Access exclusive vaults of National Archives of Georgia on global archives day

The Tbilisi archive venue is home to exhibits ranging from 9th century AD to modern day. Photo: National Archives of Georgia., 08 Jun 2017 - 17:23, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s principal archive venue is opening its most restricted areas to the public for a two-day program marking International Archives Day this week.

In a move celebrating the global date, Tbilisi-based National Archives of Georgia is inviting history enthusiasts to visit the vaults of the venue.

The initiative, titled Open Archive Day, will see the venue host visitors interested in viewing the documents preserved in its closed parts on Thursday and Friday.

Visitors are offered a tour of collections preserved at the venue. Photo: National Archives of Georgia.

Normally closed to public, the vaults are generally only accessible to relevant archive personnel.

Admittance is granted based on preliminary registration by interested visitors, who are offered a tour of documents, film strips and photographs preserved in various collections.

The tour also includes access to rooms for digitising the archival material, and the venue’s laboratory.

The National Archives is hosting a project of this kind for the first time, with organisers coinciding it with International Archives Day on June 9, marked by the International Council on Archives since 2008.

The National Archives is home to historical documents including the 1921 Constitution of Georgia. Photo: National Archives of Georgia.

The Tbilisi venue is home to a rich collection of historical material including around five million documents, over 34,000 film material, more than 340,000 photographs and nearly 20,000 audio records.

Exhibits include the historic 1921 constitution of Georgia’s First Democratic Republic, documents detailing history of regional and municipal governance, cultural life and arts in the country, and 20th century Georgian filmstrips.

A 9th century gospel is the earliest document represented in the collections, with the most recent material related to contemporary history.

First founded as a state archive in 1920, the venue was designated as the National Archives of Georgia in 2006.