CONCLUSIONS OF THE CONFERENCE:CHURCH ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES

International experiences in the preservation, appraisal, description and presentation of the cultural heritage stored in these institutions,Kotor, 17th-18th April 2002.

 

 

 

 

 



  1. The Conference finished its work, as it had been planned, in the afternoon hours of April 18th 2002 with discussion and conclusions.
  2. The Conference had its planned course except for the absence of one of the announced participants with a supplementary paper, i.e. all 9 papers were presented and 15 supplementary ones.
  3. According to our record, some 50 participants and listeners attended the work of the Conference, which has been valued as a good attendance for such a strictly professional meeting.
  4. According to the opinion of foreign experts and co-organizers of the Conference, the Section of church archives and archives of religious denomination at the International Council on Archives (ICA-SKR), as well as of the other participants, the meeting was well organized. The presented papers showed the most recent achievements in the field of archival science and librarianship in the countries of Western and Eastern Europe and on the level of the European Union, with special emphasis on church archives and libraries. The supplementary papers presented by the representatives of the biggest and most important church archives and libraries of all three confessions gave an overall view of the situation, not only in the said institutions, but generally in the field of archival activity and librarianship in Montenegro. Also, the participants from some neighbouring countries (Croatia, Albania) gave very useful information regarding the organization and activities of church archives and libraries in the countries of the region. Such a concept of the Conference and its all-inclusiveness, according to the opinion of the participants, especially of the president of the said international association, Dr Helmut Baier, proved to be very good, so that it will serve as a “model” (“pilot project’) to the Section of church archives and archives of religious denominations at the International Council on Archives, for starting and future organizing of similar meetings in other countries of Europe and the world.
  5. A decision was made to issue a publication on the Conference with all the presented papers, which should be supplemented, revised and possibly even enriched with photographs and DVDs. The editors will be the Center for preservation and presentation of Kotor documentary heritage “Notar” and the Section of church archives and archives of religious denomination at the International Council on Archives. Co-editors would be the representatives of church archives and libraries from Montenegro who took part in the work of the Conference. All the papers will be printed in Serbo-Croatian and English with resumes in German. The International Council on Archives will distribute this publication all over the world. The Center “Notar” was entrusted with the job of preparation and printing of the publication. It will have the financial support from the International Council on Archives and “Johannes a Lasco Library” from Emden in Germany.
  6. Upon the request from the International Council on Archives, the Center “Notar” should prepare two articles: one for the ICA-SKR Newsletters with all the details on the Conference, and one about the CDK “Notar”.
  7. According to the opinion of the foreign experts, especially Dr Reimer Witt, who was a member of the Steering Committee of the ICA during four years, the Conference in Kotor offered a great deal of information on the organization of archival activity in Montenegro. On the basis of this information the position of the representatives of the ICA is that it is necessary for Montenegro to have a professional association in the field of archival science which will gather archivists not only from the State Archives of Montenegro, but also other experts in this field outside this institution. This is in accordance with the Archival Code of Ethics which was brought on the level of the whole world in Beijing in 1996. Such an association of Montenegrin archivists should immediately become a member of the International Council on Archives what would contribute greatly to the improvement of archival profession in Montenegro, not only within the existing state institution, but also in the part concerning the preservation of archival material with non-archival institutions, especially church and private archives.
  8. The representative of Styrian Provincial Archives in Graz, Dr Karl Spreitzhofer, was appointed to participate in this Conference by this archives and the government of Styria in order to communicate the decision of the government of Styria regarding the help to Monenegro which consists of the following:
    1. The State Archives of Montenegro will receive the Japanese paper necessary for restoration and conservation of archival material worth € 3.000,00.
    2. Montenegro is awarded a one year grant for one employee from one of the archival departments for training in the field of restoration and conservation at the conservation and restoration laboratory of the Archives in Graz, at the expense of the government of Styria.
  9. Another offer is that during this training period it is possible to do the restoration and conservation of the most precious and most damaged archival material from Montenegro, i.e. the Archival Department-Kotor Historical Archives and Kotor Bishop Archives, again at the said archives in Graz and at the expense of the government of Styria.
  10. As for the librarianship in Montenegro, it was communicated that there is an Association of Librarians which has not yet become a member of the world association IFLA whose member, however is the Central National Library “Đurđe Crnojević” from Cetinje. Public libraries in Montenegro have been included in the international programme PULLMAN. However, the participants emphasized the need for establishing an association of libraries in Montenegro, which already exists in many countries, even in Serbia.
  11. Another planned working part of the Conference which was successfully realized were the visits of the State Archives of Montenegro-Kotor Historical Archives, Kotor Bishop Archives, Kotor Serbian Orthodox Church Archives and Library, Library of the Franciscan Monastery of Santa Clara in Kotor and of the Super-parochial Archives of Saint Nicholas’ church in Perast. During these visits there were mutual exchanges of experiences and information regarding various questions and problems from the field of archival activity and librarianship, various concrete proposals were put forward by the international experts regarding the possibilities of overcoming certain problems which were evident in all archives and libraries.
    1. The whole course of the Conference had good media coverage:
    2. one hour long interview with the president of CDK “Notar” regarding the forthcoming Conference, for the local Radio Kotor;
    3. interview with the president of the Section of church archives and archive of religious denominations at the International Councl on Archives, Dr Helmut Baier, also for the local Radio Kotor;
    4. Articles in cultural columns of daily  newspapers “Pobjeda” (4 articles), “Vijesti” and “Publika”;
    5. Report on the work of the Conference with the interview with the president of the CDK “Notar”, Snežana Pejović, for the Montenegrin state television RTCG, cultural programme “Art-magazin”;
    6. Interview with Dr Helmut Baier, for the Montenegrin state television RTCG, for Satuday morning programme.