case study - Belarus Archive official channels #belarus

Alexander Kott <alexkott@...>

A small success story with official Belarus archives.
Those who are considering working with them via the
official channels (as opposed to working with a
private researcher) might find this story a useful
data point.

About 3 months ago I send a plain letter to an archive
in Pinsk, Belarus, asking for information about a
particular person. Apparently the letter has been
routed to other appropriate archives, and two weeks
ago I received unexpectedly a letter >from the Belarus
Embassy in Washington, DC. The letter informed me that
one of the Belarus archives found some related
information, and asked me to pay $80 if I wanted to
see what the information was. I sent them the money
and received a small but useful bit of information.

Overall, I can see some advantages, considering that
it only took me the price of postage to send the
original letter. In effect, the archives performed a
search for me without any pre-payment, and I would not
have to pay anything in case they found nothing.

On the other hand, I did not receive any information
on how exhaustive the search was and what specific
collections had been searched, something I always know
when I commission a private researcher in Belarus.

Alexander Kott

Join to automatically receive all group messages.