The Archives of the Republic of Slovenia (ARS) carry out administrative and technical tasks in the field of archives and documentary material, created by the state authorities and other statutory and administrative subjects, as well as technical tasks of common interest in the protection of archives in the country. Today the archives operate within the Ministry of Culture.
EU funded projects
European Network on Archival Cooperation, 2010
ICARUS – Central European Virtual Archives Network of Medieval Charters, 2008
Apart from its headquarters at the Gruber Palace, a listed building with a refined Baroque interior, the Slovene Film Archives are housed partly at the underground storehouse at Gotenica in the Kočevje region.
A special department known as the Book and Paper Conservation Centre operates within ARS and is the central restoration workshop for paper and parchment in Slovenia.
The Archives of the Republic of Slovenia as an institution date back to 1859, when the Carniolan Historical Society proposed the establishment of a provincial archive. This provincial archive later became part of the Provincial Museum of Carniola, later the National Museum in Ljubljana, but in 1926 it was upgraded to become the State Archives, albeit still operating within the Museum.
In October 1945 the National Government of Slovenia separated the State Archives from the National Museum, establishing it as an independent institution; it acquired its present name in 1991. Following the political changes, the so-called Special Archives (the Historical Archives of the Central Committee of the Slovene League of Communists) were abolished and merged with the State Archives in 1990 and two years later the former Archives of the Institute of the History of the Labour Movement (later renamed the Institute of Modern History) were also incorporated. Finally, in 1998, the Archives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, comprising records of the National Security Agency, were added to the State Archive’s holdings. The special section Slovene Film Archives was established in 1968.
The primary aim of ARS is to collect, preserve, process and facilitate access to the national archival heritage of the Republic of Slovenia. Its tasks relate to public archival material and documentation created by government agencies and other public institutions that are established and financed by the state and that operate nationwide. ARS also preserves private records and, through the Slovene Film Archives, film archival material for the entire country. It maintains a central register of public records kept in Slovenia, a register of foreign records concerning Slovenia and Slovenes and a register of public symbols, coats of arms, flags, seals, and stamps of national significance. As an administrative institution within the organisational structure of the Ministry of Culture, ARS’s professional and administrative activities also involve the preservation of records significant to the Republic of Slovenia, and other tasks defined by the Ministry of Culture.
ARS preserves public and private records in accordance with the Protection of Documents and Archives and Archival Institutions Act (2006). Protection is granted to all confidential data contained in the public records (such as state, official, military, business and occupational data), as well as personal data and data referring to the privacy of individuals – in accordance with the relevant legislation. Private records are preserved according to the instructions of private donors. The professional tasks of the archives also include publishing archival sources kept in ARS and in foreign archives that are significant to the history of Slovenia and Slovenes and making records available for use.
ARS participates in public information systems and on the Internet with a computerised database of its archived materials. Its records are available for use in ARS research rooms. Access to the new database was (based on the SCOPE Archives Software) released in 2009, with user-friendly access to information about the archives’ holdings in Slovenian, English, German and Italian languages. The search system (based on ISD(g) standard) is available in Slovene, English, German and French language. This new database will eventually replace the old database. Access to the old database is currently still possible, primarily for accessing the cadastre maps and data on the collection of films of the Slovene Film Archives.
The project of digitisation of archives holdings comprised scanning of the Emperor Francis’s Cadastre (from between 1824 and 1867), which included 28,000 recordings or 2,800 recorded cadastral municipalities with 28,000 cadastral maps. Due to format sizes (A1 and bigger), it was necessary to engage an external expert with the appropriate equipment. A database of the Cadastre is now available on the ARS website. During 2004–2005 ARS carried out the project to scan charters (5,984 charters, Collection of Charters, AS 1063), which constitute the oldest archival material kept in the archives. The project included the scanning of 34,400 units of coats-of-arms, diplomas, charts, maps, and pictures from eight record groups. A database of the Charters is currently available for view only in the ARS reading room.
ARS engages in cultural and educational activities and has various publications, including the in-house bulletin Obvestila [News] and e-Obvestila [e-News] available on the ARS website (Slovenian only). ARS also operates in preparing the Archives Journal, a joint publication of ARS and the Archival Association of Slovenia (AAS).
ARS issues also many different publications: publications on archival sources; inventories, guidebooks and reviews; scientific monographs (by the archival staff), exhibition catalogues, other (anthologies, translations, manuals, studies…). A few titles include: Vodnik po arhivskem gradivu Studia Slovenica [Guidebook on archival material Studia Slovenica] (2005); Arhivski depoji v Sloveniji [Archival Depositories in Slovenia] (2009).
In 2008 ARS prepared the exhibition Carniolan Provincial Privileges 1338–1736, which was displayed in 2008 at the National Gallery in Ljubljana. The exhibition Pol stoletja [Half a Century], which opened at the archives in 2006, celebrated the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of ARS’s Book and Paper Conservation Centre. ARS set up the travelling exhibition Slovene Towns through Time, which was displayed in 2007 at the State Archives in Munich (Germany), and in 2008 in Switzerland. Another exhibition of ARS Slovenians in London 1991–1994 was held in 2006 at the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in London (UK).
ARS has been a Category A Member of the International Council on Archives (ICA) since 1992 and a member of ICA’s European Regional Branch (EURBICA) since 2001. Since 2000 it has been involved in the EU’s European Bureau of National Archivists (EBNA) and since 2006 it has also been involved in the EU work of the European Archives Group (EAG) established in Brussels. ARS cooperated in the MOSAIC project of 1997–2002 with Professor Christopher Clarkson of Oxford University (UK) who led workshops on book conservation.
In 2008 ARS hosted the DLM Forum, a multi-disciplinary community of public archives and interested parties in archives, records and documents, and information life-cycle management throughout the EU. Representatives from organisations from over 30 European countries attended the two-day meeting on topics of particular concern in the fields of information management and archiving. Issues with regard to the legal value of records, records life-cycle from capture to archiving, data protection, meta-data schemas and MoReq2 (Model Requirements for the Management of Electronic Records) were discussed.