HISTORY OF THE STATE ARCHIVES OF THE REPUBLIC OF NORTH MACEDONIA
The State Archives of the Republic of North Macedonia was established in 1951. From 1926 to 1941 the State Archives functioned under the direct administration of the State Archives of Serbia in Belgrade. The necessity for collecting and preserving archive materials became apparent during the Second World War, when on 3 May 1945 the Ministry of Public Education announced the intention to establish Archives of the People's Liberation Movement of Macedonia within the National Library in Skopje. Although this initiative was not realized for a number of reasons, soon after that, the Ministry of Public Education of the People's Republic of Macedonia established a commission for collecting archive material with Decision No. 2543 of 31 May 1946. The commission started the activities by engaging education workers to perform the tasks of initiating and collecting archive materials. This manner of work could not yield results. In 1946 and 1947, the newly established Faculty of Philosophy and the Institute of National History took active participation in this activity.
In 1949, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Macedonia established the Historical Archives with the task of selecting and processing archival and memoir material related to the labor movement, the People's Liberation War and the Communist Party of Macedonia. Today, the fonds that were kept in this Archives are stored in the repositories of the Archives of Macedonia.
The adoption of the General Law on State Archives of Yugoslavia in 1950 was the basis for the National Assembly of the People's Republic of Macedonia on 6 January 1951 to adopt the Law on State Archives, which established the creation of the Archives of Macedonia (then State Archives of the Republic of Macedonia).
The first normative act in the field of archival legislation in the Republic of Macedonia, set not only the establishment of the Archives of Macedonia and its tasks, but also determined the establishment of several regional archives and archives in order to more intensively collect, store, preserve and process the archival material that is created in the institutions of the new state, and even more to engage in the collection and preservation of archival material used to study the history of the Macedonian nation. In the period from 1953 to 1960, nine regional historic archives were established and started operating, and with the new Law on Archival Material in 1990 they became part of the Archives of Macedonia as regional units, as follows: Bitola, Kumanovo, Ohrid, Prilep, Skopje, Strumica, Tetovo, Titov Veles and Stip.
Immediately after its establishment, the State Archives of the Republic of Macedonia started to establish a network of archival institutions throughout the Republic of Macedonia. Initially, they had functioned as archival centers at the National Museums, and later grew into independent institutions. Since 1990, the archival service in Macedonia has been integrated, transforming the independent archival institutions throughout the Republic regional offices.
In 1969, the new specially designed building was unveiled.
Bilateral cooperation, research and publication are organized only in the central part of the Archives. The State Archives of the Republic of Macedonia has a Laboratory for Conservation and Restoration and a Laboratory for Micro-imaging.
The central office of the State Archives of the Republic of Macedonia has jurisdiction over the creators and holders of archival material of national rank.
DEVELOPMENT OF ARCHIVAL LEGISLATION IN MACEDONIA
The archival service and the archival legislation were built simultaneously with the construction of the Republic of Macedonia. In the period of 1945-1971, the federal archival law had precedence over the republic law. The first significant regulation was the passing Law on State Archives of 1951, used as the basis for establishing the State Archives of the People's Republic of Macedonia and 9 district archives. In 1965, the Law on Archive Materials and Archives was adopted, according to which the State Archives was renamed the Archives of Macedonia, while the surrounding Archives into historical (inter-municipal) archives. It properly regulated the obligations of the holders; the jurisdiction of the Archives; the hand over, purchase and use of archive material; etc. Two guidelines, which significantly improved the practice of selecting and registering the archival material of the holders were adopted in 1968 and in 1975.
In 1973, the Law on Archive Activity was adopted. It further developed the archival legislation, which acquired European character. In compliance this Law, the Decree and Instruction for office and archival work of the holders have been adopted in 1977. Reflecting the constitutional reforms in Yugoslavia and Macedonia, the archival legislation of the Federal Republic of Macedonia became entirely independent and it developed intensively.
The process of building the modern archival legislation went simultaneously with the independence of the Republic of Macedonia. In 1990, the Law on Archive Material was adopted (amended in 1995). In accordance with the Law, the following changes were made: improvement of the status of the archive material; the State Archives of the Republic of Macedonia was transformed into an integrated administrative organization with 9 regional offices, which no longer hold the status of legal entities; establishment of uniformed management, financing and personnel policy; establishment of archives inspection. The holders are obliged to regularly select and register the archive material and to hand it over to the Archives in such a condition. The general deadlines for handing over the material and its availability are 20 years after its creation. This includes the Republic of Macedonia in the rank of the most liberal countries.
Based on the Law, in the period 1996-2005. several decrees and instructions have been adopted, which regulate the following issues: the office and archive work of the holders; preservation of the material in a state of war and emergency; extended deadlines for availability and use of the material; the methodology of the professional work in the organizational units of the Archives, etc.
The basic feature of the Macedonian archival law is that it represents an elaborate and complete normative system. Archival legislation has significantly influenced and continues to influence the promotion of archival practice, both of the holders and of the State Archives. It follows the current global trends, especially in the respect of the international archival standards and electronic documents.