Белорусский государственный архив-музей литературы и искусства

  • State Literature and Art Archive-Museum of Belarus
  • Belarusian State Archives-Museum of Literature and Art
  • Belarusskii Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv-Muzei Literatury i Isskustv

History

The Archives was founded in June 1960 as the Central State Archives of Literature and Art of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR).

In March 1976, the Archives was reorganized as the Central State Archives-Museum of Literature and Art of the BSSR.

In May 1993, the Archives assumed its present name of the Belarusian State Archives-Museum of Literature and Art.

Archival and Other Holdings

Amount of holdings: 487 fonds, 102.174 storage units, 568 museum exhibits

Chronological scope: from 1812 to the present (separate records from the 13th to 19th centuries)

Geographical coverage:

  • former Vilno (Vilnius), Vitebsk, Grodno, Minsk and Mogilev gubernias (provinces) of the Russian Empire
  • Western Belarus as part of Poland
  • Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR)
  • Republic of Belarus
  • Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Australia, Czechia, USA, France, England (documents from the manuscript department of the I. Lutskevich Belarusian Museum in Vilnius, photos of Bernard Show, archives of the Belarusian emigration and diaspora, etc.)

Contents: The main bulk of the archives' holdings are the personal collections of the Belarusian workers in the realm of art and culture which cover the period of the 19th and 20th centuries. The earliest of them are represented by the personal papers of M. Bogdanovich, F. Bogushevich, Z. Veras, I. Grigorovich, A. Gurinovich, Iu. Dreisin, and Ia. Luchina among others.

The contemporary Belarusian literature is represented by the personal collections of A. Adamovich, V. Bykov, Ia. Bryl, Ia. Dyla, V. Korotkevich, A. Kuleshov, Ia. Kolas, M. Lynkov, I. Melezh, I. Ptashnikov, I. Shamiakin, etc. The Archives also contains the collections of records related to poets A. Aleksandrovich, K. Builo, S. Grkhovski, Ia. Zhurba, Ia. Kupala, E. Los, M. Luzhanin, M. Mashara, M. Tank, etc. There is a variety of documents in the collections of literary critics L. Bende, S. Maikhrovich, and V. Machulski.

The theatrical art in Belarus is illustrated in the collections of the theatre directors and actors of the central and regional theatres. The history of the Ia. Kupala Drama Theatre is illustrated in the documents relating to the life of S. Birillo, V. and B. Vladomirski, O. Galina, V. Dediushko, R. Koshelnikova, B. Platonova, S. Staniuta etc.; the Ia. Kolas Theatre is represented by the documents relating to Z. Konopelko, A. Meldiukova, A. Trus etc.; the M. Gorki Theatre is represented by the documents relating to A. Obukhovich, A. Klimova, R. Iankovski, etc.; opera performers—L. Aleksandrova, S. Druker, R. Mlodek, I. Sorokin, etc.

The collections of the composers S. Aksakov, A. Bogatyrev, G. Vagner, E. Glebov, G. Pukst, Iu. Semeniaka, and E. Tikotski illustrate the history of musical culture.

The development of fine arts is illustrated in the personal collections of the painters and sculptors I. Akhremchik, V. Volkov, A. Glebov, E. Krasovski, and S. Selikhanov, in their numerous drawings, sketches of theatrical decorations and costumes, etc.

BGAMLI retains unique and valuable documents relating to the history of Belarusian culture. These include a notebook from 1813-1864, kept by the father of the writer and painter K. Kaganets, with autographs left by the participants of the K. Kalinovski Revolt; Belaruskaia Khrestamatyia (Belarusian Reading Book) compiled by B. Epimakh-Shipilo in 1889-1931; the Goman magazine (1884), a manuscript edition issued by the students of St. Petersburg University, members of the Narodnaia Volia organization; ethnographical notes by A. Gurinovich and his letters to his mother and his bride (1890-1894); a page from the diary of M. Bogdanovich (1916), photos of M. Bogdanovich, his parents, and his brothers (1892-1910); a letter sent by M. Chagall to Y. Pen from Paris (1927-1928); M. Gorki's letters and photos; letters of M. Isakovski and A. Tvardovski (1942-1969); collection of photos of Bernard Show (the 1930s), and more.

The life in emigration is represented by the collections of the writers Iu. Vitbich and M. Sednev, singers V. Selekh and M. Zabeida-Sumitski, the collection of documents relating to Belarusian emigration assembled by V. Kipel. Information on the life of Belarusian diaspora is provided in the collections of the singer from the USA, Danchik (B. Andrusishin, 1958-1990), the Polish workers in the realm of art and science—writer S. Ianovich (1944-1994), historian Iu. Turonok, and composer Ia. Tarasevich, the Latvian poet and translator P. Sokol (Masalski), and the Latvian painter V. Telesh among others.

Many collections contain documents relating to the period of the Second World War. These are personal collections of L. Aleksandrovskaia, N. Alekseev, L. Alekseeva, A. Arsenko, A. Astapenko, A. Astreiko, I. Akhremchik, A. Bachilo, L. Bende, M. Berger, I. Bolotin, T. Bondsarchik, V. Vladomirski, P. Volkodaev, V. Volski, V. Gorbuk, I. Gitgarts, A. Grube, I. Gurski, A. Gutkovich, I. Denisenko, S. Druker, A. Zhavruk, N. Zasim, V. Karpov, M. Katser, L. Katsovich, M. Klimkovich, A. Klumov, P. Kobzarevski, P. Kovalev, Ia. Kolas, A. Kuleshov, I. Lisnevsky, N. Loban, M. Lynkov, Ia. Mavr, A. Makhnach, M. Mashara, I. Melezh, R. Mlodek, E. Mozolkov, I. Nisnevich, I. Novikov, E. Romanovich, E. Sadovsky, S. Selikhanov, N. Surnachev, N. Kachov, T. Uzunova, N. Chernyshevich, I. Sharakhovsky, F. Shynkler, G. Shcherbatov, etc.

The Archives also holds collections of documents from the manuscript department of the I. Lutskevich Belarusian Museum in Vilnius—documents on the history of Belarusian Renaissance; ex-libris bookplates executed by Belarusian painters; publicity records of the regional drama theatres; photos of the men of letters and art, sculptural works, theatrical scenes, actors on the stage, etc.

The history of the Jewish culture in Belarus in the 20th century is covered in the collections of the State Jewish Theatre of the BSSR (1941-1949); personal collections of actors K. Kulakov (Rutstein), Iu. Aronchik and M. Moin, theatre directors L. Litviniv and M. Rafalski, writers L. Katsovich, M. Kulbak, I. Platner, G. Reles, and L. Shapiro, the art critic S. Palees, and more.

Of peculiar interest is the collection of photos of the English playwright Bernard Show from the 1930s.

The public, scientific, scholarly, and religious life in Russia in the 19th century is illustrated in the collections of the ethnographer and historian A. K. Elski (1839-1885) and the collection of I. I. and N. I. Grigorovich (early 19th—1896, with separate copies dating from the 14th to 19th centuries).

In addition, the Archives houses collections assembled by the unions of writers, painters, composers, journalists, and theatrical workers; the Belarusian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Ia. Kupala National Theatre, the Ia. Kolas National Theatre, the M. Gorki National Theatre, the Young Spectator's Theatre, the Theatre-Studio of Film Actors, the Musical Comedy Theatre, the Puppet Theatre, the Minsk Circus, the National Film Studio "Belarusfilm"; publishing houses "Belarus", "Mastatskaia litaratura", and "Iunost"; magazines "Belarus", "Biarozka", "Vozhyk", "Krynitsa", "Maladosts", "Mastatstva Belarusi", "Neman", and "Polymia", newspaper "Litaratura i mastatstva", and more.

The Archives' library comprises 23,000 books and 31,000 newspapers and magazines. These include the first editions of works by M. Bogdanovich, M. Goretski, Ia. Kupala, Tetka etc., newspapers "Nasha Dolia" and "Nasha Niva", magazines "Maladniak" and "Uzvyshsha", and more.

Researchers are admitted to BGAMLI reading room on the basis of an official letter from the sponsoring institution and a personal letter of application. Foreign researchers should present an official letter from the host institution, diplomatic consulate, or any other foreign institution.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

systematic catalog available

Opening Times

Mon-Fri 8:30-17:30 Reading Room: Mon-Fri 9:00-20:00

Sources