Slovak National Archives (SNA) - Department of Reference Services

Slovensky národny archiv (SNA) - Oddelenie archívnych informačných služieb
Contact: Božena Slezáková (f) Head
Contact: Mária Zsigmondová (f) Librarian
Slovensky národny archiv, Drotárska cesta 42, 817 01 Bratislava, Slovakia
421 (0) 2 6729 8249, 421 (0) 2 6729 8237, 421 (0) 2 6729 8251, 421 (0) 2 6729 8277
421 (0) 2 6280 1247

The Department of Reference Services organises and provides links between the Archives and the public as well as services connected with the use of archival documents for scientific, cultural and administrative purposes. The department provides, in the first place to educational institutions, organised visits to the archives accompanied by professional explanation on archives tasks and it also provides professional tutors to university students of archival studies during their compulsory study stays. The department carries out some tasks in the area of the archives administration as well.

The department staff offers individuals and institutions information about archival documents shelved in the Slovak National Archives, such as registers for portions and other documents from the period of land reforms, documents about the nationalisation of enterprises and companies, property confiscation, internment in work camps, as well as other documents originating from the activities of central state executive and legislative bodies. On request, the Archives provides authentic extracts, reprographic copies of documents for restitution or succession purposes, and for compensation enforcement. From the collection of documents of the censuses (from 1930 to 1980), the department issues certificates of citizenship, especially for the purposes of proving the status of foreign Slovak.

The sections of the department comprise the mail room, the search room, the library and the microfilms collection.

The mail room of the Archives daily records in registry sent and received correspondence. It also levies administrative charges for reprographic copies and authentication of archival documents.

The aim of the search room is to provide the use of the records and facilitates for their consulting in the search room at the officially appointed time. It can be used by both Slovak and foreign researchers in accordance with the rules for conduct in search room. Upon entry, researchers are requested to sign the register of search attendances. At the first attendance or change of the research topic, the researcher obtains reader’s ticket, which becomes part of his/her registration file. After filling in the request form for archival materials, which must be handed two days in advance of the visit, the requested materials are made accessible in the search room. Orientation in archival fonds and collections for researches is provided by finding aids -- guides to archival fonds and collections, inventories, catalogues, lists and indexes to processed records.

The search room only provides reprographic copies of archival documents upon the approval of a search room personnel, and registers orders for photocopying. Subject to availability, the search room offers researchers access to personal laptop. The use of cell phones in the search room is prohibited.

The library of the Archives is a non-public specialised one. Its source materials have been gradually collected from the merger of the library of the former Provincial Archives, and the libraries of the Agricultural Archives and the Archives of the Ministry of the Interior.

The library consists of two parts – the reference library and the general library. The reference part of the library is keeping in the Archives search room and is used by researchers during their studies. It includes finding aids, encyclopaedias, special dictionaries, bibliographies, statistical handbooks, reference editions, language dictionaries, and collections of acts.

The general part of the library includes reference literature on archives, history or auxiliary historical sciences, philosophy, sociology, linguistics, law, regional, ecclesiastic or cultural history, the history of technology, economics, historical statistics, demography, as well as special literature on the preservation of archival documents, restoration and reprography. Researchers have access to large magazine and newspaper collections, which are accompanied by lists and card-indexes.

Research is facilitated by subject and systematic catalogues. Books are lent for reference study in the Archives search room only.

The microfilms collection assembles, preserves and enables access to micrographic copies of archival documents concerning Slovakia, which are stored in Slovak and foreign archives. They are mostly related to documents from the period when Slovakia did not function as an independent country.

Systematic microfilming of archival materials started in the 1960s with the aim to provide security and conservation microfilming (for protection purposes of originals), as well as microfilming for study purposes (for research use).

In accordance with the new concept of the archives, on 1 January 1978, microfilms collection was established as an independent organisational unit. It preserves microfilms of archival documents stored in other archives in Slovakia and microfilms of archival documents related to history of Slovakia or the Slovaks, stored in foreign archives (e.g. in the Czech Republic, France, Croatia, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Austria, Romania, Ukraine). A quantity of microfilms from abroad have been or are acquired on the reciprocal exchange basis (Hungary, Germany, Austria).