Odesa State Archive: helps search for the roots, collaborating with museums and dies without a new premises



State archive of Odesa region – a unique institution. It is possible to find out who, when and where was born, married and died. By visiting it, you can create a family tree to find relatives to learn the details of enterprises and institutions. But the archive does not have enough space, and already available are literally falling apart. The authorities cannot solve the problem, endangering millions of volumes, where is recorded our history.


On the work of the archive and its problems at a briefing in Odesa Crisis Media center told Alyona Martynenko, head of the department of documents usage, information, publications and external relations of the State Archive of Odesa region and Anna Misyuk, Researcher of Odesa Literature Museum, member of the Public Council under the State Archive.


– Priority of our department – the execution of requests, – said Alyona Martynenko. – Performed by them, mainly information desk. 4 people are working there. Most of the requests – births, marriages, deaths, employment. We are engaged in thematic and biographical inquiries and requests on the topic of genealogy.


According to the expert, now there are three hundred requests. But only three people work in the department. So often I have to offer a person to come personally and work in the reading room.


Alyona Martynenko said that they are cooperating with investigators, making internal inventory.


– Now process documents for the third directory of births, – she said. – Members of the public council at the archive help us in the work. It helps our department and the staff of other departments.


In the reading room there are 12 seats, although every day come at least 30 people.


– No, we do not send back – said Alyona Martynenko. – We have to huddle. To remedy the situation, the archive uses modern technology.


– Now started the project “Metrics”, – said the expert – every week spread on the site the births in electronic form. Now, to work with them, not necessarily go to the archives, everything can be done from home, if you have access to the Internet.


This year, the State Archives held 11 exhibitions. One of them, for the Literary Museum, called “They were born in Odesa”. There are presented biographies of famous people, who were born in our city. Among them, Anna Akhmatova, Kataevs brothers, Mikhail Jabotinsky and others.


– We also publish directories and guides to the documents, stored in the archive – said Alyona Martynenko. – I note that we are working with Odesa broadcasters. They help in their subjects and solve problems, and cover the activities of the archive. This year, the Archive participated in over 30 events, in 12 international congresses. In Japan, we presented the whole Ukraine. State Archive is also the basis for the practice of students of four high schools in Odesa.


– Many thanks to our friends and partners, primarily literary and museums of local lore, Odesa Branch of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, with which we often carry out different activities, – said the employee of the archive.


Anna Misyuk said that Odesa Literary Museum cannot imagine itself without the State Archive.


– We are trying to link the work of writers with a real city, that urban environment, where they lived, – she said. – Without archive it would be impossible. Gathering information about Odesa writers continually faced with the archive. Writers born, married, underwent life dramas in the city. All this we learn from the archive materials. Often, the file provides information about the undeservedly forgotten writers. For example, Semen Hecht. In the archives we found a rare lost edition of Paustovsky.



Lidia Kovalchuk, head of the Public Council under the State Archive reported that tomorrow, on Wednesday, November 25 will be a meeting of the Public Council under the State archive of Odesa region.


– Let us consider the problem of a new building for State Archive, – she said. – We offer leadership in public area to meet with the staff of the archive and the Public Council. With regard to the building of the publishing house “Chernomorie”, which is suitable for the deployment archive, it is transferred to the next shopping center.


The need for construction of the new building of State Archive – not a theoretical problem, but burning. New documents coming into the archive are simply nowhere to place. The archive can take 1 million 900 thousand volumes, and there are now kept 2 million 100 thousand volumes.

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