The Historical Archives of Novi Sad

by Petar Djurdjev

Celebration of the foundation of the archives on May 21, 2016. © Staff of the Historical Archives of the City of Novi Sad
Celebration of the foundation of the archives on May 21, 2016. © Staff of the Historical Archives of the City of Novi Sad

Since 2016 Novi Sad has got a very special attraction – a stunningly new and innovative archival building. Take a look into the home of 7000 metres of archival material documenting the history of the city of Novi Sad and its surroundings.

 

The Historical Archives of Novi Sad were founded in 1954. They have the status of an inter-municipal archive, meaning that they are responsible for a number of different municipalities, precisely Novi Sad, Titel, Zabalj, Temerin, Vrbas, Backa Palanka, Backi Petrovac, Beocin and Sremski Karlovci.

Just a few months after the inauguration of the archive it already had to be “temporarily” moved to a new location, the Petrovaradin Fortress, which is located right on the river banks of the Danube. Valuable archival records (about 7000 meters) were hence stored in repository units set up at such curious locations as the barracks and the powder mill. Eventually, the archival record repository units covered a total are of 1870 m2. What started as a merely temporarily intended solution for safeguarding archival material though proofed to develop differently than expected.

Moving into a new building

Celebration of the foundation of the archives on May 21, 2016. © Staff of the Historical Archives of the City of Novi Sad
Celebration of the foundation of the archives on May 21, 2016. © Staff of the Historical Archives of the City of Novi Sad

As a matter of fact, these buildings are 300 years old, and they neither have adequate hydro and thermal isolation nor the posibility of monitoring the impact to microclimatic conditions, especially temperature, humidity and lighting on the archival materials. Due to these inadequate conditions, the city of Novi Sad started to construct a new building for the historical archive in 2009. Construction works lasted from 2011 to 2016.

In the end, after several decades of trying to solve the problem of non-adequate archiving of the cultural and historical background of the city of Novi Sad and its surrounding settlements, in April 2016 the difficult situation was finally solved by opening the Novi Sad city archival building.

Following modern standards

Celebration of the foundation of the archives on May 21, 2016. © Staff of the Historical Archives of the City of Novi Sad
Celebration of the foundation of the archives on May 21, 2016. © Staff of the Historical Archives of the City of Novi Sad

The new archival building successfully fulfils all necessary criterias and conditions for such important and voluminous tasks as are archiving, warehousing and the conservation of the historical and cultural frame, documentations necessary for normal function state institutions, economical subjects, civil sector etc. The construction of the new archival building is totally (100%) financed by the city of Novi Sad and it cost about 5 million Euros.

The new building has more than 7860 m2, and 3300 m2 are reserved for depots for archival material.  In the basement there are technical rooms          (engine, boiler room, hydrocell and elevator installations), garage, shelter and space for stairs. Other rooms in the basement are used as storage rooms, according to the need of future users. The basement space is connected to the upper floors of the archive by vertical communications (stairs and elevator).

A short “geography” of the archives

Celebration of the foundation of the archives on May 21, 2016. © Staff of the Historical Archives of the City of Novi Sad
Celebration of the foundation of the archives on May 21, 2016. © Staff of the Historical Archives of the City of Novi Sad

The ground floor of the building consists of the entrance, the hall, an exhibition room, an office, a reading-room, the centre for information, the library, a raw records repository and a room for digitization. In this part of the building there are electronically controlled entry and exit doors. The first floor of the administrative part provides offices for the management staff of the archives. On the second floor there are meeting rooms, a dining room and offices. The office spaces for the administration, which are located on both floors are separated with folding doors and have electronic access control. The electronic control is also connected to the access control of the archival repositories.

The receiving repositories are located on the ground floor. They are equipped with an access for vehicles for archival records. The repository, which houses processed archival material is divided into several units, which are separated by fire door. There is also a treasury area of 100m2, which stores valuable archival records separately. The processed and arranged archival records are kept in repositories on the first floor, the mezzanine and the second floor. In total there are 13 repositories. All repository doors are fireproof. The repository area has the necessary microclimatic conditions, with relation to the determined humidity and air temperature, partial penetration of natural light, ventilation, adequate artificial lighting, fire protection and computer networks.


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