the National Library of Belarus

The 115th anniversary of Ms Faina Milchyna, a highly qualified specialist from the galaxy of employees who stood at the origins of the National Library of Belarus
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Ms Faina Milchyna was born in 1905 in the Ivianets town of the Minsk district in the Minsk province (now Ivianets town of the Valozhyn district, Minsk region) in the family of an office employee.

In 1912, her family moved to Minsk, where, 9 years later, 16-year-old Faina graduated from school and entered the Faculty of History at the Belarusian State University. After graduating from university in 1925, she taught social science and geography for five years at a seven-year school in the city of Parychy of the Babrujsk region and in the city of Polatsk. As Faina herself later recalled, the work at the BSSR State Library named after V.I. Lenin (now the National Library of Belarus) was her “idée fixe”. She succeeded in fulfilling this desire in 1930 when she was admitted to the library as a bibliographer.

Up to 1932, Ms Milchyna worked in various departments of the library. As she recalled herself, “I started my work at the Library with the analysis of foreign magazines under Ms Belaretskaja. I remember that they were laid out on the floor in the large hall of the second library building (at the corner of Krasnaarmejskaja St. and present Lenin Ave.) in long rows, selected by alphabet, years, numbers, etc. ...Then I worked in the same building in the Technology Reading Room on the second floor... not very long. It seems that at the end of 1931 I already worked in the Acquisition Department... ".       

In 1932, the main building of the library was opened at 9 Krasnaarmejskaja Street. In the new building, Ms Milchyna continued to work at the Acquisition Department. Ms Faina Milchyna was constantly striving for new knowledge. Successfully combining the organization of international document exchange with the study of foreign languages, she received a linguistic education in 1937, graduating from the Faculty of Foreign Languages (German Department) of the Gorky Minsk Pedagogical Institute (now the Maxim Tank Belarusian State Pedagogical University).

Ms Milchyna worked at the BSSR State Library named after V.I. Lenin until 1939. Further, until the very beginning of the Great Patriotic War, she held the position of Head of the History Office of the Belarusian State University.

The young woman had to face the hard times of the war. But despite everything, in evacuation in Almaty (Republic of Kazakhstan), Ms Milchyna never stopped working. She carried out the duties of a bibliographer of the Russian editorial and publishing group in the Central State Book Chamber of the Kazakh SSR, and later was Senior Inspector for scientific libraries of the Department of Libraries in the apparatus of the Committee for Cultural and Educational Institutions under the Council of Ministers of the Kazakh SSR.

In 1946, Ms Milchyna was awarded the medal "For Valorous Labour during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945."

The same year Ms Milchyna moved to Chernivtsi (Ukraine), where she headed the Service Department at the library of the Chernivtsi State University (now the Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University).

Having returned to Minsk at the end of 1947, Ms Milchyna worked for a short time as Head of the Reading Room in the library of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus, and since May 1948 she resumed her professional activities at the BSSR State Library named after V.I. Lenin V.I. Lenin.

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As she recalled “... Having returned to Minsk in 1947, I wanted to work only in bibliography. And although due to the circumstances I worked for two and a half years in the Methodological Department, in 1950 I switched to bibliographic work, which I did not part with until I retired in 1969".

Ms Milchyna left all her professional experience and accumulated knowledge in numerous publications, conducted fruitful scientific work, delivered lectures and reports, both within the country and abroad. She was the compiler of recommendatory bibliographic manuals and analytical reviews of the library activities: "The use of bibliography and propaganda of bibliographic knowledge in the libraries of the BSSR", "The movement for the communist work," "History of the Communist Party of Belarus," "Review of the bibliographic activity of regional libraries".

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As the most experienced, highly qualified and responsible employee, Ms Milchyna was included in a special tourist group for a trip to Hungary in 1965.

In addition to her professional activities, she took an active part in the public life of the team: she was repeatedly elected to the Local Committee of the Library, led campaign work among citizens, was the trade union leader of the department.

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Library administration and the state repeatedly noted the professionalism and creative merits of Ms Milchyna: she was awarded the badge of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR "For Excellent Work", Diplomas of the Ministry of Culture of the BSSR and the Belarusian National Committee of the Trade Union of Culture Workers and the Ministry of Culture of the USSR and the Central Committee of the Trade Union of Cultural Workers.

Ms Milchyna took well-deserved rest in 1969, after having devoted to the BSSR State Library named after V.I. Lenin about 30 years of his life.

Unfortunately, the documents preserved in the National Library of Belarus do not allow determining the further fate of this remarkable woman. We continue our search work and we will be grateful for any information from people who knew Ms Faina Milchyna.

Bibliology Research Department

Read about the veterans and employees of the National Library of Belarus in the news section “Our History: a Portrait Gallery.”

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