Irada Ayupova: ''Access to archival funds is a guarantee of freedom''

Not all archival documents are going to be declassified

Irada Ayupova: ''Access to archival funds is a guarantee of freedom'' Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

A guest of Realnoe Vremya was Irada Ayupova, Chairman of the State Committee on Archival Affairs of the Republic of Tatarstan. Readers were interested in the issues of free access to archival documents, the cost of the services, an opportunity in the future to obtain information of the part of the archival documents that are now classified, and much more.

Archive on the Internet

One of the oft-repeated questions from the readers is related to the possibility to use archival documents on the Internet. Indeed, it would be convenient and could save a lot of time to those who need certain information.

''Now there is a very big debate on accessibility of documents stored in the archives. It is no secret that one of the symbols of the contemporary time — opening of the archive funds. For any user the access to archive funds is a guarantee of freedom. But in order to distribute in real time all the information we hold, we have to do a very great job. RT funds are among the largest in Russia. If we talk about the regional archives, we are ranked the fourth. In our archives, there are over 7 million units. 4.2 million units of storage are the documents included in the Russian archive fund and stored on the territory of our Republic. Digitizing will take a lot of time. In addition to the digitization, it is necessary to provide a system of access to information. Last year we introduced a united system that brings together all the archives located on the territory of Tatarstan, both state and municipal. In the first stage, we digitized scientific and reference apparatus. This means, you can find by semantic search whether there is a particular document. You will find by typing, for example, the word ''KAMAZ'', in what public archives and which documents are stored,'' said Irada Ayupova.

According to her, once the work on finding scientific and reference apparatus is adjusted, scans of the documents will be attached. So in the future, it will be easy to look for a necessary document on the Internet.

It is no secret that one of the symbols of the new time — opening of the archive funds. For any user, the access to archive funds is a guarantee of freedom. But in order to post in real time all the information we hold, you have to do a very great job

Who are we, where are we from?

Some of the questions from our readers were concerned tracing ancestors and making a family tree. In recent years, such requests have been common. People increasingly want to know where their family roots from and who were their ancestors. But, alas, the services of archives to search for documents to compile a family tree are quite expensive. Readers wondered: ''Why?''

''Making a family tree, if you give this job to outsourcing, will cost you about 30,000 rubles and above. Because it is harder and harder to find information about each successive branch. It is the average price in Russia, we have seen how much this service costs in Bashkortostan, how much in Perm. This service is charged from 15 to 30 thousand rubles at the archives. If to count in total, we will have the same price. But you must understand that this service can be provided to you for free if you know how to work with primary sources,'' explained Ayupova.

According to her, the archive staff this year has held a seminar for those wishing, where they were explained how to begin to study the history of their family. They can, of course, order to make the tree from professionals, it is possible today, but in this case, advises Ayupova, you should require confirmation of all facts because otherwise you will not be able to know exactly that this information is accurate. By the way, the archive staff has recently together with Tatarmultfilm presented a project for pupils, where children made their family tree, and the participants reached the tenth to the eleventh generation.

Fortunately, thefts from archives are rare. Over the last 20 years, the Ministry has not recorded such incidents. The work on accounting and inventory funds is held constantly

Why do Mormons need our archives?

One of the readers asked to clarify the story of the theft of documents from the archives of Saratov, such a sad case took place not long time ago. ''From the state archives in Saratov, a caretaker stole the metric books. There is a sect in America — the Mormons. They collect information on all births and dead people, unfortunately, they had access to our archives. In the 90s, the Mormons offered the services of digitisation of registers of births, but instead, they took away the digital copies. In Saratov, the stolen books were sold to the followers of Mormonism. They recorded in the ranks dead people, it is a kind of ''dead souls''. You have to understand that nothing is for free, free cheese happens only in a mousetrap. In Saratov, for example, they suggest that the American special services were interested in these archival data. Fortunately, thefts from archives are rare. Over the last 20 years, the Ministry has not recorded such incidents. The work on accounting and inventory funds is held constantly,'' explained Ayupova.

Readers were interested in the situation with the declassification of the archives. Whether all the documents and in all directions can be obtained if necessary? Irada Ayupova answered negatively. According to her, it is not necessary to declassify all documents relating to the years of repression. Because in the cases of the repressed people, there are often stored denunciations written on them, but the scammers have descendants who are innocent, it would be inhumane to put these people at risk. The documents related to adoption will not be freely available, they concern the private lives of citizens and the secrecy of adoption is still valid.

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By Tatyana Mamaeva. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov
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