The Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic, as a central state administration authority in the field of archives, includes 1 central state archive (The Slovak National Archives), 8 state archives with a regional territorial competence, and 31 branches. One of the primary roles of the Ministry is the protection of archival documents.
The position of the Slovak National Archives as the central archive of the Slovak Republic was confirmed by the Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic No. 395/2002 Coll. on archives and registries. The organizational incorporation of the archive within the central government was considerably affected by the Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic No. 312/2001 Coll. on the civil service and the amendment to certain acts. The SNA became a facility of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic on 1 April 2002, based on this Act, fulfilling the tasks of the central government in the field of archiving, and was renamed the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic – Slovak National Archives.
The Slovak National Archives has had its seat in a special-purpose building at No. 42 Drotárska Cesta in Bratislava since 1983. The twelve-story building is situated on an elevated sloping terrain exposed to an increased degree to weather influences. It is a significant landmark on the western edge of Bratislava. The chief architect was Ing. Arch. Vladimír Dedeček.
The main building consists of nine above-ground and two underground floors. The entrance floor between them creates a dividing plane. Social and study rooms for the public are accessible from the entrance hall; laboratories are situated separately. Depots and the handling room are above the entrance plateau in the core of the building along its entire height. Archivist workrooms and administrative rooms are located along the circumference of the second above-ground floor of the building and create a closed ring. The building is equipped with air-conditioning as well as electronic fire detection and security systems.
Although at the time of its construction, it was a significant architectural achievement and the Slovak National Archives gained sufficient room for the safekeeping of its archival funds, 39 years have already passed since the building’s completion, and concerning the fast development of construction and archival technology (digitization), the building needs considerable renovation both in terms of the protection of archival documents and internal equipment.
The Slovak National Archives is the largest and most important public archive in the Slovak Republic. It receives, registers, professionally and scientifically processes and makes accessible archival documents, and provides access to files resulting from the activities of the central authorities of the Slovak Republic and their legal predecessors, archival documents of national importance, as well as those obtained by purchase, as a gift or based on concluded deposit agreements. The Slovak National Archives also represents the leading scientific research and training work for the specialization of archiving in the Slovak Republic.
Currently, the Slovak National Archives administers 1,848 archival funds and collections with a total scope of 48,241 running meters (henceforth “r.m.”). Approximately 45,000 r.m. are situated directly in the archive, of which 21,350 r.m. are processed through finding aids.
The Slovak National Archives is a professional memory institution whose components actively contribute to the creation of an integrated system of specialized scientific disciplines dealing with the examination and protection of cultural heritage. The objective of scientific research at the Slovak National Archives is to improve professional activities in the interest of protection and disclosure of the source base of the history of Slovakia and Slovaks.
The latest legal adjustment in the position of the Slovak National Archives was made by Act No. 266/2015 Coll., according to which, on 1 November 2015, it became the only state central archive in Slovakia. Thus, after years of separation, the Slovak Mining Archives (formerly the State Central Mining Archives) was again incorporated into the organization of the Slovak National Archives, with its seat in Banská Štiavnica as a specialized workplace.
The Slovak National Archives is currently internally divided into the Director’s Division, four units – the First Archive Document Processing Unit, the Second Archive Document Processing Unit, the Public Services Unit, the Department of Preservation, and the specialized workplace of the Slovak Mining Archives in Banská Štiavnica.
Department of Preservation focuses on measures for the long-term storage of archival documents – preventive protection as well as document digitalisation, restoration, and conservation. The restoration work is focused on the restoration of paper, parchment, and bookbinding. Practical conservation and restoration cannot do without a previous survey, including high-quality conservation research based on scientific knowledge. The application of conservation science began in 1974, when Ing. Jozef Hanus, PhD. was appointed Head of the Department of Preservation. Science and research in the area of conservation and restoration is carried out along with the common working activities of the department. Research activity in the area of conservation and restoration focuses in particular on applied research and also on basic research in cooperation with the Slovak University of Technology Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology.
The Department of Preservation also operates as a workplace with pedagogic activities. Students of Slovak and foreign secondary schools and universities come here every year to undergo compulsory practice, and seminar training, and to consult their graduation work. Foreign restorers from various countries of Europe have also already applied for internships at the Department of Preservation.
The Slovak National Archives will co-organize joint meetings organized in Slovakia and will contribute to all other project activities. The outputs from the project will be applied in the form of methodological guidelines in the state archives established by the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic.