COST Action CA21120 “History of Identity Documentation in European Nations: Citizenship, Nationality and Migration”

Workshop: Network Node – Belgrade at the intersection of European National Documentation Practices in the 20th Century, organized by Working Group 2.

Members of WG2 gathered at the Historical Archives of Belgrade in Belgrade, Serbia on December 7 and 8, 2023 to attend the “Network Node – Belgrade at the intersection of European National Documentation Practices in the 20th Century” workshop. The workshop, organized by Working Group 2, focused on the digitized collections of identification documents available on the online services of the Historical Archives of Belgrade.

After a welcome word from the deputy director of the Archives, Slobodan Mandić, who introduced his institution to the attendees, a broader presentation on the Archives was given by the archivists. Their introductory presentation served as an orientation guide to the attendees, informing them on the nature of the Archives within the archival network of the Republic of Serbia. It also pinpointed the most important periods and phenomena that are visible in the archival material – the turbulent evolution of the Serbian/Yugoslav state in the last 200 years, including the documentation of the Holocaust and the Russian emigration. Attendees were also allowed a rare glimpse into the preservation process for important archival materials and were given a tour of the facilities.

The special fonds were presented to the participants through photocopies of the original documents (11 AM), and after the participants were divided into groups, the main workshop on the digitized fonds could begin. The Archives digitized four large collections of identification documents, from the documents created by various churches that operate on the territory of Belgrade, to citizens’ permits and post-war documentation on the victims and the perpetrators. (12:45 pm). The groups fed back information to each other and swapped files so that the rich array of materials could be fully experienced by all. The workshop was paused at 2:30 PM, only to be continued at the beginning of the next day.

The second day was marked by a well-prepared “treasure hunt”, in which the participants learned to operate within the digitized collection and to use all the personal information that is available in the identification documents. The groups presented their results to end the workshop by lunchtime (2 PM).

Link to the digitized collections (version in English is available): Digitalni repozitorijum IAB arhiv-beograda.or