At the solemn ceremony of awarding state awards to the best workers of the agriculture sector held on February 9th, 2018, A. Lukashenko, the President of the Republic of Belarus, announced the 2018 as the Year of Native Land.
Speaking about significance of the native land for everyone, the Belarusian leader stressed: "Belarus is our common home, and it’s in our interests to make it comfortable and exemplary. Let's show that we are true and efficient owners of our land!".
In recent years, interest in local history information, study of historical, socio-economic and cultural development of regions and individual localities has increased significantly. Thanks to studies of the local history, we are able to show our love for the only place in the world that we consider native, whether it is a large metropolis or a small village.
Traditionally libraries of different levels represent the central link in the collection of local history information and the formation of local lore resources, study and popularization of historical and cultural heritage. The announcement of this year as the Year of the Native Land will give a new impetus to the activities of library institutions (primarily regional ones) and will increase interest in them.
The National Library of Belarus as a coordinating, scientific and methodological center, including in the field of library and bibliographic study of local lore, implements continuous monitoring of activities and local history information products of regional libraries in Belarus, analytical reviews and recommendations are made and published on its basis. Methodological developments, publications and reports of employees, various research and publishing projects, scientific, practical and sociocultural events are devoted to regional studies.
The National Library of Belarus is one of the initiators and main organizers of the annual republican contest Library is Environment of National Culture, aimed at enhancing the research work of public libraries, enhancing their role in the popularization of national heritage, history, literature, language, traditions, folk culture.
The Library forms an branched system of Belarusian information resources, in which all information is reflected, including the information related to certain localities and populated areas of our country.
Some years ago they have started the development of the regional union electronic catalogs, in which information on local publications and documents is being collecting. Today such consolidated resources have been created for the Gomel and Grodno regions, in the future they are planned for all regions of Belarus.
In recent years interesting scientific and publishing projects have been carried out - the fruits of joint efforts of library, scientific, educational, museum, archival establishments of our country and local history-lovers to recreate and popularize historical and cultural heritage. A comprehensive approach to implementation of those projects is used: not only the bibliographic information is collected and the publications are digitized, but also various accompanying materials (scientific articles, biographical references, chronicles of events, etc.) are prepared, an appropriate illustrative and sound frame is chosen for recreating the atmosphere of the age. One of the examples of such work is a project dedicated to the memorable books of the Belarusian provinces.
In 2017, the National Library in cooperation with external partners, completed two projects within the framework of the research Virtual Reconstruction of Documents and Materials on the Regional History of Belarus. One of the practical results of the research was the issue of multimedia publications Regional History of Belarus in Documents and Materials of the Vilna Archeographic Commission (1864–1915) and Activities of the Vitebsk Scientific Archival Commission (1909–1919): Documents and Materials. For modern researchers this is a full-fledged electronic reproduction of authentic texts, with a block of scientific, bibliographic, factographic, reference, biographical and informational and analytical historical materials, published in the second half of the XIX and early XX centuries, which allow to comprehensively present the activities of these institutions and contribute to the identification and popularization of local history.
The next edition of the regional history of Belarus is scheduled for 2018: 1000 Year of Brest: in Terms of Ancient Documents (in cooperation with M. Gorky Brest Regional Library and other scientific and educational institutions).
The National Library of Belarus has planned a series of events for the presentation of such projects, as well as for learning of the information heritage of the regions of Belarus, their history and cultural achievements, and the results of the work of scientific and local history communities on the study of their native land. The first event The Information Treasures of Belarus. Vitebsk Region was held on January 25. The next event National Informational Resource: the Vitebsk Region, Today and Yesterday was organized by the Vitebsk Regional Library named after V. Lenin. The staff of the National Library of Belarus took part in the round table, which was held on April 11.