The foundations of the state archiving system in Zaporizhzhya were laid as early as in 1921 when an archival document storage facility was created at the museum section of the Zaporizhzhya guberniya’s Board of Public Education.
After the guberniya (province) was abolished in 1925, okrug (district) record storage offices incorporating document storage facilities were set up at the Zaporizhzhya and Melitopol Okrug Executive Committees.They were reorganized into local record storage offices after the okrugs were abolished in 1930.
In 1932 a state historical archives was established at Zaporizhzhya’s and Melitotol’s local government offices, subordinate to the Dnepropetrovsk region’s record storage authorities.
After the Zaporizhzhya oblast (region) was created in 1939 the Zaporizhzhya state historical archives was reorganized into the Zaporizhzhya regional state archives, whereas Melitopol’s similar institution was reorganized into its branch subordinate to the Zaporizhzhya regional archival department.
In 1941 the the Zaporizhzhya regional state archives was renamed to the state archives of the Zaporizhzhya region, in 1958 – to the Zaporizhzhya regional state archives and in 1980 – to the state archives of the Zaporizhzhya region.
In 1974 the Melitopol branch was abolished and its archive funds were transferred to the state archives of the region. In 1988 the archival department of the regional executive committee was dissolved and its functions were relegated to the state archives.
Description of Archives Holdings
The archives store documents dating back to the period of the Russian Empire, reflecting the political and social-economic situation of the Alexandrovsk and a portion of the Mariupol povits (administrative districts) of the Yekaterinoslavsk guberniya as well as the Melitopol and Berdyansk povits of the Tavrichesk guberniya (present-day area of the Zaporozhye region).
The most ancient documents are included in the archives holdings of Alexandrovsk’s city hall, povit land authorities, cathedrals and churches (presoviet period, early eighteenth – late nineteenth century).
The documents and records of that period shed light upon life in the towns and villages of the period, its industry and trade, education and health care, social and ethnic composition of the population.
The archival records of finance and tax authorities (the Alexandrovsk povit’s treasury, excise office, banks etc.) provide information about the sources of state income. The archive holdings of the offices of factory supervisory authorities, iron foundries and agricultural machinery plants contain reports on industrial development. They reflect the activity of Alexandrovsk’s division of the All-Russian Society of Factory Owners and Industrialists, participation of the Lepp and Wallmann Ironworks (1887-1888) as well as L.Pshenichny’s Farming Machinery Factory (1911) in worldwide and all-Russian agricultural and industrial exhibitions.
The documents and records of povit land surveying and management authorities contain information about the structure of the land use regulatory system (maps, diagrams, land surveying registers and tables of geographic coordinates, details for areas of residential settlements and individual land holdings, copies of land demarcation and title records (1790-1905) as well as information about Stolypin’s agrarian reform in the villages of the Zaporozhye region (1906-1914).
The Soviet-period documents are stored primarily in the record collections of local authorities and administration: revolutionary committees, commissions for disadvantaged peasantry, executive committees at local councils etc., storing records about the setting-up of the bodies of local government and administration, law enforcement, education, health care, nationalization of industrial plants, the struggle against hunger and crime as well as implementation of state tax policies and separation of the church from the state.
The documents of the Zaporizhzhya regional executive committee and local councils for the pre-war and post-war years provide information about the social-economic position of the region on the eve of the war, the scale of damage caused during the Nazi occupation, the rebuilding of ruined industrial facilities, institutions of culture and education as well as shed light upon the issues of economic development, social and political life, scientific and cultural events, international relations, environmental protection, historical and cultural memorials etc.
The documents of local government authorities of the late eighties-early nineties of the twentieth century describe the social-economic and political changes under Perestroika (restructuring) and after the independence of Ukraine.
An important source for research into the history of industry in the South of Ukraine is the archival holdings of large industrial plants, construction companies: the Steel Works ‘Zaporizhstal’, the Electrometallurgical Company ‘Dneprospetsstal’, the Ferroalloys Works, the Chemical Recovery Plant, the Titanium Works, the Aircraft Engine Plant, the Automotive Plant ‘Kommunar’, the Construction Department of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant etc.
The record collections of farming companies and forestries (guberniya-, povit- and okrug-level land authorities (1920-1930); regional and district agricultural administration offices and inspectorates; specialist trusts, machinery and tractor stations, the association ‘Silgosptechnika’ (farming machinery), farming cooperative unions, Soviet state and collective farms,forest ranger stations) contain documentary evidence of the evolution of farming and livestock breeding, agricultural and veterinary science, land management and improvement; the level of equipment of farms with agricultural machinery.
The archive funds of prominent research institutes provide information about the achievements of scientists: development, implementation and upgrading of existing procedures for purification of industrial gases (the Scientific Research Institute for Industrial and Sanitary Purification of Gases); development of new processes for production of nonferrous metals and alloy steels (scientific research institutes for titanium and special steels, alloys and ferroalloys), development and implementation of automated production processes and scientific methods applied in the field of agricultural engineering and breeding (the institute of mechanization and electrification in livestock breeding, the experimental station of oil bearing crops) etc.
A massive amount of documentary evidence originates from the record collections of public associations and organizations. A large portion of it had belonged to the archive funds of the former Zaporizhzhyae Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine. The records from party organizations add to or duplicate the documents stored in the past in the archives of government bodies, institutions and organizations.
The Archives store rare documents referring to the prominent figures of science and culture and other eminent personalities of the region. The most interesting documents include those created by Ya. Novytsky-a local history scholar, historian, archeologist, a correspondent member of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; M. Kytsenko – one of the organizers of the State Reserve-Museum of the Zaporizhzhya Cossacks’ History and Culture located on the island of Khortitsa; V. Lisnyak – a Ukrainian poet, whose name is borne by the literary premium of the Zaporizhzhya branch of the Union of Writers of Ukraine; F. Shevchenko – an artist, author of more than 400 works of painting and graphics etc. The Archives contains the collections of ‘Heroes of the Soviet Union’, ‘Honorary Freemen of the City of Zaporizhzhya’, ‘Holders of the Order of Lenin’, ‘the Red Army and People’, ‘Heroes of Socialist Labor’.
All confidential records submitted for storage dated before 1945 provide information about the political situation at grassroots level, the struggle against crime, disfranchisement of people, expropriation of property belonging to affluent peasantry, the temporary Nazi occupation of the region (in 1941–1944) etc.
The video, photo and phonic records stored in the State Archives illustrate the public, economic and cultural life in Zaporizhzhya. The scientific and technical documents primarily include reports on the development of research programs by prominent scientific research institutions of the region.
Retrieved at http://www.archives.gov.ua/Eng/Archives/ra08.php