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City news, 22.11.2006 15:50

Russian State History Archive moved to new building

Russian State History Archive The removal of the Russian State History Archive from the Senate and Synod Building to new premises in the Krasnogvardeisky District of St. Petersburg was completed on Tuesday. The last sixteen cases, containing archive materials, were brought there by two lorries under the supervision of a government commission. They were unloaded in the presence of Vice-Premier Alexander Zhukov, Minister of Culture Alexander Sokolov, and Presidential Property Manager Vladimir Kozhin. Each of them had signed their names on the last box.

The transfer of the archive funds from the Senate and Synod Building, where the State Archive was historically housed, to a new, specially built structure had begun in February 2006. As many as 7.2 million items of archive materials, pertaining to different periods of the history of Russia and of the country’s state institutions, had to be moved. This work was completed two weeks ahead of the fixed time limit. It is worth noting that no similar haulages were ever made anywhere else in Europe. The State Archive’s transfer from the Senate Square building to the new premises was carried out according to a specially drawn up “shelf to shelf” technology, guarded by a set of sophisticated protection measures.

Heightened security precautions were taken during the transportation of the most valuable history documents: automatic stock-taking of all the transferred documents under the control of the Ministry of Culture, the Interior Ministry, the Ministry for Emergency Situations, the Federal Security Service, and the Defence Ministry. All in all, approximately 500 people had taken part in the transportation of the unique archive materials. Three hundred and fifty video cameras were installed both in the old and new buildings of the State Archive for the transportation period.

The Russian State History Archive was offered to vacate the Senate and Synod Building in December 2002, since the conditions in those ancient structures were no longer fit for storing archive documents. It took only one and a half years to put up a modern building for the State Archive on the right-hand bank of the Neva River. The Presidential Property Department discharged the functions of customer. As much as 3.2 billion roubles were spent on the new building from the state budget. Several blocks were put up on an area of three hectares. They were provided with the latest equipment. In expert opinion, “the infrastructure of the State Archive, as well as the used materials and technological equipment, will guarantee the everlasting storage of the unique collection of documents”. The Senate and Synod Building in the centre of St. Petersburg will now house the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. A presidential library will be opened there, too.

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