We offer a fully bespoke, professional, archive research service with a dedicated team of experienced archivists.
To help you understand our archive research process, we have collated our most commonly asked questions into FAQs below. Please ensure that you read them before submitting a form so that you fully understand the specifics of our 1st and 2nd phases as well was the minimum information we require to begin a search.
Click the button below to fill out our archive enquiry form and get one step closer to retrieving your family documents today!
We have split our archive search into 2 phases.
The 1st Phase is the very initial search that is performed to see if any information can be located. Often, by undertaking the first phase, we are able to gain a good idea of whether there will be a possibility of finding information through further detailed searching. This initial enquiry will not produce a report with family history or details.
The 2nd Phase is a much more in depth search. This consists of the archivists extracting all the records which might be relevant to your family. This is a very labour-intensive and time-consuming process as they have to physically search through every possible record. Where they are able to find information, they will scan the documents and then send us the copies. Finally, we will collate all of the information that has been found and will forward it on to you to receive.
Please note that due to COVID-19 some archives in Belarus are closed and therefore we are not able to perform any searches in these archives at this time. We will always inform you whether this will affect your specific search this before payment as it may cause your search to be delayed a few months.
In order for an enquiry to go ahead we need (as a minimum): The name of the person for whom you are searching for records; the date range to search in, this could be “pre-revolution” or a specific year range “1910-20”; The name of the city / area in which they lived.
We ask you to give us as much information as possible. This could include: Additional names, dates, locations; when the person left and what their profession was. The more information an archive enquiry is based on, the higher its likelihood of success.
Unfortunately, we can not guarantee a successful search and this will always be made clear before a quote is sent. However, we do have an excellent success record. The ‘1st Phase Search’ is a very good indicator of whether there is more information to find. Sometimes we are able to find the information quite quickly, but sometimes it takes quite a while – especially when records have been relocated to other archives.
It is also important to note that records pre- 1917 (the Russian Revolution) are fairly extensive. Records that are dated after this time may be harder to find as they may have moved from their original location or, in some cases, may even have been lost during the war period.
We quote depending on the specific requirements of each archive search. For example, some people ask us to look for information on one family member, and sometimes where there are several names, we quote a higher price as this requires more work.
The cost of a ‘1st Phase Search’ is usually £150 but will vary depending on the information supplied.
All payments must be made via the invoice that we send. You have the option to pay by direct bank transfer, credit / debit card or using PayPal.
We have a small, dedicated team of volunteers managing the programme on our end, however your actual archive search will be undertaken by professional archivists in Belarus.
Yes! We also offer:
- Deciphering and translation of documents.
- Local reports of towns that are relevant to your family’s heritage. This includes photos and information about what the towns look like today, as well as information about any Jewish buildings and activity where applicable.
No! We always tell you the results of the 1st phase before discussing the cost of the 2nd phase! It may not be possible to perform the 2nd phase search, or you may wish to take a break before going ahead. That is completely fine!
Due to the changing of borders through history, it sometimes occurs that documents are located in archives in Lithuania or Poland. We do have contacts there who are able to help us to search and retrieve these documents and we charge accordingly. However, we always advise and quote before doing any research work outside of Belarus.
As a charity working to revive Jewish community life in Belarus and building a Jewish Cultural Heritage trail in the country, our mission is to tell the story of the Jews of Belarus. We are giving a voice to the Jewish people in Belarus today and helping them to connect to their ancestry and to the present day Jewish communities.
By providing people with the opportunity to search for their family records (in a cost effective and efficient manner) we also learn more about the story of the Belarusian Jews: Why they left, what professions they had, and where they lived. It also helps us to reach more people who might be interested in supporting the work we do.