ENEELVLT
     
 

MEMORY OF THE WORLD REGISTER

THE BALTIC WAY - HUMAN CHAIN LINKING THREE STATES IN THEIR DRIVE FOR FREEDOM

 

PART A - ESSENTIAL INFORMATION 

1 SUMMARY 

The documentary heritage proposed for inscription in the Memory of the World Register by Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania includes significant and carefully selected documents reflecting the history of the 600 km long human chain - a unique and peaceful demonstration that united the three countries in their drive for freedom on 23 August 1989, the 50th anniversary of the German-Soviet non-aggression pact of 1939 and its secret protocol.

 

On 23 August 1939 foreign ministers of the USSR and Germany - Vyacheslav Molotov and Joachim von Ribbentrop, as ordered by their superiors Stalin and Hitler, signed a treaty which affected the fate of Europe and the entire world. This pact, and the secret clauses it contained, divided the spheres of influence of the USSR and Germany and led to World War II, and to the occupation of the three Baltic States - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

 

50 years later, on 23 August 1989, the three nations living by the Baltic Sea surprised the world by taking hold of each other's hands and jointly demanding recognition of the secret clauses in the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and the re-establishment of the independence of the Baltic States. More than a million people joined hands to create a 600 km long human chain from the foot of Toompea in Tallinn to the foot of the Gediminas Tower in Vilnius, crossing Riga and the River Daugava on its way, creating a synergy in the drive for freedom that united the three countries.

The Baltic Way was organised by the national movements of each of the Baltic States: the Popular Front of Estonia Rahvarinne, the Popular Front of Latvia and the Lithuanian Reform Movement Sąjūdis.

The Baltic Way brought important changes to the history of the world. This was achieved through social unity and through the joint commitment and confidence manifested by every individual in pursuing the common goal. This impressive act of non-violent protest and solidarity whilst keeping sovereignty was a living example of the culture of peace, opening up access to information and leading to the acknowledgement of the secret treaty and its hideous consequences for the whole world. It increased the opportunity for the national self-determination of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and encouraged democratic movements throughout the Soviet Union. The three Baltic States succeeded in gaining their freedom in a peaceful way, creating a precedent that was, and hopefully will be, followed by a number of countries all over the world - the triumph of humanity over totalitarianism.

 

The Baltic Way was a phenomenon which showed how three small countries - the Baltic States, regardless of their unique individual national characteristics, created a cross-cultural spiritual synergy both internally and between the Baltic States in the name of a common goal - to overcome the consequences of World War II and to destroy the totalitarian regimes. The Baltic Way is a historic symbol that is alive in the collective memory, enriching the understanding of the sense and values of solidarity and freedom of expression.

 

The documentary heritage of the Baltic Way constitutes a substantial archive of various documents on this important historical event and its organisation. The nomination includes the most representative documents of the Baltic Way which are preserved in the National Archives of Estonia, the Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia and the National Archives of Lithuania. The present applicants have carefully selected documents that complement each other and provide a holistic overview of an event that is an integral part of the collective memory, not only of the Baltic States, but of Europe and of the whole world.

 

2 DETAILS OF THE NOMINATOR

2.1 Name (person or organisation)

2.2 Relationship to the documentary heritage nominated

2.3 Contact person (s)

2.4 Contact details (include address, phone, fax, email)

The nomination is submitted by three countries: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, represented by corresponding national institutions:

 

Estonia

2.1 National Archives of Estonia

2.2 Owner /custodian of the documentary heritage nominated by Estonia

2.3 Mr Priit Pirsko, State Archivist; Mr Indrek Jürjo, Head of Publication Division

2.4 Address: Liivi 4, 50409 Tartu, Estonia; phone: +372 738 7501 (Mr Priit Pirsko);
+372693 8522 (Mr Indrek Jürjo), E-mail: priit.pirsko@ra.ee; indrek.jyrjo@ra.ee

 

Latvia

2.1 Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia (Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia is member of ICOM - International Council of Museums.)

2.2 Owner of the documentary heritage nominated by Latvia

2.3 Mrs Meldra Usenko, Director

2.4 Address: Vecpilsētas 13/15, LV-1050 Riga, Latvia; phone: +371 6722 4502;
E-mail: ltfmuz@mail.eunet.lv

 

Lithuania

2.1 Lithuanian Central State Archive

2.2 The owner of the documentary heritage nominated by Lithuania

2.3 Mrs Inga Vizgirdienė, Head of the Sound and Video Documents Department of the Lithuanian Central State Archive; Mrs Rūta Tarailienė, Head of the Photo Documents Department of the Lithuanian Central State Archive; Mr Rolandas Skarbauskas, Senior Specialist of the Film Documents Department of the Lithuanian Central State Archive.

2.4 Address: O.Milašiaus g. 21, LT-10102 Vilnius, Lithuania; phone: +370 5 247 7811,
+370 5 247 7825 (Mrs Inga Vizgirdienė); +370 5 247 7819 (Mrs Rūta Tarailienė);
+370 5 247 7824 (Mr Rolandas Skarbauskas); fax: +370 5 276 5318; E-mail: lcva@archyvai.lt; ivizgirdiene@archyvai.lt; r.tarailiene@archyvai.lt

 

3 IDENTITY AND DESCRIPTION OF THE DOCUMENTARY HERITAGE

3.1 Name and identification details of the items being nominated

The present nomination "The Baltic Way - Human Chain Linking Three States in Their Drive for Freedom" consists of three selected sets of documents on the Baltic Way including written, film, photo, audio and video documents. The criterion for selecting the documents was the significance of the document as a witness either of crucial historic decisions or of the emotional uniqueness of the Baltic Way. The selected documents thereby constitute a common integral archive that represents a significant heritage for the history of the world.

The nominated documents are located in the national institutions of the three Baltic States that have been listed with full contact details under point 2 of the present application.

3.2 Description

Estonia - 7 documents

1 film document: Newsreel "Eesti Kroonika" (Estonian Chronicle) No.18, 1989 - "The Baltic Way"

Owning institution: Tallinnfilm, Uus 3, 10111 Tallinn, Estonia

Location of the item: Estonian Film Archives, Ristiku 84, 10318 Tallinn, Estonia

6 photo documents: The Baltic Way on 23 August 1989. Selected photos from the Fond EFA 204 -Estonian News Agency (ETA) 1940-1998

Owning institution: the National Archives of Estonia, Liivi 4, 50409 Tartu, Estonia.

Location of the items: Estonian Film Archives, Ristiku 84, 10318 Tallinn, Estonia.

 

Latvia - 8 documents

6 written documents:

1. The Baltic Council (The Baltic Council was formed in July 1989 and included representatives of the Baltic independence movements, deputies of the supreme councils of the Baltic republics, members of their councils of ministers, as well as representatives from various ministries and academic institutions who supported the independence of the Baltic countries.) Pärnu Communiqué, 15 July 1989, Pärnu, Estonia

2. The Baltic Council Cēsis Communiqué, 12 August 1989, Cēsis, Latvia

3. Fax print-out "The Baltic Way", sent by the Popular Front of Estonia Rahvarinne on 17 August 1989

4. Address to Alfrēds Čepānis, Deputy-Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Latvian S.S.R., No.02-679, 8 August 1989, Riga, Latvia

5. Address to Imants Rākins, the Deputy-Head of State Radio Broadcasting and Television Committee of the Latvian S.S.R., No.02-680, 8 August 1989, Riga, Latvia

6. Announcement to the newspaper „Rīgas Viļņi", No.02-700, 16 August 1989, Riga, Latvia

1 photo film document: The Baltic Way on 23 August 1989

1 cardboard placard "The Baltic Way", 1989, made by the Latvian Popular Front representatives from the town of Ogre in Latvia

Owning institution and location of the items: Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia, Vecpilsētas 13/15, LV-1050 Riga, Latvia.

 

Lithuania - 23 documents

3 audio documents:

1. Meetingof the Lithuanian Sąjūdis Seimas Council, 25 July 1989, Vilnius, Lithuania. Audio document of the meeting, No.103, 104

2. Meetingof the Lithuanian Sąjūdis Seimas Council, 15 August 1989, Vilnius, Lithuania. Audio document of the meeting, No.110, 111

3. The first meeting of the sixth session of the Lithuanian Sąjūdis Seimas, 23 August 1989, Vilnius, Lithuania. Audio document of the session, No.242, 243

1 video document: LTV broadcasting news programme Panorama, 23 August 1989, Vilnius, Lithuania

1 film document: Newsreel "Lietuvos kronika" (Lithuanian Chronicle) No.18, 1989

18 photo documents: The Baltic Way on 23 August 1989. Photo collection from the Lithuanian Central State Archive

Owning institution and location of the items: Lithuanian Central State Archive, O.Milašiaus g. 21, LT-10102 Vilnius, Lithuania.

For detailed description of all documents included in the present nomination please see Annex 1.

Referees:

1) Dr. Wojciech Falkowski, Member of the Memory of the World National Committee of Poland, Institute of History, the Warsaw University, Address: Ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28, 00-927 Warsaw, Poland; Work Phone: (+48 22) 55 20415; Fax: (+48 22) 826 19 88, E-mail: wojciech.falkowski@wp.pl , sekretariat.ih@uw.edu.pl

2) Mr. Tomas Lidman, Chairperson, Memory of the World National Committee of Sweden, Director-General, The National Archives of Sweden, Address: Box 12541, S-102 29 Stockholm, Sweden; Work Phone: +46 8 737 63 50, +46 8 737 63 94; Fax: +46 8 737 64 74, E-mail: tomas.lidman@riksarkivet.ra.se , riksarkivet@ra.se

 

4 JUSTIFICATION FOR INCLUSION/ ASSESSMENT AGAINST CRITERIA

4.1 Is authenticity established?

All the documents belong to the most important national archives and have been carefully studied, arranged and described by experts in their respective countries according to the established procedures and principles. The provenance of the documents is well established. The expert examination of Memory of the World national committees in three Baltic States has proven that all presented documents are authentic originals.

4.2 Is world significance, uniqueness and irreplaceability established?

The documentary heritage included in the nomination embraces witnesses of both: the decisions taken for the organisation of the Baltic Way and the unique event itself running through three neighbouring states. The world significance, uniqueness and irreplaceability are grounded for both of these dimensions of the nominated documents:

1) The documents witnessing the organisation of the Baltic Way are the documentary heritage that finds its significance, uniqueness and irreplaceability in the historic consequences that it brought about:

- Acknowledgement of the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

During the Cold War years the Soviet Union denied the existence of the secret Molotov-Ribbentrop protocols, and grounded its claim for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on the basis of the USSR Constitution.

 

After the Soviet repression apparatus ceased to function due to the perestroika begun by Mikhail Gorbachev, the issue of restoring national sovereignty surfaced in the three Baltic States. On the 23 August 1988, during mass meetings in Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn the criminal essence of the Molotov-Ribbentrop secret protocols was publicly revealed. In the spring of 1989 representatives of the three Baltic nations at the Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR demanded that the Pact be evaluated on legal grounds.

This unique Baltic Way demonstration took place on the 50th anniversary of the 23 August 1939, the day when the Soviet Union and Germany divided their spheres of interest in Eastern Europe in the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. The objective of the Baltic Way was to gain open acknowledgement of these historic decisions that for a long time had been kept as secret sources deciding the world's history. The Baltic Way- an act ofsolidarity, an act of protest without violence - was a living example ofthe culture of peace, leading to the open acknowledgement of the secret protocols and their hideous consequences.

- Encouragement of democratic movements in the former Soviet Union.

 

The course of the processes which took place in the Soviet Union indicated a vague perspective for national aspirations and in general - for democratic rights. The significance of the Baltic Way was the encouragement of democratic movements and the consolidation process in societies that had been oppressed by a totalitarian regime for a long time. The condemnation of the protocols encouraged the democratic movements throughout the Soviet Union. The Baltic Way marked the triumph of humanity over totalitarianism.

- Re-establishment of the independence of the Baltic States

The impressive human chain, expanding international support and the progressive disclosure of the historical facts forced the People's Deputies Congress of the Soviet Union in December of 1989 to declare the secret protocols of 1939 legally null and void. The condemnation of the protocols increased the opportunity to re-establish national self-determination in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

This act of solidarity - the Baltic Way - which amazed the entire world and attracted a great amount of attention showed how the three Baltic nations, regardless of each country's unique national characteristics, created a synergy in their drive for freedom.

2) The audio visual documents witnessing the unique event of the Baltic Way are the documentary heritage that gains its significance, uniqueness and irreplaceability from the memory they conserve for future generations of this unique act of human solidarity and national spiritual unity built around a voluntary action uniting people for a common goal - the recognition of a historic past and the right to a just future.

4.3 Is one or more of the criteria of (a) time (b) place (c) people (d) subject and theme (e) form and style satisfied?

(a) time

The nomination includes selection of documents concerning the Baltic Way starting from 15 July 1989, when a common decision was taken to organise the Baltic Way, till 23 August 1989 when the Baltic Way took place across the Baltic States. In a broader perspective, it was the time of reforms in the Soviet Union indicating a vague perspective for national aspirations and democracy.

(b) place

The selected documentary heritage of the Baltic Way was created in places where the action itself happened. The human chain that united three nations was geographically situated in three states thus creating unity from Tallinn in Estonia, via Riga in Latvia to Vilnius in Lithuania. The human chain of 23 August 1989 also linked those places where the organizing decisions for the Baltic Way were historically taken.

(c) people

A combination of three main features made the Baltic Way unique. It was a non-violent action, it changed the course of history and it was based on international solidarity.

The Baltic Way was truly international. Participants included Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Russians, Byelorussians, Poles, Tatars and many people of other nationalities; no matter what their origin was, they were standing hand in hand in that human chain, and their message was addressed to all other nations in the Soviet Union of that time and in the world. This message was clearly heard throughout the world where international news headlines were devoted to the impressive and significant act of the Baltic States. Solidarity meetings were organized in Moscow, Leningrad, Stockholm, Melbourne, Toronto, Saint Louis, Berlin, Tbilisi and other cities, and movements were established, supporting the Baltic peoples. The democratic consolidation process which started so timidly after Perestroika, gained confidence and strength.

After the 23 of August 1989, the question of the Baltic States was no longer an issue only for politicians, diplomats and governments, but became an indispensable part of the agenda of large societies in the world, communicated compassionately through media, taken on board by many independent human rights groups, academics, and politicians. The Baltic Way was a catalyst for change in the history of the world marking the end of the Cold War and therefore the end of the direct consequences of World War II.

(d) subject and theme

Unlike many protest movements, the Baltic Way was genuinely peaceful and non-violent. It showed that people can achieve great political goals without money, without weapons and without violence. Their power was people, willing to defend Human Rights, regardless of risk.

Through their actions - joining hands, and not using words, people showed that together they can make history, overcome any objective conditions, political realities and political arrangements made by totalitarian regimes. They demonstrated explicitly that if people can unite for a just cause, and both physically and mentally overcome national borders, there is no chance for dictatorship and aggression - the main menaces of the 20th century - to persist.

4.4 Are there issues of rarity, integrity, threat and management that relate to this nomination?

There are more documents, photos and films about the Baltic Way in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. There are documents also in private collections, as the leaders of popular movements are still active in politics. However, the nominated documents are rare and form the quintessence of the documentary heritage of the event - the well known Baltic Way. The national nominating institutions can prove their authenticity. There is no immediate danger or great risks to carrier survival, but naturally, vigilance must be applied to maintain security according to the established standards. First and foremost, it is the content that makes the nominated documents unique and irreplaceable examples of their time.

There is no special separate management plan in each country for these items, but there is an overall management plan for archival records in all three nominating institutions, ensuring preservation and granting public access to the documents. As the present nomination is a multinational one, an important part of the management context includes international cooperation. Experts from the Baltic States have met several times during the process of preparing the nomination to discuss topics of mutual concern and to prepare a joint management plan (please see point 6 for more details).

 

5 LEGAL INFORMATION

5.1. Owner of the documentary heritage (name and contact details)

Owners of the documentary heritage are the following institutions in the Baltic States:

 

Estonia

Name:

The National Archives of Estonia (Owner of the nominated photo documents)

Contact details:

Address: Liivi 4, 50409 Tartu, Estonia

Mr Priit Pirsko, State Archivist; phone: +372 7387501, E-mail: priit.pirsko@ra.ee ; Mr Indrek Jürjo, Head of Publication Division, phone: +3726938522; E-mail: indrek.jyrjo@ra.ee

Name:

Filmstudio Tallinnfilm (Owner of the nominated film document)

Contact details:

Address: Uus.3, 10111, Tallinn, Estonia

Ms. Margit Vremmert, Managing Director; phone: +372 644 2810; E-mail: margit@efsa.ee

 

Latvia

Name:

Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia

Contact details:

Address: Vecpilsētas 13/15, LV-1050 Riga, Latvia

Mrs Meldra Usenko, Director; phone: +371 6722 4502; E-mail: ltfmuz@mail.eunet.lv

 

Lithuania

Name:

Lithuanian Central State Archive

Contact details:

Address: O.Milašiaus g. 21, LT-10102 Vilnius, Lithuania

Mrs Inga Vizgirdienė, Head of the Sound and Video Documents Department of the Lithuanian Central State Archive, Lithuania; phone: +370 5 247 7811, +370 5 247 7825; fax: +370 5 276 5318; E-mail: lcva@archyvai.lt ; ivizgirdiene@archyvai.lt ;

Mrs Rūta Tarailienė, Head of the Photo Documents Department of the Lithuanian Central State Archive, Lithuania; phone: +370 5 247 7819; E-mail: r.tarailiene@archyvai.lt

Mr Rolandas Skarbauskas, Senior Specialist of the Film Documents Department of the Lithuanian Central State Archive; phone: +370 5 247 7824.

 

5.2 Custodian of the documentary heritage (name and contact details, if different to owner)

Estonia

Name:

The National Archives of Estonia

(Custodian of the nominated film chronicle)

Contact details:

Address: Liivi 4, 50409 Tartu, Estonia

Mr Priit Pirsko, State Archivist; phone: +372 7387501, E-mail: priit.pirsko@ra.ee ; Mr Indrek Jürjo, Head of Publication Division, phone: +3726938522; E-mail: indrek.jyrjo@ra.ee

5.3 Legal status:

(a) Category of ownership

The ownership belongs to public institutions; the copyright of the film document included in the set of documents proposed by Estonia belongs to the film studio Tallinnfilm.

(b) Accessibility

There are no access limits, in certain cases there are limits for providing copies.

(c) Copyright status

Copyright to documents is owned by the National Archives of Estonia, the Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia and the Lithuanian Central State Archive, except for the film document the copyrights of which are owned by the company Tallinnfilm, Estonia.

(d) Responsible administration

The National Archives of Estonia, the Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia and the Lithuanian Central State Archive.

(e) Other factors -

 

6 MANAGEMENT PLAN

6.1 Is there a management plan in existence for this documentary heritage? YES/NO

Summary of the Management Plan

The management plan is the result of a common agreement set up by the institutions involved in the preparation of the nomination, which were:

-The National Archives of Estonia, Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia, and Lithuanian Central State Archive; 

-Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian National Commissions for UNESCO;

-National Memory of the World Committees.

It was decided to implement the following long-term and short-term objectives and activities for the preservation of the documentary heritage of the Baltic Way:

Advancement of research

1) Enhancement of further research on the historic event of the Baltic Way and its documentary heritage, including the study of the documentary heritage in private hands in order to establish a possibly extensive knowledge on the existing documentary heritage.

2) Establishment of an openly accessible and possibly exhaustive digital source on the documentary heritage of the Baltic Way including digitalised material of documents owned by both - memory institutions and individuals. The digital source will be developed through close cooperation of digitalisation processes in national archives and libraries, particularly in respect to the establishment of digital libraries.

3) A widely disseminated invitation to the public to submit individual memoirs from the participants in the Baltic Way event. These contributions would enrich the historical analysis and would emphasise the importance of the human aspect in this event, and how the broad participation of individuals brought about significant historical changes.

4) Identification of historical documents in need of urgent conservation or restoration both in national institutions and in private holdings.

5) International conference organised in 2009 by Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and inviting participants from different regions in order to advance discussion among scientists, experts and general public on the historical and documentary issues associated with the Baltic Way, encouraging also a comparative look at the related historical experiences.

6) Establishing and developing national Memory of the World registers in order to create a purposeful tool for the preservation of the documentary heritage for its visibility, and for the recognition of its value within society.

Access to information

 

7) Provision of a united digital access to the nominated archive that is empirically preserved in three countries but accessible in cyberspace as a unique common archive providing the essence of the documentary heritage of the Baltic Way.

8) Interactive website www.balticway.net dedicated to the Baltic Way and its documentary heritage including the digital reproductions of the selected documents nominated for the Memory of the World international register, as well as access to broader digitalised institutional and private archives on the Baltic Way, to be created as a tool to access a significant digital source of commonly assembled documents from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

9) Elaboration of informative materials on the documentary heritage of the Baltic Way including means of assuring free access and wide diffusion of information :

a. Informative printed brochure on the documentary heritage of the Baltic Way;

b. Illustrative CD containing both a description of the event and historic documents of the Baltic Way and the digital reproductions of the documents nominated for the Memory of the World international register.

Community involvement

 

10) Common work to develop educational materials and Programmes for schools about the Baltic Way event through the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (UNESCO ASPnet).

Institutional cooperation

11) Continuous cooperation among the national memory institutions of the Baltic States as well as among national Memory of the World committees in order to implement a common purposeful project on the preservation of the documentary heritage of the Baltic Way.

 

7 CONSULTATION

7.1 Provide details of consultation about this nomination with (a) the owner of the heritage (b) the custodian (c) your national or regional Memory of the World committee.

The nomination was elaborated with the collaboration of experts from the national Memory of the World Committees and competent experts from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Regular consultative meetings took place in all three Baltic States and internationally recognised experts on the preservation of documentary heritage were also invited to participate in the preparatory work.

The nomination includes selected documents from the representative archives of the Baltic Way documents preserved by three institutions: The National Archives of Estonia, Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia, and Lithuanian Central State Archive. The institutions mentioned above were involved in the entire process of elaborating the nomination.

 

PART B - SUBSIDIARY INFORMATION

 

8 ASSESSMENT OF RISK

8.1 Detail the nature and scope of threats to this documentary heritage

Risk assessment depends on the conditions and situation of every institution holding the documents that make up the present nomination. Therefore, a short overview is given concerning each institution involved in the nomination:

 

Estonia

The National Archives of Estonia

Location of the nominated items: Ristiku 84, 10318 Tallinn, Estonia

There is no immediate danger to the nominated documentary heritage. Fond EFA 204 (Estonian News agency 1940-1998) was arranged and described during 1999-2000. The collection contains 40395 photos, among them 53 photos about the Baltic Way. The black and white 35 mm camera negatives are in good condition with some damage on emulsion and unwashed salts. The collection was cleaned and packed according to archival rules in 1998; the user copies have been available to the public since 2001. There are no access restrictions. The storage conditions are stable, the relative humidity and temperature are measured weekly. Fond EFA 203 (Tallinnfilm 1945-1998) was arranged and described during 1998-2007.The collection contains 2797 film titles, among them a newsreel about the Baltic Way on the 23 August 1989. The black and white negative, interpositive, soundnegative, positive are in good condition, the storage conditions are stable, the storage has special climate equipment. The user copies on VHS and DVD are available for public. According to the copyright law Tallinnfilm owns the rights for distribution and copying.

The possible threats to both funds include technical problems with the central heating system (most of the pipes are inside the walls) and the ventilation system (the building as a whole is not yet included in the automatic system). One also cannot rule out the possibility of fire, malicious accidents and thefts, but these risks and threats have been carefully analysed in the disaster plan.

 

Latvia

Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia

Location of the nominated items: Vecpilsētas 13/15, LV-1050 Riga, Latvia

The preservation of the documentary heritage satisfies all the necessary conditions for continuous storage of documents: constant temperature, regime of relative humidity, quality of environment. A special backup fund has been established for the documentary heritage including the microfilms of all the documents. The Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia is provided with a special security and warding system connected to a central security console day and night.

There are two main long-term dangers to the nominated documentary heritage: gradual combustion caused by the formation of an acid environment characteristic of the paper material starting from the manufacture process as well as unpredictable force majeure possibly influencing the documentary heritage.

 

Lithuania

Lithuanian Central State Archive

Location of the nominated items: O.Milašiaus g. 21, LT-10102 Vilnius, Lithuania

There is no immediate danger to the nominated documentary heritage. Image and audio documents are preserved in a specific building, constructed in 1975, and renovated according to modern standards in 2007. The building is on the outskirts of the city, close to two other Lithuanian Central State Archive buildings - they form a common complex and are connected by galleries. Image and audio documents are preserved in special storage rooms of 1521,59 m² area. In 2003 image and audio documents storage rooms were reconstructed, and in 2007 additional modern storage rooms were installed to store film documents. Video and photo documents are preserved on specific wooden shelves. Film documents are preserved on appropriate metal shelves specifically designed for film cans. Observing the international requirements in a separate room there are preserved film documents (the originals); image and audio negatives are stored in another room.

After the reconstruction, the microclimate and functioning of all the appliances is regulated and controlled automatically. An automatic computer-controlled air conditioning system has been installed. All the indicators, temperature and humidity can be seen at any time on a computer monitor. This provides favourable conditions for the long-term preservation of image and audio documents as required by the recommendations of the International Standards Organization. There are also automatic fire detection and extinguishing systems.

 

9 ASSESSMENT OF PRESERVATION

9.1 Detail the preservation context of the documentary heritage

All the nominated documents are maintained, presented and documented according to the international archive and museum standards. As the items are located in three different countries, the preservation context includes both transboundary international cooperation as well as national policies for the preservation of the documentary heritage. There are several important instruments for Baltic cooperation. The Baltic Assembly - an institution of parliamentary co-operation among Estonia, Latvian and Lithuania, and the Baltic Council of Ministers - an institution for governmental co-operation among Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; these are the most important instruments providing a significant contribution to the harmonisation of diverse policy spheres and the promotion of practical co-operation among the Baltic States. Preservation of common documentary heritage is certainly within the scope of both named institutions of cooperation.

Evaluating the preservation context of the nominated documents being a part of a broader documentary heritage, there are several national policy contexts to be underlined concerning each of the Baltic States:

 

Estonia

The National Archives shall be guided, in the keeping of archival records, by the requirements of the archival regulations, the recommendations of the standard EVS-ISO 11799:2005 Information and documentation - Requirements for keeping archival and library materials, and by other international material specific standards (e.g. specialized archival records).

 

Preservation Policy of the National Archives has been approved by State Archivist. Preservation Policy prescribes the principles of National Archives which ensure the durability and the use of the public documents in the present and the future.

Preservation strategy of the National Archives 2007 - 2010 was approved by the State Archivist on 23 January 2007. The document sets out the storage requirements for archives which come under the National Archives (Historical Archives, State Archives, Film Archives and 10 Regional Archives), disaster-control planning, surveys on physical condition, conservation, production of safety and user copies, use of archival records, archive supervision, preservation consultation, cooperation in the field of preservation. In every chapter the actual state, goal and activities has been represented. An implementation plan describing the activities and priorities of preparing safety and user copies in Historical and State Archives has been prepared as an annex to the strategy.

A Risk analysis was carried out in 2003. The report contains a short characterisation of location and objects, main risk sources and possible accidents caused by them, conclusions and suggestions to solve the problems.

The Disaster plan was renewed and approved by the director of the State Archive on 12 April 2007. The document consists of: short characterisation of the Tõnismäe archive building; list of security systems; presence and location of fire and rescue equipment; communication switches; personal responsibility in emergency; plan of activities; plan of activities detecting emergency; location of emergency aid equipment; list of qualification of officials.

 

Latvia

The preservation of the documentary heritage in the Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia is prescribed by institutional regulations, legal acts and political documents. The following legal acts form the preservation context of the documentary heritage:

Law on Museums of the Republic of Latvia adopted on 15 December 2005 regulates principles and conditions of the functioning of museums in Latvia, prescribing necessary provisions for the preservation of documentary heritage in museums;

Regulations on the Holdings of National Museums, regulations No.956 adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia on 21 November 2006;

The following main political documents are the context for the preservation of the documentary heritage in the museums of the Republic of Latvia:

Long-term national policy planning document National programme "Culture" 2000 - 2010 adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia formulates the national culture policy including a part devoted specifically to museums.

Long-term national policy document "Culture Policy Guidelines 2006 - 2015. Nation State" adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia on 18 April 2006 by the instruction No. 264.

The Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia was established on 23 August 1999 and it functions according to the law of the Republic of Latvia On Transferring the Real Estate to the Public Council of the Museum of the Popular Front adopted in 1999. In accordance with the Law the museum is located in the former building of the Popular Front of Latvia at Vecpilsētas 13/15, Riga, Latvia. The museum took possession of the documents that had remained in the building of the Popular Front of Latvia.

 

The preservation conditions of the documentary heritage in the Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia are in conformity with the Regulations of the Holdings of the Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia adopted on 27 March 2003.

 

Lithuania

Lithuanian Central State Archive manages audio visual documents observing the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Documents and Archives (Žin. 2004, No.57-1982), the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights (ATGTĮ, Žin., 1999, No. 50-1598; 2003, No. 28-1125), Orders of the Director General of the Lithuanian Department of Archives under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, that regulate the management of documents.

 

PART C - LODGEMENT

 

This nomination is lodged by:

Estonia

Mr Priit Pirsko State Archivist of the Estonian National Archives

Tartu, 25 March 2008

Latvia

Mrs Meldra Usenko Director of the Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia

Riga, 26 March 2008

Lithuania

Mr. Dalius Žižys, Director of the Lithuanian Central State Archive

26 March 2008, Vilnius, Lithuania