A guardian of our past and a beacon of our future

The State Archives of the Republic of North Macedonia (SARNM) celebrates its 70th anniversary on 1st of April this year. Almost all of our activities are directed towards commemorating this jubilee. The official ceremony is planned to take place on the 1st of April – the day of the State Archives and the archivists – in compliance with the public health measures and by observing the governmental regulations resulting from the pandemics.The jubilee will be commemorated by publishing a Monograph with an overview of the historic development of the State Archives throughout the years, illustrated by the most important photographs and documents found at the disposal of the Archives.

The Monograph shall be accompanied by the presentation of the latest issue of the Makedonski Archivist magazine, our most recent books from the area of archival science and history, and we are also planning the issuing of a postal stamp commemorating the jubilee. All of these activities will, in a most symbolic fashion, provide another permanent sign as a testimony of the success, constant growth, and importance of the State Archives as an institution which is the fountain of the collective memory and national values of the Macedonian people and the ethnic communities in our country.

Yanaki Manaki in the studio (arround 1916-1919)

During these last 70 years, the State Archives grew into of the most important state institutions dealing with our history, culture, tradition, and all of the features of the national identity. In its extensive vault, the Archives holds important classified documents: 7,769 funds, 68,369 archival books, 1,864 classers and 382 collections, or a total of 113,087 boxes of archival records.

The State Archives also incorporates laboratories for conservation and restoration, and microfilming. It contains 11,208,450 microfilmed images. According to the latest data, the Archives houses almost 13.5 kilometres of filmed archival records. The multitude of documents, records, and other historic materials serve as a testimony and a guardian of the past, they a foundation and beacon of our future, and stand firmly as uncontested evidence in defence of any attack on our identity.

The State Archives is the starting point in the genesis of research and historic development of our statehood, language, history, tradition and culture, which are the most important elements of the identity of one people. The team which is tirelessly and passionately invested with all its heart and soul in collecting, selecting, storing and preserving these historic materials, is constantly improving its professionality by following the European and global standards also incorporated in the new Act on Archival Activities, which is going to soon enter parliamentary hearing.

Also important is the initiative and the idea for familiarizing the citizens with the State Archive, mainly by acquainting them with the activities of the Archives, but also by providing free and undisturbed access to the document of public interest, thus strengthening the trust of the public in the institution and its activities. Naturally, the young people are in our focus, havingin mind how crucial it is that they know their history, and be interested in learning more about the past of our country. By facilitating the access, the Archives is attempting to become an attractive institution which will motivate the young people to increase their interest in history, archival science and the activities in this area.

The process of digitalization will contribute in the availability of the Archives to the general public, and the preservation of the complete documentation, which is especially important mainly in the preservation of the archival records, but also for facilitating the public access. The digitalization efforts of the Archives, supported by the Turkish Directorate of the State Archives, covered documents from the Ottoman period, which should be continued in the subsequent period with digitalization of Old Slavic manuscripts, Old Hebrew documents, and the documents from the more recent and contemporary period. These activities should be intensified during the next three years, with an aim of digitalising most of the archival records, which is a never-ending process.

The State Archives has taken the oath to unconditionally preserve its history and the national heritage for the future generations. Today, it is a modern archival institution with a status of an administrative organization, which applies the European values and regulations in the area of the archival science, and performs inspections and expert supervision of the holders’ activities on scientific and expert basis, by accepting, preserving, classifying, processing the archival records and making available for use by their publication.

The State Archives is a member of the International Council on Archives, the International Centre for Archival Research – ICARUS, and other international organizations and institutions, with which it maintains close contact and takes active participation in their work. DARSM is a signatory of agreements for bilateral cooperation with a number of countries in Europe, with a special accent on the issue of succession of the archival records from the former SFRY, while Emil Krsteski PhD., the director of the State Archives is the official government representative in these negotiations.